Peters, Randle help Lions dominate

The Plano (TX) Prestonwood Christian Lions currently own a 21-3 record on the hardwood during the 2011-2012 season, and the duo of Zach Peters and Julius Randle has been a key factor in their success. Recently, Phog.net spoke with Lions head coach Chris Mayberry about his star big men and how they've grown on the court.

The recipe for success at Plano (TX) Prestonwood Christian is no great secret.

They've got quality coaching, thanks to Chris Mayberry and his staff, and they have talent. So much that their roster is practically bursting at the seams with it - and it all starts in the post.

In senior Zach Peters and junior Julius Randle, the Lions have one of the most potent frontcourt duos in the Lone Star State, accounting for 35 points and 17 rebounds a game. The two have also doled out a combined 93 assists.

Peters is actually third on the team in assists with 50 to his name, a statistic which, in Mayberry's eyes, stands testament to his growth and unselfishness as a player.

"The other night he had three fast break situations where he could have tried to score or dunk," he said. "But he's such a willing passer that he doesn't always have 20 points a game when he easily could have."

Peters has developed the ability to step away from the basket for jumpers with consistency and is more than capable on the block and in transition as well. But his physical skills aren't where his improvement is most evident.

"He always takes good shots," Mayberry said. "His improvement has mostly been on the mental side of not worrying about how many points he has. Not that he's been that guy at all, but he's just so willing to pass the ball."

At 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, Peters is frequently too physical for opposing defenders - as is Randle - and that physicality is one reason he could be capable of contributing for the Kansas Jayhawks next fall, in addition to his skill set.

"Like every freshman, Zach is going to have some things he'll have to adjust to," Mayberry said. "But I don't think it's going to be physical play. He's going to walk right in and be able to compete physically."

The team's leading scorer and rebounder, Randle is one of the truly elite members of the Class of 2013 and, as such, is being pursued by virtually every major college basketball program in the country.

This is Mayberry's first season at the helm of Prestonwood Christian, and there's one quality his team possesses that has impressed him the most; a quality that applies particularly well to Randle.

They're all exceedingly coachable.

"He's ultra competitive," Mayberry said, of Randle. "He goes and gets rebounds and stuff like that. He's super athletic and his coachability is really strong a lot like Zach."

On the recruiting front, the elite junior big man isn't pushing things. Jayhawks fans can rest assured that Head Coach Bill Self and his staff are in hot pursuit, however. Not only has Randle visited the campus a number of times, but - when allowed by NCAA rules - they've been frequent visitors to Plano themselves.

"Danny Manning was here the other night," Mayberry said. "They obviously have an interest in Zach as well, and in the pre-season Coach Self or one of his staff members was here as much as they could be."

"They've done as good a job as anybody as far as recruiting."


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