MOUTH OF WILSON, VA — Billy Preston got loose Monday prior to Oak Hill Academy’s 41-point trouncing of Bull City (Raleigh, NC) Prep, but never saw a second of action.
He put a hoodie over his uniform mid-second quarter as he was officially shut down for the night. Regardless, his season has been a huge success thus far.
“It’s going good. I haven’t played in about a week. I pulled my groin, but before the injury the season has been good,” Preston said. “It’s been going swell for me. We’ve lost a couple of games. We’re on a winning streak right now and plan to finish strong.”
“It was 50-50,” Preston said about the likelihood of him playing Monday. “Our big man David (McCormack) dislocated his finger in practice today. Just in case we needed another body out there, I was suited up.”
Preston is averaging more than 10 rebounds a game for his 33-4 Oak Hill Warriors, and has a few games where he grabbed more than 20.
“That helps the team get wins,” he said. “Any shot that goes up, I crash.”
Though rebounding is Preston’s forte, he brings much more to the table. He has great handles, excellent stroke from long range and can pass the ball well — he’s a versatile of a 6-foot-10 prospect as you will ever see.
“I’m a versatile player. I can do a little bit of everything — dribble, shoot, handle, pass. I consider myself a point-forward type of player, like a LeBron James,” Preston said. “I’m just working to get to his level.”
Preston said the Jayhawk coaching staff has big plans for him next season.
“They want me to come in and take on a big role. They have to reload next year,” he said. “It’s going to be a rebuilding process for us, but we’ll still be able to get the job done.”
He’s developing a great relationship with fellow KU commit Marcus Garrett
“I talk to him every now and then. That’s my boy. We’re going to be great friends,” Preston said. “We were recruiting Trae Young heavy before he committed to Oklahoma. We’re still working on Trevon Duval. That’s the main guy left in our class that has Kansas on their list.”
Preston said he’s been keeping up with the Jayhawks religiously this season.
“I’ve definitely been keeping up with the season, and I think we’re doing excellent. Coach Self and the team he has this year is great,” he said. “They have the potential to win the NCAA Championship. They’re won the close games and are doing fabulous, especially on the road.”
Getting his commitment out of the way before the season began was a great move, Preston said.
“I don’t have to worry about multiple coaches or listening to a different sales pitch every week. I can focus on one coaching staff and one team,” he said. “I’ve been able to support my team through the college season. I like tweeting about my team when they win. I get to support them even though I’m not there.”
Kansas was an easy choice for Preston.
“The way coach Self said he wanted to play me. The school itself — they go crazy for basketball,” he said. “They support the players and show so much love. The history behind Kansas and seeing what coach Self has done. It’s one of the top programs in the nation.”