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Huntington Prep reloads

Basketball
Jul. 26, 2013 @ 12:28 AM

HUNTINGTON -- It's hard to fathom that Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford would ever envision a team that could possibly top his 2012-13 team, considering that Andrew Wiggins -- the No. 1 player in the Class of 2013 -- was a part of that team.

However, Fulford loves challenges and when that challenge was presented to him, he went to work to show people that Huntington Prep was not just a one or two-year flash-in-the-pan program.

Just months after the exit of Wiggins to Kansas, Fulford and his staff have put together a stellar class that will come to Huntington next year for school at Huntington St. Joseph Central.

And, it could be argued that the talent coming in will be better all-around than that which was seen in the 2012-13 school year during Wiggins' senior year.

"I don't think I'll ever say that any team without Andrew is better, but we'll be a lot deeper," Fulford said. "That's a good problem and a bad problem. That adds accountability and competitiveness to practice, for sure. The fact that Andrew and those guys were here, that's helped us nationally and we've had a great off-season recruiting."

Headlining the group of newcomers is JaQuan Lyle -- a Louisville commit who just announced he was coming to Huntington last week.

Lyle is a 6-4, 185-pound guard who has continued his strong play over the last two years in Evansville, Ind. He is ranked No. 22 overall by ESPN in the latest ESPN Top 100 ranking.

Now, with his announcement that he will come to Huntington Prep, Lyle joins a stellar class that features -- including himself -- four five-star recruits and one four-star recruit in the next two classes.

In addition to Lyle, the backcourt will feature Josh Perkins, who burst on the scene as one of the top pure point guards in the nation while dominating the AAU circuit this summer.

Perkins, a Colorado native who is ranked No. 24 nationally, is being recruited by many high D-I schools, including Kentucky, and features an ability to create for other players that the Express did not have last season.

"The point guard situation will be much different," Fulford said. "Travon (Landry) was a lock-down defender -- probably the best I've ever coached -- but he wasn't as solid offensively. Josh is a lot more of an offensive threat but not as solid a defender. It's a balance where we have to get Josh in there and guard a little different this year."

Jalen Lindsey and Angel Delgado join Lyle and Perkins to give the Express lots of athleticism in the lineup.

Lindsey committed to Huntington Prep early in the spring and was on-hand in Huntington for Wiggins signing in May. He is rated No. 32 nationally and is a ranked No. 32 nationally. The 6-7. 180-pound swingman committed to Providence a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Delgado is the diamond in the rough-and-rugged, according to Fulford. He's the scrappy, high-motor player that every team needs and few have.

Delgado is a 6-8, 215-pound rebounding machine that will play the power forward spot for the Express. He has offers from Louisville, Florida State and Virginia and high interest from Kentucky as well.

"I think the most intriguing part for people around here will be Delgado because he'll be a different post player than what we've had in the past," Fulford said. "We've had Gorgui, who was a shotblocker, and Moses, who was somewhat of the same defensive presence. Angel is a kid where you don't have to run anything for him. He's sort of that guy that just goes out and gets it."

Others new players to watch for include Miles Bridges, who is coming from Flint, Mich., the home of former Huntington Prep player Javontae Hawkins, and Danny Vitiello, who was a player on the Dominican U-17 national team.

The Express also return 2015 top 20 prospect Montaque Gill-Caesar, who had one of the more impressive summers out of all prospects nationally.

Fulford said he still needed to add one more post-player and that a visit from a five-star center is in the near future.

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