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Best friends duo lead inexperienced FHS boys

It’s a good thing to have best friends as team leaders and big-time scoring threats.

Such is the Diegel-Williams guard combo for Farragut High School’s Varsity Boys Basketball team in 2010-11, the team’s lone returning starters on a squad lacking overall experience with below average size.

Senior Taylor Diegel and junior Blake Williams, the Ads second- and third-leading scorers last season, who join senior first-year starting senior point guard Craig Leuthold “are probably our solid three starters,” new FHS head coach Chris Cool said.

Diegel said of his friendship with Williams, “We’ve been playing a lot since we’ve been kids, so we have quite a history. We play really well on the court together. We have a good friendship off the court, so it really fits in.”

“Being a senior, and coming back as a returning starter, me and Blake mainly are going to have to be the main scorers. That’s a big responsibility there.”

Williams said he and Taylor have “played together a lot over the years. We’re pretty close friends. Just having Taylor out there, he’s knows what I’m doing, I know what he’s doing.

“We play summer ball, pick-up ball together,” Williams added. “We pretty much know each other’s tendencies.”

Cool said, “A lot of experience, number one, and leadership, that’s what those guys bring to the table. I think those two, for us to be successful, not only are they going to have to score, but on nights where they’re being hounded because they’ve been scouted, they’re going to have to get the ball to the open people.”

“Both are great shooters, and Blake can also take the ball to the basket. ... Taylor is deceivingly tall [with] long length. He gets his hands on a lot of balls.”

As for Leuthold, “He handles the ball well and he gets the ball to people,” Cool said. “He goes 150 percent with everything he does.”

Down low, “It's going to be pretty much post by committee this year, depending on who we're playing,” Cool said.

“I've got four post players that could all vie for starting positions:” seniors Will Park and Shadi Murfiq (6-foot-3), junior Reed Haugh (6-foot-3) and sophomore Preston Spalding (6-foot-5).

Park, only 6-foot-2, saw a number of minutes off the bench last season. “He's another good leader, he's really been working hard,” Cool said. “He just hustles.”

“Shadi's more of our big banger-type inside,” Cool added, guessing his weight between 240 and 250. “Preston has so much potential, and he's going to get better with each game and each year he plays.”

Haugh “is a guy that has a knack for rebounding, and he's quick enough to make some steals on defense,” Cool said. Senior Robert Jones will spell Leuthold at point. Jones “has probably gained 15 pounds of muscle, he is bulked up,” Cool said. “He's looking good at the guard position.”

Junior guard Connor Martens “flat can play some defense. He's quick,” Cool said.

Sophomore guard DeMarcus Martin, a transfer from Austin-East not eligible until Dec. 20, “is really quick, can shoot the ball,” Cool said. “Very smart player, knows the game of basketball. “I'm looking for big things from Demarcus when he's eligible.”

Another Admiral looking to contribute is senior post Gabe Sexton.

The bottom line: “The only way we're going to win is if everybody contributes,” Cool said.

Assistant coaches are Chris Garmon and Brent Burns.


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