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Posted On: 07/30/18 7:43 PM
The 2018 season in the Greater Miami Conference was dominated by the Princeton Vikings. Coach Steve Wright squad finished conference play 16-0 while winning every game but one by double-digits. But things tend to change when you lose four seniors, one of whom is a pro. So how does that leave them for the 2019 season? We talk about that, a coaching legend taking the head job at Lakota West and more in Summer Outlook: Greater Miami Conference.
Vikings replacing a ton of talent
We touched upon this in the introduction, but Princeton is losing four of the top 200 players in the 2018 class, including #1 ranked Darius Bazley. But Princeton has five players ranked in the top 100 for 2020, it would have been six but more on that later. You add the addition of former Newport (KY) F Tahj Harding, who was profiled on Prep Hoops Ohio last week, and you have a team that has the potential to win a 2nd straight conference crown. I cannot wait to watch the combination of Harding and top football recruit Darrion Henry (2020 PHO #93) do work in the paint.
Princeton’s Ward transfers to neighborhood rival
Forward Aaron Ward (2020 PHO #35) would have been the sixth player from Princeton ranked in the top 100. But as first reported by Corey Albertson of Triple Double Prospects, Ward is now a Winton Woods Warrior having made the switch earlier this month. While Ward’s was expected to be a huge piece of the Vikings roster this season, the addition of the before mentioned Tahj Harding should help make-up for his departure.
Can Big Blue take that next step?
For the past two years Hamilton Big Blue have been an average squad at best. Over that span they have an overall record of 23-23, 15-17 in conference. But with the talent that they have coming back, there fan base can expect that to change. Let’s first start with the fact that they have the highest returning scoring duo in the conference in 2019 guards Jaylen Robinson (17.8ppg in 2018) and D’Marco Howard (17.5ppg in 2018). Add in rising 2020 F Trey Robinson (PHO #65) and you have a 3-man group that is as formidable as any in the conference. Robinson is a very athletic wing who excels at running the floor and crashing the boards. According to Apex One coach Billy Edwards Jr. Trey has interest from Winthrop, Akron, Ball St. and Miami (OH).
Leon the new head man at West
Cincinnati coaching legend Jim Leon is back coaching at a D-I program having taken the Lakota West job back in May. Coach Leon resume includes three straight D-I Final Four appearances at Woodward from 1988-90, winning the state title in 1988. His other coaching stops include Clark Montessori and St. Ursula girls program from 2010-2015. He most recently was the head of Mariemont boys program for the previous three seasons leading them to within a game of reaching the D-III Final Four. This will prove to be one of the better hires of the off-season.