Friday, July 21, 2017

For Chaney, Illustrious Prep Career Continues At Scotland Campus Sports

During his storied stay at now defunct Laurinburg Prep (NC), Chris Chaney orchestrated a veritable prep "Dream Team." 

This prep team reached unprecedented success and simultaneously re-wrote the pages of high school sports history. The team posted a 40-0 overall record en route to the 2005 national championship.

 The core adapted to multi-layered roles, soon becoming interchangeable pieces.

 Laurinburg dumped off foes to the tune of a 40-point average margin of victory. 

Only five games were determined by 20 points or less.  They shot 80 percent from the foul line and committed less than 10 turnovers a game.

They defeated prosperous prep programs such as Hargrave Military Academy, Notre Dame Prep, Bridgton Academy and Winchendon handily.

This Laurinburg team also featured 17 different leading scorers and a record 15 Division-I signees in total.
This talent-rich core bought in collectively, implementing a souped-up attack and taking everything they did to the next level. They arrived to practice limber, fresh off a five-mile run from campus.

The collective desire to become the best to ever do it on the prep level soon became infectious. 

Since the very beginning of the season they employed a championship-or-bust mentality, pegging anything less of an undefeated season and national championship a disappointment.

Attacking in layers and bolstered by augmented bench depth, Laurinburg coasted to a 95-83 win over Hargrave Military Academy in Wayne Otto’s U.S. prep national championship.

Championship MVP Antonio Anderson, Robert Sallie, and Shawne Williams, all of whom ended up at Memphis under then-head coach John Calipari, were the mainstays and bulwark of this team.  

While at The Patterson School (N.C.), Chaney cultivated a post presence in a raw 6-foot-11 kid named Hassan Whiteside.

Chaney's workaday labor facilitated Whiteside's transition to the heavy demands of a bruising center. Whiteside, out of Gastonia, N.C., soon developed an adeptness at blocking shots. Applying the low-post scoring tools necessary to play up to his 6-foot-11, 245-pound frame, he abruptly grew.

Of the 17 NBA draft picks Coach Chaney has nurtured the development of, few stories tell like Hassan Whiteside’s.

Whiteside endured an unpredictable city-to-city journey ride before skyrocketing to prosperity with the Miami Heat. He played in China and Lebanon, struggling to find a permanent home in the NBA.

 Then, seemingly overnight, Whiteside was plucked from obscurity. His rapid evolution as a quick-hit sensation for a Miami Heat team was no flash in the pan. 

After leading the team past the Charlotte Bobcats in the playoffs and sustaining his role as stabilizing interior force, Whiteside signed a whopping $98 million dollar contract with the Heat in the summer of 2016.

Against the Chicago Bulls, Whiteside vaulted into national prominence with a “Triple Dozen” performance of 14 points, 13 boards, and 12 blocked shots. He became the fourth player in the last 25 years to record such a stat line.

 His monumental 12 blocks also put him amongst elite company, as he became the first player since the late Monute Bol (listed at 7-foot-7 during his playing days) to collect 12 blocks in 25 minutes off the bench. With the hype seeming like overkill, Whiteside continued to produce extravagant, unparalleled numbers.
While adapting to a new program with college-level facilities in The Patterson School, Chaney was instrumental in tuning up a raw, inexperienced kid named Jordan Hill.

Hill had not played one full season of high school basketball, albeit the promise and quality was there.  

Under Chaney and staff, Hill (who was drafted by the New York Knicks following a career at Arizona) developed an interior offensive skill-set and evolved into a menacing rim protector.

 Such is the true unique draw of Chaney and staff's coaching.

 While countless programs thrive on assembling star-spangled lineups and nabbing those hotly-pursued recruits, Chaney has been able to attain success with the unproven.

This has been the case with late rising prospects such as Jeremy Hazell (2,000+ point scorer at Seton Hall), Bobby Maze (Tennessee), Renaldo Balkman (South Carolina/NBA), and various others.

 Scotland Campus Sports aspires to take an unknown and raw prospect and turn him good, pushing his evolution every step of the way. 

 Chaney, who has won more games than any active high school or prep coach, continues to churn out a steady wave of talent from all across the country and overseas.

No longer working strictly with blue chips, Chaney’s time at Scotland Campus Sports has been spent enabling under-the-radar players to garner notice.

Last season, Chaney swooped in at the 11th hour with the focus on getting a new program off the ground. He needed to move swiftly to build up the culture and engineer the meshing experiment.

This involved taking forgotten-about recruits and pushing them against national brand name high school/prep programs. Chaney discovered one of the country’s more underrated recruits in Jaylen Jordan. Jordan, out of Congers, Ga., flew mostly under the radar during his high school career.

Then, during the latter half of Jordan’s senior season, he became a focal point and an innate playmaker averaging 18 points and six assists per game in becoming the 6A State Player of the Year.

Working with Chaney and assistant coach Sullivan Brown, Jordan added muscle onto a once twig-like frame. Inheriting some ownership of the offense, the multi-geared guard with ferocious attacking ability soon found his identity.

Blessed with various scoring tools, few are aware of the limitless bounce Jordan possesses. Any given moment, Jordan can kick-start the momentum roll with an electrifying dunk or a move that oozes of his wowing athletic ability.

Guard Chris Parker also entered Scotland Campus without the lofty expectations and rankings and soon made a name for himself. At 6-feet and 155 pounds, what Parker lacked in size he made up for with instincts and true point guard play. 

Parker became an instant linchpin in Chaney’s controlled and strategic transition game, fueling fast breaks and kick-starting the running game fresh off a defensive board. He averaged 17.0 points and 4.0 assists for the post-graduate team.

Similar to Jordan before him, Parker not only bought into but embodied the “unsung” theme.

The fact that this core didn’t generate the same national headlines as others provided added ammunition for kids like Parker (who recently penned with Henderson State).

“Coach always tells me, ‘play with a chip on your shoulder,’” Parker said of Chaney.

And so the Texas native relished the responsibility of seeing the play before it unfolded and developing an accurate read on his teammates’ strengths.

 Parker fed the post, was instrumental in creating in the half-court set, and scored at all three levels. He blew past defenders and relied on his wit to make the right pass and pile up pivotal buckets. 

Parker called his own number during high-pressure moments, pocketing pivotal 3-pointers against Mount Zion (M.D.) and 22 Feet Academy (S.C.).

Another guard who improved dramatically under Chaney's system is Dylan Angel.

"He's the ultimate winning type of kid," said Chaney of Angel, who found his way to SCS' backcourt following a mid-season transfer from DME Academy in Daytona Beach, Fla.

"He possesses all the tools necessary to be a good, reliable four-year player. He had a very good high school career which ultimately culminated with a loss to Tony Bradley (now a newly-minted champion at UNC) in the playoffs. He's also a good student and has the maturity and mindset to make a seamless transition to college and be a key catalyst (on both sides of the court) from the get-go."

 At DME this season, the prep and post-graduate team did not have the same high-rankings and highly-touted recruits as they have in previous years.  The SIAA program underwent a putrid down year, stuffed in the talent-stacked SIAA's lower percentile.

Thus, weighing the transfer market to renew his winning ways was the best option for Angel.

A disciplined up tempo pace that entails consistent work and hustle, was also better suited for the post-graduate.

 "At DME we had a lot of set offenses that were drawn up to take time off the clock," the 6-foot-2 Angel said.

 "At NTSI, we were told to run the fast break and score as quick as possible. The part of my game I really had to refine was my quickness and driving capabilities. I really think that playing at NTSI and the level of play really helped me adjust and refine those aspects of my game."

A deft shooting stroke, decision-making off the dribble, and defensive tenacity are key attributes which makes Angel a safe bet to win the plus/minus stat on the floor.

"It was tough adjusting to all the new faces at first in the middle of the season, but I quickly proved myself in the gym," Angel explained.

"I feel like after I proved myself, everything else just fell into place. I was able to find my niche by gaining the trust of the guys and just performing well on daily basis."

Angel was quick to cite that the two coaches propelling his development helped him get acclimated.

"I can't tell you how many times I've had two coaches from the same team tell me two completely different things," he said. "With them, they were always on the same page.”