Glenbrook South boys basketball preview

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Wing Devin Maki

After barely logging any minutes last season, Maki is expected to be in the starting lineup as a senior. Despite his inexperience, coach Ben Widner said Maki has played with confidence during the offseason. 

The coach also said Maki is one of the team’s most athletic players and someone whose defense can create offense. 

“We want him in transition,” said the second-year coach, who guided the Titans to their best conference record in three seasons in 2012-13. “We want to get him in open space.”

Center Conor McCarthy

The big-bodied senior is the team’s muscle inside, but Widner said the 6-foot-6, 225-pound McCarthy surprises people with his mobility. 

“He has quick feet,” Widner said. “He’s almost too quick for his body. He’s someone who can get the ball 15 feet away from the basketball, take a dribble or two and get to the rim.” 

But McCarthy’s main job will be rebounding. Widner said he wants the big man, who is also a capable passer in the post, in double figures most games.

Guard Danny Nikitas

Now that Justin Busiel has graduated, Nikitas will be counted on for more scoring this season. Widner said Nikitas, a senior, dedicated himself in the offseason to improving his strength and conditioning in preparation for the increased responsibility. 

“He’s more confident,” said Widner, whose club is in search of its first regional title since 2009. “No one wants it more than Danny.” 

The coach said Nikitas will be the team’s primary ball-handler.

“We are asking a lot of him, but he’s up for the task,” Widner said.

Ben [Widner] has done an amazing job in two years. I think his group this year might be one of the most underrated in the area. They have a high level of athleticism, and the players are starting to understand the system. They also run a good offense, one that is patient. They run you through so many screen options that it’s tough to defend. Ben runs multiple defenses. They are going to be a tough team to play.

2012-13 record: 11-16 overall, 3-7 CSL South

2013 playoffs: Lost in regional semifinals of Class 4A to Foreman 

Head coach: Ben Widner, second season

Projected starting five: sr. G Danny Nikitas, sr. G Paul Jones, sr. F Tommy O’Hara, sr. F Devin Maki, sr. C Conor McCarthy.

Game to watch: Glenbrook North at Glenbrook South, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6. After losing a 63-60 game last year, Widner looks to even his record against the rival Spartans.

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