The Daniel High boys basketball team, ranked No. 4 in Class AAA in preseason by the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association Class, dropped its first two games of the season against Spartanburg and Travelers Rest.
However, Lions coach Ben Touchberry said that early struggles are nothing new for the Lions.
“Last year, we started out 1-2 and ended up 20-4,” said Touchberry. “About 80 percent of our basketball players played football. We have to get them into basketball shape and knock off some of the rust.”
Junior Jae’lon Oglesby and senior D.J. Greenlee, both Clemson University recruits for football, are in Touchberry’s starting lineup.
Touchberry said Oglesby, a guard, is an explosive slasher on the offensive end and continues to improve daily on defense.
Greenlee plays in the post for the Lions.
“D.J. has a great presence in the post,” Touchberry said. “He is a great rebounder and has some good moves in the post on offense.”
Juniors Austin Hall, Joel Starks and Solomon Brown join Greenlee in the post for Daniel.
Touchberry praised senior point guard Tyus Gaines for his leadership qualities.
“He’s our quarterback on offense, and he defends the ball well,” Touchberry said. “He is emerging as a vocal leader, and that is just what our team needs.”
Adrien Dunn, Trevor Newton and Yasin Glanton also see playing time at the guard positions.
Senior Justin Dotson can play at small forward or power forward for the Lions. Touchberry said Dotson can do just about everything on offense.
“We have a lot of upperclassmen,” said Touchberry. “This is the year to really be successful.
“That being said, our region will be a lot more athletic this year with the addition of Emerald, Palmetto and Wren. Any of the Greenville teams that we will face in the playoffs will be tough, too.”