In a short time, Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., has established itself as one of the premier high school basketball programs in the country.
Recently, head coach Mike Peck left for the Portland Trail Blazers to be coach of the team's NBDL affiliate, but under longtime assistant and newly promoted head coach Todd Simon, the Pilots don't look to be losing any steam.
With players already committed to UNLV, UCLA, Indiana and Washington, Findlay already has four players set for high-major programs. Before the year is done, the Pilots could see another four commit to high-major programs.
It's not a bad problem to have for a first-year head coach.
"I feel pretty good about these guys," Simon told Rivals.com. "The biggest problem we are going to have is finding playing time for all of these guys. Because of that we're going to play up-tempo and use a lot of pressure.
"We don't lack for physicality."
During a Monday afternoon stop at a Findlay workout, Simon's claim that his team was physical was apparent.
Four-star guards Nigel Williams-Goss and Allerik Freeman previewed what is likely to be a battle they'll renew several times in the Pac-12.
The Washington bound Williams-Goss is an extremely physical and hard-working defender who looks to have improved his quickness a bit. He appears primed for a big senior year.
Ticketed for UCLA, Freeman is in the best shape he's ever been. He's always been strong, but he's cut some weight and is seeing the benefits of his increased conditioning and better quickness.
Committed to Indiana, four-star wing Stanford Robinson looks to be adjusting nicely after making the move from the Washington, D.C., area. He's a well-built southpaw who really makes things happen off the dribble, plays with tons of energy and can be a very good defender when he wants to be.
In the case of Christian Wood, it still looks to be as much about future potential as it is current production for the UNLV commit.
At 6-foot-9, maybe even 6-foot-10, he's a long and lean forward who can play as a face-up four man.
He's very skinny, but runs the floor well, has good ball-handling skills and is a very dangerous 3-point shooter. The highest ranked player of the current Findlay group at No. 33 nationally, Wood appears to have legitimate long-term potential on the wing.
It wasn't a surprise to see those four playing so well, but the play of 6-foot-8 senior power forward Gavin Schilling was probably the biggest takeaway.
During the summer, the strongly built Schilling would show flashes but seemed to drift in and out of games and not play with a ton of physicality.
Well, physicality is definitely not an issue. At times, Schilling was almost too physical, but it was good to see him attacking the glass and playing strong in the paint.
Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg will be out to see him while Notre Dame and DePaul are among others who have already been out to see him this fall. There is also attention from Oklahoma, Gonzaga, Auburn, Washington State, Oregon State and many more.
At 6-foot-10, Ndoye is a native of Senegal who can really run the floor, has strong hands and is actually pretty quick to the hoop once he catches in the paint.
From Lithuania, Griciunas is another 6-foot-10 big who can run the floor. He has good hands and while he's on the lean side right now, he has some fight to him around the hoop and good skill between the hoop and eight feet.
Wade is a 6-foot-5 wing who oozes upside. He's slender and quick, an effortless athlete and he works hard on each end of the floor. He's a little lacking in strength and not fully healthy right now, but the son of former Michigan player Butch Wade is somebody who high majors will track closely this winter.
Finally, junior big man Kingsley Okoroh is a work in progress, but the near seven-footer from England has come a long way in the last year. He's not the most fluid from one end of the floor to another, but he works hard, has pretty good hands and is starting to get comfortable with jump hooks from around six feet out.
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