High School Sports

Miami-Dade boys’ basketball preview: Norland’s Dewan Huell a special player

Norland's Dewan Huell
Norland's Dewan Huell Cindy Skop

Lawton Williams III has never been surrounded by elite prospects during his years coaching boys’ basketball teams at Miami Norland.

It’s pretty rare when players such as 6-10 senior forward Dewan Huell don the Vikings’ jersey.

Not since eventual Georgia Tech signee Zachary Peacock led Norland to its first state championship have the Vikings had a potential superstar nor such a talented team as it heading into this season.

“[Peacock] was a very mature player, as well as talented,” Williams said. “But [Huell] is more talented than [Peacock]. He’s the most talented we’ve ever had here.”

Huell spent the summer impressing college scouts at several prestigious events, including the Under Armour Elite 24 this past August at Pier 2 in Brooklyn where he was one of the top players in the event.

Huell, ranked as the No. 18 overall prospect in Class of 2016 by ESPN, is being recruited by numerous top Division I schools, including UM, FSU and South Carolina, all of which he spoke of highly.

This February, Huell is hoping to finish his high school career the same way he started it four years ago — with a state championship.

Huell believes his experience during the summer will help him lead Norland to a record fifth consecutive state championship.

“I’m getting better at getting the ball at the top of the post and attacking,” Huell said. “I still need to work on my strength, especially after what I saw battling in the paint all summer.”

Norland has been perfect at the state final four during Williams’ tenure, going 12-0 in Lakeland, winning the state championship each of the six times it has made it since 2006. Williams’ sixth state title as coach last year gave him the most championships of any coach statewide at one school and tied him with Blanche Ely coach Melvin Randall for the most overall.

Norland, already on a county record for winning consecutive state titles, can tie Jacksonville Arlington Country Day (2005-09) and Malone (1994-98) for the state record for most consecutive state championships if they win Class 6A again this season.

Norland is tied with Blanche Ely for the second-most state titles by any Dade or Broward team behind Miami High’s 18.

“It would be the perfect way to finish high school,” Huell said. “All we know is winning state championships and we expect nothing less.”

Huell took charge last season in a year in which Norland had to overcome the transfer of four varsity and three JV players right before the season. Huell averaged 19.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game and was named the Miami Herald’s Class 8A-6A Player of the Year.

Huell leads an experienced squad this time around that includes guard David Jean-Baptiste, a Chattanooga commit, Tyrik Waite, a senior point guard, Ernel Foster, a 6-3 senior wing, and Jonathan Andre, a 6-5 senior wing. Guard Kennith Rolle, who transferred from Miami Beach, should provide more scoring punch as well.

Norland’s road to state got tougher this season as it will have to contend with Miami Central, an improving program that moved down from Class 7A. The Rockets beat Norland for the GMAC tournament title last year and return a talented group led by 6-5 senior guard Anthony Wilson.

Season overview

KEY DATES

Monday: Regular season began; Nov. 24: Hoophall Invitational at AmericanAirlines Arena; Dec. 10-12: A-Rod Classic at Columbus; Dec. 28-30: Junior Orange Bowl Classic at Reagan; Jan. 26-27, 29: GMAC championship; Feb. 1-3, 5-6: Districts; Feb. 11: Regional quarterfinals; Feb. 16: Regional semifinals; Feb. 19-20: Regional finals; Feb. 23-27: State final four in Lakeland;

2014-15 STATE CHAMPIONS

Class 8A: Wellington; 7A: Pompano Beach Blanche Ely; 6A: Miami Norland; 5A: Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons; 4A: Tallahassee Godby; 3A: Jacksonville Providence; 2A: Miami Christian; 1A: Chipley.

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS

G Justin Brown, Westminster Christian, 6-2, Sr.; G Ezacuras Dawson, South Miami, 6-2, Jr.; G David Jean-Baptiste, Norland, 6-0, Sr.; G Dylan Frye, Mater Academy, 6-2, Sr.; G Anthony Wilson, Central, 6-5, Sr.; F Ralph Diaz, Mater Academy, 6-6, Sr.; F Dewan Huell, Norland, 6-10, Sr.; F Marlon Sierra, Miami High, 6-6, Sr.; C Joseph Jack son, Gulliver, 6-7, Sr.; C Zach Brown, Miami High, 7-1, Jr.

Others to watch –— Guards: Miguel Arnold, South Miami, 5-10, Jr.; Eduardo Camacho, Miami Christian, 5-11, Jr.; Shawn Chandler, Southridge, 6-0, Sr.; Luis Fred, Archbishop Carroll, 6-1, Sr.; Karl Jeanty, Dr. Krop, 6-5, Sr.; Kobie Johnson, American, 6-0, Sr.; P.J. Hall, Coral Gables, 6-2, Sr.; Chris Mejia, Mater Academy, 6-3, Sr.; Malcolm Nicholas, Jr., Miami High, 6-5, Jr.; Kennith Rolle, Norland, 5-11, Jr.; Josh Rosario, Archbishop Carroll, 6-2, Jr.; Tyrik Waite, Norland, 6-0, Sr.; Forwards: Jeffrey Collier, Jr., Homestead, 6-5, Sr.; Miguel Diaz, Miami Christian, 6-5, So.; Ibrahim Doumbia, Miami Country Day, 6-8, Jr.; Brent Holcombe, Coral Reef, 6-8, Jr.; Kelvin Morley, Coral Gables, 6-7, Jr.; Kenny Turnier, Central, 6-5, Sr.; Solomon Uyaelunmo, Gulliver, 6-8, So.; Centers: Emanuel Dowuana, Westwood Christian, 6-11, Jr.; Denzel Jenoure, Champagnat Catholic, 6-9, Sr.; Victor Uyaelunmo, Gulliver, 7-0, Jr.

PRESEASON POLL

1. Norland; 2. Miami High; 3. Mater Academy; 4. Central; 5. Miami Christian; 6. South Miami; 7. Coral Gables; 8. Southridge; 9. Columbus; 10. Gulliver

On the rise: Doral Academy, Coral Reef, Champagnat Catholic, Westminster Christian, Archbishop Carroll, Dr. Krop, American, Booker T. Washington.

Andre C. Fernandez

Team-by-team outlooks

Class 8A

1. MIAMI HIGH (Coach Javorie Wilson, 2nd year at MHS, 7th overall, 100-45). Last year: 17-8 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: C Zachariah Brown, 7-1, Jr.; F Marlon Sierra, 6-7, Sr.; G Malcolm Nicholas, Jr., 6-5, Jr.; G Anthony Mera, 6-2, Jr.; G Justin Arce, 6-2, Sr.; G Dominick Garcia, 6-1, So.

2. SOUTH MIAMI (Coach Robert Doctor, 11th year, 208-79). Last year: 17-11 (Regional finalist). Top players: PG Ezacuras Dawson III, 6-2, Jr.; PG Miguel Arnold, 5-10, Jr.; G Ishmael Davis, 6-3, Jr.; C Keith Stewart, 6-8, Sr.; G Michael Castro, 5-8, Sr.

3. CORAL GABLES (Coach Gaston "Chachi" Rodriguez). Last year: 16-10. Top players: G P.J. Hall, 6-2, Sr.; F Kelvin Morley, 6-7, Jr.; G Corey Smith, 6-3, Sr.

4. SOUTHRIDGE (Coach John Herron, 5th year at SR, 13th overall). Last year: 21-7 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: PG Shawn Chandler, 6-0, Sr.; PG Jamhmel McNair, 5-8, Sr.; SG James Keeler, 5-10, Jr.; F Lee Flenor, 6-6, Fr.; PG Toru Dean, 5-9, Fr.; G Justin Quinnos, 6-2, So.

5. COLUMBUS (Coach Henry Lorenzo, 7th year at COL, 20th overall, 360-162). Last year: 17-11 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: G Jose Mas, 6-1, Sr.; G Manny Rodriguez, 6-1, Jr.; PG Dante Pace, 6-0, So.; C Angel Sosa, 6-4, Sr.

6. AMERICAN (Coach Kelvin Farrington). Last year: 20-7 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Kobie Johnson, 6-0, Sr.; G Shaq Harris, 6-5, Jr.; G Kavaughn Evans, 5-10, Sr.; G Albert Copeland, 6-0, Sr.; F David Lopez, 6-4, Sr.

7. KROP (Coach Chris Garcia). Last year: 17-6. Top players: G Karl Jeanty, 6-5, Sr.; G Abraham Aracena, 5-11, Sr.; F Felipe Souza, 6-7, Sr.

8. CORAL REEF (Coach Adam Graham, 5th year, 52-31). Last year: 9-17. Top players: F Brent Holcombe, 6-8, Jr.; G Davian Bryan, 6-4, Sr.; PG Cito Ruiz, 6-0, Sr.; F Andrew Arabitg, 6-4, Jr.; G Mike Vreones, 6-3, Sr.

9. HOMESTEAD (Coach Connie T. Moore III, 4th year, 36-28). Last year: 16-5. Top players: G-F Jeffrey Collier Jr., 6-5, Sr.; F-C Jonathan Virgil, 6-4, Sr.; G Julius Outten, 5-10, Jr.; G Gary Lacount, Jr., 5-10, Jr.; G Kevin Butler, 5-8, Fr.; G Brandon Collier, 6-0, Sr.

10. PALMETTO (Coach Rick Landera, 4th year at PAL, 11th overall, 40-32). Last year: 8-15. Top players: G Jayden Hardaway, 6-3, Jr.; G Tavian Percy, 6-3, So.; G Justin Shinhoster, 6-1, Jr.; F-C Iason Arvanitopoulos, 6-4, Sr.

11. FERGUSON (Coach Tom Jicha, 3rd year at Ferg, 21st overall). Last year: 10-13. Top players: PG Charlie Osceola, 5-7, So.; SF Christian Perez, 6-3, Sr.; SF Yoel Hernandez, 6-1, Sr.; SG David Adan, 5-11, Sr.; SF Orestes Fernandez, 6-2, Sr.; PG Shaka Smith, 6-0, Jr.

12. SOUTH DADE (Coach Rick Garciga, 7th year at SD, 22nd overall, 325-178). Last year: 5-17. Top players: PG Juwon Lipscomb, 5-8, Sr.; G Arthur Wilborn, 6-4, Sr.; F Deondre Peart, 6-4, Sr.; G Corey Gilbert, 6-1, Sr.

13. BRADDOCK (Coach Willie Diaz, 20th year, 363-411). Last year: 12-11. Top players: PG Lemuel Garcia, 5-10, Sr.; G Robert Grant, 5-9, Sr.; F Steven Molinares, 6-1, Sr.; C Steve Hernandez, 6-3, Fr.; F Omar Madonna, 6-4, Jr.; G Maykel Acosta, 6-0, Jr.

14. HIALEAH GARDENS (Coach Daniel Garcia, 3rd year). Last year: 9-13. Top players: G Johnathan Toledo, 6-2, Sr.; G Elder Infante, 6-0, Sr.; F-C Eduuin Martin, 6-4, Jr.; G-F Chris Llanes, 6-3, Jr.

CLASS 7A

1. MATER ACADEMY (Coach Corey Stephens, 9th year, 165-80). Last year: 24-5 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: PG Dylan Frye, 6-2, Sr.; SG Chris Mejia, 6-3, Sr.; G-F Rafael Diaz, 6-6, Sr.; F Shimoore Stern, 6-5, Jr.; PG Oscar Quintana, 5-9, Sr.; G Isaac Meek, 6-1, Jr.

2. REAGAN (Coach Huey Futett, 2nd year, 2-18). Last year: 2-18. Top players: F Fernando Lopez, 6-5, Jr.; G Alan Fernandez, 5-11, Jr.; G Jayson Loaces, 5-9, Sr.; F Jaden Lindsey, 6-5, Fr.; G Virgil Sweet, 5-10, Jr.

CLASS 6A

1. NORLAND (Coach Lawton Williams III, 13th year). Last year: 23-8 (State champions). Top players: F Dewan Huell, 6-10, Sr.; G David Jean-Baptiste, 6-1, Sr.; G Tyrik Waite, 6-0, Sr.; F Jonathan Andre, 6-5, Sr.; G Kennith Rolle, 5-11, Jr.; G-F Ernel Foster, 6-3, Sr.

2. CENTRAL (Coach Maurice Troupe, 3rd year at CEN, 9th overall, 91-49). Last year: 24-5 (7A regional finalist). Top players: W Anthony Wilson, 6-5, Sr.; F Kenny Turnier, 6-5, Sr.; G Kareem Nunnally, 5-9, Sr.; G Michael Cooper, 5-10, Jr.; G Reynald Louis, 5-10, Sr.; F Eric Pierre-Louis, 6-5, Sr.

3. DORAL (Coach Jorge Fernandez, 2nd year, 19-9). Last year: 19-9 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Jose Fernandez, 6-1, Sr.; G Fabian Corraliza, 6-2, Sr.; F Yosnier Cobas, 6-5, Jr.; G Danilo Castellano, 5-10, So.; PG Mikal Starks, 5-9, So.; G Jonathan Nunez, 5-10, Fr.

4. SUNSET (Coach Erick Martinez, 3rd year at SUN, 10th overall, 70-113). Last year: 15-10 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: SG Luis Veloz, 6-2, Sr.; PF Julian Noriega, 6-4, Sr.; PG Ty Pierre, 6-2, Jr.; SG Maxwell Isaac, 6-1, Sr.

5. MIAMI SPRINGS (Coach D. Wilson, 8th year at MS, 9th overall). Last year: 18-9 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G-F Sebastian Alderete, 6-3, Sr.; G Jesus Alfonso, 5-6, Jr.; G Diego Zapata, 5-10, Sr.

6. BELEN JESUIT (Coach Jose E. Roca, 19th year, 318-180). Last year: 14-12. Top players: G Alfredo Consuegra, 6-0, Sr.; F Daniel Romeu, 6-3, Sr.; G Alec Rodriguez, 5-9, Fr.; G-F David Salazar, 6-0, Sr.; G-F Luis Mejer, 6-0, Sr.; C Alejandro Barnola, 6-4, Jr.

7. CAROL CITY (Coach Charles Hankerson, 1st at CC, 150-30). Last year: 3-13. Top players: G Leon Howard, 5-11, Sr.; G Jordan Mack, 5-11, Sr.; F Deandre Pinkney, 6-3, So.; G Terrell Bush, 6-1, Sr.

8. NORTH MIAMI BEACH (Coach Joseph Masselle, 7th year, 47-52). Last year: 12-8. Top players: SG Darius Wright, 6-0, Jr.; F Nesken Nord, 6-4, Sr.; F-G Marvin Bien-Aime, 6-3, Sr.; PG Luckenson Dacius, 5-8, Jr.; SF Richard Nunez, 6-6, So.; C-F Shmael Almonor, 6-5, Jr.

CLASS 4A

1. GULLIVER (Coach Manny Bloom, 5th year at GP, 14th overall, 201-145). Last year: 16-12 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: F-C Victor Uyaelunmo, 7-0, Jr.; SF Solomon Uyaelunmo, 6-8, So.; F Joseph Jackson, 6-7, Sr.; G Justin Perez, 6-2, Sr.; Pg Barry Robinson, 5-11, Jr.

2. WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN (Coach P.J. Brown, 5th year). Last year: 23-4 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: G Justin Brown, 6-2, Sr.; G Keon Paicely, 6-0, Sr.; G Tyler Halfaker, 6-3, Sr.; G Josh Avery, 5-11, Sr.; G John Raine, 6-2, Sr.; F-C John Square, 6-4, 8th.

3. BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (Coach Jarrett Forbes, 2nd year at BTW, 12th overall, 133-118). Last year: 18-8 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: PG Michael Burnet, 6-1, Sr.; PG-SG Leron Garnet, 5-8, Jr.; SG Andrew Clear, 5-9, Jr.; PG Ames Dixon, 5-9, Fr.; F Miguel Villanueva, 6-3, Jr.; SG Marquis Pena, 6-0, Jr.

4. MONSIGNOR PACE (Coach Anthony Serro, 4th year, 51-41). Last year: 22-10 (Regional finalist). Top players: G Phillip Brunson, 6-3, Sr.; G Armand Del Castillo, 6-0, Sr.; G Don King, 6-0, Sr.; F Lee St. Fleur, 6-4, Sr.; F Isaiah St. Fleur, 6-4, Sr.; G Raul Paula, 5-11, Jr.

5. RANSOM EVERGLADES (Coach Claude Grubair, 17th year at RE, 22nd overall, 403-151). Last year: 12-16 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Nick Cobb, 6-1, Sr.; G Josh Pardo, 6-1, Jr.; G Camron Bartley, 6-2, Jr.; G-F Aaron Ardris, 6-2, Sr.; G Yoan Grainer, 5-10, Jr.; F Sarthak Chakravarty, 6-4, Jr.

6. EDISON (Coach Damon Wilcox, 6th year at ED, 11th overall, 92-64). Last year: 6-16. Top players: F K.J. Synvrit, 6-6, Sr.; PG Khalil Rankin, 6-1, Sr.; SF Dorlus Tyone, 6-1, Sr.; SG Walton Keondre, 6-2, Jr.

7. ST. BRENDAN (Coach Kevin Esteban, 1st year). Last year: 13-13. Top players: F Ryan Diaz, 5-10, Sr.; F Jonah Sanchez, 6-2, Sr.; F Gaby Iglesias, 6-0, Jr.; F Kevin Valledor, 5-10, Jr.; G Adrian De La Torriente, 5-8, Sr.; G Adrian Fernandez, 5-10, Jr.

CLASS 3A

1. ARCHBISHOP CARROLL (Coach Juan Hernandez, 5th year, 170-55). Last year: 22-7 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Luis Fred, 6-1, Sr.; G Josh Rosario, 6-2, Jr.; G Christian Anglada, 6-1, Sr.; G Christian Silva, 6-3, Jr.; G Carlos Villamil, 5-10, Jr.; G Steven Marin, 5-9, Sr.

2. MIAMI COUNTRY DAY (Coach Hugo DeLaRosa, 2nd year, 19-7). Last year: 19-7. Top players: W Ibrahim Doumbia, 6-8, Jr.; PG Mick Lynott, 6-2, So.; SG Anthony Cambo, 6-3, Jr.; SG Tristan Escalante, 6-1, So.; F Harrison Stier, 6-8, So.

3. FLORIDA CHRISTIAN (Coach Jason Doan, 2nd year at FC, 6th overall, 69-63). Last year: 6-20. Top players: G Gabriel Perez, 6-4, Sr.; G Ronald Fongon, 6-2, Sr.; PG Kristian Valdes, 5-10, Jr.; G Marcus Rivero, 6-0, Sr.; G Michael Wright, 5-10, Sr.; G Joey Sosa, 6-2, Jr.

4. ARCHBISHOP CURLEY (Coach Charlie Funk). Last year: 13-12. Top players: David Alius, 6-0, Sr.; Jess Field, 5-10, Jr.; Lex Acosta, 5-10, Sr.

5. SCHECK HILLEL (Coach Craig Mankoff, 3rd year at HIL, 6th overall, 49-42). Last year: 12-9. Top players: F Jacky Klainbaum, 6-2, Jr.; G-F Bradley Moskovitz, 6-1, Sr.; G Steven Beda, 5-8, Jr.

6. HIALEAH EDUCATIONAL (Coach Jeff Stepanenko, 5th year, 31-59). Last year: 8-17. Top players: F Manoah Saint-Clair, 6-2, Sr.; G Juan Torres, 5-9, Sr.; G Richie Cedeno, 5-10, Sr.; F Andres Castro, 6-0, Sr.; G Isander Lara, 5-8, Jr.; F Mark Paris, 6-1, Fr.

7. PALMER TRINITY (Coach Ernest Robertson, Jr., 11th year at PT, 16th overall, 111-99). Last year: 12-11. Top players: G Marcus Montalvo, 5-9, Fr.; PG Zachary Friedland, 5-8, Fr.; C Raymundo Paster, 6-5, Jr.; PF Sebastian Diaz, 6-0, So.; G David Cuellar, 5-8, So.; SF Winsor Alston, 6-0, Jr.

CLASS 2A

1. MIAMI CHRISTIAN (Coach Marcos Molina, 3rd year at MC, 7th overall, 119-38). Last year: 27-3 (State champions). Top players: PG Eduardo Camacho, 5-10, Jr.; F Miguel Diaz, 6-5, So.; G Leo Castillo, 6-4, Sr.; F Jeane Joseph, 6-5, Sr.; C Marc Syles, 6-10, Sr.

2. CHAMPAGNAT CATHOLIC (Coach Danny Serrano, 6th year at CCS, 11th overall, 211-68). Last year: 26-2 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: C-F Denzel Jenoure, 6-9, Sr.; F Braithe Ferguson, 6-5, Jr.; C Rodney Garcia, 6-7, Sr.; G Luis Cortijo, 6-0, Jr.; G Joshua Brennan, 6-0, Jr.; G-F Tyler Muraida, 6-3, Sr.

3. WESTWOOD CHRISTIAN (Coach Jose R. Amat, 11th year, 175-80). Last year: 19-8 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G David Monell, 6-1, Sr.; F Emanuel Dowuana, 6-10, Jr.; F Shelby Osceola, 6-3, Jr.; F Sebastian Guitian, 6-7, Jr.; G James Ametepe, 6-5, So.

4. SCHOOLHOUSE PREP (Coach Isaac Liber, 4th year at SP, 35th overall, 632-285). Last year: 18-5. Top players: PG Robert Ramos, 6-0, Sr.; G Kelvin Thompkins, 6-2, Sr.; C Kenneth Smith, 6-6, Sr.; F Javier Chiclana, 5-10, Jr.; G Brandy Machado, 5-9, Jr.; F Angel Reyes, 6-3, Jr.

5. DIVINE SAVIOR (Coach Dan Unke, 6th year, 16-57). Last year: 5-16. Top players: Juan Pineda, Sr.; Daniel Pineda, Sr.; Cesar Molina, Jr.; Josh Ramirez, Fr.; Angel Diaz, Fr.; Anthony Lleonart, Sr.

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