Posted: 1:01 pm Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Boys’ Hoops: Dwyer gets preseason love from national outlets 

By Jeff Greer

Despite losing more than 81 percent of its scoring, four of its five starters and six of its top seven scorers, Dwyer basketball enters the 2011-12 season with high expectations.

Joel James

Well, maybe we mean “tall” expectations. The defending state champions of the old Class 5A are built around 6-foot-11 center Joel James, who recently committed to play at North Carolina, and national high school hoops writers are basing a lot on him. ESPN ranked Dwyer 49th in its preseason national poll and 13th in its Southeast Region rankings.

Sports Illustrated listed Dwyer as one of its “Five Teams to Watch” in its state basketball preview for Florida.

Here’s what the two sites say about Dwyer … (oh, and just ignore Joel’s misspelled name. Happens all the time.)

ESPN Rise

Grid-Hoop stud Jacoby Brissett, who recently started his first game at quarterback for the University of Florida, will be sorely missed. The defending Class 5A state champs do have five talented letterman returning and plenty of big-game experience. If the Panthers can develop perimeter threats around C Joell James (6-10, Sr.), they’ll be a threat to defend their state title.

Sports Illustrated

Last season, coach Fred Ross led the Panthers to a 33-2 (10-0) mark, good enough to best Montverde atop the Florida state rankings. This season, that task becomes significantly tougher. Dwyer enters a period of transition following the graduation of Victor Adams, Jacoby Brissett and Gregory Louis, but all is not lost. Joel James, the North Carolina-committed 6-10, 260-pound big man, returns to wreak havoc in the paint.

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