MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
A look at Jacksonville Bishop Kenny and South Miami, who face Jesuit and Wharton -- respectively -- in Friday's semifinals of the state boys basketball tournament
Jacksonville Bishop Kenny
Coach: Jerry Buckley
Common opponents w/Jesuit: Tampa Catholic. Bishop Kenny topped TC, 80-69, on Dec. 27. Jesuit defeated its rival twice, by 11- and 17-point margins.
Players to watch: F Brian Dawkins, 6-7, Sr. (15.1 ppg, 9.2 rpg); G Brennan Sullivan, 6-0, Sr. (12.5 ppg, 3.6 assists); F Blake Harris, 6-5, Sr. (9.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
The skinny: The Crusaders are making their first state tourney appearance since 1979. ... Dawkins has signed with Division I Elon University. ... The Crusaders are allowing only 46.1 points a game. ... If the Tigers have to foul someone late, they probably want to avoid Sullivan (80 percent from FT line) or 5-7 G Korey McDougald (82.1). ... All three of Buckley's assistants are Bishop Kenny alumni.
Comment: "We have not faced a high-scoring inside player (Dawkins) yet, so we are preparing to deal with that." -- Jesuit coach Neal Goldman
Coach: Robert Doctor
Common opponents w/Wharton: None
Players to watch: C Antravious Simmons, 6-9, Sr. (18.0 ppg, 14.0 rpg); PG Jorge Perez-Laham, 6-1, Sr. (17.2 ppg, 7.0 assists); G John Cratit, 6-4, Sr. (14.2 ppg, 1.6 assists)
The skinny: South Miami is making its first state tourney appearance since 2004, when it reached the 6A final. Doctor was an assistant on that team. ... Simmons, who has signed with Virginia Commonwealth, may be South Miami's cornerstone, but Perez-Laham is the catalyst. A move-in from Puerto Rico, he scored 31 against Palmetto in the region semifinals. ... The Cobras have won 17 in a row, with two of their defeats coming against out-of-state competition.
Comment: "They have a kid (Simmons) who's 6-9 or 6-10 going to VCU. They have people who can come off the bench and play. They have big, long, tall, strong point guards. It's going to be a tough game. This is a great team; obviously it's a great team if they made it to the final four, but we're a great team. We're a big, strong team, we're a quick team, so this should be a fun game." -- Wharton 6-6 junior Chase Litton