Dec 19, 2012
Apex's boys basketball team is always a favorite in the Tri-Nine Conference.
Head coach David Neal has established a winning program over the last ten years, and last year was no different as the Cougars posted a 26-4 record. What was different was how they did it — on the backs of two sophomores.
"I think they expected to win," said Neal. "Fortunately for us we did a lot of that last year."
Sophomore guards T.J. Evans and T.J. Wells led the Cougars to a Tri-Nine title and to the second round of the 4-A state playoffs. Back as juniors, both players bring high expectations to the Cougars this season.
"I think the guys on the team have high expectations. We did have a great season last year, we're going to try to build on that," said Neal.
Evans wasn't just another sophomore in the Tri-Nine, he was the Conference Player of the Year in his first full varsity season, an honor not too many sophomores earn.
"I knew T.J. Evans was special, I knew he was going to be a great player, but I had no idea he was going to have the kind of season he had last year," said Neal. "I've been here ten years and have had a lot of talented basketball players, and he's right up there with the best that I've had the opportunity to coach.”
Evans was a big time defensive player for the Cougars, guarding some of the competitions best offensive talent. But most of Evens' accolades came from his performance on offense where he averaged over 20 points per game.
"Everybody knows that, so everybody's going to have their best defender all over him I'm sure," said Neal. "Other guys are going to have to score for us and T.J.'s going to have to be able to do more things than he did last year."
“It’s going to be tough to duplicate what we did last year, but I would love for that to happen, or even better,” said Evans.
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