Originally Published: May 5, 2010 10:13 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY – MaxPreps announced Wednesday that the Douglass boys’ basketball team finished No. 52 among more than 21,000 high school teams in the nation this season.
As part of a pep rally held Wednesday, the Nation Guard presented Douglass with the National Ranking Trophy to honor the team's accomplishment. The Trojans finished the season 29-0, earning their first undefeated season in the 115-year history of the program. They also defeated Bishop McGuinness in the 4A state finals to win their first championship since 1989.
Douglass’ success last season came in large because of a surplus of talent. DeVonte Smith, twins Ramond and Romond Jenkins, Marquis Buxton and Dorrian Williams all averaged more than 10 points per game last. The key to maximizing that talent was the direction of head coach Terry Long.
“Seven or eight of those guys could probably average about 30 or 35 points per game, honestly,” Long said. “It’s a pretty talented group, but they humbled themselves, play as a team and do the things we ask them to do as a coaching staff.”
Long attended Douglass and played basketball for the Trojans more than 30 years ago, and has been affiliated with the school ever since.
“To receive something like this, being an alumnus myself and playing basketball here, I’ve been around Douglass since 1979 and we’ve never accomplished something like this,” Long said. “It’s great and it’s an outstanding honor.”
Not only is the talent at Long’s disposal immense, but it is also young. The Trojans did not have any seniors on last year’s team, meaning his squad will return next year with increased expectations and increased pressure.
“We knew potentially how great they could be [last season],” Long said. “Nobody expected it but the coaching staff and the players, but of course now you win with all underclassmen ? it’s already understood that you should win, and if you don’t win then I’m not a great coach.”
While Long’s immediate goal is another state championship, he is also aware of his responsibility to prepare his players for their long-term futures.
“Our biggest thing is to expose these young men so that they can go to college and play at the highest level their ability allows them to,” Long said.