Almost as much as their sparking 21-1 record, Allen High boys’ basketball coach Joe McCullough loves the way his team has gone about handling their business this season.
“The culture we’ve created has been absolutely amazing,” McCullough told Texas Scorecard. “Our motto has been ‘you own the things you do and that makes you who you are.’ The guys have bought in and that makes it really easy to coach them.”
Senior point-guard Isaiah Stevens has essentially emerged as a coach on the floor for the Eagles, leading them on offense and setting the tone for everything they do.
“He’s our leader; the one who makes everything go,” McCullough said of the 6-foot, 165-pound Colorado State bound star, who he also describes as probably the best shooter he’s ever had. “Other than him and senior guard Korey Jones, we have a lot of young guys who before now really didn’t have a lot of varsity experience that have played well and he’s made it easier for them to do that.”
The 6-foot-2, 165-pound Jones has been another stabilizing force.
“He’s a do-everything guy that plays out on the wing for us,” McCullough added. “You could call him one of those glue-type guys.”
In underclassmen Thailand Elder, Bryce Kennedy and Manny Obaeski, the Eagles add skill, athleticism and toughness that make them among the area’s most dangerous teams.
McCullough describes the 6-foot-1 Elder as a “presence on the wing” with his athleticism and the 6-foot-6 Kennedy as a rebounding force who “does all the dirty work.”
Finally, the coach raves about 6-foot-3 sophomore Obaeski as being super-talented and still “just figuring out how good he can be.”
As a team, McCullough said his Eagles had exceeded all expectations with Stevens being the straw that stirs the drink.
“It’s a bit surprising from the standpoint of how young we are, but not at all based on our talent level,” he said. “Every day, we try to grow and that’s part of our culture of never being satisfied.”