One of the traits I believe the young guys who play high school (and even college) basketball share is a lack of self confidence. I often encourage a guy to believe in himself more. That this vulnerability in adolescents exists is logical. But I suspect that if I were to tell Josey's Darius Williams he needs to believe in himself more, he may chuckle. For he, more than anyone I've seen play in person this season, oozes with confidence while between the lines of a basketball court. And he does so for good reasons.
Before the nightcap of Saturday's set of holiday tournament games at Paine College, Williams bobbed to the beats playing over the live speaker while meeting with officials and other team captains minutes before tip-off. And literally seconds after the opening tip, Williams had run off 5 points (counting two made free throws prior to jump ball after an ARC technical foul). A blink later, the sharpshooter helped Josey build a 10-1 lead, then shortly after, a 20-7 advantage. And before most on the court had settled into the flow of the game, Darius had scored 12 of his team's first quarter points and Josey had taken a 25-12 advantage to start the second quarter.
And as is his practice, most of Williams' baskets were of the spectacular variety:
Williams then did something else he does very well: he trusted his teammates to help carry the load offensively. And they did so in impressive fashion. Both in Josey's near victory versus Butler and in its drilling of ARC Saturday, Donald Jordan, Janathan Butler, Kahlon Whitley, and Javen Whitehead have been impressive. All for different reasons. When the strengths of these four hard nosed competitors is added to Darius' gifts, 2+2 seems to equal 5. It definitely did Saturday, as Josey coasted to victory over the Musketeers.