The Knights now are being honored as such.
Knights coach Quincy Lewis picked up the highest complement possible on this level Monday. He was named the Naismith national coach of the year. The Player of the Year award went to Andrew Wiggins, a 6-foot-7 small forward thought to be one of the best overall high school prospects since LeBron James.
“It's quite an honor,” Lewis said. “To be honest, I was surprised. I didn't even know that I was being considered until I received the phone call this morning with the news.”
The award comes with good reason. The 2013 version of Lone Peak is considered one of the best high school teams in state history.
At 23-1, the Knights are nationally ranked in the top five of every major high school poll. Their only loss of the season is to Montverde Academy of Florida, a team stocked with future Division I and perhaps NBA talent. Lone Peak has beaten nationally ranked teams such as Chester of Pennsylvania.
Three of the Lone Peak players — Nick Emery, T.J. Haws and Eric Mika — are committed to play basketball at BYU. All are ranked individually among the top 100 players in the country.
And that's where Lewis comes in. On a team stacked with great players, the Knights have been striking for their unselfishness and willingness to pass the ball. People like Talon Shumway and Conner Toolson would be stars on just about any other team in the state. Yet Lewis has persuaded them to accept roles in the name of team success.
This week, Lone Peak is expected to cruise to a second consecutive Class 5A state championship. Since Lewis took the helm, he has developed the Knights into Utah's dominant high school program.
“He's a great coach and he's taught us all a lot,” Mika said. “He's put us in position to be good players and he's made all of the right moves. We think he's great.”