“If he yells at me,” Dickinson said, “I know he loves me. He expects big things of me.”
While that kind of understanding can be as special as Dickinson’s talent, it is not unique among the Timberwolves, who count just two seniors, Aaron Goff and Blake Knighton, on their roster and only three juniors in Malcolm Carter, Tye Neubauer and Kairo Rutledge.
Another freshman, Lindy Waters, starts alongside Dickinson. At 6-3 and still growing, his physique is right out of Kevin Durant’s lone year at Texas and his game recalls Ian Boylan, the old NHS star who may not have been as great a prepster as brother Nate, but who’s made a killing playing the pro game overseas after being the best player at Cal State Northridge for four seasons.
Rutledge, a dead ringer for Malcolm-Jamal Warner’s Theo Huxtable is coming on right now and Friday earned his second straight double-double, 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Carter, with the long hair and full beard, looks like a guy who should have more flash to his game, but he’s blue collar all the way and can mix it up and hit the 3. Neubauer, not too big, can guard much bigger in the post.
Najji Brown’s just a sophomore whose future you look forward to. He’s good now but with that quality Kelvin Sampson always attributed to Johnny Gilbert. You know, “High ceiling.”
The seniors are stabilizers and Knighton, a brilliant academic, is a gunner, too. So don’t count North out of the mix, despite its 11-12 record, when the playoffs begin Thursday.
But love their future.
Once upon the time the future belonged to NHS. It was Ryan Broyles, Terrence Boyd and Kyle Hardrick.
Broyles quit to concentrate on football and you’d have to say it worked out for him. Boyd, now Western Colorado State’s leading scorer against NAIA competition, never came back for his sophomore season only to surface as sixth-man for Oak Hill Academy, in Mouth of Wilson, Va. Hardrick, forever more talent than production, transferred to Putnam City before riding OU’s bench.