Although folks might be unsuspecting, the Villains of Bishop McGuinness have been a model of consistent success under the coaching regime of Josh Thompson. He was notably young upon first taking over the program, but has since established himself among the smartest and most charismatic coaches in the state. Unlike many others, Thompson has shown a willingness to adjust to his personnel rather than force-feeding players into a predetermined system. Two seasons ago, the Villains shocked nearly everyone by upsetting higher-seeded opponents and ultimately winning a state championship. Despite the success, it didn’t take long for things to begin looking grim. Cameron Caroway and Mac McAlhany (two key pieces) were among the group that graduated, Andrew Budzinski suffered an injury and was sidelined for a vast majority of the season, and the team simply lacked cohesion as a unit. The addition of Noah Allred helped out, but Bishop McGuinness suffered their first losing record under Coach Thompson since the 2011-12 season.
Despite their struggles from last season, there’s more than enough to be optimistic about—especially since Dawson McAlhany seems ready to assert himself as a leader. With Jake Ledbetter departing, McAlhany should emerge as the primary offensive option and overall decision-maker for this group. He’s long, wiry, and steadily improving in all facets of the game (though he already produces at a reliable rate). The southpaw possesses craftiness as a penetrator, anticipation on defense, and knows how to effectively create for himself and others. McAlhany isn’t a prolific three-point shooter but is certainly respectable enough to make opponents pay, which opens up his quality midrange game quite nicely. He’s a fairly smart, well-rounded wing prospect with a lot of appealing tools and more toughness than meets the eye. With this expanded role, his recruitment should start trending upward. The stars are beginning to align, and McAlhany needs to properly harness the opportunity.