Last winter, Chris Winn proved an easy sidekick on the basketball court for Prince George’s County’s most celebrated recruit, Roddy Peters. Before academic issues cut short Winn’s junior season at Suitland, the 6-foot-1 guard’s toughness and hard-nosed defense complemented the flashy game of the eventual University of Maryland commit.
Now at Potomac (Md.), Winn has once again found his niche in a similar role, supporting the county’s latest, greatest player. Junior guard Dion Wiley has generated the buzz and Division I scholarship offers, while Winn continues to specialize in fundamentals.
Wiley scored 14 points and Winn added 11 points in Saturday’s 62-54 nonleague victory over No. 11 Coolidge at the DMV Super Showcase in Oxon Hill as the 13th-ranked Wolverines continue to state their case as one of the area’s top squads.
“I’m so happy to be here for my senior year,” said Winn, who grew up in the same neighborhood as Wiley. “This is probably the most talented team I’ve played on in high school. Some people thought there wouldn’t be enough [shots] to go around, but it’s a real unselfish team that’s got one goal: becoming a state champion.”
After beginning his high school career with two seasons at Riverdale Baptist, Winn transferred to Suitland as a junior. He cracked the regular rotation with the Rams but spent the second half of the season watching from the bench after his academic troubles caught up to him.
At Wiley’s convincing, Winn joined the Wolverines for summer league and soon made the decision to move schools again. He’s now a fixture in the team’s starting lineup and splits point guard duties with Wiley. Coach Renard Johnson often matches the newcomer up on the opposition’s top offensive player, which takes some of the defensive load off Wiley, who has pushed through ankle and wrist injuries this season.
Winn’s school work has improved, too, as he said he earned a 3.0 grade point average in the last quarter.
“He has that inner burn to him,” Johnson said. “He’s a quiet guy, but he’ll put it to you. He’s one of those guys that if I got in a fist fight I’d want him on my team for sure.”
On Saturday, Winn did most of his damage on the offensive end in the early going, helping Potomac (9-2) dig out of an early hole. After Coolidge (9-3) began the game with nine straight points, the guard got the Wolverines on the board with a layup and finished the first half with nine points.
Wiley (14 points) struggled with his jump shot, but his three-pointer to begin the second quarter gave his team its first lead at 13-12, and Potoamc pulled away with a 12-0 run early in the second half. Four Wolverines cracked double figures with the starting lineup accounting for all but two points.
“We’re a very talented team even when I’m not on,” said Wiley, who has offers from Georgetown and Maryland among others. “That’s a great win. Teams are going to be coming after us even more now.”
Junior forward David Kadiri finished with a game-high 19 points to pace Coolidge.