He wasn’t. The arrival of talented freshman guard Randall Broddie has pushed Wiley out of his comfort zone as a short-spoken leader and into a more vocal role as occasional team taskmaster.
Wiley didn’t have much correcting to do Saturday afternoon against No. 13 St. John’s, when he and Broddie combined for 45 points in an 84-69 over the Cadets at DeMatha in the National High School Hoops Festival.
Broddie scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half and Wiley scored 14 in the second in a game that the Wolverines (2-0) never trailed after Broddie hit a three-pointer a little more than two minutes into the game.
“We had to work on [being more vocal] because I’m not the type to get into somebody,” said Wiley, one of Potomac’s two returning starters. “Now when I see my teammates [acting] goofy, I have to get into them.”
Wiley’s relationship with the 6-foot-2 Broddie, an acquaintance since seventh grade, is more of an instructional one.
“He’s been doing this longer than me, so I take what he can give me,” Broddie said. “Little things like cutting to the basket, getting teammates involved, going to basket instead of shooting jumpers. It’s his job now. We all flow off of him. If he’s loud and energetic, then we’re loud and energetic.”
Potomac Coach Renard Johnson said that Wiley was shy early in his high school career and that once he gained confidence he was almost embarrassed by his own impressive talents.
The 6-foot-4 Wiley has settled into a more assertive role now early in his junior season.
“Dion is a leader by example, but now he’s becoming a different leader,” Johnson said. “This is what I was hoping for. I knew it was in him. I guess now playing with a player the caliber of Randall he realizes he needs to harness some of that talent that Randall has.
“It seems like now he’s kind of stepping up and saying, ‘We can play together, but this is my team.’ Dion Wiley’s not only our best player, he’s our best teammate. That’s rarely the case.”
Senior swingman Romone Saunders, the team’s other returning starter, scored 12 points Saturday and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Senior guard Chris Winn also scored 12 points and sophomore forward Anthony Smith added 11 off the bench.
St. John’s (3-1) trailed by as many as 15 in the first half and cut the lead to seven early in the fourth quarter on a short jumper by junior guard Darian Bryant. Then Wiley scored the game’s next seven points.
“They landed the first punch and we stumbled and stayed there,” St. John’s Coach Sean McAloon said. “We just allowed guys to make plays that they’re comfortable with.”
Junior guard Darian Anderson led the Cadets (3-1) with 20 points.