If Uzan has his way, youth will be served

Con­fi­dent fresh­man lead­ing Jaguars into Class 4A post­sea­son

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - FROM THE COVER - By Da­mon Seit­ers Las Ve­gas Re­view-jour­nal

Desert Pines boys bas­ket­ball coach Mike Uzan isn’t sur­prised by the suc­cess of his fresh­man point guard.

Of course, Uzan is a lit­tle more fa­mil­iar with him than most peo­ple.

Mi­los Uzan, the coach’s son, has led the Jaguars in scor­ing, as­sists and steals and has them on a 13game win­ning streak as they pre­pare for the Moun­tain Re­gion tour­na­ment, which be­gins Mon­day at host sites.

“He’s our point guard,” Mike Uzan said. “He’s one of the bet­ter ones out there, and we know it and he gets it go­ing for us. And guys feed off him.”

Mi­los Uzan av­er­aged 13.4 points, 4.2 re­bounds, 4.5 as­sists and 1.9 steals in lead­ing Desert Pines (20-6) to an un­de­feated run through the North­east League. That fin­ish gave the Jaguars a dou­ble bye in the tour­na­ment, so they won’t play un­til the quar­ter­fi­nals on Fri­day.

Mike Uzan said it’s no sur­prise that his son has been ready to lead the team as a fresh­man.

“He’s played bas­ket­ball with two state cham­pi­onship teams here,” Mike Uzan joked. “So he knows. He sees it.”

Mi­los Uzan was around the team’s prac­tices and games over the past two sea­sons when the Jaguars won Class 3A state ti­tles. Now he’s a rea­son the team is ready to con­tend at the Class 4A level.

“It feels good,” Mi­los Uzan said. “I put a lot of time in. It’s just an­other team I’m lead­ing.”

Mi­los Uzan is armed with pass­first at­ti­tude, but also has the abil­ity to knock down a 3-pointer or shake a de­fender with a quick change of di­rec­tion and cross­over drib­ble.

“He’s one of those kids that re­ally don’t have to score; he don’t care about scor­ing,” Mike Uzan said.

“He knows he needs to at times, but he wants to get his team off. That’s what’s im­por­tant for him, and it showed, be­cause guys get fed off of it and he gets his (points) later.”

Mi­los Uzan is one of the young guns for Desert Pines, which has two fresh­men and three sopho­mores among its top six scor­ers.

Sopho­more Dayshawn Wi­ley has av­er­aged 12.8 points and 6.5 re­bounds,

and ju­nior foot­ball stand­out Dar­nell Washington has given the Jaguars an in­side pres­ence with 10.3 points and 11.8 re­bounds per game.

“He’s got­ten way bet­ter than last year,” Wi­ley said of the 6-foot-7-inch, 255-pound Washington. “Last year he re­ally didn’t like bas­ket­ball, but now he’s start­ing to like it, so now he’s start­ing to be more ag­gres­sive.”

Sopho­more Ci­mar­ron Con­riquez is the team’s other dou­ble-fig­ure scorer at 11.4 points.

“We’ve got a good bond,” Mi­los Uzan said. “We’re al­ways with each other. We bowl, we do ev­ery­thing with each other, so the chem­istry is a lot bet­ter be­cause of it.”

Mike Uzan said that chem­istry is one of the rea­sons he thinks his squad can make a se­ri­ous post­sea­son run.

“Guys are getting more con­fi­dent,” Mike Uzan said. “And they just like each other. That makes a big dif­fer­ence. When guys like play­ing with each other and like bat­tling with each other, you can be real dan­ger­ous.”

Con­tact prep sports ed­i­tor Da­mon Seit­ers at dseit­[email protected]­viewjour­nal. com or 702-380-4597. Fol­low @Da­mon­seit­ers on Twit­ter.

Ben­jamin Hager Las Ve­gas Re­view-jour­nal

Desert Pines fresh­man point guard Mi­los Uzan slices to the rim past Ci­mar­ron­memo­rial ju­nior Makhi Walker in a Nov. 28 game at Ci­mar­ron-me­mo­rial High.

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