No. 3 Lanphier embracing new DNA of selflessness

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Lanphier senior guard Cardell McGee leads the Lions with 20.9 points per game to go with 7.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.3 steals per game. Lanphier senior guard Cardell McGee leads the Lions with 20.9 points per game to go with 7.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.3 steals per game.

SPRINGFIELD -- Lanphier has established itself as a program powered by some of the state's headlining stars, from Andre Iguodala to Larry Austin, Jr. to last year's do-it-all point guard Yaakema Rose, Jr.

This year the Lions boast a Division-I bound point guard in Cardell McGee, but talent alone isn't the reason head coach Blake Turner's squad is 8-0 and ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 3A.

No, there's something different about this year's team, and it caught Turner's attention immediately this season.

"I think that the word for this team is 'selfless,'" the sixth-year head coach said. "Our last few teams have had quite a bit of star power on them, where we've had multiple star players so to speak. And this year, you know, Cardell is the guy that stands out, but you he's like a big brother to some of these guys... He's taken it head on and done a great job leading our kids and they just play a selfless brand of basketball."

McGee holds Division-I offers from DePaul, Illinois State and UT-Martin, and has been talking extensively with Dayton. His 20.9 points per game leads the team, while he's also averaging 7.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.3 steals per game. This year he's stepped into a major leadership role after being in the mix last season on the Lions' fourth-place finish at State.

Senior forward James Jones ranks second on the team with 12.1 points per game to go with 5.6 rebounds per game, but after his 12 points a night the Lions don't have another double-digit scorer. They spread the ball evenly between the deadly combination of center Herb McMath, post Karl Wright, sophomore guard PJ Edwards and four more players that average better than 3 points per game. In short, the Lions beat you with the entire roster.

They've embraced the team mentality taught by Turner and his assistants Felipe Phillips, Artie Taylor, Tyler Christensen, Isaiah Hale and Steve Hunter, and it's resulted in a red-hot start in their quest to get back to Peoria.

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