Coaches enjoy seeing the unselfish side of their star players, but there's a fine line between being selfless and deferring to other players a little too much.
It was a point Augusta Prep basketball coach Mike Guthrie made to John Paul Lynn before last season.
"John Paul's the most unselfish player we have," Guthrie said. "He wants to drive up the middle and get the ball to somebody else. ... He's just an awesome kid and he's about the team.
"Before last year, he told me he was going to get 20 assists a game. I told him if he did, we'd probably lose every game. I told him, 'You get 20 points and 20 assists.' "
Now a senior, Lynn has developed the ideal balance between being a go-to scorer and getting everybody involved. As a junior, he was named to the Georgia Independent School Association Class AAA All-State team.
He has also struck up an on-court harmony with senior Daron Lewis in their second year together.
Lewis transferred from Westside High School in Augusta to Augusta Prep before the 2009-10 school year. Though it takes some players time to adjust to a new team atmosphere, Lewis fit in right away.
Lynn said the transition wasn't difficult because of Lewis' understanding of the game.
"Normally, people will fit in if they just know the game of basketball," Lynn said.
Lewis runs the point for the Cavaliers. Though his speed helps, Lewis' coach believes it's not his most important quality.
"He played football. He was a running back and did an amazing job, and he had never played football before," Guthrie said "He really has that desire in his heart that he wants to win. That's something you can't teach."
While basketball is their first sport, both Lewis, who also played cornerback, and Lynn said they thoroughly enjoyed the football side. This season was their first at Augusta Prep.
They said football has helped them on the hardwood.
"It helped out with basketball a lot, just getting stronger, faster," said Lynn, who stood out at wide receiver and on the defensive line. "Sometimes, it's just easier to blow by people with that quickness you get from football. Especially playing on the defensive line, you practice just going as fast as you can."
The Cavaliers have a new challenge in their region this season after finishing as regular-season champions last year.
The region lost Gatewood and Central Fellowship, but gained Bulloch Academy and Bethesda Day, the state runner-up in Class A last season.
"We haven't played them yet, but just looking at their scores last year, they are an excellent basketball team," Guthrie said. "Our region's very competitive. Bethesda Day's probably got the advantage, but we're going to do everything we can to beat them."
In order to do that, Guthrie will need senior leadership from both Lynn and Lewis.
"They know basketball, and so they're able to help coach and teach the players and bring them along," Guthrie said.
It's something Lewis feels comfortable doing in his second year with the Cavaliers.
"We have to be leaders," he said, "because they kind of look up to us."
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