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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Friday, March 9, 2012


In 2010, it was D.J. Irving's time to shine. In 2011, all eyes were affixed to Juan'ya Green. Tonight, when Archbishop Carroll opens the PIAA Class AAA tournament against Trinity, Yosef Yacob knows this could be his year to take top billing.

“When I was a freshman, we made it to the third round and lost. And last year, we made it to the first round and lost,” Yacob said the other day, when Carroll won District 12's third-place game. “So I'm excited to actually go far being one of the bigger players on the team. I've never made it far in states as one of the key players. I'm really excited to get onto the floor and start winning.”

Yacob, who averages 14 points per game to go along with a keen eye for knocking down 3-pointers, has become the focal point of Carroll's offense. When he's not driving the lane and attacking the rim, he's able to convert from long range or at the free-throw line. (He's a 75-percent shooter at the stripe.)

A junior shooting guard, Yacob has a pair of Division I offers, from Rider and Albany, and said he counts five others as “interested.” They are Princeton, Akron, Delaware, Niagara and Drexel.

So now that the Patriots are in states, the pressure is on for Yacob. And being that he's seen Irving, a star at Boston University, and Green, a standout freshman at Niagara, handle the duties on the state stage, Yacob knows what to do.

“I feel like I should be a leader on the floor – not even just in scoring, but in defense, boxing out and not being lazy,” Yacob said. “If I'm lazy, they're all going to be lazy. It's extra work for me, but if I want to be (viewed as) a leader, I have to do it. That's what I'm supposed to do anyway.”

Added Carroll point guard Isaiah Warren: “I play my role and I try to set Yosef up. He's a good shooter and I like to make him look good. If I have a jumpshot or a layup, I'll take it. But if Yosef has a shot, I try to get him the ball.”

(Times staff photo / ROBERT J. GURECKI)

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