2011-12 boys basketball team preview capsules

info@islandpacket.comNovember 25, 2011 

BATTERY CREEK

Coach: Antoine Youmans (second year, 11-14)

2010-11 record: 11-14, 6-4 Region 7-AAA, lost in first round of Class 3-A playoffs

Roster: Justice Oliver (Sr., G), Michael Robinson (Sr., G), Leroy Jennette (Sr., G), Cleveland Hampton (Soph., F/C), Devontae Wilson (Fr., F), Tyrone Kelson (Sr., G), Yuneek Crittendon (Soph., G), Tavon Jennette (Jr., F), Ikeem Powell (Jr., G), Jason Green (Soph., F)

Notable losses: F B.J. Garvin, F Terrell McWilliams, F Arnold Mahafee, G Brent Johnson

Returning starters: G Justice Oliver, G Michael Robinson

Key newcomers: G Tyrone Kelson, G Yuneek Crittendon, F Devontae Wilson, F Cleveland Hampton

Strengths: The Dolphins have an experienced backcourt, which will allow them to mask their inexperience and lack of depth elsewhere early in the season.

Weaknesses: The bench is thin, and the Dolphins lack proven scorers. Only one of their top four scorers from a year ago (Oliver) is back.

Burning question: Can the inexperienced Dolphins make big enough strides over the course of the season to be ready for a playoff run?

Key player: Justice Oliver is the top returning scorer (8.3 ppg) and will have to carry more of the load.

Outlook: Youmans thinks his team has a chance to be as good or better than last year's team, which finished third in the region.

Beaufort Academy

Coach: Chip Dinkins (10th year, 104-132)

2010-11 record: 8-15, 5-9 in region

Roster: Charles Sanford (Jr., G), Walker Floyd (Soph., G), Connor Akers (Jr., G), Nathan Cheung (Sr., G), Jordan Littleford (Sr., F), Billy Dailey (Sr., F), Preston Suber (Jr., G), Jack Griffith (Sr., G), Peyton Turner (Sr., G), Finn Koppernaes (Jr., F), Michael Bible (Sr., C), Lawton Harper (Jr., C), Matt Heroux (Jr., F)

Notable losses: F Leif Koppernaes, F Bennett Fultz

Returning starters: G Preston Suber, G Jack Griffith, C Michael Bible, F Jordan Littleford

Key newcomers: G Nathan Cheung

Strengths: The Eagles have no shortage of quick guards, and they should be able to go at least nine deep, a luxury they haven't often had.

Weaknesses: There isn't a lot of size in the frontcourt, so blocking out and rebounding will be key. Only Suber and Griffith averaged more than five points per game last year, so the emergence of a third scorer would be a plus.

Burning question: Can the Eagles find a couple more offensive threats to keep teams from focusing the bulk of their defensive attention on stopping Suber and Griffith?

Key player: Preston Suber proved he could be a dynamic scorer last year, averaging 15.3 points per game. He will be the clear go-to guy this year and must take over at times but also pick his spots to get others involved in the offense.

Outlook: Dinkins viewed the past two years as a rebuilding process, but he feels confident the Eagles can make a return to the playoffs after a two-year absence.

BEAUFORT HIGH

Coach: Bruce Beasley (21st year, 270-255)

2010-11 record: 18-5, Region 8-AAAA champions, lost in first round of Class 4-A playoffs

Roster: Darrae Alston, Jordan Broussard, Keith Carpenter, Joey Chaplin, Patrick Dudley, Skykeem Gardner, Adonis Grank, DaVonte Green, Rafael Guevara, Tyrone Holmes, Henry Jenkins, Jawan Mack, Keion Marshall, Thurston Milton, Thomas Parker, Andre Pringle, Randy Thomas, Anthony White

Notable losses: G Simeon Daise, G Keith Alston, F Dymonte Gwathney, F Reuben Francis, G Jordan Adderley

Returning starters: None

Key newcomers: Thurston Milton, Martin Washington, Henry Jenkins

Strengths: Beaufort High has plenty of potential leadership, with 11 seniors on the roster. And Beasley believes he has the athletes to maintin the up-tempo style he prefers.

Weaknesses: Beaufort High will have to overcome its lack of varsity experience after losing its top eight players from last year's squad. The Eagles will also look to develop their guard play and overcome a lack of height by hustling and blocking out with proper technique.

Burning question: What strides can the Eagles make? It's possible Beaufort High will face a learning curve with a completely new starting five. How quickly the team develops will determine its success this season.

Key player: Forward Tyrone Holmes missed most of last season due to disciplinary reasons. He could be a force and leader for the Eagles if stays on the straight and narrow.

Outlook: Beasley believes this team could match or better the effort of last year's group. Time will tell how the Eagles develop, he said.

BLUFFTON

Coach: Brett Macy (third year, 17-28)

2010-11 results: 12-11 overall, 6-4 in Region 7-AAA, lost in first round of Class 3-A playoffs

Roster: B.J. Hill (Soph., PG), Anthony Smith (Jr., PG), Jeremy Scott (Jr., PG), Demetrius Smalls (Jr., G), C.J. Frazier (Jr., G), Eric Boyles (Sr., G), Dimitri Lowry (Sr., G), Hayden Gillespie (Sr., G), Marquis Webber (Jr., G), Michael Grant (Sr., F), Bryson Bell (Sr., F), Harlan Kendrick (Jr., F), Bo Strimpfel (Sr., F), Ahdonus Cofer Jr. (Jr., F), Pearce Freeman (Jr., F), Jerry Scott (Sr., G)

Notable losses: G Brandon Rivers (12.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg)

Returning starters: PG Anthony Smith (8.2 ppg, 3.1 apg), G C.J. Frazier (12.5 ppg), F Michael Grant (7.3 rpg), C Bryson Bell (7.4 rpg)

Key newcomers: G Dimitri Lowry, PG Jeremy Scott, G Jerry Scott, F Bo Strimpfel

Strengths: The Bobcats will have a deep bench this year. Macy says the team will probably play a 12-player rotation. The team also has speed and athletic ability.

Weaknesses: As was the case last year, the Bobcats lack size, which will make rebounding a point of emphasis.

Burning question: How will the Bobcats split time between their deep bench and starters?

Key player: Bryson Bell -- While the Bobcats are loaded at guard, they have fewer options down low. If Bell can develop into a scoring threat, the Bobcats will have a dynamic offense.

Outlook: A year after finishing second in the region, the Bobcats will look to take one more step and win the league's title.

Hilton Head Christian

Coach: Kenny Conroy (first year)

2010-11 record: 14-9, lost in first round of playoffs

Roster: C.J. Evanofski (Sr., G), Taylor MacDonald (Sr., F), Conner Millen (Sr., G), Brad Meccariello (Soph., G), Zach Reynolds (Sr., F), Clay Oliver (Jr., F), Caleb Lewis (Fr., F)

Notable losses: G JaBrook Tucker, G J.D. Meeder

Returning starters: F Taylor MacDonald, G Brad Meccariello, F Zach Reynolds

Key newcomers: F Caleb Lewis

Strengths: The Eagles have plenty of athletes who can run the floor and decent size in the frontcourt.

Weaknesses: With only seven players on the roster at the moment, the bench is thin, which could hurt the Eagles late in games or if they run into foul trouble.

Burning question: How many more players will join the team before Conroy's deadline of the end of the week?

Key player: Everything will run through Taylor MacDonald, a proven scorer who can play any position on the court and create matchup problems inside and on the perimeter.

Outlook: A lot will depend on who else comes aboard. The Eagles have plenty of talent to compete in the region, but it appears the lack of depth will be a major factor that will hold them back.

HILTON HEAD HIGH

Coach: Ken Updike (third year, 17-31)

2010-11 results: 8-16 overall, 1-9 Region 7-AAA, did not make playoffs

Roster: John Eck (Soph., F, 6-3), Jacob Coltrane (Soph., PG, 5-7), Michael Julian (Jr., F, 6-5), James Sanders (Jr., PF, 6-4), Chris MacMurray (Jr., G/F, 6-1), Robbie Iulo (Jr., G/F, 6-1), Elliott Florencio (Jr., C, 6-4), Chris O'Donnell (Jr., G, 5-7), Matt Pollard (Jr., F, 6-0), Connor Goulet (Jr., G, 6-1), Alex MacDonald (Sr., C, 6-5), Bennett Murphy (Sr., G, 6-3)

Notable losses: F T.J. Clay (10.5 ppg, 5 rpg), G Desmond Bush (7.2 ppg), G Will McCarty (6.5 ppg)

Returning starters: F Alex MacDonald (3.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg), F Michael Julian (9.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.5 bpg)

Key newcomers: Chris MacMurray, Robbie Iulo, Jacob Coltrane, Bennett Murphy

Strengths: The Seahawks have plenty of size on their roster, which includes six players 6-foot-3 or taller. They will try to use that to their advantage by dominating opponents in rebounding.

Weaknesses: With only two returning players who saw significant playing time last year, the Seahawks lack varsity experience. Expect the Seahawks to be a team that may see its struggles early in the season but one that progresses as it enters region play.

Burning question: Can the Seahawks make enough outside shots to open up their inside game?

Key player: Michael Julian -- With his athletic ability, Julian can take over a game on the offensive end of the floor and can take away an opponent's driving lanes with his shot-blocking.

Outlook: The Seahawks will look to get back into the playoff mix after missing out on postseason play in 2010-11.

Hilton Head Prep

Coach: Bob Sulek (first year, 338-51 with HHP girls)

2010-11 record: 18-9, 5-3 in region, lost in quarterfinals

Roster: J.T. Marbut (5-9, Soph., G), Logan Clark (5-8, Jr., G), Will Peterkim (5-9, Soph., G), Aiden Hegarty (5-10, 8th, G), Jared Woodson (5-8, Soph., G), Franklyn Bakala (6-0, Sr., F), John Sheehan (5-9, Soph., G), Shaun Topper (5-9, Soph., G), Cole Gardocki (6-2, Fr., F), Charlie Wilmot (5-9, Jr., G), Kyle Eichelsbacher (6-0, Sr., G/F), Noah Sulek (5-10, Fr., G/F), Randy Young (6-3, Soph., F)

Notable losses: G/F Matt Layman, G Dimitri Lowry, F Bo Strimpfel, F Patrick Andrews, F Alex Orford, F Tim Godshalk

Returning starters: None

Key newcomers: G Shaun Topper (transfer from Pennsylvania)

Strengths: The Dolphins have plenty of quick guards, and they play with the toughness and aggressiveness Sulek has always expected from his teams -- girls or boys.

Weaknesses: With eight seniors and two transfers gone from last year, Prep is short on experience, and the Dolphins lack size in the post.

Burning question: How long will it take for the Dolphins to adapt to Sulek's up-tempo system?

Key player: Randy Young is the Dolphins' tallest player at 6-foot-3, and he needs to a be a force in the paint for Prep to be successful.

Outlook: The Dolphins are going to go through some growing pains, but Sulek always gets the most out of his players. They will be competitive, even if the wins don't come in bunches.

RIDGELAND

Coach: Jeremiah Faber (27th year, 402-219)

2010-11 record: 13-12, lost to Burke in first round of Class 1-A playoffs

Roster: Hamilton Harris (Sr., 5-10), Terrance Frazier (Soph., 5-10), Aaron Taylor (Sr., 5-9), Anthony Polite (Jr., 5-11), D.J. Myers (Soph., 6-2), Marques Griffin (Soph., 5-10), Charles Mitchell (Soph., 6-3), Xavier Capers (Sr., 5-11), Maurice Dargan (Sr., 6-4), Tyron Mikell (Sr., 6-3), Jeremiah Nelson (Sr., 6-1), Torray Amlett (Sr., 6-3), Derrick Solomon (Sr., 6-3), Keandre Frazier (Jr., 5-9)

Notable losses: Tevin Stevenson, Jeremy Scott, Trevon Patterson, Medicus DeLoach, Ja'Quie Polite

Returning starters: Torray Amlett, Xavier Capers, Tyj Mikell, Derrick Solomon

Key newcomers: Charles Mitchell, D.J. Myers, Terrance Frazier, Anthony Polite

Strengths: The Jaguars return experience on both ends of the floor, with seven players who started one or more games last season.

Weaknesses:

Burning question: How will the Jaguars replace standout Stevenson? The versatile forward was an all-area selection last season.

Key player: Amlett. The do-it-all athlete for the Jaguars football team will be asked to fill multiple roles on the basketball team as well.

Outlook: The Jaguars expect to be competitive in all games, with goals of winning Region 5-A and making a run at the Class 1-A title.

Thomas Heyward

Coach: Philip Rhodes (23rd season, 246-166 at THA)

2010-11 record: 12-13, 6-8 in region

Roster: J.D. Tuten (5-9, Jr., G), Zack Newton (6-0, Jr., G), Ryan Day (5-7, Jr., G), Taylor Cowart (5-9, Sr., G), Will Richardson (5-9, Sr., F), Forrest Richardson (6-0, Jr., F), Amar Patel (5-9, Sr., G), Joe Laycock (5-9, Sr., F), Jonathan McLemore (6-1, Sr., C), Nick Keiffer (6-0, Soph., F), Bryan Lee Wade (5-9, Jr., F)

Notable losses: G Logan Mock, F Don Simmons, G JA Malphrus

Returning starters: G Ryan Day, G J.D. Tuten, F Joe Laycock

Key newcomers: G Zack Newton, F Nick Keiffer, F Bryan Lee Wade

Strengths: The Rebels boast a quick, guard-oriented lineup that will be able to create off the dribble and make opposing defenses work.

Weaknesses: Thomas Heyward lacks a real post presence and will have a tough time matching up with taller teams in the paint.

Burning question: Can the Rebels blend their ample individual talent into a cohesive unit that commits to playing strong defense and develops a chemistry at the offensive end?

Key player: J.D. Tuten is the epitome of the Rebels -- he is quick off the dribble, plays hard-nosed defense and can score from anywhere on the court. If he reaches his potential, the Rebels will be a handful.

Outlook: The Rebels got a late jump on preparing for the season because of the football team's run to the state semifinals, so they're likely to struggle early but hope to round into form in time to contend in the region and secure a high seed in the playoffs.

WHALE BRANCH

Coach: Linc Lyles (second year, 6-14)

2010-11 record: 6-14, 5-9 Region 5-A

Roster: Chavone Simmons (Soph., G, 6-0), Parish Magwood (Sr., F, 6-2), Tyshawn Fields (Sr., G, 5-10), Trey Polite (Sr., G, 5-10), Brandon Morton (Jr., G, 5-8), Terrell Hazel (Jr., G, 5-10), Charles Jiles (Jr., F, 6-0), Eric Frazier (Sr., G, 5-7), Josh Fields (Sr., G, 5-8), Andre Watson (Sr., G, 6-0), De'Vonte Lykes (Jr., G, 6-1), Jay Abney (Soph. F, 6-2), Dee Delaney (Jr., F, 6-1), Leroy Perry (Sr., F, 6-1), Stedmon James (Sr., F, 6-1)

Notable losses: None

Returning starters: Everyone. Forward Leroy Perry and guard Stedmon James are among the notables, but Lyles said he plans a 10-12-player rotation.

Key newcomers: Andre Watson, Terrell Hazell, Brandon Morton

Strengths: Lyles likes his team's athleticism, work ethic, team defense and rebounding. The Warriors will also benefit from having everyone back, plus some key additions.

Weaknesses: The Warriors will need to protect the basketball. Lyles also pointed to his team's resilience as an area that could use work.

Burning question: Can the Warriors learn to play as a team and advance to the postseason? In the school's second season and second season with Lyles at the helm, this is the goal.

Key player: Leroy Perry proved to be a beast for the Warriors in the post during Year 1. Back for another season, he'll be leaned on again.

Outlook: Lyles believes his team is improving every day. With all it has back and more, Whale Branch should improve on last year's record.

Preseason rankings

Class 4-A

1. Lexington

2. Hillcrest

3. Gaffney

4. Irmo

5. Lancaster

6. Wando

7. Dorman

8. Easley

9. Richland Northeast

10. Summerville

Class 3-A

1. Wilson

2. Lower Richland

3. Eastside

4. Lake Marion

5. Daniel

6. Hartsville

7. Clinton

8. Southside

9. South Pointe

10. Marlboro County

Class 2-A

1. Keenan

2. Mullins

3. North Charleston

4. Marion

5. Newberry

6. Lee Central

7. Silver Bluff

8. Edisto

9. Andrews

10. Eau Claire

Class 1-A

1. Great Falls

2. Landrum

3. Hemingway

4. Calhoun County

5. McCormick

6. Baptist Hill

7. Carvers Bay

8. Estill

9. Abbeville

10. Scott's Branch

SCISAA Class 3-A

1. Heathwood Hall

2. Pinewood Prep

3. Cardinal Newman

4. Porter-Gaud

5. Laurence Manning

6. Wilson Hall

7. Hilton Head Christian

8. Florence Christian

9. Hammond

10. Augusta Christian

SCISAA Class 2-A

1. First Baptist

2. Spartanburg Christian

3. Charleston Collegiate

4. Oakbrook Prep

5. Byrnes Schools

6. Thomas Sumter

7. Spartanburg Day

8. Holly Hill

9. St Andrew

10. Bible Baptist

SCISAA Class 1-A

1. Palmetto Christian

T2. Myrtle Beach Christian

T2. Coastal Christian

4. Newberry Academy

5. Laurens Academy

6. James Island Christian

7. WW King

8. Glenforest

9. Jefferson Davis

T10. Covenant Christian

T10. Wardlaw

T10. Clarendon Hall

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