The Model boys team is coming off one of the most successful seasons since its inception.
The Patriots finished with a 23-7 record and a history-making first-ever trip to the All “A” Classic last year.
But like every team in the district, the Patriots lost most of their starting five from that tournament team.
Only Zack Rice-Gordon had any varsity playing time for the Patriots last season. Gordon was a big contributor to that team and Model coach Wes Scarberry said he is a much improved player who will be counted on to carry a big load for the Patriots this season.
“Zack had a really good summer. He made the all-star team at the 5-Star camp in Louisville playing against some very good competition. His confidence level is through the roof right now,” Scarberry said. “Zack can do so many things. He can play the point, he can post up. We’ll use him a lot like we did Jon Ballard, we’ll move him around a lot and exploit the mismatches he creates with his size and versatility.”
The Patriots are inexperienced, but they will have eight seniors on their team that will be counted on to contribute.
Jared Adams played junior varsity last season but the experience he gained going against departed seniors Anthony Gerald and A.J. Hammons on a daily basis has prepared him to play a much bigger role this season, Scarberry said.
The Patriots also will be helped by the addition of senior point guard Keith Mason, who transferred from Madison Central.
Caleb Kincaid, a 6-foot-5 center who had a big game in last year’s All “A” regional game against Berea, will man the middle.
Levi Agee, who took a year away from basketball last season to concentrate on soccer, is back and will provide some rebounding and defensive help on the inside as well.
Sophomore Ephraim Otieno, a lightning quick guard, will be an asset for the Patriots on offense, which plays at a hectic pace, Scarberry said.
“Ephraim is super quick. When he has the ball it is really hard to stop him, which really fits into our system because we play fast and we like to press,” Scarberry said.
Speed will be one of the team’s strength, Scarberry said.
“Our transition game will be big for us. We try to play as fast as we can, it’s almost out of control. We kind of play a style that people have a hard time preparing for,” Scarberry said. “We try to get out on transition and get to the rim and we’ve got four or five guys who can pretty much get to the rim any time. So we’re going to try to exploit that.”
Patriots fans will see a much a more balanced scoring team this season, Scarberry said, and they will see a very hard working team.