The Model Laboratory basketball program has gone through a very dramatic change in the past year.
The Patriots graduated nine seniors from a team that won 18 games.
And shortly after the conclusion of the season, coach Wes Scarberry was dismissed after 12 seasons at the school.
Former West Jessamine assistant John Morgerson was hired in May.
“I think there has been a clear change,” Morgerson said. “I don’t know if it will equal wins, because we have a really tough schedule and we don’t have a lot of experience coming back. But, I know that it will change the way we look as a team.”
All that change has led to a new beginning for the Patriots.
The roster and coaching staff are almost completely different from last season.
Model brings back only three players with any extended varsity experience — seniors Cruse Pingleton, Camden Stamm and Josh Barrick. That trio combined to score only 178 total points last season.
“They are really hungry,” Morgerson said of seniors.
Pingleton got the most playing time last season of all those seniors.
The guard appeared in all 26 games and averaged 3.7 points and 2.5 rebounds game. He also hit nine three-pointers.
“At most schools, he would have been playing as a junior,” Morgerson said of Pingleton. “He was behind that group of seniors. He’s a great athlete and can do a lot of things. We are going to really feature him.”
Barrick also had a hard time breaking into the line-up playing with that large group of seniors.
The 6-foot-4 forward played in every game but one and averaged 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 points a game.
“By default, he’s our tallest guy,” Morgerson said of Barrick. “He is the guy we depend on to rebound. He puts himself in position to do that. He should be an eight to 10 point a game scorer.”
Stamm also didn’t get much opportunity to showcase his skills last season.
He played in just 13 games, but did hit four three-pointers in limited action.
“He’s a guy who can really shoot it,” Morgerson said of Stamm. “I think he’s really going to help us stretch the floor and get into the lane.”
A pair of juniors are all set to jump into the starting line-up full time for the Patriots.
Bryson Perry has taken over at the point. Morgerson describes the undersized guard as the heart of the team.
“He’s smaller, but he sees the floor well. He doesn’t put himself in bad spots and he works hard outside of practice,” the coach said of Perry. “He puts up a lot of shots.”
Ethan Bailey is also a good shooter. The junior can also run the offense as well.
“He loves to be in the gym,” Morgerson said of Bailey. “He’s got good size and he can be our back-up point guard.”
Several other juniors could see significant playing time this year, including Colton Collier, Nate Feese, Jackson Perry and Everett Parker-Noblitt.
“Our junior class is really strong,” Morgerson said. “They will get a lot of playing time and that will set them up for next year too.”
Senior Joseph Durso is out with a broken wrist, but could be back by the end of the season. Sean Steele and Landon Brittain — both seniors — could also contribute off the bench.
The Patriots also have some younger players who could get a chance to play, including freshman Keshav Bhandari and sophomore Andrew Frazier.
“We’ve got some versatility in our top eight or nine,” Morgerson said.
With so much change in a short amount of time, the expectations may not be high this season.
But, for the first-year coach, the goal is get a different mentality established and move the program in new direction.
“We have intentionally designed the offense so that everyone is engaged and everyone is involved. We want to build chemistry and get everyone buying in. So, that they know if they do their job, then they are going to get to score,” Morgerson said.