Head coach: Stan Gatlin (7th season)
Last season: 13-16, lost to Arlington in region quarterfinals
Starters lost: 2
Starters returning: 3
Players to watch: G DeMaryo Gatlin, G Kejuan Dyson, F Ken Hennings, G Jay Dancey
Heading into a season with unproven players who will need to play big roles is never easy.
It’s even harder when you haven’t gotten to see them play very much at all.
COVID-19 did not allow Brighton and other teams to play games during the summer. That’s an important time to figure out if the new guys can play and where they fit.
“Considering we didn’t play the whole summer, I’m trying to figure out who plays the best together because we don’t know,” said head coach Stan Gatlin.
Anthony Smith and DeMaryo Gatlin were neck and neck for leading scorer honors last season. Smith graduated but Gatlin, the coach’s son, is back for his senior season.
He is a versatile player who can log productive minutes at point guard, shooting guard or on the wing. Gatlin averaged 10 points per game last season.
Kejuan Dyson, the team’s only other senior, is back as the starter at point guard. He can play off the ball as well and will be asked to make up for the production lost when starter T.J. Rivers transferred to Covington.
Junior Ken Hennings is a junior expected to log significant minutes. Hennings, Gatlin and Dyson are the only three with varsity experience.
Some young guys will get their chance. One to watch for sure is freshman guard Jay Dancey.
“He’s been looking great in practice, but I you never know how that’s going to translate into playing other teams,” Stan Gatlin said. “It can be overwhelming to some guys, but I think he’s going to be special.”
As the season gets going, look for the coach to figure which guys will not be overwhelmed when action heats ups.
“I selected a starting five and a second five, but we’re probably going to have to mix and match before the season’s over to figure out the right chemistry,” Gatlin said.