2014-15 record: 5-8 MIAA B, 14-16
Coach: Frick Frierson
Top players: Seniors LeRome Ball (F), Deion Graves (G) and Earl Mitchell (G); juniors Jon Hughes (F) and Jake Tringali (F); freshman Jason Murphy (C).
What you need to know: Having lost a couple of all-county players — Matthew Frierson and Malik Grandy — that each averaged more than 18 points a game last winter, the Yellowjackets find themselves trying to establish a slightly new identity this year. The leaders are going to be different and several new faces find themselves in prominent roles, but the foundation of the program remains the same.
“The offseason is really where we establish who we are going to be and there is a culture within Chapelgate basketball that it’s really up the guys to embrace,” coach Frick Frierson said. “In terms of style of play, nothing really is going to change much in that we know that we want to be playing hard, fast and smart. And we really like this team. It’s a really fun team that can play a couple different ways.”
Mitchell is the team’s leading returning scorer after averaging 6.9 points a game last year. He knocked down 38 3-pointers and scored in double digits on seven occasions. Hughes, who didn’t play the second half of the year as a sophomore, is a proven commodity as well after posting an average of 5.1 points a game from his forward position in 18 games last year.
Between Hughes and the team’s 6-foot-7 freshman center Murphy, the Yellowjackets have plenty of length on the interior. Murphy scored 12 points in his first varsity game this season against A Conference foe John Carroll.
“We haven’t had two big guys in a long time and both are going to be really good,” Frierson said. “Jon can really shoot, so when he gets going it really spreads the floor nicely and Jason is already showing he can be a force on both ends.”
Graves, a transfer in from Oakland Mills, is a speedy point guard who will be a captain alongside Tringali. Frierson also says to keep an eye on junior Cliff McEachin, who is a forward that was a star on JV last year.
In the early going this winter, against a challenging schedule featuring several A Conference opponents, Chapelgate is off to a 2-5 start.