The boys basketball season is under way for the private schools with the public schools beginning play Dec. 5, so it’s time to roll out the projections for this season’s top teams.
In the coming days, Varsity Letters will count down the top five with the area’s preseason No. 1 team posted on Thursday night. The Top 15 poll, along with the top players to watch, will be available online Thursday night and the entire preview package will be in Friday’s print edition of The Baltimore Sun.
Here’s a look at No. 3 John Carroll:
Coach: John Zito
Last season: 27-11, No. 2
Postseason: MIAA A semifinalist; BCL champion
Key players: Immanuel Quickley, Jr., G; Montez Mathis, Jr., G; Nate Roberts, Jr., F
Outlook: The John Zito era is already underway at John Carroll and so far, very good as the Patriots are off to a 3-0 start. Quickley, last year's All-Metro Player of the Year, is the team leader and poised starting point and the addition of transfer Montez Mathis (Mount Carmel, Oak Hill) gives the Patriots one of the area's finest backcourts. The patriots are deep and some newcomers have made impressive early impressions. Junior F Nate Roberts returns to anchor the frontcourt and freshman Cameron Byers, sophomore Nigel Haughton and junior Qadir Ismail have already shown they can make quality contributions. The Patriots will play the same grinding defense that was a trademark under former coach Tony Martin, and Zito wants them to run the floor a little faster to take advantage of their gifted backcourt and overall athleticism. The MIAA A and BCL are both stacked with quality teams and the Patriots are among the best -- capable of bringing home titles if the pieces fall into place.