Chapelgate boys basketball coach Frick Frierson breaks down his team heading into the season. (Brent Kennedy / BSMG)
2015-16 record: 7-11 MIAA B, 13-20
Coach: Frick Frierson
Top players: Seniors Montaz McCray (G), Cliff McEachin (F) and Jake Tringali (G); junior Jalen Morant (G); sophomores Odell Dickerson (F) and Jason Murphy (C).
What you need to know: The Yellowjackets are still waiting for a true breakout year in the MIAA B Conference and with an intriguing mix of players this might just be the season. Already this winter, the team has gone toe-to-toe with a couple of top tier MIAA A Conference teams and won the Harford Christian Tournament.
Everything starts with 6-foot-8 sophomore center Murphy, who already has a Division I offer from Old Dominion University. As a freshman he averaged 8.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.
"Jason is a beast and is just playing harder and harder. He really worked on his game over the summer and is highly motivated," coach Frick Frierson said. "He's just getting better and better and we are learning how to use him. Good things happen when he touches the ball."
The team did graduate a pair of guards — Earl Mitchell and Deion Graves — that led the way in scoring last year. But in their place are guys that are more than capable of shouldering the load. Morant and McCray are ball handlers that are explosive in terms of getting to the rim, while Tringali is a solid shooter from the perimeter.
McEachin and Dickerson — a transfer from Mt. Hebron — are forwards who provide versatility. In general, Frierson says the example set by his top three seniors has been a key in the early going.
"Those seniors, they may not put up huge numbers, but they provide huge leadership in the locker room and at practice. They just do things the right way," Frierson said.
Chapelgate 77, Harford Christian 43 (Championship game HCS Tournament - Saturday)