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Reservoir 2017-18 boys basketball preview

Reservoir head coach Mike Coughlin talks to his team during a timout in the first half of a high school boys basketball game against Broadneck at Arundel High School.
Reservoir head coach Mike Coughlin talks to his team during a timout in the first half of a high school boys basketball game against Broadneck at Arundel High School. (Steve Ruark / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

HOWARD COUNTY, MD — 2016-17 record: 7-4 county, 15-7 overall

Coach: Michael Coughlan

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Top players: Senior Bouraima Diarra (G); junior Josh Odunowo (F); sophomore Ryan Saunderson (G).

What you need to know: Reservoir rode a hot start and a midseason winning streak to a 15-7 record a year ago, but almost none of the players from that team, which finished fourth in the county standings, are back to build on that success.

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The Gators have three returning players and 12 juniors on the current roster, so coach Mike Coughlan said the team’s performance will largely depend on how quickly its younger players develop. Many of them played on the 20-2 junior varsity squad last winter but have yet to experience the highest level of high school basketball.

“The kids know about winning,” Coughlan said. “It’s just a matter of transferring that onto the varsity.”

With so many inexperienced players, Coughlan is still trying to figure out who deserves to see the floor when the Gators open the season against Largo on Tuesday.

Some have already established themselves, though. Coughlan mentioned guard Bouraima Diarra as a player to watch despite Diarra totaling eight points in five appearances last season. Coughlan is also high on junior forward Josh Odunowo and sophomore guard Ryan Saunderson.

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“Energy’s been good,” Coughlan said. “But you just never know until the lights come on.”

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