The boys basketball season is underway 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 Tuesday. The Top 15 poll, along with the top players to watch, will go live online Tuesday and Wednesday.
Here’s a look at No. 4 Patterson:
Coach: Harry Martin
Last season: 12-12, not ranked
Postseason: Class 2A North quarterfinalist
Key players: Marvin Price, Sr., G/F; Jalen Willis, Sr., F; Gerard Mungo, Sr., G; T.J. Thomas, Sr., G
Outlook: The return of Price and the addition of Willis to an experienced senior-laden roster bodes well for the Clippers, who fell flat last season after city and state title wins in the 2016-17 season. Price was a major part of that success, earning All-Metro co-Player of the Year honors as a sophomore before spending last season at Huntington Prep (W.Va.). Willis comes in from Joppatowne and brings versatile skills plus a grinding style that will fit in at Patterson. The Clippers’ tough defense sets up an offense that will be able to run and also score in halfcourt sets. Mungo, Thomas and Zach Blackwell can all take care of the basketball as well as find their own shots and teammates. While Poly is the favorite in Baltimore City as defending champions, the deep Clippers have what it takes to overcome them if everything falls into place. Price, coming off a torn meniscus, is working his way back toward basketball shape and should quickly return to top form.