Boys basketball Top 5 Countdown: No. 2 Poly

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. 2 Poly:

Coach: Sam Brand

Last season: 22-6, No. 3

Postseason: Class 3A champion

Key players: Justin Lewis, Jr., F; Rahim Ali, Jr., G; Armani Walker, Sr., F

Outlook: The Engineers are rolling, winners of two straight state titles and two Baltimore City crowns in three years, and they are showing no signs of slowing down despite losing key pieces to graduation each year. Brand said he has never had a deeper team to work with, expecting to use 10 players on a given night with the competition also paying dividends in practice. Lewis came in from Calvert Hall last season, and once settled became one of the area’s most dominant players. He’s one of a few players that can take over a game and makes an impact at both ends. Ali is a steadying influence in the backcourt while Walker and Ian Wallace join Lewis in a big, athletic frontcourt. Forward Brandon Murray, a transfer from New York, is academically ineligible for the start of the season, but could add do-everything skills for the stretch run.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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