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Boys basketball Top 5 countdown: No. 3 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 Thursday. The Top 15 poll, along with the top players to watch, also will be available online Thursday with the entire preview package in Friday’s print edition of The Baltimore Sun.

Here’s a look at No. 3 Poly:

Coach: Sam Brand

Last season: 21-7, No. 4

Postseason: Class 3A champion

Key players: Demetrius Mims, Sr., G; Rahim Ali, So, PG; Justin Lewis, So., F

Outlook: Firsts keep coming for the Poly program, which is emerging as a perennial power in Baltimore City. After claiming their first Baltimore City title in 2015-16, the Engineers won their first state title last season. All-Metro star De’Vondre Perry, the go-to player the past two seasons, has moved on to Temple, but Brand is confident the Engineers will maintain their strong play. It now starts with Mims, an All-Metro guard who averaged 15 points as the team’s second option last season. He’s ready to be the team leader and has plenty of help with a strong returning cast and the addition of Calvert Hall transfer Lewis. Ali showed a lot of poise at the point as a freshman and should be that much more comfortable this season. Lewis can help fill the void left by Perry with a versatile offensive game and the ability to play inside. Amani Walker, Cleveland Horton and Seth Jones are valuable returnees who know their respective roles. With the addition of Lewis, Poly gets the slight nod over Patterson as Baltimore City’s team to beat.

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