EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLICCARMEL CORSAIRSCoach: Zack Ryan (4th season)
Last year: 14-16, 3-6 ESCC
Last year's tournament finish: Lost in Class 3A regional championship to Antioch, 61-54.
Key players lost: G Brian Julien (CLC), F John Barr
Key players returning: F Johnny Roeser, jr., G Evan Myers, jr., F Jalen Snell, jr., G Zion Kilpatrick, sr., F Lukas Galdoni, jr.
Newcomers: F Damone Williams-Gray, jr., G Kamahri Wilson, fr.
Outlook: Just like we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, we shouldn't judge a team by its roster. "On paper, we have a young team with only four seniors," Carmel coach Zack Ryan said. "But we have a junior class with plenty of varsity experience with many of them playing varstiy since they were freshmen. There were times last season when we had four sophomores in the starting lineup." One of those sophomores from last year was Johnny Roeser, a versatile 6-foot-5 junior who can bang inside, shoot 3-pointers and handle the ball. Roeser, who has been starting since his freshman year, avearged 13 points and 6 rebounds per game last year. Another junior who averaged double-figures last year as a sophomore is Evan Myers. He was at 10 points per game and won the Class 3A 3-point shooting contest. Jalen Snell and Lukas Galdoni also got significant minutes last year as sophomores. The addition of Williams-Gray, who sat out last season but started as a freshman at Niles North, will give the Corsairs some size on the perimeter. "He can guard every position and and score both outside and inside," Ryan said of Williams-Gray. Meanwhile, another young player, freshman Kamarhri Wilson should make an immediate impact. "He showed the ability to control games this summer with his passing ability and athleticism," Ryan said of Wilson. Kilpatrick gives some experience at the point guard spot while Snell and Galdoni give Carmel size and rebounding. "We believe we have enough guys who can score with our up-tempo style of offense," Ryan said. "A big focus has been on defense and rebounding. It has been our focus all summer and in our early practices. If we can consistently defend, we feel that we can beat anyone."
Opener: Monday (6 p.m.) vs. Rockford Boylan at Grant Thanksgiving tournament