The Griffin

Men’s basketball on track to electrify

Johnny Carroll and Brian Ellis

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When the Lions Men’s basketball team kicks off their season Dec. 8, with a Friday night home opener, expect the Lions’ den to be packed. Friday night games at home always draw large crowds, and anticipate this night to be no different.

This year, the scheduled Friday night games don’t seem to be games that will be highly competitive. Games against rivals, Towson and Hereford, are both home, on Wednesday nights. That makes the Dec. 8 game, against the Western Tech Wolverines, much more appealing. In 2015, the basketball team lost at home to the Wolverines, and look to get revenge.

This season will be a very exciting year for basketball fans. If you thought last year was good, you’re in for a treat. Expect sophomore Guard Che Evans, to make serious noise.

“I’m extremely excited to see his development a year of physical maturity, mental maturity and year of being in the system,” head coach Matt Lochte said.

Evans proved himself last year, as he was a consistent contributor to the team. He showed that he can do a variety of things on both sides of the court, from shooting well from the 3 point line, to a stellar dribble-drive game and his explosiveness at the rim. He’s a highly touted prospect, with offers from top tier programs such as Florida, Georgetown, Boston College and several others. He has also gotten interest from powerhouses like Villanova and Maryland.

Senior transfer, Josh Cornish, looks to contribute with his incredible work ethic and large motor on the court. This fall, Cornish signed his National Letter of Intent to attend Southern Utah University.

“He’s one of the best shooters in all of Maryland but he also defends and will bring leadership,” Lochte said. Lochte also referred to Cornish as an alpha male type player.

The incoming freshman class will turn lots of heads. Point guard Ryan Conway, the number 7 prospect in the class of 2021, as ranked by future150.com, and scores the ball about as well as anybody according to Lochte. In a scrimmage on Nov. 29, Conway scored 33 points on 16 shots, shooting roughly 70 percent from the field, proving that he not only scores the ball well, but does it with great efficiency.

Ike Cornish, a 6-foot-6 freshman, will also be someone to keep an eye on. He’s developing his offensive game, with a smooth jumper and great driving ability.

“Ike is a kid with his length and his size is going to allow us to do some things as far as playing full court defense and zone type traps,” Lochte said.

This team has an immense amount of talent, but there still are some kinks to work out.

“A concern for us would be our youth, with two freshman and a sophomore, and another concern is our depth. Right now, we are only about six deep, but we are looking to develop a seven or eight man rotation,” Lochte said.

Scoring the ball for this team should be no problem with knockdown shooters like Josh Cornish. However, defense, because of the lack of size, experience and depth, will be a major point of emphasis.

There will surely be several college coaches that come through the red doors this year. With coaches from Florida, Maryland, Ole Miss and Georgetown in to see practices so far, expect plenty more. Coaches and fans will have plenty reason to come to games, to see four division one prospects for their respective classes.

 

GAMES TO WATCH:

December 11 vs. Friends- Looking to revive an early season loss last year against Friends.

December 13 vs. Archbishop Curley- We look to prove ourselves with an early season matchup against and MIAA team.

January 3 @ Perry Hall- Perry Hall is the defending 4A state champs and defeated us last year. With 2 dominant senior athletes, they are a tough team to beat. Game of the year.

February 21 vs. Towson- Although this game will likely be a blowout, the Lions’ den will be packed, and Towson is our rival.

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