Tonight the Crimson boys’ basketball team will tip-off against Christian Academy for the first game of the season in a non-conference match-up. Spectators are anxious to see how Manual’s performance tonight bodes for the rest of the season.
After finishing last year with a 20-11 record and being ranked the twenty-fourth best in the Courier-Journal’s Top 25 boys’ basketball teams in Kentucky, it will be interesting to see if Manual can improve on last year’s frankly dominating performance.
The Crimsons finished last season with the best record in their district, and they were one of only two teams to finish without a losing record (the other being St. Francis, who finished 14-14 and had their season ended by Manual in the district semifinal, as per the Courier-Journal.) Assuming that the district remains as soft as it as last year, Manual’s only true challenge in their conference should be Central, who boasts a senior-laden roster after not losing a single player last year. Otherwise, Manual should have no problem racking up wins in district play.
Like Central, the Crimsons’ roster has not witnessed many changes since last season, losing only one starter in Trey Boyd. Otherwise, the veteran lineup features six seniors, headed by All-State honorable mention guard/forward Dwayne Sutton (12, #22) who is coming off of a stellar season during which he averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds per game.* As Sutton continues to develop his game and running the Crimson’s offense, it would be no surprise to see Sutton lead Manual to a great year.
With such minute roster changes, a star player to rally behind, and veteran coach Jimmy Just (who is in his eighth year at Manual), it wouldn’t be outlandish to see this team gel from the get-go and showcase tremendous chemistry throughout the season; an important quality of any title contender. If the entire team is on the same page both offensively and defensively, can keep the ball moving and run their offense, it would be absurd to say they won’t be able to out score most opponents.
From star player Dwayne Sutton to their senior-studded roster to veteran coach Jimmy Just, all preseason signs point to an outstanding year for the Crimsons. Whether they can improve upon last year’s performance will still yet be a feat to behold.
They take their first step tonight, Dec. 2, versus Christian Academy at duPont Manual at 6 p.m.
*Stats according to the Courier-Journal