There are plenty of new faces taking the court for Destrehan head coach Khary Carrell in his second season as the Wildcats’ head coach.
Eight seniors graduated from last year’s squad, leaving a lot of opportunity for the team’s younger players to inherit this year. This is a team heavy on underclassmen, with just four returning players seeing varsity time of significance last season.
“We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores who are up and coming joining the varsity squad,” said Carrell. “Hopefully we’ll be getting a couple more guys in from football. But overall, we’re pretty young and new.”
Among the players expected to lead the way this year is junior Jumoni Washington, a junior forward who Carrell said has been impressing. Washington led the team in scoring in both its preseason jamboree and in its season opener at Salmen.
“He’s asserting himself,” said Carrell. “Right now, he’s the guy who’s emerged as our leader, that standout guy who’s kind of taken his chance and is climbing the ranks.”
Sophomores Keenan Brown and Cayden Coleman and junior Dave Turner saw some time last season with the varsity as well and are players Carrell said are ascending. Another sophomore, Jordan Triggs, has not yet made his season debut, but Carrell said Triggs has a lot of ability and could deliver some very good things for the team in the near future.
This is not the biggest team, but the Wildcats are a quick and athletic bunch.
“We’ll be playing at a fast pace, looking to be an up and down, pressing team this year,” said Carrell. “Trying to get the ball up the court as quick as possible and get some early scoring opportunities.”
The team fell in its opener, 78-62 at Salmen. Destrehan led throughout much of the opening quarter, but Salmen opened up a 10-point lead in the second quarter and controlled things the rest of the way.
Carrell said given Salmen’s size advantage, tempo and defensive pressure was key for his team to have success. But fatigue ultimately set in – one area the team might find some relief in if some reinforcements arrive from the gridiron to fill out the roster.
“We had our chances,” Carrell said. “I thought you definitely saw flashes … we played very well in spots. I think we wore down a little – conditioning is going to have to be a focus for us.”
On Thursday night, Jesuit visits Destrehan with tip off scheduled for 7 p.m.
“We’ve got some heavy hitters early … I wanted our guys to see some of these teams early, so they can experience that competition level,” Carrell said. “You want to see how they react to it. Jesuit has a good team and has always been strong in basketball, so this will be a pretty big test for us.”