Hoops Preview: Jefferson Dragons
The Dragons are just 3 years removed from playing for a state championship. That DNA is very much still in place, as evidenced by last year’s Elite 8 run under coach Kevin Morris. With only one returning starter, the younger guys on the team will look to hold to the status quo of Jefferson being one of the teams to beat. The expectations, as always, are high.
HEAD COACH: Kevin Morris (6th Season)
2021-22 RECORD: 25-4, Region 8-AAAA Champions, 4A Elite 8, #2 State Ranking
RETURNING STARTERS: 1. Jaden Butts (5 PPG, 4 RPG, 2 APG)
KEY DEPARTURES: Kadin Bailey, JT Fulkrod, Dalen Gales, Riley Holliman
KEY PLAYERS: Jaden Butts, Max Aldridge, Tra Harrison, Micah Hooper, Drew Williamson
STRENGTHS: “Playing hard and playing fast,” says Morris.
BIGGEST CHALLENGES: “Lack of experience,” adds Morris.
Point blank, the Dragons have four open spots for starting gigs. Look at those 4 starters that graduated – Bailey, Fulkrod, Gales, and Holliman were exceptional basketball talents. However, the Dragons have the luxury that most schools do not – athleticism. This school in all sports seems to have a next man up mentality and reloads quickly. That’s in large part due to the athletic footprint of Jefferson schools, great coaching, and high expectations. This Dragon team might suffer initially with players like Aldridge on the gridiron for the playoff run, but there are plenty of players who just haven’t had a chance to show what they can do.