Posted On: 10/13/17 6:00 AM

Trotwood-Madison is coming off a Regional Championship season where they went 26-3 overall. Expectations remain high for the Rams; but, there’s a lot of production to replace, as a couple of their top players have graduated. Enter 6’2” guard Carl Blanton (2020), the #16 player in Ohio’s sophomore class.

“This year, since [last year’s] exposure helped, I think we’ll be right back at states,” Blanton said.

As a freshman, Blanton averaged 5.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game off the bench. Expect all of those numbers to rise considerably this season.

“Last year, I just played a defensive role. This year, I see myself scoring more and playing defense.”

“My individual team goals is to at least averaged 15 points a game, lead us in steals, get Defensive Player of the Year, and go back to States,” Blanton said.

Blanton expects to be a starter this season, alongside Myles Belyeu, Amari Davis, Justin Stephens, and Sammy Anderson.

The sophomore, who played for All Ohio Red during the grassroots season, fits the Trotwood system perfectly with his relentless on-ball defense. Blanton also affects the game with his slashing ability.

“The best thing I think I can do on the court is get to the basket. Like, that’s just my bread and butter if anything. I’m just going to try to get to the basket and draw the foul,” Blanton said.

Going forward, Blanton hopes to improve his ball-handling ability.

“Right now, I’m trying to add to my dribbling. I’ve been working on that a lot. Because in the past I was never a guard. I always played down-low or on the wing,” Blanton said.

It’s hard to tell that Blanton is transitioning away of a forward role, as he played in the post in junior high. While his skills are a bit raw still, he gets to his spots and is able to score off the dribble rather well.

As he continues to mature his game, recruitment will likely follow from the D-I level. At the moment, however, Blanton has only heard from one in-state program.

“During the summer, Cleveland State wanted me to come down to a camp. They said they had a bunch of interest in me. That’s about it,” Blanton said.

He wasn’t able to make the camp because of a scheduling conflict with football, a sport that Blanton has since stopped playing in order to focus on hoops. The 3.0 GPA student-athlete has been working hard in the weight room and classroom in preparation for the season. Blanton will be a pivotal member of a top contender in Division II this season, especially relative to other sophomores.