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Posted On: 10/29/18 1:59 AM
Three losses concluded the Cherokee season. From 18-10 they fell to 18-13. What started so promisingly with a Greene County Thanksgiving Tournament title sputtered to a sad February end.
Thanks to a strong Class of 2020 South-Doyle will improve upon that 18-win season. Keshawn Colbert is the key to the car. What can Head Coach Brian Stewart surround Colbert with? Which players will give the program the needed depth to dominate at the Class AAA level?
FRONTCOURT: Senior Cleophus Smith gives SDHS a key lengthy forward. Though thin, Smith gets off the floor pretty well and makes guards second guess their attack lane.
Wing Jayden Doyle plays around the arc enough to qualify as a guard, but his height gives him a rare versatility. Doyle figures to score most buckets from 10′ or further. Few guards statewide are blessed with his length at the 2/3 position.
Lane Mathes, a 6-foot-6 combo forward, can facilitate offense or knock down mid-range jumpers. The long-limbed tree of a young man gained an important ring of experience last year while playing varsity.
BACKCOURT: Kendrick Holland currently comfortably sits at #130 in the Class of 2020 rankings. Keshawn Colbert brings unfamiliar athleticism. Both Holland and Colbert can grab two easy ones with a deflection or steal out top. The speed is staggering from both short guards. Colbert can cause a lot of damage in the open floor especially.
KEY TO SUCCESS: Ball pressure. Everybody has guards. Few teams (Bearden comes to mind) run out two quicker guards than South-Doyle. For the Cherokee to be their best selves they need to jump the ball-handler and force a scrambled scenario. By creating tight passing lanes or, even better, tight dribbling lanes SDHS’ two guards can take advantage of their quicks.
MOST IMPROVED: Lean wing Jayden Doyle played AAU with EOTO-TN 16u with Holland. Doyle’s natural physical maturity in the last six months will really help. Tall, lean players with his build generally take awhile to tack on muscle and Doyle will find high school varsity more manageable as a stronger junior. His ability to finish in traffic is improved.
Cherokee Top Ten. Here are ten important games for South-Doyle.
2017-2018 Record: 18-13
Head Coach: Brian Stewart
NEWCOMERS: Three freshman made the South-Doyle varsity roster. Freshmen Quentin Carr and Tyson Miller each play point guard, which frankly is not a spot of need for the Cherokee. Spelling Holland or Colbert might keep the starters fresh deep into the season, though high school games are easily manageable for teen legs. Class of 2022 scoring guard Jatory Newton dressed last season for SDHS. Newton possesses natural leadership qualities.
OUTLOOK: Twenty wins and a district title are reasonable goals for this veteran squad.
Guard depth always helps in February-March and South-Doyle certainly has that. The bigs are just ok, but Jayden Doyle gives the Cherokee something unique and challenging. With more grit Doyle and the forwards can vault SDHS into a great season.