By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop
Team: Mater Dei
Record Last season: 25-4, 13-1 in conference play
Key players: Alexander Rice, junior
Kenneth Jones, senior
Yasin Pretlow, senior
Potential emerging stars: Adam Afifi, senior (6-8)
Jamir Watkins, sophomore (transfer)
Team analysis: Mater Dei has been one of the premiere teams in the Shore Conference over the past couple years. While many would assume a drop off is due with the loss of All-State forward Elijah Barnes, Mater Dei fans can rest easy as this team still has a lot left in the cupboard.
Coach Ben Gamble has a solid lineup this season with skilled players at all positions. One of the highlights of this team is their stellar guard play. Leading the pack is Loyola commit, Kenneth Jones. The senior guard plays with great poise and keeps the offense clicking on all cylinders. Joining Jones in the backcourt is fellow senior Yasin Pretlow. The crafty guard has a complete offensive game. Pretlow has smooth ball handling and elite finishing skills. The newest member of the crew is St. Anthony’s transfer Alexander Rice. The rising junior will excel in at Mater Dei with an increased role on the offensive side of the floor. Rice has in the gym range and a lethal first step. Be on the lookout for some big scoring nights this year. Mater Dei also has nice size in the frontcourt, as Adam Afifi and Trenton Catholic transfer Jamir Watkins have the potential to dominate the glass.
With stellar veteran leadership and elite shooting, Mater Dei has the talent to win the Shore County Tournament and make a deep state tournament run.
Stat to know: Senior Kenny Jones signed to Loyola this November.