Last year, the Bishop England boys’ basketball team finished with a 26-3 record, a region championship and a school record for the longest winning streak to open a season: 20 games.
What will coach Bryan Grevey’s team do for an encore?
“I’m not going to say we are going to win 26 games,” Grevey said. “But I do like the attitude and chemistry of this team. It’s a different team (from last year). That’s the first thing you have to realize. We have seven new kids who have zero varsity experience. Last year, we had that experience. This year, we are trying to bring them up to speed. The quicker we bring them up to speed, the better we will be.”
The Bishops split two games in their preseason tournament to begin the 2020-21 season. They beat Beaufort in the opener but dropped a decision to SCISA powerhouse Cardinal Newman.
“We made some mistakes,” Grevey said. “But they were correctable mistakes.”
The team does have two outstanding players who should receive post-season honors: Daniel Brooks and Ty Schaafsma.
Brooks was recently named one of the top five seniors by the state coaches’ association in their preseason polls. Both he and Schaafsma are role models for the younger players.
“When you mention Ty and Daniel, those guys really provide good leadership,” Grevey said. “They set the tone on how we practice, how we handle ourselves.”
Brooks is 6-foot-8 and is a premier baseball player. He averaged 13.1 points and 8 rebounds last winter.
“Daniel has made tremendous strides since his freshman year,” Grevey said. “He’s a really good high school player. When he gets the ball in the post, he’s unstoppable.”
Schaafsma is back for his senior season. He was an all-region selection two years ago but missed a majority of last season with a broken ankle.
“When he came back, he wasn’t 100 percent,” Grevey said. “He had a really good fall camp. He and Daniel are our leaders. You can’t put a price on that, having your best players as your leaders.”
Eddie Marinaro returns for his senior season. He’s athletic and provides defensive skills. Sean Hollister is a 6-5 wing player who provides good shooting from outside.
Grevey said he’s holding an open audition for the starting point guard post. The players in the mix are Gray Caldwell, Matt Michel, John Trusk and Elliot Sanders.
Michel missed last season with an injury. Another player on the roster, Chase Loggins, also returned to the program. He didn’t play last season because he focused on baseball. Doom Dennis will also see action.
“We had 10 guys step up and say, ‘Hey I want playing time,’” Grevey said. “As a coach you have to like that.”
The race for the Region 8-AAA championship should be a three-team event. Look for the Bishops to battle Oceanside Collegiate Academy and Hanahan for league supremacy.