trojandave wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:01 pm
Roster for the 2018-2019 Portsmouth Trojans: (subject to change in the event of JV players being brought up)
MyQuel McKinley......6-3 SR*
Daniel Lattimore.....6-0 SR*
Matthew Fraulini.....6-2 JR*
Miles Shipp............6-2 SO*
Amare Johnson.......5-8 FR*
* denotes likely starter
Andrew Meadows....6-6 SR
Gage Rhodes.........6-4 SR
Eli Johnson...........5-10 JR
Caden Davis..........5-10 JR
Jack Workman.......5-9 JR
Brandon Clark........6-3 JR
Richie Bowman......6-2 JR
Daryionne Bryant....6-1 FR
Two others that may play varsity
Chris Duff............6-0 SO
Drew Roe.............5-9 FR
The Trojans OVC schedule is posted on SEOPS on the OVC topic. The non-conference schedule includes Wheelersburg, South Webster, Huntington St.Joe, Minford, Green, Western Pike, Southeastern Ross at Piketon on Dec.1st.
There are 3 things that standout about the 2018-2019 Trojans. First, this may be the quickest team in Coach Eugene Collins 10 years at PHS, second, there is much more size on the roster with 7 players 6-2 or taller, and third, the Trojans will be fielding a team with a lot of inexperience, as PHS lost 4 starters from last season's 16-8 team.
Matthew Fraulini is the Trojans lone returnee from the starting 5, and he comes back after a solid sophomore year in which he averaged 14 PPG with several games above 20. He is the only proven scorer the Trojans have, so finding other players who can score 10+ on any given night will be a challenge for Coach Collins. Amare Johnson will be the PG, and he is a high motor dynamo who is relentless on every play. Hopefully this will be contagious on the rest of the team. Miles Shipp, transfer from Notre Dame, gives the Trojans some much needed muscle in the paint. Shipp has a nice jumper from the FT line area, and he can go to the basket strong. McKinley lost 15 LBS playing for the Trojan soccer team, and is in great shape. He, along with Shipp, give the Trojans an athletic presence down low. Lattimore was the football QB, and he is aggressive in driving to the hole which can set up teammates for open shots from the perimeter.
Andrew Meadows has improved a great deal from his play on the JV team last season, as has Brandon Clark, and they will be important players to spell McKinley and Shipp. Bowman has the ability to drive to the basket or hit the trifecta, and will be counted on for the 2 or 3 position. One player to watch is Bryant, who right now is recovering from a football injury and might be ready to play by early to mid December. He has grown 4 inches in the past year and has excellent defensive instincts to go along with a smooth style of play offensively. The rest of the roster will be asked to fulfill a specific role, and to date there has been excellent enthusiasm from all the players.
As far as a prediction, this year is difficult with so many new players, but I'm going with 14-8 simply on the basis of how quick and athletic the Trojans are. It could be a game or two better or worse, depending on how quickly they overcome obvious inexperience, and how much scoring can be found outside Fraulini. Portsmouth could finish in the top 3 of the OVC, or fall to the middle of the pack if they struggle in the aforementioned areas. Still, this looks to be a very fun and different team to watch, and should be competitive even in losses.
Coach Eugene Collins is returning for his 10th season at PHS, which is the 3rd longest tenure in school history. His overall record is 155-69, with 5 sectional titles, 3 district titles, 2 regional titles, 1 regional runnerup, back to back Final 4's, 1 state runnerup, and is 5-0 in regional play vs. Ironton, Chesapeake, and Wheelersburg. He is only 14 wins shy of becoming the Trojans second winningest coach all time, as Red Hopkins won 168 games from 1926-1936.
Of course the goal as always at Portsmouth is to get to the state, or at least to the regionals. Getting to the Sweet 16 will be a tall task, but with 64 sectional titles and 37 district titles already, I don't think you can completely eliminate the Trojans from that possibility. Portsmouth is the last SE district school to win a game in the state tournament, that being a 74-66 win over Ottawa-Glandorf in the 2012 semifinals. The Trojans 15 state appearances rank 3rd all time in Ohio, their 27 games played in the state tournament ranks 3rd all time, and their 16 wins in the state tournament (16-11) rank 3rd also. Their 4 state championships rank 6th, and Portsmouth has appeared in the state tournament in 8 decades, ranking second only to Canton McKinley.