Ardrey Kell had a special season last year, making a deep run in the playoffs before ultimately falling just short in taking home the championship. But now the Knights are back under Coach Craft and though they may look a little different than last season, they are still a very dangerous team. Let’s dive into what we saw on the court.
When you talk about Ardrey Kell, you have to start with their leader and senior, 2022 Evan Smith. Smith has been the one helping get everyone involved but they will need his leadership to step up and be more of that offensive threat, something he has shown this summer and fall. Alongside him is a young but intriguing guard in 2024 Delani Hammonds, as he plays with poise, is a terrific floor general, gets after defensively, and is very unselfish on the court.
Two other vital pieces for this team will be 2022 Toni Akenyelu, a versatile prospect that can operate inside and out, finishes around the basket well, and will need to be a key part on the boards this season. 2023 Brock Rose is another, as the 6’4 prospect really can help stretch the floor out with his perimeter shooting and pull-up game.
2023 Brandon Nelson really stepped up last year in big ways but has missed a little time this fall with an injury. Once he comes back, he should be another big piece and leader on the floor as he has only gotten bigger and stronger, as well as showing us more of his game. 2023 RJ Milliken is a scrappy guard defensively, plays hard and fights. He also can be yet another sharp-shooter from deep for this team, as the Knights really have a chance to open a defense with their outside shooting.
2023 Trenton Gerald and 2024 Jake Weckerle are two prospects that bring size, something Ardrey Kell will have to adjust to due to not having a true experienced presence down low in the paint but these two certainly can help in the rotation. 2024 Ryan Lewis, 2023 Cole Perdeau, and 2023 Brock McCoy will all play critical minutes this season as well and help provide depth to this Ardrey Kell team.
Though they may look different this season, Ardrey Kell certainly has the attention of many and they hope to make another deep run, in hopes of a championship this year.