By Jeff Petty
Success for the men’s basketball team has been elusive in past seasons. Things happened. But the ingredients for a great 2017-18 season are still in play.
Coach Brian Poore has the most wins of all State basketball coaches, with a record of 311-248, three conference tournament championships and two regular season conference champions.
Coach Poore knows what he is doing. And he has a solid roster for this season.
Players such as Robert Fomby, Brent Bauer, and Ernest Jenkins Jr. have returned to Institute. New players such as Langston Cooke, Glen Abram, Isaiah Noel and Alex Osburn look to make a splash on the team.
Keep a close eye on star Sophomore Ernest Jenkins Jr., a court general. He scored 429 points last season, going 38 percent inside and beyond the arch. He was 75 percent from the free throw line and had 28 steals.
Then there’s Robert Fomby, a mad man on the court. Opposing teams have to beware the senior. In only eight games last season he managed to have 14 steals, 5 blocks, and 65 total rebounds.
As for the rest of the team, you’ll see them, too. Poore is taking a play out of coach Marshall’s playbook of the women’s team. He’ll substitute a fresh five every 2-4 minutes. Yes, this requires for teams to have more depth than usual and keeps players fresh throughout the entire 40 minutes of play.
But Coach Poore is not trying to win a sprint. He and the Jackets are on pace to win a marathon this season. And a championship perhaps next March.