Following a third-place finish in the Big Northern East last year, Genoa-Kingston sees nowhere to go but up.
“Conference championship or bust, that’s our slogan right now,” Genoa-Kingston coach Corey Jenkins said. “The guys think we can win 20 games, and I like that they’re aiming high.”
The optimism comes as no surprise considering the Cogs welcome back a big part of the rotation that helped lead the way to a 17-11 record last season.
Headlining the group of returners is sophomore Tommy Lucca. The 6-foot guard showed off his considerable upside by finishing as Genoa-Kingston’s second-leading scorer and rebounder as a freshman.
Lucca may have to ease into the season after sustaining a sprained knee during an open gym in the week leading up to the start of practice, but Jenkins still has high expectations for his young standout.
“Tommy sees the floor extremely well, and he is going to be the quarterback of our offense,” Jenkins said. “We have enough to compete without him, but with him we are an even better team.”
Seniors Sal Lopez (6-1, F) and Connor Bankson (6-2, F) are back to provide some muscle in the post, and senior Eli Thurlby (6-2, G) returns as the team’s defensive stopper on the perimeter.
Junior Griffin McNeal (6-4, G/F) came up to the varsity team midway through his sophomore year and made an impact both inside and out. Also returning to the fray are seniors Colin Broderick (6-0, G), Blake Munro (5-8, G) and Danny Hansen (6-3, F).
Two more sophomores will join Lucca in the rotation as Tommy Hansen (6-4, F) and Ian Fell (6-0, G) arrive as varsity newcomers.
Jenkins surmises this will be one of the better rebounding teams he has had in his 12 years at the school, and he is also excited about the group’s potential on defense.
“It could be a totally different look for us defensively because we’ll be able to throw some zones at you with our length,” Jenkins said. “In the past we’ve been nothing but in-your-grill, man-to-man defense. Now I think we have the luxury of switching some things up.”