2009-2010 record: 17-4 (Class 2A North Region semifinalists)

League: Baltimore City Division I

Coach: Johnny Grimes

Returning letter winners: Dontrell Kelly, 6-5, Jr., Forward; Parrish Ragg, 6-5, Jr., Guard/Forward; Shakie White, 5-7, Jr., Guard; Tyrone Williams, 5-9, Jr., Guard

Key newcomers: Daquan Cook, 6-1, Jr., Guard; Ronald Epps, 6-0, Jr., Guard; Antonio Manns, 6-5, Jr., Forward/Guard; Nyme Manns, 6-4, Jr., Forward; Kevin Smith, 5-10, Sr., Guard

Outlook: The Rams graduated their entire starting five from last season including Justin Jackson (Morgan State) and All-Met forward Davon Usher (Polk State College in Florida), but an influx of talented transfer aims to put the Key Highway school back in the hunt for the Baltimore City and Class 2A state titles.

Smith, a transfer from Huntington Prep in West Virginia who spent his sophomore and junior season at Baltimore Freedom Academy, is a Top 100 guard by ESPN. Cook transferred from St. Frances Academy late last season. As a freshman at City College, Cook played quality minutes down the stretch as the Knights won the Class 2A state championship. Epps is a transfer from City.

“This the first time that I have a lot of ballhandlers who can play multiple positions,” said Grimes, who guided the Rams to the 1A state title in 2008-09. “We have nine to 10 basketball players who play all year round. Before, we had a couple of basketball players who were surrounded by kids who played other sports.”

daquan cookAntonio Manns, whose dad Mike was an All-Metro guard for Towson Catholic in the late 1980s, was a third-team all-league performer at Southridge High in Oregon last season. Nyme Manns comes over from defunct Cardinal Gibbons, and Grimes said both Manns are effective on the inside as well as from the perimeter.

The big question facing Digital Harbor is the blend of talent forming. The Rams will get early test with MIAA A/Baltimore Catholic League schools Archbishop Spalding and St. Frances the first two games.

“We’re very athletic and quick, but we’re a young team as far as chemistry,” said Grimes. “Once we get it together, we’re going to be really good.”