For a long time during the 2009-2010 basketball season it appeared as if Gilman School would emerge from the tough MIAA B Conference with a basketball championship.  However, the Greyhounds were upset early in the post-season and left to ponder what might have been.

The good news is that most of the key players were young and a talented core group returns for second year head coach Owen Daly.  Daly must replace last year’s senior leaders Bryan Willis (Wake Forest for baseball) and Duncan Hutchins (North Carolina for lacrosse), but he has plenty of returning experience on which to build.

Darius Jennings, an All-American football player who also served as captain with the basketball team, is back as is fellow senior Chad Copeland, who was Gilman’s sixth man last year.  His coach calls Copeland a “late bloomer,” who he believes will have a great impact for this year’s team.

The Greyhounds will have five other seniors this year, but the strength of the squad lies in the junior class.  That group is led by last year’s leading scorer CJ Jones, who will run the point, and Ryan Ripken, a wing player with great three-point range.

“Those guys are really our basketball guys.  You know CJ is a really good football player and Ryan is a very good baseball player as well, but those guys can really do some things on the basketball court,” said Daly.

Daly only sees those two getting better.

“Ryan has grown.  He’s 6-6 now, he’s really filled out and he’s starting to play like a man now.  He was a youngster the last two years, but he’s really starting to do a lot of things well now.  He hopes to play basketball somewhere in college and I think that will happen at this rate.

“We know Cyrus is very explosive.  He can do a lot of things for us.  He was our leading scorer last year and we will look for him a lot.”

Daly mentioned several other multi-sport athletes who will bolster his roster, as well as a pair of sophomores and a freshman who have made the squad.

Click on the Related Videos link above to see Joe DiBlasi’s complete preseason interview with Daly.