Last season: 20-11 (lost to Scott County in semifinals of 11th Region Tournament)
Coach: Mike Mendenhall (sixth year)
Three key contributors
Chris Wharton: 6-0 senior guard who’s being recruited by multiple Division II and Division III programs and will start for a second straight season. Mendenhall called him and sophomore Evan Dreux two of the fastest players in the 11th Region. “We’re a lot smaller than we were last year but we’re also a lot faster,” Wharton said of the Generals. “I feel like we’ll be able to pressure teams, make them turn over the ball and then it’s off to the races.”
Cameron Greenup: The 6-4 senior forward brings two years of varsity experience to the table and will be asked to play all five positions for the Generals. “I just try to bring what I can to the team,” Greenup said. “Whatever the team wants me to do, that’s what I try to do for that game.”
Eric Powell: Another two-year starter and the team’s best shooter according to Mendenhall. The 6-4 forward is another player who will be interchangeable within Lafayette’s system.
Others to watch
Mendenhall thinks Dreux, a 5-9 sophomore, could become one of the top point guards in the 11th Region by year’s end. Jajuante Carpenter started slowly as a junior after a promising sophomore campaign, and Mendenhall anticipates a return to form. Jackson Phillips, a 6-5, 200-pound freshman, could provide immediate relief following the graduation of star center Ross Jenkins.
Games you gotta see
Lafayette will play just one home game before January, and that’s against 11th Region contender Madison Central. It will participate in Lexington Catholic’s Republic Bank Holiday Classic and host Trinity, a perceived title threat, on Feb. 10 ahead of the 43rd District Tournament.
Wharton was inspired by “Jock’s Jailhouse Junk,” a documentary about Lafayette’s 1979 title team which was screened at Lafayette in October and is available for purchase at bit.ly/2fswdMU. “After watching that, I feel like, ‘Hey man, it’s your last year, and all the while that you’ve been here, you’ve got one step closer and just couldn’t make it,’” Wharton said. “I think this year, as a senior, you’ve gotta play with that chip on your shoulder and get over the hump.”