Last season: 33-6 (state champions)
Coach: Scott Chalk (fifth year)
Three key contributors
Taveion Hollingsworth: Last year’s Sweet Sixteen MVP is this year’s favorite to win Mr. Basketball honors. “The best player in the state,” Chalk said of the Western Kentucky University signee. “There’s no question about that.”
Jared Gadd: A 6-2 sophomore who gave the Bulldogs a lift off the bench during much of last season but who battled a concussion through the state tournament. Aside from Hollingsworth and Tre Homer, he’s the only player from which the coaches know what to expect when the lights come on. “Other than that, nobody’s played any really significant varsity minutes,” Chalk said.
Tre Homer: Junior guard/forward who played minutes last season behind senior Dontell Brown, who tore his ACL playing football in September and probably won’t see the basketball court this season. Homer also banged up his knee playing football this season but expects to be back sometime in December.
Others to watch
Junior JaQuice Gray and senior Javea Richardson are expected to play big minutes for the Bulldogs. “We’re fast,” Richardson said of what he and Gray bring to the table. Gray added with a grin: “We’re gonna get to the bucket.” Kaelen Whiteside and Isaiah Yeast, two other seniors who played football, could help fill the void left due to Brown’s injury.
Games you gotta see
Lexington Catholic, whom Dunbar swept last season, is the favorite in the 43rd District. The Bulldogs will host LexCath on Dec. 9 and head over there on Jan. 19. They’ll also participate in the King of the Bluegrass and Republic Bank Holiday Classic tournaments, traditionally two of the best competitions each season.
Hollingsworth needs 587 points to break the Dunbar scoring record held by Darnell Burton and 803 points to break the Fayette County record set by Michael Allen, now the head coach at Tates Creek. ... Darius Williams, a first-team All-State selection for Dunbar last season, is averaging 15.3 points and shooting 56.3 percent — including a 46.2-percent clip from three-point range — for Northeastern Mississippi Community College this season. ... Marquis Estill, a former UK star who assisted at Dunbar last season, is now an assistant at Midway University, which this year is sponsoring men’s basketball for the first time.