After the loss of a dynamic seven-senior class, it could’ve been easy to put off the 2015-2016 season as one of rebuilding for the Webster men’s basketball squad.
However, under the pressure of following up on last year’s fantastic campaign, the Statesmen, quite plainly, have blossomed.
Webster is off to a 15-1 start, landing it at sixth in the area large school rankings. The team is off to the resounding start despite having gaping holes at the beginning of the year.
Senior Chris Gordon stepped into a starting center role for the first time, and the addition of senior Daniel Deadmon has added much-needed depth to the team’s size.
Sophomore Courtney Ramey has become a star, pairing with senior Andy Bennett to lead Webster’s signature high-pressure defense.
See also: Ramey overcomes loss, leads Statesmen
Freshman Ray Adams has proved to be a lights out shooter from beyond the arc, and senior Leland Bradford, the most experienced player on the team, has been a sound and stable leader at point guard, as he has been his entire high school career.
How can this outburst of success be explained?
There’s a reason head coach Jay Blossom is regarded as one of the best in the game; he deserves tremendous credit for maintaining Webster’s reputation this year as a top tier program in Missouri. The 15-1 is unprecedented, but it can’t be for Blossom.
Still, Webster hasn’t played entirely too tough a schedule yet. Against other top 10 area teams, the Statesmen are 1-1, and the only team they’ve played ranked above them, Hazelwood Central, beat them 81-57 at Meramec.
Webster will have a chance to both prove itself and get some revenge tonight, when the team takes on SLUH in Roberts Gym.
It’s the first meeting between the two since last year’s heartbreaking District Championship game, also played at Roberts, which Blossom called his toughest loss of his career.
After the Junior Bills ended Webster’s 17-0 in-state start last year, SLUH beat the Statesmen a second time, that one on a Brandon McKissic buzzer beater that ended the Statesmen’s season.
SLUH (12-6) is currently ranked fifth in the area rankings, one spot ahead of Webster. The rematch will be a massive test for Blossom’s Statesmen.
Meanwhile, next year’s Webster team already is looking stacked after the major transfer news that broke from Vianney last week.
Sophomore Carte’Are Gordon, Chris Gordon’s brother, is coming to Webster after leaving Vianney High for financial reasons.
With Gordon and Ramey, Webster would have two of the top three Class of 2018 prospects in Missouri, and two of the top 50 national prospects, according to 24/7 Sports.