With basketball season in full swing and district play ramping up, UCR’s Rusty Ellis and Michael Lindsay have graded each team’s performance to this point. Grades were decided upon using multiple factors including win-loss records, quality of wins and preseason expectations for each school.
Lady Devils: C-
Overall Record: 3-9 (0-0)
Key Win: At Van Buren
Reasoning: Before the season, head coach Jim Brown believed this was a team that could take the next step and become a more competitive team. Scores are certainly much closer and the Lady Devils got a massive win at Van Buren, a team many believe can make it to Murfreesboro, but the record is what it is.
How to Improve: Find a way to win a few more games. The district won’t be easy with York being the heavy favorites to win it and Monterey improving at the rate they are, but if Jackson can find a way to turn some of these closer scores into wins, that would do them a lot of good.
Overall Record: 9-4 (0-0)
Key Win: Macon County
Reasoning: The Blue Devils had to replace a lot going into this season with Ramon Cuevas’ graduation and Tre Monette’s exit to Monterey, and it didn’t get any easier when Jordan Arroyo went down with a knee injury in football season. The Devils have continued to win however, and the idea is that Arroyo is getting closer and closer to being back in full capacity. Mix that with a core of Kendrick Brown, Waylon Kennedy and Hayden Stacy, and the Blue Devils will continue to be a tough out.
How to Improve: Win the district. It’s a three-team race between Jackson, Monterey and York, so it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Blue Devils defend their district title from the 2021-22 season.