CHARLESTON -- When asked about his chances of possibly returning to Columbia for another run at a Class 3 state championship back in March, Charleston Bluejay coach Danny Farmer smiled and said, "we think we will be back here next year."
With next year less than a week away, the Bluejays will have a chance to prove Farmer right as they appear loaded for another run at a state title.
The Bluejays return three starters from last season's 25-6 third place team, including leading scorer Greg Tucker. The senior, who has already signed with the University of Northern Colorado, averaged 20.3 points per game while grabbing 5.5 rebounds per game.
He is joined by junior point guard Ryan Parham, who averaged 9 points per game and 5.6 assists per game last season, while playing strong defense for the Bluejays.
Also back is senior Jamaul Gray and Krushon Scott as well as junior Michael Hull, all which saw plenty of playing time last season as did junior Trey Watkins. Also back is Maurice Moore and Aaron Cassell.
A strong group of young talent has also been added to the mix with sophomore Robert Bogan and junior Sumner Foster as well as freshman Delfinko Bogan.
They will be helping replace graduated seniors Jerry Carter and Claude Armstrong.
Carter was a 3-point specialist, averaging 14.4 points per game while hitting 42 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Armstrong was a physical presence underneath the goal, grabbing 5.7 rebounds per game while scoring at a 7 points per game clip.
Charleston opens their season on Friday in the Riverbend Classic when they take on Pine Bluff, Ark. at 3:30 p.m.