Above Left: Cory Jefferson in His Texas D-1 Ambassadors uniform. Above Right: Reebok and Nike All American 2009 6'10" Cory Jefferson at Killeen HS.
I sat down with always amiable Head Coach Jason Fossett of Killeen HS to discuss the upcoming season. He was humble, yet confident about his Runnin' Kangaroos squad and their goals for this upcoming season. His mantra for the players this coming season is "Keep The tradition Going". Killeen has been 91-12 in the last three seasons. They won't be at their best until after the football season when a couple of his key guys get back from football but they are so deep it should not make too much difference in the early going.
Coach Fossett's biggest challenge will be replacing the leadership and productivity of 4 year starting PG Tre Nichols who will be plying his trade down the road in the Southland Conference with Texas State. The cupboard is far from bare though, it's just a question of who steps up at the guard spots. They are as deep as anyone there with four rock steady seniors and a junior who can run the floor, handle the ball, shoot and defend the perimeter. Several of them have gained valuable experience from previous varsity campaigns and by running in the summer with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors. They are as follows:
2009 G 5'10" Titus Barnes
2009 PG Shon Lewis (a transfer from Killeen Ellison)
2009 G 5'9" Kenneth Thorpe
2009 G 6'1" Jamal Washington
2010 G 5'11" Ja'Corie Baker
The forwards are athletic, although a little bit younger.
2011 F 6'4" Tayshawn Thomas
2012 F 6'4" Tevin Bartney
Bartney looks like the next big time player from the Killeen area. He is highly skilled and projects to grow to 6'7"-6'8".
The key to the Kangaroos run to State are twofold.
1. They have moved to Region 4, meaning their playoff path heads South. This is critical because in the last two years heartbreaking losses to Dallas Lincoln and last year in OT to eventual State Champion Dallas South Oak Cliff in the early going.
2. 2009 6'10" Cory Jefferson.
The Baylor commit and 5 year veteran of the Texas D-1 Ambassadors organization has received almost every accolade imaginable. The Baylor Bears keep piling up talented recruits. Look for Jefferson to have a wonderful college career and then to play at the professional level. Jefferson is the State of Texas' top shotblocker, has a developing offensive game, runs the floor extremely well and is a rebounding machine. He's been a Reebok and Nike All American with invitations to the prestigious Amare Stoudamire Camp, and LeBron James Camp and a Top 20 national Ranking with Rivals.com He is a great leader with a quiet confidence. The presence of Jefferson, I predict will have the Killeen Kangaroos in the Drum come early March vying for a 4A Texas Title and with a little luck they could be cutting down the nets.