The Sunrise Christian Buffaloes are a yearly staple as an elite team in the midwest, and they are up to their usual doings in 2018-19. Head coach Luke Barnwell will attack this season with a deep and talented rotation that runs 11 deep, headlined by top-10 ranked sophomore big man N’Faly Dante. One look at their current roster will tell you one thing about Sunrise - they are massive. The Buffaloes feature two guards at 6-foot-6 and five frontcourt players over 6-foot-8. They will be one of the best defensive teams in the country, as their relentless pressure will be more than most teams can handle for 30+ minutes.
Dante is turning into an absolute beast, evidenced by his 2nd Team EYBL All-Peach Jam recognition. During July’s top grassroots event, Dante averaged 15.1 points and 9.4 rebounds while shooting 64 percent from the floor. Sunrise’s big man is 7-feet tall and has a wingspan at least six inches bigger, and complements his physical attributes with natural timing and athleticism. Dante is an elite defensive-stopper, and there aren’t many junior big men who can match his potential. If Dante stays healthy, Sunrise will operate the entire season with a top five rim-protector in the country.
The rest of the unit is loaded, starting with incoming senior transfer Grant Sherfield. The 6-foot-3 point guard transferred to Sunrise last spring after the high school season and will be looking to have a big senior campaign before he becomes a UCLA Bruin a year from now. 6-foot-4 senior Austin Crowley, a Vanderbilt commit, will team with Sherfield to make a rock-solid start to the backcourt. Seniors Bryce Cook (SMU commit), Jordan Turner (Baylor commit) and Jalyn Turner will see big minutes Sunrise, who should have zero problems competing on the national level. If 6-foot-10 underclassmen Gethro Muscadin (2020) and Kenny Pohto (2021) become productive, the Buffaloes will have all the pieces to make a deep run.
Sunrise Christian will play in nine different events during the winter, including the Thanksgiving Hoopfest, Chick-Fil-A Classic and Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. One thing is for sure - the Buffaloes will be one of the best defensive teams in the country. They have size, length, and athleticism for days, and they’ll be an extremely well-coached unit. Not many teams can match their defensive assets, and that should be enough to keep them in the top ten for the majority of the season. Expect their players to share the boxscore accolades, and it's safe to assume they’ll compete for a GEICO national championship in March.