QUINCY — Jeremiah Talton is the star attraction for the Quincy Blue Devils.
The versatile 6-foot-6 senior does it all for the QHS boys’ basketball team.
He can drive to the basket, he can connect from the perimeter, and he also is effective mixing it up in the paint.
He averaged 18 points and six rebounds per game last season and already has one NCAA Division I offer.
“Jeremiah has been a staple in the program the last three years,” Quincy coach Andy Douglas said. “Everybody knows who he is. He brings a little bit of everything to the team. He is a great all-around player and he has improved every year. It will be interesting to see how other players fit in around him. We are going to have the youngest team this program has ever seen before.”
Talton’s leadership will be vital as he is the lone returning full-time starter for the tradition-rich Blue Devils.
Senior Terron Cartmill and sophomore Ralph Wires were part-time starters last season for a Quincy team that struggled in a COVID-shortened season.
“Terron and Ralph will bring some experience to the table,” Douglas said. “We don’t have a whole lot of guys who played a ton of minutes last year.”
Talton is eager for a chance to showcase his skills as the focal point of the QHS offense.
He is listed as a shooting guard, small forward and power forward on the team’s roster.
“I’m just continually looking to improve and fine-tune my game,” Talton said. “I want to be a leader for these younger guys and do whatever I can to help this team. I’m excited to get the season going and see what we can do.”
Talton will be relying on teammates who will have to adapt quickly to the varsity level.
“It’s going to be a young squad with several freshmen and sophomores having a chance to contribute,” Douglas said. “It will be interesting to see our growth over the course of the season.
Douglas said early season practices have been highly competitive with numerous players battling for starting spots.
“The best part about it is we have competition for playing time at every position,” he said. “Everybody is fighting for playing time and our practices have been intense. This is one of the more competitive groups we have had.”
QHS is eager to fill its 2,000-seat gym, one of the best prep venues in the state, with fans again.
Crowds were limited last season because of COVID.
“It’s going to be very exciting to be back out on the court playing games in front of big crowds again,” Talton said. “It’s great to have our fans back. We have a great atmosphere here for our home games. It will be amazing.”
The Blue Devils typically play a loaded schedule. This year is no exception as they open with three straight strong opponents in the Quincy Thanksgiving Tournament.
Quincy will open its season against Lake Forest Academy at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Blue Devil Gym.
“It’s great having everything back to normal,” Douglas said. “It’s going to be surreal playing in front of a packed gym again. I know our players are excited about it and I know the fans are excited about it. We’re looking forward to putting on a show.”