At West, Kelley will have a few new pieces to work with in the 2009 and 2010 season. Transfer senior Gus Sherrow played for Woodford County in his freshmen and sophomore years, but did not play last season. Sean Donaldson, a sophomore forward could see lots of varsity time as well.
"(Sherrow) is going to be a good addition for us," Kelley said. "He can play multiple positions. He can post up; he can face up, knock down the 3-pointer. He's fit in great with the kids.
"(Donaldson) has natural ability that not many people have. He's a shot-blocker and a rebounder. It's just a matter of him getting comfortable and getting confident in what he's doing offensively, but he has the natural ability that once he adjusts to the varsity level, his talent will put him on the floor."
The pair join Keston Bartholomew, David Elliott, Kyle Mefford and Dylan Pohl who each logged significant minutes for the Colts at Rupp Arena.
"We've got a lot of experience back; I think that the kids have made a lot of strides individually over the summer, but it's going to be different next week starting to play somebody else," Kelley said. "We need to go out and see how good we are and see what we need to work on."
With that experience and talent, and considering the club's past success, there are certainly more expectations heap on the program than perhaps there has ever been.
"The expectations are high," Kelley admitted. "We want to get back to Rupp Arena and that's not going to be easy. There's a lot of good teams in the 12th Region that are going to do everything they can to make it tough on us, so just like putting the bullseye on the back of our T-shirts, we know the target's on us this year. We're going to have to bring our best game every night."
Part of that success will hinge on arguably the best player in the region. But despite the presence of Polson, Kelley said there is far more to this team than the talented guard.
"Jarrod's as good a point guard as I've ever had the privilege of coaching, but we have more talent than just Jarrod," Kelley said. "If teams key on him, other people are going to be able to step up and make plays. If teams start worrying about Kyle (Mefford) shooting or Dylan (Pohl) or David (Elliott) with their size, then it just opens up for Jarrod to have that much of an easier time."
The Colts officially open their regular season with a matchup against Boone County, coming off a 26-5 season last year and falling to eventual state champion Holmes in the 9th Region title game. The game will take place at the Frankfort Civic Center Dec. 5 as part of the Battle of the Bluegrass, featuring 12 teams. The Colts are set to tip-off at 1:30 p.m.
After that early season test, the Colts will face yet another in region rival McCreary Central in West's home opener. The Colts take on the Raiders at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11.