HINDMAN, Ky. (WYMT) - For the last two years, the story remains the same for Knott Central.
"I'd be honest, last year I think we gave one away, and I thought the year before we gave one away," Head Coach Bb King said. "But the kids just gotta bounce back and I gotta bounce back, and we just gotta do better."
The Patriots were packing their bags for Rupp Arena but came up short against Estill County. Now they will have to do it without star player Isaac Caudill.
"We worked a lot as a team instead of - we don't have like a star player this year really, like an outstanding player," said Senior Point Guard Chase Short. "So we're just trying to work more as a unit and be like a whole team."
Knott Central has a number of seniors back mixed in with transfers, which always takes time to mesh and learn plays.
"We got new people in this year, and we're more fast paced this year now," said Gannon Couch, a senior guard. "In previous years we still like to slow things down every now and then, but we also like to get it out and go fast."
"We've been going over a lot of plays, trying to get them back to how it is," Senior Guard Khalil Slone added. "We're teaching them our style of gameplay, and they're fitting in really good."
One of those transfers, former Leslie County point guard Darron Whitaker, says that the other players and staff have helped him to speed up the learning curve.
"It was kind of rough at first, but the teammates and coaches helped me on - like Kevin Davis runs through the plays with me," Whitaker said. "Coach Huff helps me a lot. Gannon, Branson, they've all been really good to me since I've gotten here."
Head coach BB King has worked hard to bring the players together as a unit.
"Bb is a really good coach, and he has a really specific way of coaching, and they're still learning on how to come together, like with what they've known before and how they've played before and learn his plan, cause he's a very good coach and he knows what he's doing," Gannon Couch said.
The Patriots are hoping that the combination of talent will lead them to the place they have not gone since 2015.
"Nothing less than Rupp for me, but that's good," Couch said.
"Our biggest goal is obviously to win region. I'd like to win All "A" too. Get a ring, I'd like it," Slone added.
"Anything less than Rupp my senior year is probably gonna be a let down," Whitaker cosigned.
But the Patriots don't just want to settle for the region.
"One of our new assistant coaches, he says that we just need to think bigger," Senior Guard Branson Couch. "You know don't just set goals for winning region, you know, we can win it all."
The Knott Central Patriots open up the season ranked No. 3 in the boys' Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10.