Brazos boys basketball coach Jon Waldrop is as happy as he’s ever been to see star guard Luke Demny on his team.

After starting the season ranked among the area’s best, the Cougars, with Demny sidelined by a broken collarbone, stumbled to a 4-10 start. But with Demny now healed and district play on the horizon, Waldrop sounds as confident as ever about his team’s chances.

“We haven’t lived up to expectations and just haven’t been able to get over the hump with our top returning scorer out,” Waldrop told Texas Scorecard. “I think he can be the catalyst that gets us going. I’m hoping we are about to finally hit our stride.”

The 6-foot-1, 160-pound Demny, who also stars as the school’s quarterback, is set to return to action in early January, just in time for the start of district play. He averaged 20 points last season on an 18-win team.

Waldrop stressed that the Cougars don’t need Demny to be a one-man show, not with fellow seniors Jaylin Vela (15 points per game last season) and Jaeden Ward (12 points, 12 rebounds) still around. Both Demny and Ward were unanimous all-conference picks last season and Vela was also tabbed for special recognition.

“This is their third-year together and they are really [a] force,” Waldrop added. “Demny and Vela are our best ballhandlers.

Waldrop said part of his strategy coming into the season was to have the Cougars play bigger and tougher competition in hopes of having them more battle-tested once the postseason kicks in.

“Having seven seniors helps in terms of our guys knowing what they can do,” he said. “We knew things wouldn’t be exactly like last year and we’ve talked about that all season.”

Waldrop said Brazos’ versatility allows them to adapt to the competition from game to game.

“I call our style controlled chaos,” he said. “We can get after you and press or we can walk the ball down and run our offense. That’s the advantage of having a lot of athletes that are very coachable. This year is our best group of talent and we’re capable of doing a little bit of everything.”