Three key players returning to the boys basketball team is seniors John Gerdeman and Kyle Decker, along with sophomore guard Nick Barnes. Senior Woodrow Jackson and sophomore Wyatt McDowell saw some varsity action last season and will most likely be expected to play several minutes this year. While junior Lucas Robinson didn’t play last season, both him and freshman Sharrod Connor will be able to step up and contribute minutes as well.
“Defensively our strengths will be our overall team understanding of our defensive scheme and our concepts. We do a good job of understanding our rotations and getting into a help position,” said head coach Pat Connaway. “Our obvious weakness is going to be our lack of size and depth. We need to do a good job of making sure we block out or we will get beat up on the boards.”
Following graduation, the Indians lost both of their 6’5 post players, Brian Kurz and Ryan Nelson. They also will be missing point guard Ethan Gooch, and a strong defender in Cody Stubblefield. Both Kurz and Gooch received EMO all-conference honors.
“Offensively, we should be a very good shooting team and our ball handling should be much improved all around from last year’s team. Our weakness is again going to be our size and lack of depth. We only have five kids on the entire roster that are six foot or taller. We need to rely on our ball handling skills to keep us out of bad situations,” Connaway said.
The Indians’ basketball team finished last season with a 13-14 record, after losing a playoff game in February against the Louisiana Bulldogs, 68-62.
“This season we are going to try and get better each and every day we are in the gym. We are short on numbers and on experience so we need some of our younger players to step up and contribute. We don’t have a lot of varsity experience so it will be a learn on the job concept this season,” Connaway said. “I think we will be a good defensive ball club this year and we will need to rely on our defense to generate our offense. In order for us to win ball games this year we need to hold our opponents to 40 points or less.”