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SAC boys: team-by-team preview

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 12:01 am


Coach: Matt Kostoff, 14th season (168-115)

Last year's record: 9-12

Returning starters/regulars

Michael Fiacable, 6-2, Jr., guard, 11 ppg, 5 rpg, 2 apg

Ryan Watercutter, 6-3, Jr., forward, 5 ppg, 3 rpg

Kennan Centlivre, 6-6, Jr., forward, 3 ppg, 3 rpg

Kyle Hartman, 5-10, So., guard, 4 ppg, 3 apg

T.J. Straessle, 6-2, Sr., guard

Key newcomers

Grady Eifert, 6-3, Jr., forward

Jeff Mugg, 6-5, Jr., forward

Ryan Christman, 6-0, So., guard

Austen Edwards, 5-11, Sr., guard

Marcus Stepp, 6-1, So., guard/forward

Antonio Blackmon, 6-0, Jr., guard

Coach Kostoff says:

What do you need to succeed?

Watercutter is the only returning starter, but Hartman played a lot as a freshman and will run the team. Centlivre and Mugg need to handle the middle. Eifert, Christman and Straessle are our best shooters.

What concerns you the most?

We will be very young this year. There were only two seniors, Straessle and Edwards, and both were hurt last year. Leadership is a concern with being so young. Fiacable is our top returner but he injured his knee in football and is doubtful for the season.

Team goals for this season?

As always, our success depends on if we can defense the talent in the area this year and we have to rebound.

Overall assessment of the team?

We need some guys to step up from last year's junior varsity team.


Coach: James Blackmon Sr., 9th season (131-56)

Last year's record: 14-9

Returning starters/regulars

James Blackmon Jr., 6-2, Jr., guard, 25 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.1 apg

Jaylon Smith, 6-4, Sr., forward, 18 ppg, 10.4 rpg

Michael Rogers, 6-1, Sr., guard, 4.1 ppg, 2.2 apg

Kendrick Mullen, 5-8, Sr., guard, 3 ppg, 2.7 apg

Matt Harris, 6-1, Sr., guard

Braxton Randolph, 6-2, Sr., guard

Key newcomers

Randon Jackson, 6-5, Sr., forward

Vijay Blackmon, 6-2, Fr., guard

The News-Sentinel says:

What do you need to succeed?

The Knights' biggest questions will be replacing five graduated players and the health of junior guard James Blackmon Jr., who was lost for the season after 18 games in last year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury.

What concerns you the most?

The Knights return a lot of players with playing experience but not a lot of height. Jaylon Smith will need to find some help inside on the boards. There's also a mostly new coaching staff.

Team goals for the season?

As always, the Knights want to contend for the Summit Athletic Conference title and go for the state title.

Overall assessment of the team?

No matter how many players graduate, Blackmon always seems to find more who can step in and contribute right away. With Blackmon and Smith, they have great outside and inside players, but everybody else better be prepared to bomb away from outside.


Coach: Josh Eggold, 6th season (56-52)

Last year's record: 16-7

Returning starters/regulars

Ryan Gross, 6-1, Sr., guard, 9 ppg, 5.6 apg

Marq Rogers, 6-5, Sr., guard, 12 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg

Thomas Starks, 6-5, Sr., guard/forward, 11 ppg, 8 rpg, 2 apg

Brian Gremaux, 6-5, Sr., forward, 15 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Austin Harris, 6-2, Sr., guard, 2.7 ppg

D.J. McCall, 6-5, Jr., guard, 7.3 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 apg

Key newcomers

Brandon Webb, 6-3, Sr., forward

Aric Curry, 6-4, Sr., forward

Michael Hicks, 6-3, Sr., forward

Reggie Tharp, 5-10, Fr., guard

KiVuan Edwards, 6-2, Jr., guard

The News-Sentinel says:

What do you need to succeed?

The Cadets just have to keep doing what they have been as they have gotten progressively stronger under Eggold.

What concerns you the most?

The Cadets have lots of overall talent, but they lack the one or two really big players inside, especially when facing the taller foes.

Team goals for the season?

It's realistic to expect the Cadets to compete for the Summit Athletic Conference title and the Garrett Sectional title.

Overall assessment of the team?

With seven of eight players back from last year's 16-7 team, the Cadets should be one of the city's and area's top teams. This could be the year they've all been building for.


Coach: Barak Coolman, 5th year (61-30)

Last year's record: 21-4

Returning starters/regulars

Bryson Scott, 6-2, Sr., guard, 25 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.2 apg

Brenton Scott, 6-0, Sr., guard, 16 ppg, 3.2 rpg

Jacoby Claypool, 6-1, Jr., guard, 4 ppg, 3 apg

Spencer Cowherd, 6-3, Sr., forward, 2.5 ppg

Cory Womack, 6-4, Sr., forward, 4 ppg

Antonio Richmond, 6-4, Sr., forward

Key newcomers

Lowell Griggs, 6-2, Jr., guard

Enis Becirevic, 6-3, Jr., forward

Jajuan Starks, 6-4, So., forward

Trevon Wilson, 5-11, Jr., guard

The News-Sentinel says:

What do you need to succeed?

Led by the dynamic Scott twins, the Bruins have won two consecutive sectional championships and return three starters as they gear up for another big season.

What concerns you the most?

The Bruins look to build on last year's success despite the fact that the Bruins lost four key seniors from last year's team. There's not a lot of height and someone will have to rebound for the Bruins to be able to get out and run.

Team goals for the season?

Northrop is 38-11 over the last two seasons with back-to-back regional appearances. The outlook for Coach Coolman's fifth 5th season comes with high expectations. Northrop's 21 wins last year were the most wins since the 1986-87 season. Northrop returns six of their there top 10 ten players from last year's squad.

Overall assessment of the team?

This is by far the deepest team that Coach Coolman has had in his four years and it will be exciting to see what they can accomplish.


Coach: Shabaz Khaliq, 3rd season (52-33)

Last year's record: 12-9

Returning starters, regulars

Trevion Crews, 5-11, Jr., guard 8.2 ppg, 6.5 apg

Nygel Jones, 6-1, Sr., guard, 8.1 ppg, 3 rpg

Oosha Mitchell, 6-5, Jr., forward, 4.2 ppg, 3.5rpg

Sean McGee, 6-0, So., guard, 7 ppg,2.3 spg

Jeremy Jones, 6-2, Jr., guard, 3.1 ppg

Myluv Sutton, 6-5, Jr., forward, 2.3ppg

Key newcomers

Mike Davis, 6-5, Jr., forward

Dwight Richards, 6-5, Sr., forward

Coach Khaliq says:

What do you need to succeed?

We need to play with a high energy level and be consistently intense throughout the game. If we do the little things, then we will be hard to beat.

What concerns you the most?

We have to be more consistent with all that we do this year. If we can maintain a consistent level of intensity and energy, then we will be fine.

Team goals for this season?

Our goals never change from year to year. We expect to win the SAC tournament, then the conference followed by a sectional.

Overall assessment of the team?

I am excited about our team this year. This team has the potential to do some special things and they are a pleasure to work with. They have a work ethic that is unmatched by any team I have had in the past. If we can play with a high level of intensity, the sky is the limit.


Coach: John Todor, 4th season (28-30)

Last year's record: 7-12

Returning starters/regulars

Josh Spitnale, 6-6, Sr., forward, 10 ppg, 5.4 rpg

Stephen Halstead, 6-2, Jr., forward, 10 ppg, 2.3 rpg.

Trey'von Covington, 6-0, Jr., guard, 12.5 ppg

Jared Harvey, 6-4, Sr., 4.69 ppg, 1.31 rpg

Aaron Washington, Sr., 6-0, guard, 4.32 ppg

Martez Pharm, Sr., 6-4, forward

Matt Guffey, 6-2, Sr., guard

Key newcomers

Leander Williams, 5-7, Jr., guard

Devlyn Williams, 6-5, So., forward

Logan Godfrey, 6-6, So., forward

Donavin O'Day, 6-6, Jr., forward

Elijah Pierce, 5-9, Jr., guard

Connor Haxton, 6-4, So., forward

Devin Lowe, 6-0, So., guard

Coach Todor says:

What do you need to succeed?

We need the entire team to buy into the philosophy of caring more about others than yourself. We have 10 different guys that could start basketball games for us, we do not need to depend on one 1 player to get 20 points a night, instead on any given night any of our top 10 players could be our major contributor. We have great size, speed, athleticism and most importantly all of young men are outstanding students within the classroom.

What concerns you the most?

Rebounding is a big concern;, however with new faces Donavin O'Day 6'6,” Logan Godfrey 6'6,” Devlyn Williams 6'5,” and returning all-SAC first team Josh Spitnale 6'6,” the Panthers should be much improved on the boards.

Team goals for this season?

Win SAC. Win a state championship. The Panthers spent a lot of time this past summer developing team chemistry in the 24 summer shootout games they played in together. Early season test(s) at home vs. Muncie Central on Nov. 30 and at Anderson on Dec. 1 will be a measuring stick as to where the Panthers are as a team before they open SAC play vs. North Side.

Overall assessment of the team?

The Panthers were in rebuild mode last season., Wwe have a tough non-conference schedule which should prepare us for postseason play in late February and early March. The Panthers play Muncie Central, Anderson, Marion, Homestead, Carroll, New Haven, Warsaw, East Noble in tough nonconference games this season.


Coach: Mike Novell, 27th year (271-347)

Last year's record: 5-15

Returning starters/regulars

Devin Jones 6-2, Sr., guard

Domonique Gleason, 5-11, Sr., forward

Deion Williams, 5-9, Sr., forward

Eric Hairston, 5-10, Sr., guard

Aaron Montgomery, 6-0, Sr., guard

Aaron Thomas, 6-0, Sr., forward

Keyontae Green, 5-7, Sr., guard

Nate Thomas, 6-3, Jr., guard/forward

Teon Fryar, 5-7, Jr., guard

Sam Stephens, 6-4, Jr., center

Trae Martin, 5-3, So., guard

Key newcomer

William Holley, 5-11, Sr., guard

Coach Novell says:

What do you need to succeed?

We need a great defensive effort and intensity each night with our press and halfcourt pressure as well as … a good concept of keeping our opponents away from second- and third-shot opportunities. Our transition game needs to render points. We must dictate tempo and style of play.

What concerns you the most?

Our lack of interior size and post play is a big concern.

Team goals for this season?

No team will outwork us ... . We determine the game's outcome.

Overall team assessment?

A solid group of players who are blue-collar workers and play with a loyal passion every time we step on the floor ... I love these guys.


Coach: Aaron Rehrer, 3rd season (19-24)

Last year's record: 9-12

Returning starters/regulars

Justin Mitchell, 6-4, Jr., guard, 14.9 ppg , 6.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.1 spg

Marlon Fincher, 5-9, Sr., guard, 2 ppg

Darrius Ellison, 6-1, Sr., guard, 2 ppg, 1 spg

Jescus Mitchell, 6-0, Jr., guard, 3.6 ppg, 1.3 apg

Rashad Sims, 6-4, Sr., center, 3.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg

Keion Tucker, 6-2, Sr., forward

Alex Catalan, 6-0, Sr., guard

Key newcomers:

Levi Mitchell, 6-2, Jr., guard/forward

Marco Lee, 5-7, So., guard

Josh Smiley, 6-4, So., forward

Jari Dada, 6-2, Jr., forward

Dion Walker, 6-6, Sr., center

Tahj Thomas, 6-2, Jr., guard/forward

Kye Black, 6-1, So., guard/forward

Mike Lovett, 6-2, So., guard/forward

Coach Rehrer says:

What do you need to succeed?

In order for our team to be successful this season, we have to be consistent with our effort and attention to detail on a daily basis. It will also be key for us to play as a unit. We do have some very good individual players, but our ability to defend as a team and to make the extra pass will be a huge factor in our success.

What concerns you the most?

Inexperience. We graduated five seniors last year that played a majority of the minutes. We will be looking for some of our players to step up and play a major role in our program this year. I feel that our 9th Grade and JV coaches have done a great job preparing these young men to play at a high level on the varsity level.

Team goals for this season?

Our goal is to become a better basketball team every time we hit the floor. Our practices and our game schedule are going to be very challenging and competitive daily. We believe that we can compete with anyone on our schedule, but we need to not only beat our opponent on game night, but on the practice floor as well!

Overall assessment of the team?

We have a great group of kids in our program this year that work very hard and they play unselfish basketball. Our strength this season will definitely be our defense and that will help us to get out in transition offensively. We are very deep at the guard position, so we will look to play a more up-tempo and aggressive style on both ends of the floor.


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