The Troy, Piqua and Tippecanoe basketball teams are ready to get the basketball season started in what will be a very competitive MVL.
Piqua and Troy get started Tuesday, while Tipp’s season will be delayed by the run in the football playoffs.
Mark Hess returns as Troy coach.
The Trojans finished 10-12 a year ago.
Troy returns a strong group including 6-3 senior guard Isaac Phillips, 6-1 senior guard Nick Prince, 6-3 senior guard Noah Davis, 5-10 senior guard Konyae Foster, 5-9 senior guard Quinton Farris, 6-3 junior wing Evan Kaiser, 6-5 junior forward Kellen Miller and 6-4 senior forward Nick May.
Phillips averaged 11.6 points and 5.0 rebounds a year ago, while Prince averaged 10.7 points and 3.1 assists.
Davis scored 11.6 points and Foster averaged 6.4 points.
We have a lot of depth this year, especially at the guard position,” Hess said. “ We will rely on our senior back court of Nick Prince, Isaac Phillips, Noah Davis, and Konyae Foster. They are all very talented players and compliment each other well. Seniors Quinton Farris and Andrew Morlan will provide us great depth at the guard position.”
Troy will do it with several players inside.
“We don’t have a true post player but have a lot of length and athleticism in the front court,” Hess said. “Senior Hollis Terrell is back this year which will be a big addition. Juniors Kellen Miller and Evan Kaiser gained a lot of experience last year as sophomores playing varsity so that experience along with a year of getting bigger and stronger has elevated each of their games.
”Seniors Joseph Rannells, Nick May and Luke Huber will provide depth at the forward position. Something which we have not had the last few years.”
Troy looks to pick up the pace on offense this year.
“With our depth and talent, we will be playing more up-tempo this year,” he said. “Since we didn’t have much depth last year we had to play more methodical than I would have liked. With a roster that goes 12 deep with a lot of talented kids, we will push tempo and run a motion offense that will allow our guys to make plays on the offensive end of the floor. “
Like with the offense, Troy will try to use its defense to dictate pace and tempo.
“I think the league is wide open,” Hess said. “I think this is our best chance at winning the league that we have had since I have been at Troy. I think the league will be very top heavy with Tippecanoe, Sidney, West Carrollton, and Piqua all returning solid rosters. Also, Fairborn and Butler will be improved.”
Brett Kopp returns as Piqua coach.
The Indians finished 13-10 in his first season as coach.
Piqua’s top guards will be 6-1 senior Dre’Sean Roberts, 5-11 senior Bryson Roberts, 6-1 junior Ky Warner, 6-0 junior Mickey Anderson and 5-10 junior Tate Kuhlman.
Dre’Sean Roberts averaged 16 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.3 steals a year ago.
Bryson Roberts averaged 9.6 points.
Back inside will be 6-6 senior Anson Cox and 6-3 senior Colten Beougher.
Cox averaged 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds a year ago and Beougher averaged 5.2 rebounds.
“We will run a motion offense, looking to create movement and finding the best possible shot,” Kopp said. “We return seven kids who dressed varsity for us last year, they know me better and vice versa, we are excited about the improvement we made over the offseason.”
On defense, they will play mostly man defense, with the ability to change things up.
“The MVL is a conference with great players and coaches,” Kopp said. “Teams have gotten better and the senior class in this league is very talented. We look forward to improving on our record from last year and competing with the other teams for our first MVL title since 1986.”
Former Troy assistant Brock Moon takes over as Tippecanoe coach.
The Red Devils were 18-6 last season.
Returning for Tipp will be 6-4 senior Stanly Clyne, 6-0 Liam Poronsky, 5-11 senior Evan Manes, 6-2 senior Josh Dietz, 5-11 junior Andrew Oen, 6-4 junior Maddox Sivon, 6-foot sophomore Preston Zumwalt and 6-5 junior Jackson Smith.
Joining the team will be 6-1 freshman C.J. Bailey.
Clyne, Poronsky and Manes will lead the way at the guard position.
Clyne averaged 15.5 points and 5.5 rebounds a year ago, while Manes averaged 6.0 points.
Top players in the post will be Dietz and Smith.
Tipp will run a motion based offense and play mostly man defense.
“It will be a very competitive conference with a lot of returning players who had great seasons last year,” Moon said. “There is solid guard play across the league and great coaches.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]