Kokomo’s boys basketball team gets its first look at North Central Conference play today when the Wildkats visit Muncie Central. The Wildkats are 1-1 after a loss to Fishers last weekend. Central is 3-0 with wins over Muncie South, Yorktown and Fort Wayne Snider.
”They’re as good a team as you’ll face,” Kokomo coach Brian McCauley said. “They’ve got shooting, speed, size, strength. They play tremendous defense. They’re very well coached. We won’t play a better team on our schedule. They’re right up there with top teams like Fishers.”
McCauley noted the Bearcats will line up three interchangeable guards who are all adept at shooting, driving and apply sticky pressure defense. In addition, Central is getting a major boost from 6-foot-8 post player Tyler Arens.
Arens, a senior, sat out last season after transferring from Marion, and is averaging 20 points per game this campaign. More scoring comes from the interchangeable guards. Sophomore guard Marcus Dukes adds 14.7 ppg, sophomore Phil Corthen scores 13 ppg and senior Joe Williams 8.3.
Kokomo took a 49-35 victory at home last season. McCauley said this season’s Muncie Central squad is “significantly” better than last season’s.
”They were young last year and now those young guys are a year older, better, they’re more confident,” McCauley said. “You couple that with a transfer [Arens], an Indiana All-Star transfer.”
McCauley wants the Kats to get sharper tonight.
”I really loved our effort, our attitudes [against Fishers], they were tremendous,” McCauley said. “We’re going to have the same effort, attitude, focus, we’re just going to have to play smarter offensively and tougher defensively. Defensively we were even with Fishers on the boards and that’s not going to get the job done against Muncie Central.”
• The Wildkats host Westfield on Saturday. The Shamrocks have a date with Lafayette Jeff today. That will be Westfield’s first game because the start of its season was delayed by a run to the Class 5A state final football game.