Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

December 5, 2013

BASKETBALL: Tipton preview

Tipton boys open season Friday against Northfield.

TIPTON — Tipton’s boys basketball team will have to hit the ground running.

Tipton’s full team was together for the first time this week, following the Blue Devil football team’s run to the state finals — and Tipton jumps right into its season with a home game against Northfield on Friday, a trip to Frankton on Saturday and a trip to Elwood on Tuesday.

“It’s not perfect, but we have a lot of experienced players. They’ll at least know where to stand,” basketball coach Brad Dickey quipped. “We’re not sure if they can move and guard effectively, but we’ll line up just fine. We’re not worried.”

Dickey said 14 of his players were part of the football team.

“We were working with 12 before they came in. More were out than were in,” he said.

Tipton went 25-3 last season, falling by a slim margin in the Class 2A north semistate for the third straight season. Bowman Academy beat Tipton 67-64 and it went on to win the 2A state title.

Tipton graduated Indiana All-Star and two-time KT All-Area MVP Mike Crawford, who closed his Blue Devil career with a school-record 2,104 points. He helped the Blue Devils compile a 92-14 record over his four seasons. As a senior, the 6-foot-5 swingman averaged 27.7 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

Crawford now suits up for Atlantic 10 school Saint Louis.

Dickey also has to replace All-Area player Blake Hoover, who ran the point and averaged 10.6 points, a team-high 4 assists and 2.2 steals per game.

“We’re going to look different. That is clear. But we have options,” Dickey said. “We have pieces that can move and cut and run. We’re going to play differently. It will be a different challenge and a different look, but it could be fun and exciting as well.”

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