The Blue Devils return four players who saw action in all 28 games last season — 5-11 sophomore guard Mason Degenkolb (7.6 ppg, 1.5 apg), 6-4 senior forward Nathan Friend (7.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg), 6-5 senior center Luke Shively (4.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and 6-2 senior guard Tanner Maxey (1.9 ppg). Also back is 6-1 junior guard Brody Dell (1.1 ppg).
Shively is slowed by a football injury and may miss this week’s games.
Dickey also has junior forward Andy Overdorf, sophomore guard John Ross, sophomore forwards Jack Critser and Jacob Overdorf and freshman guard Sam Gutierrez in the mix for playing time.
“Our kids are going to play hard and work hard. But we really don’t have a lot of direction yet. We’re still working on varsity and reserve [assignments]. It’s just going to be a learning process,” Dickey said.
Dickey is optimistic his squad will have good depth.
“It’s a case where we have several pretty good players that need a chance. We’re going to make that happen. We’re going to get people on the court and learn all we can,” he said.
Defense has been a key to Tipton’s run of success, which includes six straight seasons with 19 or more wins. Last season, the Devils held opponents to 52.9 points per game and 43.5 percent shooting from the field.
“We work together and we try to defend hard. That won’t change,” said Dickey, who is 92-14 in four seasons as Tipton’s skipper. “Our kids enjoy playing defense and helping each other.”
Tipton is the six-time defending champion in the Hoosier Conference and has won 36 straight conference games.
BLUE DEVILS' SCHEDULE Friday Northfield Saturday at Frankton Tuesday at Elwood Dec. 13 Tri-Central Dec. 14 Rensselaer Dec. 20 at Lafayette Catholic Dec. 21 vs. Westfield + Jan. 7 Delphi Jan. 10 at West Lafayette Jan. 17 at Sheridan Jan. 18 Twin Lakes Jan. 24 Benton Central Jan. 25 at Kokomo Jan. 31 at Hamilton Heights Feb. 1 Eastern Feb. 7 Northwestern Feb. 8 Taylor Feb. 21 at Frankfort Feb. 25 Cass Feb. 28 Western + At Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indy