Carroll boys basketball coach Matt Weaver is hoping for another solid season after leading the Cougars to a 12-10 record as a rookie skipper in 2012-13.
Clinton Central coach Scott Leighty, meanwhile, is hoping for his squad to take a big step forward in his second season. The Bulldogs went with a youth movement a season ago and finished with a 1-21 record, their fifth straight season with three or fewer wins.
Both squads begin play tonight with Carroll hosting Seeger and Clinton Central traveling to Delphi.
The following are looks at the squads.
Weaver has to replace five seniors from last season’s squad, including KT All-Area player Eric Miller.
“We’re working a lot on our team defense and our defense in general,” Weaver said. “We have three returning varsity players from last year’s team — that’s it. Just building up that team continuity in defense has been a big focus in preseason practices.”
The Cougars’ returning players are 6-foot-5 junior forward Brandon Dillon, 6-5 junior post Jarin Bush and 6-3 senior guard Seth Eldridge.
Last season, Dillon averaged 10 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, ranking second on the team in scoring and tying for first in rebounding. Bush scored 8 ppg and shot an area-best 72.3 percent from the field. Eldridge scored 4.2 ppg and was second on the team in 3-point makes (17).
“They’re looking really good,” Weaver said. “All three have phenomenal work ethics. I believe Bush is one of the strongest back-to-the-basket players around the area, regardless of school size. Dillon is a phenomenal athlete and Eldridge is strong and intelligent. So they bring back key pieces to our team.”
Three players are moving up from JV — 6-4 sophomore post Spencer Sproul and senior guards Derick Caldwell and Logan Jackson. In addition, junior guard Jared Miller is back after missing last season with an injury.