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The traffic on this site was down last year.  Not sure if that is from a lack of interest or if too many of the games are a foregone conclusion and contribute to the lack of conversation.  Either way, here is are some talking points for what is to come this year.  The biggest thing I see is 8 teams and 1/2 of them have new coaches...

Linton.  Linton has won the conference something like 5 of the last 6 years; last year they dominated all conference games.  Harrell took down the specifics but I think their average margin of victory in conference games was close to 35 ppg.  In doing so, their coaches would be the first to say they never played to their potential.  If they gel (and even if they don't) they should walk away with the conference title again.  They lost 1 contributor and have 2 of the top players in the conference returning in Hale (SO) and Fougerousse (JR).  Linton will be tested often and early; a couple very good teams in Paoli and BNL both come to town on opening day.  Games against Lincoln and Barr Reeve in the weeks following.

Bloomfield.  Bloomfield grateful welcome back veteran Ron McBride to the sidelines.  Bloomfield ran through a handful of young coaches over the past 10 years or so, none of them seemed to ever fit the mold that Bloomfield wanted.  Not sure if they have a too many coaches in the stands or what, but it always seems I hear of unease in those parts.  McBride will have success.  They lost some very good pieces in Combs, Kapek and Hudson.  Talent was going to be somewhat limited compared to last year with Royal, Sipes and Oliphant being the main options... however I'm hearing they have received another 6'8" skilled foreign exchange student for the 2nd year in a row.  That is some serious luck.  I've also heard there might be a 2nd move in as well.  If anyone has details please share.

North Daviess.  ND makes the move to 2A this year and they also become the 2A sectional host site either this year or next year.  Coach D graduated a few pieces, but he also retained some of the more important, athletic pieces of his squad.  They also added much heralded JR Jack Townsend to the lineup from Bloomington North.  Townsend immediately becomes one of the most talented players in the conference.  The question is, how will he gel with Dal and how many more wins can he bring to the program?  They have a nice piece on the inside with Wininger and a couple athletic wings to pair with Townsend.  They will likely be the only team in the conference that competes with Linton and Bloomfield.

White River Valley.  WRV has a new coach this year in James Floyd, and will compete with a few other teams and I suspect will finish right in the middle of the pack.  I believe WRV is Floyd's alma mater; it will be interesting to see how the first year coach handles the most talented team WRV has had since maybe 2013.  They have a hard nosed guard in Dennam (JR) a nice inside piece in Ellett (SO), an athletic wing in Patterson (SR) and a tall, long freshmen in Crites.  Not sure Crites will contribute much as a frosh, but given their lack of depth, they need him to.

Eastern.  This could be a long year for Coach Neil.  We got to see a little piece of what the Thunderbirds might look like when the core group of T-birds were suspended last year for several games.  The result wasn't pretty, but those young guys saw some valuable experience and have seen what it takes to compete.  That suspension that led to some new faces might be the one piece that helps Neil's group enter the season with some confidence.

Shakamak.  Much like Eastern, Coach O'Neil has his hands full this year.  Shakamak lost a couple pieces and the returning options are a little thin.  There are some young athletes in the mix, but I don't think any of them are going to be ready to compete at the varsity level this year.

Clay City.  Our 3rd new coach on the list is Chris Ames.  Chris has been at Clay City several years prior, heading the girls program and having some good success doing that.  He slides into a tough situation at CC where the previous 2 teams have accounted for back to back 7 win seasons.  However things should be a little better for the Eels this year.

North Central.  NC is the 4th team on this list with a new coach, however the coach brings valuable experience and success with him.  Vance Edmondson has spent the previous 9 or 10 years at Clay City, winning 4 sectionals and 2 regionals.  Vance is obviously looking to continue to rebuild a program that Jacob Cummings had last year.  Not trying to knock kids on here, but for a program that had zero to little skill, I thought Jacob did a fine job of getting the ball rolling in the right direction.  Vance may not have success in the next year or two, but look for him to turn the program around given a few years to do so.

The top 3 spots seem pretty clear, but I can't imagine anyone has any clue how the bottom 4 spots in the conference will play out.

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4 hours ago, basketballjones said:

The traffic on this site was down last year.  Not sure if that is from a lack of interest or if too many of the games are a foregone conclusion and contribute to the lack of conversation. 

Probably both.

Excitement is running high in Bloomfield with McBride's return.

I expect WRV will be considerably improved. They have some pieces and a good bit of experience.

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I was never a fan of the way McBride coached, especially in the latter part of his run.

I think North Daviess should be better than Bloomfield. I say should because ND seemed to struggle with chemistry last year.

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Not to pile on, but I just don't understand why excitement would be high in Bloomfield with the return of McBride. Somebody please explain this to me.

It was under his watch that Bloomfield went from one of the top small school programs  to an average one.

Did anybody enjoy watching a high school team throw the ball around for no other reason than to kill clock?

Like it or not (and I'm definitely in the don't like it crowd) high school sports these days is about attracting talent. Open enrollment has totally changed things, especially in the area where Bloomfield is located because it is logistically easy for a kid to pick a school to attend. Talented kids are going to want to go to Bloomfield so they can stand around and play keep away? I don't think so.

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1 hour ago, Taps Browning said:

Not to pile on, but I just don't understand why excitement would be high in Bloomfield with the return of McBride. Somebody please explain this to me.

It was under his watch that Bloomfield went from one of the top small school programs  to an average one.

Did anybody enjoy watching a high school team throw the ball around for no other reason than to kill clock?

Like it or not (and I'm definitely in the don't like it crowd) high school sports these days is about attracting talent. Open enrollment has totally changed things, especially in the area where Bloomfield is located because it is logistically easy for a kid to pick a school to attend. Talented kids are going to want to go to Bloomfield so they can stand around and play keep away? I don't think so.

Can't say I disagree with anything you said.

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On 10/29/2018 at 8:35 AM, Jshuttlesworth said:

The game has alot changed in this area in the past 15 years.  Not sure how many games you can win scoring 20 points a game

Not sure if that is a dig at Dalrymple or McBride?  Or both?  Either way, I don't see either of those teams slowing it down against anyone in the conference other than Linton.

 

On 10/26/2018 at 6:40 PM, Taps Browning said:

I think North Daviess should be better than Bloomfield. I say should because ND seemed to struggle with chemistry last year.

That is certainly a possibility.  I have heard the 6'4" foreign exchange student Bloomfield received is good, but I have no evidence of this.  It seems that FE students struggle to adapt quickly enough to make a big impact in just 1 year.  The Tapek kid last year was really good and Bloomfield never seemed to tap into his potential.

If this is all fairy tale, and there is no FE student(s), then I suspect McBride will indeed be slowing it down against both Linton and ND.   Maybe even WRV in March.

Edited by basketballjones

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1 hour ago, basketballjones said:

That is certainly a possibility.  I have heard the 6'8" foreign exchange student Bloomfield received is good, but I have no evidence of this.  It seems that FE students struggle to adapt quickly enough to make a big impact in just 1 year.  The Tapek kid last year was really good and Bloomfield never seemed to tap into his potential.

The foreign exchange student is 6'4 from Montenegro. He's got a good jumper and knows the game pretty well. Bloomfield should be able to work him into the system and he will be a guy that could put up 8-10 points a game later in the season.

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"White River Valley.  WRV has a new coach this year in James Floyd, and will compete with a few other teams and I suspect will finish right in the middle of the pack.  I believe WRV is Floyd's alma mater; it will be interesting to see how the first year coach handles the most talented team WRV has had since maybe 2013.  They have a hard nosed guard in Dennam (JR) a nice inside piece in Ellett (SO), an athletic wing in Patterson (SR) and a tall, long freshmen in Crites.  Not sure Crites will contribute much as a frosh, but given their lack of depth, they need him to."

It is exciting to see some talk about my alma mater as I follow from a few states away! I follow this site regularly and last year was disappointing with little conversation. Glad to see things back up and going as the first day of practice approaches!

Floyd is in fact a WRV graduate and played a key role on those early 2000s teams including the 02' and 04' semi state runs. He was a hard nosed player and did a lot of the dirty work for his team. Hopefully he will be able to bring that mentality to the current roster! Its about time for the Wolverines to start competing for a sectional crown again so good luck to Coach Floyd and the entire team!

Interesting side note; Floyd, O'Neall, McBride had some great battles in the early 2000s. It will be fun for the locals to watch that again with them all being on the sidelines.

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My guess is Linton will dictate the tempo against all the SWAIC teams as they have lots of depth and talent compared to other SWAIC teams

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On 10/30/2018 at 7:11 AM, FalseHustle said:

"White River Valley.  WRV has a new coach this year in James Floyd, and will compete with a few other teams and I suspect will finish right in the middle of the pack.  I believe WRV is Floyd's alma mater; it will be interesting to see how the first year coach handles the most talented team WRV has had since maybe 2013.  They have a hard nosed guard in Dennam (JR) a nice inside piece in Ellett (SO), an athletic wing in Patterson (SR) and a tall, long freshmen in Crites.  Not sure Crites will contribute much as a frosh, but given their lack of depth, they need him to."

It is exciting to see some talk about my alma mater as I follow from a few states away! I follow this site regularly and last year was disappointing with little conversation. Glad to see things back up and going as the first day of practice approaches!

Floyd is in fact a WRV graduate and played a key role on those early 2000s teams including the 02' and 04' semi state runs. He was a hard nosed player and did a lot of the dirty work for his team. Hopefully he will be able to bring that mentality to the current roster! Its about time for the Wolverines to start competing for a sectional crown again so good luck to Coach Floyd and the entire team!

Interesting side note; Floyd, O'Neall, McBride had some great battles in the early 2000s. It will be fun for the locals to watch that again with them all being on the sidelines.

WRV's record might look good on paper; just don't know if they'll be able to compete with any good teams.  I'd like to see them do it!  Last year's team was awful and they won 7 games against some of the worst basketball teams I have ever seen.  I mean really, the worst.  This year's team will be better than last year, and they play the same gawd-awful schedule.

WRV only has to worry about being competitive in the GCI and finding a way to beat Bloomfield in March.  They will host what is again one of the worst sectionals in the state.  It wasn't that long ago WRV hosted one of the best small school sectionals in the state on a regular basis.  Bloomfield could have literally played left handed and won last year's sectional.

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I don't know what it is with Shakamak.  The last dozen years or so the Lakers have only seemed to be decent when they have a hotshot like Jared Rehmel, Billy Newton or Tanner Yeryar. Doesn't seem to matter who's coaching either.

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11 hours ago, basketballjones said:

 they won 7 games against some of the worst basketball teams I have ever seen.  I mean really, the worst. 

 

They will host what is again one of the worst sectionals in the state.  It wasn't that long ago WRV hosted one of the best small school sectionals in the state on a regular basis.  Bloomfield could have literally played left handed and won last year's sectional.

You got that right. North Central X 3. Non-IHSAA Bloomington Lighthouse, lowly North Knox, hapless Eminence and even more hapless Washington Catholic.

I do think WRV will be better. Denham, Ellett and Patterson are all decent players and Records is a pretty steady little point guard. And they have experience.

As you alluded, they won't have enough across the board to compete with the likes of Sullivan, Linton, Bloomfield, Loogootee, South Knox, i.e. the better teams on their schedule. But they might be able to find a dozen wins, maybe more against the rest of the lot.

A pity what that Switz City sectional has become.

On 10/26/2018 at 11:50 AM, basketballjones said:

Eastern.  This could be a long year for Coach Neil.  We got to see a little piece of what the Thunderbirds might look like when the core group of T-birds were suspended last year for several games.  The result wasn't pretty, but those young guys saw some valuable experience and have seen what it takes to compete.  That suspension that led to some new faces might be the one piece that helps Neil's group enter the season with some confidence.

That bunch managed to win a couple conference games. Which speaks to the state of the SWIAC as a whole.

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On ‎11‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 1:11 AM, ts32 said:

"I do think WRV will be better. Denham, Ellett and Patterson are all decent players and Records is a pretty steady little point guard. And they have experience."

I see the name Patterson in there. Any relation to L&M's Tony Patterson?

 

On ‎11‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 1:11 AM, ts32 said:

 

 

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7 hours ago, FalseHustle said:
On 11/1/2018 at 1:11 AM, ts32 said:

"I do think WRV will be better. Denham, Ellett and Patterson are all decent players and Records is a pretty steady little point guard. And they have experience."

I see the name Patterson in there. Any relation to L&M's Tony Patterson? 

I see some similarity there – about 6-4 and blond – I kinda wonder...

 

 

 

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One doesn't have to look to far to figure out the lack of successful, and talented teams in the SWIAC, all of the above mentioned schools that are struggling lack a dedicated feeder program that starts kids out early, ie 1st/2nd grade, focusing on fundamentals .  It is a big disadvantage to have to compete against schools in which players have been developing skills from an early age.  Successful high school programs have successful feeder programs.  Bloomfield and Linton seem to do a good job with their feeder systems.

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