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Posted On: 10/15/18 7:15 PM
Looking ahead to the 2018-19 season, Prep Hoops Wisconsin breaks down the race in the Big Eight Conference.
1. Madison La Follette
2. Madison Memorial
3. Sun Prairie
4. Madison East
5. Janesville Craig
6. Madison West
9. Beloit Memorial
10. Janesville Parker
Madison La Follette will have about as good of a backcourt as their is in the state. Donneil Gray, Isaiah Stewart, and Troy Reeves are all double-figure scorers who can take over a game offensively. The Lancers will be a little small, but seemed to have the uptempo system that could overcome it last year, beating Madison Memorial and taking Sun Prairie down to the wire in the sectional semifinals. La Follette was maybe the quietest 18-win team in the state last year and could make a run at state in 2018-19.
Madison Memorial has a strong trio as well in Cade Ellingson, Nick Caropreso, and Ian Brown, the team’s top three leading scorers from last season. Finishing second in the Big Eight last season, ahead of La Follette, Memorial could certainly be considered the favorite. However, the loss of Elliott Grays, the conference’s defensive player of the year in 2017-18 might be bigger than people think.
Janesville Craig finished in the middle of the pack last season and loses their top three scorers. However, the Cougars might be able to reload enough to finish in the top half of the conference. Craig was playing well at the end of year, thumping Verona and Madison West and falling by just three points to Kenosha Bradford in the playoffs.
PROJECTED FIRST-TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
G Cade Ellingson – Madison Memorial
G Donneil Gray – Madison La Follette
G Troy Reeves – Madison LaFollette
G Anthony Washington – Madison East
F Nick Caropreso – Madison Memorial
G Collin Schaefer – Sun Prairie
G Jack Huml – Janesville Craig
G Isaiah Stewart – Madison La Follette
F Max Schlicht – Middleton
F Delaware Hale – Sun Prairie
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Donneil Gray is the lone returning first-team All-Big Eight selection. As a junior, Gray averaged 14.4 points per game. Based on some his performances in the summer and fall, Gray is poised for substantially larger numbers in 2018-19. One of the best isolation scorers in the state, Gray can score from all three levels and is very difficult to contain 1-on-1.
Max Schlicht missed his entire junior season due to injury. As a senior, Schlicht will be the focal point for Middleton. A skilled forward who excels in the high post, Schlicht can score, rebound, and facilitate.
Jack Huml averaged 4.4 points per game as a junior. He might be the most improved player in the Big Eight Conference and one of the most improved in the state. A deadly shooter on and off the ball, Huml can knock down difficult looks and isn’t fazed by a hand in his face. With Craig losing their top three scorers from last season, look for Huml to emerge.