Posted On: 10/18/18 9:27 PM
As we get into the swing of previews, we will track each class with teams that we are interested in. First up in our list of superlatives are the 4A teams that we think will break out this season. Up next will be the five 3A breakout teams.
Richmond (8-17 last year)
Richmond struggled last year to compete even though they had one of the best scorers in the state, Christian Harvey. They also lose their second leading scorer due to transfer along with Harvey. With three starters moving on, you would think that a team with eight wins would not get any better. I project them to be the most improved team in 4A. They gain the services of four transfers as Northeastern’s Jalen Hillard and Jordan Stolle both come in and look to contribute. Stolle transferred in at mid-year but was only able to play for the junior varsity team. Two other transfers come from Fort Wayne North as Lucas and Andrew Kroft both come into the fray and have gained eligibility to play this season. Lucas has committed to Ball State. New head coach Shabaz Khaliq has a ton of talent and if Fort Wayne North was any indicator, he will utilize it well.
Franklin Community (15-10 last year)
Franklin has had all the players to be a solid team and I think this year is the year that they put it all together. They have four guys who have came up the ranks together and this year is the year that they will finally get over the hump. They are a huge conglomerate of shooters and that will be on full display this year. Franklin won’t be the best team that you see all year but they will play together as everyone just wants to win. I wouldn’t put out of the question 20 wins, but the big hurdle on their schedule is Center Grove.
Avon (5-20 last year)
Avon will be better than last year with the emergence of post player Zach Rinehart and the transfer guard J.P. Carroll. They should be able to play quite a bit faster this year with him at the helm and that should allow them to score quite a bit more points than in the recent past. Avon has a nice stash of talent and would have been even better this year if they wouldn’t have had a transfer of their own. Jeff Holloway is going to have a lot of talent to work with and this is the year that Avon should be able to get back to being a respectable program.
Southport (7-15 last year)
Ever since the Paul Scruggs and Joey Brunk years, Southport has been in a little bit of a decline. Kyle Simpson is out as the head coach and Eric Brand is in. Simpson was not the reason for the decline as the talent was lacking, Brand comes in and after leading South Bend Riley to a 26-1 record last year, he will look to right the ship. Southport retains their top seven scorers from last year and junior Brevin Jefferson should have a break out year. Chaz Hinds is going to be a key player as the leading returning scorer. This is a Southport team that could shock a few people this year.
Valparaiso (20-6 last year)
Valparaiso is a team that actually underperformed to their expectations last year. This year, they should breakout and have a great chance of making it to the state championship in March. With the return of Brandon Newman, a Purdue commit, they should be in a position to really succeed. They got knocked out last year in the first round of regionals and due to that I think that they are going to come out this year with a vengeance. Valparaiso had a few weird losses this year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get through to the postseason with one or two losses.