Posted On: 10/28/18 12:24 PM

The season is coming up quickly and we are starting to pour into our previews for the upcoming season. Today, we are looking at those Regional setups across the state starting with 1 and ending with 16.  Today, we preview Regional 5 with Sectionals 17-20.

Last Year – 17-18
*Based on Sagarin from 2017-18

  1. Culver Academies
  2. Mishawaka Marian
  3. West Lafayette
  4. South Bend Washington
  5. Hammond
  6. South Bend St. Joseph
  7. Gary West
  8. Griffith
  9. Maconaquah
  10. John Glenn

Conference Commentary

Top Ten
Teams that are in the Top 10 of the State in 4A

Culver AcademiesCulver is likely to be ranked #1 in the state at he beginning of the year and for good reason. They lose nobody off a team that just won a State Championship.  Trey Galloway is one of the best in the 2020 class and Ethan Brittain-Watts has taken steps forward this past year. Add in low post guys like Nick Hittle and Deontae Craig and they have all they need to win it again. 

Mishawaka MarianMarian is sitting in a great spot following a successful year last season. They do lose some key pieces in Zach Lattimer and Michael Hemingway but they have one of the best juniors in the state in Jaden Ivey and a bunch of guys that have quite a bit of experience.  They have veteran players and one stud, which in 3A is enough to be a Top 10 team.

Top Ten Potential
Teams that could be in the Top 10 of the State in 4A

Gary West – While they might start out as a lower ranked team, I think pretty quickly the state is going to realize that this Gary West team is going to be very good. With guys like Quimari Peterson and Chrishawn Christmas coming back after their first year, they also have probably the best freshman in the state in Jalen Washington, an absolute stud who is set to produce from game one.  By the end of the year, you likely won’t want to be paired up with this group.

South Bend St. Joseph – St. Joseph will become one of the best teams in the state over the next few years in 3A. Their young core is at a stage where they will be very productive.  Douglas Konieczny Jr. is going to be a top player in 2021 and Jack Futa and Adam O’Dell make up a strong sophomore class that has size and talent.  Add in Alex Mossey as a low post player and you have a lot of key pieces to a core that could surprise people as early as this season.

West Lafayette – West Lafayette could be the most intriguing team in 3A this year. They found a ton of success last season and now they bring back some big pieces and their roster makeup is so interesting that you feel like if they can come together, they could be a strong contender to win their Regional.  Losing Matt Krause is very difficult as he was a matchup nightmare. But, Nelson Mbongo, Harrison Truitt, Will Lasater, and Rocco Muratori are all back and all have size, 6’4 to 6’11 respectively.  Add in Tyler Boyle and Gabe Klinker and you have a couple trustworthy guards and a potential starting lineup that could go a long way.

Compete With Most
Teams that could be well above .500 this Season

NorthwesternNorthwestern had a really good season for their program last year winning 16 games. A lot of that is due to the addition of Tayson Parker. Parker is back and is such a dynamic player, especially against their scheduled opponents, that he is going to be enough to keep them in most games. They also only lose one player from last season. If all goes well, this team will be nearing 20 wins this year.

South Bend Washington South Bend Washington is looking to replace a ton of talent from last season, graduating as many as eight players including Cory McKinney and Trey Petty.  Now, they have DeMarcus Vaughn, Tony Stuckey, and Jylen Petty stepping up and both are capable of producing at a pretty good level. This team make take a minute to find their footing but the pieces are there to be successful.

Teams that were good last year but could struggle this Season

Griffith – Griffith is looking a building up a new program and last year they had to deal with a new head coach. Now, they are going to be trying to fix their roster after just have since graduated.  Tim Lawson and company could give them a shot to still be successful this season but there is a lot to see before that becomes a reality.

Hammond – Hammond is sitting in a spot where they are going to have to find their next wave of talent. They were pretty successful last year in a down Sectional but now most of their talent has graduated including Malik Miller. Could be a rough year as Gary West looks to be the power program for a few years at least.

Preseason Power Ranking

  1. Culver Academies
  2. Mishawaka Marian
  3. Gary West
  4. South Bend St. Joseph
  5. West Lafayette
  6. Northwestern
  7. South Bend Washington
  8. Western
  9. Griffith
  10. John Glenn

Preseason All-Conference

First Team:
Ethan Brittain-Watts (Sr., Culver Academies)
Jaden Ivey (Jr., Mishawaka Marian)
Tayson Parker (Jr., Northwestern)
Trey Galloway (Jr., Culver Academies)
Douglas Konieczny Jr. (So., South Bend St. Joseph)

Second Team: 
Chrishawn Christmas (So., Gary West)
Jalen Washington (Fr., Gary West)
DeMarcus Vaughn (Jr., South Bend Washington)
Khori Baker (Jr., John Glenn)
Deontae Craig (Jr., Culver Academies)

Honorable Mention Team:
Kyron King (Sr., Mishawaka Marian)
Alex Mossey (Sr., South Bend St. Joseph)
Dane Simatovich (Sr., Wheeler)
Jylen Petty (Jr., South Bend Washington)
Nick Hittle (Jr., Culver Academies)
Quimari Peterson (So., Gary West)
Adam O’Dell (So., South Bend St. Joseph)
Jack Futa (So., South Bend St. Joseph)
Nelson Mbongo (Sr., West Lafayette)