Bryant Layman coached the Crothersville boys basketball team to a record of 8-15 last winter.
With four veterans to build this season’s team around, Bryant would like to see the Tigers double that win total or at least get the win total into double digits.
With the top two scorers on last year’s team, Preston West and Curtis Thompson graduated, seniors Lucas Hilton and Elijah Plasse and juniors Dirk Crater and Beau Napier are the veterans Layman is counting on.
Napier averaged 10 points per game last winter and was in double figures 10 times with a high game of 20 against Columbus Christian.
Crater averaged 5 points per game, Hilton averaged 3.8 and Plasse averaged 3.
“Those four will have to grow in our offense and continue to lead the way for our younger guys with our current playbook,” Layman said. “Obviously, we like to run. It’s a great strength of ours. We have done a lot in the offseason to prepare for the zone defenses and to prepare for our half-court defenses.”
Layman said he expects Hilton to lead the Tigers in rebounds and to be a force on their inside defense.
“We will have to crash the boards this year,” Layman said. “Plasse is a pretty tough rebounder for us, as well.”
Other seniors on the roster are Adam Turner and Logen O’Sullivan. Layman said he would have the Tigers playing some zones and man defense with a lot of trapping at half-court.
“Defensively, we are still searching for the identity and the style we want to run,” he said.
The Tigers will open their season tonight by hosting Austin with the junior varsity set to start at 6 p.m. The Tigers close the week Saturday night at Orleans in what Layman said will be one of the toughest opponents on the Tigers’ schedule.
Layman said the Tigers are going to have to reduce their turnovers and fouls and lower their defensive average from last winter in order to turn things around.
“To reach our goal defensively and offensively, we are going to have to limit possessions and make sure we limit our turnovers and control the pace of the game,” he said.
The Tigers changed their tournament schedule and instead of going to Henryville in late December, they will play in a tournament at Martinsville Tabernacle on Dec. 28 and 29.
Another new opponent on the schedule is Trimble County, Kentucky. The Tigers will play their final game of the season there on Feb. 23.