EDWARDSBURG — A shuffling of the boys basketball deck in Michigan has Edwardsburg hosting a five-team district tournament at the end of the 2012-13 season.
Fifth-year Eddies coach Dan Gunn sees his team as having a realistic chance to celebrate a championship on its own floor.
“We’re still trying to win that district,” said Gunn, whose club opens the campaign tonight, Dec. 4, at White Pigeon. “I think that is something attainable by this group.”
Graduation took seven players from the 2011-12 team that went 13-8 and lost to Lakeshore in the semfinals of the St. Joseph District, including 6-foot-8 Kyle Slack.
In addition to Edwardsburg, the district field this season will include Paw Paw, Sturgis, Three Rivers and Vicksburg. All but Sturgis are members of the new Wolverine Conference lineup.
A 20-game regular season will feature 17 conference games, including a cross-over game at the end. The non-conference contests are White Pigeon, Buchanan and Elkhart Central.
Four letterwinners are back for the Eddies — seniors Josh Kozinski, Patrick Harvey, Eric Richardson and Jason Schimpa.
Kozinski, a 6-foot-4 guard who has already signed to play at Central Michigan University, averaged 21.5 points per game last winter and has 1,104 points in his three years as an Edwardsburg starter.
Gunn said Kozinski should not have to be called on as often to be both a point and shooting guard.
“He’s going to have more help,” says Gunn. “We have more ballhandlers (including Schimpa, Dylan Hulett and Dante Razzano).
“You’ll see (Kozinski) is some different set-ups now. That will help us.”
Eddies coach Dan Gunn’s take ...
How helpful is it that Josh Kozinski has his college decision out of the way?
“He’s pretty rock solid. I know he’s excited (about going to Central Michigan), but he handles it well. He’s a low-key kind of kid who works hard. He enjoys playing and helps his teammates. He is one of those players you are fortunate to get every once in awhile.”
What about that milestone victory?
“I enjoy what I do. Those kind of things, you can’t really be concerned about. I think all coaches would tell you that. You can’t do it with out good assistant coaches and good players. This group is enjoyable to coach. I want them to be successful because they will remember this for a long time.”
How are things looking on defense?
“I think we’re going to be a little quicker. We’ll have a little bit more of a choice. We can play man-to-man, half-court trap, full-court trap and zone. The last couple of teams have played almost all match-up zone.”
Tell us about the Wolverine Conference after years in the lakeland.
“We’re going against a little bit bigger schools and there is a little more travel. It’ll be interesting to see how it all works out. I think it will be good.
“Dowagiac is going to have a good team. Sturgis will be good. Berrien Springs will have an outstanding team.”
By the numbers
Eddies coach Dan Gunn’s career victories. He has earned 45 wins in four seasons in Michigan after getting 454 over 32 seasons in Indiana.
Career point total for Edwardsburg senior guard Josh Kozinski. He ranks fourth on the school’s all-time scoring list behind Kevin Marvel (1,340), Glen Houser (1,232) and Brett Hoover (1,217).
No. Player Pos. Ht. Yr.
3 Grant Szalweski F 6-1 Jr.
4 Jason Schimpa G 5-9 Sr.
5 Dante Razzano G 6-2 Fr.
10 Dylan Hulett G 5-9 Jr.
20 Jackson Gaideski F 6-3 So.
21 Joe Queener C 6-4 So.
23 Josh Kozinski G 6-4 Sr.
30 Patrick Harvey F 6-3 Sr.
32 Eric Richardson F 6-2 Sr.
50 Matt Griesinger C 6-5 Sr.
Coach: Dan Gunn (45-39 in four seasons at Edwardsburg; 499-312 in 36 seasons overall).
Assistants: Bill Rauch, Steve Wright.
4 — at White Pigeon. 7 — Three Rivers (c). 11 — Otsego (c). 14 — at Coloma (c). 18 — at Vicksburg (c). 20 — Berrien Springs (c).
8 — Buchanan. 11 — at Dowagiac (c). 15 — Comstock (c). 18 — South Haven (c). 22 — at Paw Paw (c). 25 — at Three Rivers (c).
1 — Coloma (c). 5 — at Plainwell (c). 8 — at Berrien Springs (c). 12 — Elkhart Central. 15 — Dowagiac (c). 19 — Allegan (c). 22 — at South Haven (c). 28 — Wolverine Conference cross-over game, site to be determined.
(c) — Denotes Wolverine Conference game.
Points: Josh Kozinski 21.5*, Patrick Harvey 6.6.
Rebounds: Kozinski 7.2*, Harvey 4.0.
Assists: Kozinski 4.7*, Harvey 1.0.
Steals: Kozinski 2.1*, Harvey 0.9.
* — Denotes also led last season’s team overall.