JIMTOWN — Marcus Moore hopes he has no idea how good of a boys basketball team he’s got at Jimtown High School, not so much because he’s a rookie coach, but because he hopes the team he has right now doesn’t resemble the one he’ll have in a few months.
“We want to be significantly better in February than we are in November,” Moore said Tuesday, Nov. 25, upon wrapping up a practice that included several players recently coming off football season. “Our scrimmage (Nov. 22 against Fremont) was frustrating in terms of how we played, but you could see the silver lining in that we’ve only been together as a whole group for six days. You can see they’re trying. We just need to execute, and that will come with repetition.”
In Elkhart Truth All-Area honorable mention pick Nick Floyd (12.2 points per game), 6-foot-5 junior Trevor Hobbs (8.1) and junior guard Dylan Guldager (7.3), the Jimmies return three of their top four scorers from last season’s 7-14 team. Other notables include Sam Pawlak, who had a team-high 13 points as a freshman in a 58-54 Class 3A sectional loss to Marian, and junior Clay Landis, a transfer who played JV last season at Penn.
“I think our guys are doing as much mental stuff as they’ve ever done,” said Moore, who inherits a program seeking its first winning season in seven years. “And a lot of that’s just because it’s a new system. Some things are the same, but they’ve had to wash sets, wash defenses and they have a whole new terminology. That’s hard for a college kid, let alone a 16 or 17 year old. It’s something we as coaches have to be patient with, and we will, and they will get it.”
Moore, a former star at Columbia City High School and Grace College, says he’s impressed by the athleticism among some of his players and by the basketball work put in the last few months among those who did not play a fall sport.
The Jimmies open their season Tuesday, Dec. 2, at home against Howe, then head to Clinton Christian three days later.
Moore’s take on a few topics:
“Nick Floyd’s going to be a big option for us offensively. We’re going to look to get the ball to Trevor Hobbs as much as possible in the paint. With his size and athleticism, he causes some matchup problem for some people with what he can do. Dylan Guldager, the ball’s probably going to be in his hands a lot. We’ve got Clay Landis over from Penn. He’s going to play a lot, as will Austin Secor. And Blane Bender, he’s lengthy, lanky and has improved dramatically. Sammy Pawlak, a great football player, is also going to become a great basketball player in time. He’s a sophomore and still learning, but he’ll probably start. I think we’re going to have seven or eight guys who really contribute.”
“The foundations are going to be the same that coach Dietz had and that they’ve had here for a long time. We want to block out and rebound, we want to defend hard, we want to take a great shot. I think it’s important to distinguish what’s a great shot, a good shot and a bad shot. When they don’t understand that, we let them know. Defense, I think we’ll pressure a little more than they have in the past. We’ll zone a little bit, but we’ll try to get the game going up and down, too. Defense is the one thing you can control. You control how you defend, you control your effort, you control your communication, so no matter what happens offensively, we need to take care of what we can control.”
STRENGTHS AND CONCERNS
“We do have some things going for us. We’re long. I think we’re really athletic, which should allow us to change up some things. We have to make sure as coaches we choose what fits our personnel best, and that’s what we’re still trying to figure out. The one habit we have to change practice-wise is we need to start practicing a little more uncomfortably. Our guys have to practice at a speed conducive to a game-type setting. We have to do things at a pace similar to how we’re going to play, and we’re improving on that day by day.”
No. Name Ht. Yr.
2 Dylan Guldager 5-11 Jr.
3 Tevin Klosinski 6-0 Jr.
4 Trevor Hobbs 6-5 Jr.
5 Clay Landis 6-0 Jr.
10 Jake Vicsik 6-0 Jr.
14 Austin Secor 6-1 Sr.
20 Brock Johnson 5-9 Sr.
22 Nick Floyd 6-2 Sr.
32 Sam Pawlak 6-4 So.
34 Kain Templeton 6-2 Sr.
40 Blane Bender 6-4 Jr.
50 Drew Klawiter 6-3 Sr.
Coach: Marcus Moore (first season).
Assistants: Scott Hamstra, Wes Laidig, Drake Klopfenstein.
JIMTOWN RETURNING LEADERS
Scoring: Nick Floyd 12.4*, Trevor Hobbs 8.1, Dylan Guldager 7.3, Sam Pawlak 3.7.
Rebounds: Hobbs 4.7*, Floyd 3.9.
Assists: Guldager 1.9, Floyd 1.1.
Steals: Floyd 1.3, Guldager 0.9.
* — Denotes also led last season’s team overall.
2 — Howe. 5 — at Clinton Christian. 6 — at Northridge (noon JV start). 11 — at Whitko. 13 — Argos. 16 — NorthWood. 19 — at Culver (c). 27 — Central Noble.
9 — Knox (c). 14 — at Marian. 16 — at New Prairie (c). 20 — Goshen. 24 — vs. Rochester at Grace College (4 p.m., varsity only). 30 — Triton (c). 31 — Elkhart Central.
3 — at Elkhart Christian. 6 — at Bremen (c). 12 — Glenn (c). 17 — at Bethany Christian. 20 — at Concord. 24 — Faifield. 27 — at LaVille (c).
(c) — Denotes Northern State Conference games.