Eisenhower basketball: Evans adds leadership
Coach: Steve Blue, second season
Last season: 18-5
Coach: Joe Blasi, second season
Last season: 0-21
Eisenhower coach Steve Blue has predicted the past two seasons that now-junior guard Trevon Evans will be one of the best guards in the area because of Evans quickness, scoring ability and ballhandling skills.
But Evans impressed Blue even more in the offseason.
The biggest improvement Ive seen is his maturity, Blue said. So many leadership things this summer getting players to open gym, getting them to summer training. Hes stepped up and taken ownership of the team.
Hes also worked really hard on his game. He worked out with guys like (Norths) Conner Frankamp to continually improve. Hes always in the gym. The maturity from the last couple years to now shows tremendous growth.
Eisenhower must have Evans leadership and skill to try to replicate last seasons 18-5 record and Class 5A tournament berth.
At this point, how Trevon goes is how our season goes for the most part, Blue said. We have some other guys who can play, but Trevon, hes been in that role of being starter, and talent-wise, hes improved quite a bit. We will need a lot out of him, like we had with Zach (Bush) last year. Hopefully others will step up.
With Bushs graduation, Eisenhower lost his nearly 23 points per game and rebounding. The inside game is an issue, primarily because of lack of depth.
Eisenhower will rely heavily on junior Matt Morris (6-foot-6), who averaged 8.5 points and 7.3 rebounds last season.
Matt will be solid; hes really good, Blue said. His post moves have improved quite a bit. Hes a big body that can rebound, but after Matt, the rest is unproven.
Thats not the situation at guard with Evans and Daniel Southworth, who is out until January after having surgery due to a bone fragment near an achilles tendon.
Southworths a great ballhandler, and hell have to be one of those guys for us who does a lot of the blue-collar work get on the defensive boards, be a leader, get the loose balls, get the rebound and then take care of the ball, make the pass and knock down the shot when its there, Blue said.
The Tigers likely will spread the floor with four guards to allow penetration and create driving lanes. Defensively, Eisenhower plans to pressure more and trap to make up for its lack of size inside.
Eisenhower girls didnt win a game in 2011-12, the schools first year. Yet it wasnt as bad as one might think.
Although you hate losing, they had a pretty positive attitude, coach Joe Blasi said. We made it a focus last year that it wasnt about (that) year, it was about the future. We didnt have any seniors, so we were all about just getting better. Im not saying it wasnt hard, but it was an enjoyable season for me.
The Tigers focused on such improvement as, after not scoring in the first half against McPherson, they only trailed by four late in the first quarter of their second meeting.
They bought into it were getting better, Blasi said.
Eisenhowers schedule looks better, too. Unlike last season, Eisenhower wont play McPherson or Maize, top programs in Class 4A and 6A.
Eisenhower is strongest on the perimeter with multiple guards who can handle the ball, score and have speed.
Brynn Minor, who averaged a team-high eight points and seven rebounds, will be a focal point for Eisenhower. Shes strong on the perimeter and inside.
Kilah Hoenscheidt can score she averaged eight points, four rebounds but she must be more consistent with her scoring from game to game.
Emily King is a strong defender, and Megan Teufel returns from a knee injurt that knocked her out last season.
The first two weeks last year, Megan was kind of calming, Blasi said. She controls. She doesnt get hurried up . She does shoot well, so as a point guard, you cant leave her open.
A concern is inside. Ali Blasi averaged seven rebounds as a sophomore and despite her size (5-foot-8), can handle herself in the lane.
I think our girls are excited about the season, Joe Blasi said. With their experience, they know what to expect and how hard they need to play. I do expect good results.
November 30 at Salina South.
December 4 Hutchinson; 7 at Ark City; 11 Andover Central; 14 at Dodge City; 18 at Andover.
January 4 Valley Center; 8 at Maize South; 11 Goddard; 15 at Campus (girls); 15-18 Spring Hill tournament (boys); 24-26 at Emporia tournament (girls); 25 at Campus (boys).
February 1 Ark City; 5 at Andover Central; 8 at Newton; 12 Andover; 15 at Valley Center; 19 Maize South; 22 at Goddard.