Outside the Huddle and Bounce are counting down who it feels are the top 50 individual boys basketball players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2020-21 season.
Today, we unveil five of the best in the area at positions No. 45-41.
No. 45 – Karson Jenkins, Snider
Jenkins gained quality experience on a senior laden Sectional champion team last year. He was thrown into a variety of situations and positions and expected to thrive on a high level. Later in the 2019-20 season, he got some quality time running some point guard and through the summer he played a front runner role with his Club 1 team. Heading into his junior season, we are still learning about Jenkins and what he can provide as a lead player. But what we learned in his first two varsity seasons is that he is able to adapt to most roles. He averaged five points, a rebound and an assist last season but those numbers will certainly be going up.
At his core, Jenkins is a lights out shooter. That is the reputation that he came into high school basketball with. With other talented guards around him this season, Jenkins is going to be free to float in and out of on ball responsibilities offensively, which certainly plays to his strengths. He will continue to be a lights out shooter, but over the summer he has certainly better developed his dribble drive and mid range pull up. He will need to provide consistency in his shot.
COACH’S QUOTE ON KARSON JENKINS
“Supremely skilled guard. Has been one of the best shooters in the program since he came in as a frosh and is ready to take on a lead role with our team. Has developed point guard vision and ball handling, and can score at all 3 levels. Is a good on-ball defender and incredibly competitive.” – Snider coach Jeremy Rauch
No. 44 – Owen Shively, Bishop Dwenger
One of multiple returning starters for the Saints, a healthy Shively is a multi-faceted weapon. His length makes him a match up problem immediately on both ends of the floor. Defensively, he has a lot of athleticism and strength that will allow him to defend inside-out. The same intriguing matchups exist when Shively is on offense. He averaged seven points and three rebounds while missing some games injured. Shively did show that he could play on the perimeter and a bit inside as the Saints were not the biggest in the post. That experience just helped the diversity in his play.
What often gets lost with Shively is how good of a shooter he is. He hit 44 percent of his three point shots. He can absolutely be a game changer on offense when his shots are falling. His shot selection skill will be key going forward and passing up shots from long range that he would traditionally put up, in order to drive to the basket, could really spread out the his game throughout his junior season.
COACH’S QUOTE ON OWEN SHIVELY
“He had a good sophomore year for us. He had to play a little out of position for us. He was our primary post scoring option last year, but he has the ability to stretch the defense with his shooting ability. He has gotten a lot more explosive and athletic since last year and we are looking at him to be a versatile player for us this season. He was honorable mention All-SAC last season.” – Bishop Dwenger coach Matt Kostoff
No. 43 – Dre Wright, New Haven
Have you seen Dre Wright play football? Then you know what the traits are that make him stand out on a basketball court. Wright is just a hard nosed kid who will go all out every play. An All-NE8 Honorable Mention pick last season, Wright averaged 6.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and one assist but his numbers would never show his true worth.
What did? Games where the Bulldogs threw Wright at the best opposing offensive player, which happened about every night. His play on Homestead’s Luke Goode was critical in getting New Haven a Sectional title. There are not always clean parallels to be made between football and basketball play, but with Wright there are. He makes crisp reads defensively, positions himself well in the mix of New Haven’s offense and snaps into attack mode instantly. Easy to say he plays defense like a linebacker. There is zero doubt that Wright is one of the premiere defensive players in the NE8 and area.
COACH’S QUOTE ON DRE WRIGHT
“Dre is one of the toughest guys a part of our squad this year and is one of those guys who will not back down to any assignment we give him. He is always a player we can count defensively during the game to disrupt an offense and create opportunities for turnovers. We’re looking for Dre to become a bigger threat offensively and score more off of the opportunities he creates for us on the defensive end.” – New Haven coach Bruce Stephens
No. 42 – Jaylen Lattimore, South Side
Lattimore spent his first season with South Side trying to really find himself in the Archers’ game plan. It was an always evolving role as South Side went through some injuries and other roster sputters. So who is Jaylen Lattimore and who will he be? He’s always been an effective rebounder who finds crafty ways to escape opponent box out. Lattimore is also one who lets loose when shooting the ball and when he gets hot, it is a strong touch but has to get by being streaky.
He is little more athletic than many opposing players may anticipate. He can put it on the ground and attack, can get out in transition and run. He can play at the elbows out well even as effective as he is when pushing his weight around down low. He averaged a team second best 5.8 points per game in 2019-20 and continues to evolve in scoring in many ways.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JAYLEN LATTIMORE
“A young man full of tremendous potential, he will be the key to the Archers success. If he decides to play up to his ability it could make the life of his teammates easier.” – South Side coach JJ Foster
No. 41 – Gabe Trevino, Eastside
While the Blazers have and will sit midway through the pack in the NECC, Trevino has stood out in the conference because of his intensity and pacing. He really thrived on playing every minute like it was the most important one and that is something that you just can’t teach. He is the Blazers’ leading returning scorer (12.1 ppg) and rebounder (6.8 rpg) but will go a lot further than just filling up the state sheet for the Blazers.
Trevino also has a good feel as a passer because offensively he is strongest at drawing the defense, and he knows what he’s doing. He improved significantly throughout the year in become a multi faceted threat because he was a willing participant in whatever the offensive game needed of him. On the defensive end, he’s big enough against a conference with some length elsewhere, he can keep guys in front and he can play coverages well, reading passing lanes along the way.
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