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 2022-23 season.
Today, we unveil five of the best in the area at positions No. 45-41.
No. 45: Isaac Zay, Bishop Luers
Zay’s sophomore year wasn’t as good as his freshman but that was probably more of a statement on how good he was immediately as a freshman. Never the less, Zay constantly answered the call for the Knights and is pretty adept at playing every position on the court if he has to. Never afraid to body with the big or shoot with the twos, Zay has found a great niche at being proficient all around the court. His did improve last season handling the multiple positions and Luers will look for him to handle some more important moments moving forward. He averaged 8.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in 2021-22.
COACH’S QUOTE ON ISAAC ZAY
“Isaac might just be the key to our team. He has grown and added strength and we are looking for him to be a big factor on both ends of the floor. Isaac will be a matchup problem with his ability to knock down the 3 and play inside with the bigs. His versatility will allow us to do a lot of different things defensively as well.” – Bishop Luers coach Seth Coffing
No. 44: Brady Lehman, Eastside
From a physical perspective, Lehman has some strong attributes for a two guard. He has good size, length and the lateral quickness to really get after it on the perimeter while also diving to the rim to battle the big bodies for rebounds. Lehman plays with a level of toughness and intensity coaches have to admire whether he is on your sideline or not. He is often in the right place at the right time on defense and does a great job of challenging on the perimeter. He’s comfortable operating as a ball handler in the half court. Lehman is getting better and stronger and it will be interesting to see how he fits into a very tenacious gameplay that the Blazers will have.
No. 43: Connor Lemmon, Central Noble
Lemmon can be an absolute lights out shooter and one of the area’s best at that on any given night. He has a good IQ when it comes to when and where to put up his shot. His increased strength in handling the ball mean that you. don’t mind it being in his hands to make a decision. While a lot of the time Lemmon is labeled as “the shooter,” he has become a tenacious defender and intangible guy who is willing to make all the hustle plays needed. Last season, Lemmon averaged 7.8 points, 3.2 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game for the state runner up Cougars.
COACH’S QUOTE ON CONNOR LEMMON
“Conner had a solid and successful junior season. Conner handles the ball well and is a good shooter who has shown the ability to knock down big shots.” – Central Noble coach John Bodey
No. 42: Drew Pliett, Central Noble
Tracking down Pliett’s stats from Churubusco isn’t so easy to do but what we do know is he scored around 13 points a game last season. What is more important is the type of player that Pliett is and what he will bring to a Central Noble lineup with some hole after last year’s state title run graduated some guys. Pliett is a huge pace setter and really excels when that pace is quick and even a little frantic. He is the type of player that has always excelled with a little bit of chaos because he is usually the one controlling that chaos with his ball handling. He has gotten bigger and stronger and his knowledge of his Central Noble teammates from previous summer play will. be substantial.
COACH’S QUOTE ON DREW PLIETT
“Drew is a talented guard. He has good ball handling skills, shoots the ball well, has the ability to get in the lane, has a high basketball IQ, and has a big heart.” – Central Noble coach John Bodey
No. 41: Devon Lewis, Canterbury
Lewis averaged 14 points, four rebounds and three assists per game last season as the catalyst for Canterbury returning to the forefront of people’s minds for boys basketball. Lewis is a fantastic score first guard who can play on or off ball, but certainly succeeds best in being able to be the decision maker. Through both intelligence and pure power, Lewis will make things happen and read where defensive gaps are very well. He has a solid three point shot that he could use a bit more but he works great around the basket; he had five games last season where he shot 80 percent or higher inside the arc with a scoring low of 15 in those games.
COACH’S QUOTE ON DEVON LEWIS
“Devon Lewis is an amazing young player and a more amazing young man. He is a strong and attentive presence in the classroom and on the court. He drives us with his competitiveness, skill set and attention to detail. Devon will provide us with strong ball handling, scoring and distribution as our lead guard. He has truly improved over the summer and fall on the defensive side of the ball as well. Devon will be one of our captains and will be asked to lead this group. If I could describe Devon in one word, it would be “gamer”. He always delivers in the critical points of each game.” – Canterbury coach Deric Adams
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