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. 30-26.
No. 30: Sam Campbell, Bishop Dwenger
A true leader some in the form of a quarterback of course. In the long line of really strong lead guards for the Saints, Campbell could be another one that really breaks out and becomes on of the best tempo controllers in the SAC. Campbell didn’t have to be that main guy in the past but with the Saints needing some scoring, he could settle in. He controls the tempo and his court vision continues to improve all of the time. Last season, he averaged 10.5 points and five assists per game while shooting a fantastic 41 percent from the three point line.
COACH’S QUOTE ON SAM CAMPBELL
“Sam is back for his third year as a varsity player. He has always been a pass first point guard with fantastic vision on court. With our graduation losses, he will need to score more this season. We will try to play him off the ball more as the season progresses. Sam is our general. He is an intense competitor who doesn’t back away from a challenge.” – Bishop Dwenger coach Matt Kostoff
No. 29: Ke’ron Billingsley, Snider
From a pure speed perspective, there are few who can move up the court like Billingsley, who’s torrid pace helped Snider thrive in chaotic pressure defense turned to instant offense. This season, we will see how Billingsley can take that to the next level by continuing to be a creator while also becoming a key finisher in the offense to replace graduation losses. Billingsley’s 3.7 point average will need to go up for sure, but his strength comes in vision and defense where he averaged 4.4 assists and 1.5 steals last season. He is going to make things happen with his energy.
COACH’S QUOTE ON KE’RON BILLINGSLEY
“Keron is the lone returning starter on last year’s team, and is primed for a big junior year. We’ll look for him to be more aggressive, creating advantages for himself and teammates with his exceptional point guard abilities. His understanding of the game and ability to lead his teammates truly make him an extension of the coach on the floor.” – Snider coach Jeremy Rauch
No. 28: Trey Dillard, Wayne
One of the best rebounders in the SAC last season, expect more of that from Dillard this season. Dillard has developed into a reliable post option. He uses his body well to establish position in the post, creating a wide base and getting low and his hands are improved as well. Dillard is also a strong threat to make himself available when a teammate’s penetration forces his defender to help. He fills the space quickly and goes strong to the basket if he gets the ball. Dillard averaged 9.5 points and 10.8 rebounds last season for the Generals. He had 13 games of double digit rebounds, including 23 against Elkhart and 19 against Carroll with each of those games balanced between offense and defense.
COACH’S QUOTE ON TREY DILLARD
“HJ has improved tremendously. he is quicker and more explosive off of the floor. HJ has the ability to put the ball on the ground which could cause matchup problems. we are excited to see him add to his rebounding total.” – Wayne coach Byron Pickens
No. 27: Ben Keil, Lakeland
One of the best breakout players in the all of Northeast Indiana last season, Keil is one of the best two way players in the NECC. Keil is the kind of player that is going to stuff stat sheets and do the stuff that doesn’t show up on those sheets. Rarely can you get someone who is both at such a high level. He is a high quality defender who can make stuff happen in an instant when attacking ball handlers and averaged 3.1 steals per game last season. That doesn’t mean his offense didn’t flourish during his breakout season, because he ended up averaging 17.2 points to go along with 7.9 rebounds and five assists per game.
COACH’S QUOTE ON BEN KEIL
“Ben just signed with Uindy on a golf scholarship but he’s a kid that could play college hoops as well. He’s one of the most athletic players in the NECC and a super rebounder from the PG position. Loves to play defense and is one of the better defenders anywhere in NE Indiana. Just a kid you want on your team because he can do it all. Sky’s the limit for Ben and Lakeland this year, we will be a sleeper in the NECC.” – Lakeland coach Chris Keil
No. 26: Ethan Poling, Adams Central
Poling has become one of the top players in the ACAC and has learned to score on all three levels despite being more of a post than anything else. Poling averaged 16 points and 6 rebounds last year as a junior. He shot near 80% from the foul line and 60% from the field as well as having an underrated three point shot. You will be hard pressed to find anyone who can control the interior in the ACAC as well and it really could lead to Adams Central having their best season in some time. Poling has very good defensive awareness and gets into position well as a help defender around the basket, or even getting out to double-team on the perimeter when needed. Poling has good timing trying to block or alter shots and extends well.
COACH’S QUOTE ON ETHAN POLING
You could get a little argument on this one, but I believe he will be the best player in the ACAC this year. He is not exceptionally quick or athletic but is a very efficient post player with great hands and body control who can finish with a variety of post moves. He will go over 1,000 career point in probably the third or fourth game of the year and will likely end his career as the all-time leading scorer in school history with between 1300-1400 career points.” – Adams Central coach Aaron McClure
These opinions represent those of Bounce and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Bounce on Twitter at Bounce_OTH
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