For the fifth season in a row, Bounce and Outside the Huddle are counting down who they feel are the top 50 individual players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2023-2024 season.
Today, we continue on the boys hoops side with positions No. 35-31
No. 35 – Nolan Hiteshew, Leo
Starting his freshman season splitting time with the junior varsity and varsity, the youngest of the Hiteshew brothers really made an impact as a third guy who could consistently help bolster Leo’s offense last season when he quickly became a varsity leader with his play. Hiteshew is a really strong three point shooter and is also adept at filling the lanes both in transition and when a teammate penetrates to the basket.
COACH’S QUOTE ON HITESHEW:
“Nolan gained a lot of experience as a freshman last year. He stepped up and had some big games for us. Nolan is an excellent passer, who has good instincts. Hopefully, the experience he gained will help him take the next step in his development.” – Leo coach Cary Cogdell
No. 34 – Wyatt Zepp, Westview
A new face to the OTH coverage area, but Zepp is a far proven varsity entity during his time at Northridge. His 6-foot-7 frame immediately can be a game changer for Westview and the NECC. He has really good footwork inside and uses his length offensively very well. Don’t expect him to just stay there though as Zepp has shown some prowess on the perimeter as well.
COACH’S QUOTE ON ZEPP:
“Wyatt can score at all 3 levels. He is long and can affect shots at the rim. We will use him inside and also on the perimeter.” – Westview coach Chandler Prible
No. 33 – Drew Pliett, Central Noble
A speedster of a guard with the ability too fly around the court, Pliett is one of the toughest draws for any defender in the NECC. You have to constantly be connected to Pliett or he can make things happen with his shot that he can pull at any time or his ability to drive and either drop off or dish to a teammate. Pliett just goes quick and makes things happen quicker. Last season, he averaged 10.7 points and 3.6 rebounds for the Cougars.
COACH’S QUOTE ON PLIETT:
“Drew Pliett has won for 3 years playing varsity basketball, I’m excited to have that experience on our team this year. Drew is a close-out nightmare, his quickness is difficult to guard. Drew is also a fierce competitor who is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Drew not only can get to the basket but also is a good three-point shooter.” – Central Noble coach Ben Lemmon
No. 32 – Preston Comer, Wayne
Comer has been a real nightmare for teams who thought they could key in on the other big four players for Wayne last season in their incredible run that had them on the cusp of a state title game. His size alone tells you that he can fight inside and make things happen, but his timely three pointers are a major catalyst in the Generals’ success. He is a matchup nightmare because of his ability to play all over the floor. His 14 point/10 rebound performance against Homestead in the regular season and his 18 points/8 rebounds against Noblesville in the Regional win stand out.
COACH’S QUOTE ON COMER:
“Ever since Preston came over to Wayne, he has been an exceptional student/athlete. His mix of skill and athleticism has been impressive to watch and coach. He is a three-level scorer that has prioritized the ‘unseen hours’ this offseason. Preston has shown significant improvement in a variety of areas in preparation for the season. He will be one of the most fun players in our area to watch this upcoming season.” – Wayne coach Anthony Brewer
No. 31 – Nate Keil, Lakeland
Keil’s ability to play above the rim and make athletic plays has become something that people really want to see. He averaged 12 points per game last season, but the real trick with Keil is to see the variety of ways that he chooses to score the ball, a three level talent. Keil is a solid shooter and has expended upon that role as he has gotten bouncier and turned into one of the best natural athletes in the entire NECC.
COACH’S QUOTE ON KEIL:
“Nate Keil is super athletic and can score at every level. He’s a 6’3, 2 guard who shoots the 3 well and can dunk at will. He’s working on his PG skills this fall to add another layer to his game. Nate has the skill to be one of the better players in NE Indiana, he just needs to be more intense rebounding and willing to crash the boards on every shot to be elite.” – Lakeland coach Chris Keil