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 get continue on the boys hoops side with positions No. 40-36.
No. 40 – Sam Essegian, Whitko
Essegian just makes things happen when he is on the court. If his offensive game isn’t flowing, he takes to the defensive end to be impactful and vice versa. He never stops moving and it has made him a guy that teams have to key on just to know where he is. Essegian is strong at using his length to create chaos both rebounding the ball and in passing lanes. His transition to Whitko for his senior season will be one to watch as Essegian and new teammate Kyler Krull work very well together, as seen on the summer circuit.
No. 39 – Jackson Andrews, Central Noble
Andrews’ decision making has continued to grow and him making the right plays at the right time is a great point of leadership for the Cougar senior. He is an intelligent and well conditioned ball handler that can set up the offense and his turnaround midrange shot is deadly. Andrews’ best strength though is likely his defensive prowess. When healthy, Andrews has been a kid that can be a lock down defender and shot challenger against some really tough competition.
COACH’S QUOTE ON ANDREWS:
“Jackson Andrews is a coach’s kid who plays the game the right way. He is a great leader who does whatever is needed for the team. Jackson is a very fundamental basketball player with great court vision and the willingness to share the ball. I’m excited to see Jackson in his final year be a little more aggressive on offense.” – Central Noble coach Ben Lemmon
No. 38 – Danny Kelly, Bishop Luers
Long and able to alter things around the rim, Kelly has had a breakout last 365 days after emerging for the Knights last season and continuing to improve and showcase growing versatility over the summer months. Kelly will head into the season as one of the best big man defenders in the SAC and will have a chance to have some big battle moments with other guys his size. Averaging 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season as a sophomore, Kelly had three blocks twice last season vs. Lawrence North and Norwell.
COACH’S QUOTE ON KELLY:
“Danny is a total gym rat. His ability to knock down shots has improved ten-fold over the past year plus and that is a credit to his work. Danny has the ability to bring a house down with his open-court dunks and then block one off the glass on the other end. He is a huge key to our success this year.’ – Bishop Luers coach Seth Coffing
No. 37 – Jack Scheumann, Bellmont
There is no doubt that Scheumann is one of the best players in the Northeast 8 Conference at getting down hill and scoring through quality defenses. He is a very heady player that is able to break down defenses well before making his way to the rim. His movement with or without the ball can alter how his offense operates and he averaged 13.8 points per game last season.
COACH’S QUOTE ON SCHEUMANN:
“Jack has been a consistent scorer for us since his sophomore year. Jack’s length and athletic ability allow him to score at all three levels. He is a great outside shooter but also one of our best at getting to the rim. Jack is constantly working to improve his game which has led him to become one of the best players in the NE8. Jack will be a three year starter for us which should lead to an elevated level of confidence from him this year.” – Bellmont coach Payton Selking
No. 36 – Wiley Minix, Westview
Minix had a breakout season as a junior and comes into this year as a big offensive threat for a Westview team expected to take a leap back up towards the top of the NECC. He shoots the ball at a strong clip and averaged 13.2 points per game last season. Minix is a very heads up guard that can play off ball but is also strong with it in his hands making decisions for the Warriors.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MINIX:
“Wiley is arguably the best shooter in the conference. He brings a lot of scoring to our team. Wiley is incredibly consistent with his game and is an important leader for us.” – Westview coach Chandler Prible