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. 50-46.
No. 50 -Stratton Fuller, Columbia City
One of the best pure athletes in all of Northeast Indiana, Fuller is only getting stronger by the day on the basketball court. Headlined by a buzzer beating moment in a win over Carroll, Fuller handled larger expectations last season well for the Eagles. He averaged nine points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 50 percent from the field.
COACH’S QUOTE ON FULLER:
“Stratton is a special athlete. He is one of the more competitive kids that I have coached and he works his butt off in all that he does. We look for him to build on the great sophomore year he had last year. We will need him to be more aggressive with the ball to put some points on the board or make plays for his teammates. He will be a difference maker for us on both ends of the floor.” – Columbia City coach Matt Schauss
No. 49 – JC Cottrell, New Haven
Cottrell was an All-NE8 Honorable Mention performer for the Bulldogs last season but will assume heavier responsibility this season as New Haven’s likely second option. Cottrell can be an aggressive rebounding threat, who is strong at attacking from 15 feet in along the baseline. He averaged 9 points per game last season to go with four rebounds per game as a starter.
No. 48 – Tyler James, Bellmont
James leads a talented guard front for the Braves that has many believing that boys from Decatur can contend for a conference title. James’ value goes beyond his numbers as he is one of the area’s rare true point guards that gets everyone else involved on a consistent basis. James averaged 9.3 points, 3.5 assists and is the leading returning rebounder at 4.1 per game.
COACH’S QUOTE ON JAMES:
“Andrew has put himself in position to have a great senior season. Andrew worked incredibly hard this summer on his game and on his leadership. He is a lead by example type of player that every coach wants to have on their team. Andrew is a natural point guard with great court vision and quickness with the ball. By the end of the season, Andrew should be talked about as one of the top guards in the NE8.” – Bellmont coach Payton Selking
No. 47 – Tyson Frey, Fairfield
There are few in the NECC that have the same high level. varsity experience that Frey does heading into his senior season. Frey has been a constant through Fairfield’s rebuild and leads a really nice team with depth this season. He is a physical presence who has worked hard to diversify his game past the raw physicality that earned him early attention in his career. Frey averaged 8.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season.
COACH’S QUOTE ON FREY:
“Tyson returns as a player with a ton of varsity experience. He has continued to work hard to add to his game, which will translate into more success for himself and our team. He has shown the ability to rebound and score against anyone, and with some consistent improvement he will be able to do it on a more regular basis this year.” – Fairfield coach Derek Hinen
No. 46 – Luke Bricker, Warsaw
Bricker had a breakout season and is expected to be the next big thing at Warsaw heading into his junior season after averaging 8.3 points per game last season. Expect Bricker to really expand his game as he has showcased in the offseason. That said, Bricker is one of the very best shooter in the NLC, posting 41 made three pointers last season, which was second best in the conference.