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. 10-6.
No. 10 – Cole Hayworth, Concordia
Hayworth has really come into his own as a multi-tooled offensive player. He has the size and the aggression to showcase physicality on the interior and yet he is a guy who can really extend defenses with his improved shooting. Hayworth averaged 10 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game last season. He has a really solid first step and his big body gets down hill strong to help him play above the rim. The athletic lefty is able to change the game offensively on all three levels and one of his best attributes seems to be that he is always getting better scoring the basketball.
COACH’S QUOTE ON HAYWORTH:
“His teammates trust him because of his time and effort he has put into becoming an excellent player. His ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor, whether it is a deflection, a block, an offensive rebound, or a highlight dunk makes Cole such a special player. Cole’s experience, consistency, and leadership will be important for us this season. Cole is a coach’s dream who always is pushing himself to become better, is never satisfied, and is ready for any challenge.” – Concordia coach Phil Brackmann
No. 9 – Isaac Schultz, Adams Central
When Schultz made an impact last season, he did in a major way. He went from a solid player for the Flying Jets to one of the most feared and arguably best post player in Northeast Indiana, scoring 17 points per game as a junior. The reigning ACAC Tournament MVP has become proficient at running the floor and. creating instant offense. He is a dominant inside presence who reads the interior well and makes him a tough guy to rebound against after wavering seven per game last season. Schultz also averaged two blocks per game last season as a big rim protector no matter the opposing team.
COACH’S QUOTE ON SCHULTZ:
“Isaac exploded onto the scene last winter and has continued to improve over the summer. He’s got great hands and is almost unstoppable once he gets the ball in the low post. I’ve seen continued development in his perimeter shooting and ability to play off the bounce. This will make him even tougher to guard this year as a senior. His length and shot-blocking ability make him a very valuable player on the defensive end of the floor as well where he can dictate a lot of what the other team is able to do with the ball.” – Adams Central coach Aaron McClure
No. 8 – Cannen Houser, Carroll
Houser averaged 15 points per game for a resurgent Carroll program last season and asserted himself as one of the best pure scorers in Northeast Indiana as well as one of the area’s top shooters. Houser is more than capable of pulling up from range or with a defender in his face. But Houser has become more than just a “catch and shoot” guy, he has become a credible scorer off the dribble and his ability to get downhill up the middle is starting to matchup with the best straight line penetrators in the area.
COACH’S QUOTE ON HOUSER:
“The impact that Cannen has on our program is remarkable. He consistently sacrifices his own person acknowledgement for the betterment of our team/program. He is truly one of the more skilled and as well rounded of a basketball player our state has to offer. His capability to defend, score, rebound, and compliment his teammates is exceptional.” – Carroll coach Ryan Abbott
No. 7 – Jackson McGee, Leo
McGee has gotten so much stronger physically in the last year and it has shown on the court. While he has ben a three level scorer for sometime, his ability to play a bit of bully ball to get to the rim has become a big asset for him. McGee is also one of the area’s best, if not the best, at the midrange turnaround jumper especially fading away. McGee led Leo with 18.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season, adding in an assist per game while playing a bit as a big lead guard. McGee is aggressive at crashing the boards and getting his team multiple looks on offense.
COACH’S QUOTE ON MCGEE:
“Jackson has really worked hard on his game. He has improved on offense and defense and has become a more well-rounded player this off-season. Jackson’s a good shooter, who rebounds very well for a guard. His experience will be valuable in leading our team.” – Leo coach Cary Cogdell
No. 6 – Ajani Washington, New Haven
A transfer from Concordia, where he averaged 14.4 points per game last season, Washington adds a tremendous vocal and by example leadership to New Haven immediately. Washington is a player who is built for the big moments and that was only built on by a solid senior football season. Already a 1,000 point scorer in his high school career, Washington has tremendous ability on the bounce both offensively and as an underrated rim protector. He added 4.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game last season, showing just how diverse and efficient his game has become.