Coming off a 21 win season and being just two wins away from the state finals, Wayne has really turned the page on the rebuild of their program into one of the best teams in the entire state, regardless of class, to start the 2023-2024 season.
They also have something you don’t see often: a 20 win team that returns the vast majority of its core BUT has undergone a head coaching change.
As Byron Pickens has left the Generals, one of his assistants Anthony Brewer now takes over the program with a chance to continue the big legacy that he (and others) helped build under Pickens leadership.
“In order to continue to grow as a team we have to improve our half court execution on both ends of the court,” Brewer said. “We have learned that greatness hides in the details. So, if we want to compete with the best teams in the state our attention to detail has to improve throughout the season.”
The will be headed up by a pair of returning guards who may be the best 1-2 backcourt punch in the north half of the state, if not beyond. Senior Jevon Lewis (17 ppg/6.5 apg) is back after being Mr. Clutch for the Generals throughout last season’s run, as is his junior running mate Chase Barnes (14 ppg). The pair have become dynamic scorers that work so well off each other.
The interior will again be patrolled by Trey Dillard and Ziare Sullivan. Dillard is coming off another stellar campaign, just short of a double double at 9 points and 9 rebounds per contest. Sullivan gives the Generals. a massive boost off the bench and is one of the area’s more underrated players for his defensive pressure and rebounding. Kharrington Terry and Preston Comer (8 ppg/8 rrpg) are also returning forwards, though Comer is well known for his ability to drift out to the corner and knock down timely shots.
The Generals don’t have too many spots to fill from last year’s team, but transfer Khalyn Williams-Thomas is expected to be able to help replace graduated Monte Smith. Williams-Thomas’ length and defensive tenacity is a big weapon to add. Wayne will also add Qualon Miles and Harold Mack to the rotation as they look to defend the SAC title.
High level contenders who win a lot of championships just don’t traditionally return as much as Wayne does. Some may even say they found success a year earlier than expected.
But with all of that big game and championship level experience back, everyone has Wayne on their radar now. And everyone would consider them the top team in the area headed into the season as they are even #6 in the state in the preseason IBCA poll for all classes combined.
Wayne is good.
December 2 against Ben Davis at Brownsburg
So many games are critical for Wayne. They get NE8 front runners Leo and New Haven early. December 15 at Carroll is going to be wild.
But a big test just of a big state, if nothing else, comes quickly when the Generals face off against long time power Ben Davis. It is going to be a big game and an important one for momentum and expectation early in this season.
Sure, the game won’t matter in any championship race but it is a game of preparation for the Generals against a team who will cut them no slack and be well prepared for every weapon that the Generals have.