JASONVILLE -- With graduation comes a need to fill holes. And for the Shakamak Lakers those holes are big.
Gone is a point guard and a big man in the middle.
What remains is a handful of players with varsity experience at one level and a group of players that head coach Steve Brett hopes to see eventually fill-in those holes.
"Coaches have a tendency to look and see what you don't have instead of what you actually do have," Shakamak head coach Steve Brett said. "We have some good kids, some hard working kids."
Gone are Brock Dowell and Justin Crody from a Lakers' team that finished 14-9 and bowed out in the opening round of the class A sectional at White River Valley.
"We lost two pretty important ingredients at point guard (Dowell) and a big guy in the middle," Brett said. "And those two guys made up a lot of our scoring last year."
With the majority of the points from last year's team in the rearview mirror, Brett hopes to see returning players such as Brodie Crowe, Patrick Green, Kyle Schubla, Brandon Morin, Mark West and Dylan Collins all make a contribution this year.
"We have some playing experience back," Brett said. "We have some varsity experience back. But points scored we've only got about 21 or 22 back. And about 15 points of that is Crowe."
Crowe was the leading scorer for the Lakers last season, so the outlook for points isn't as bleak as it might appear at the outset of the year.
While Crowe and his returning help might be able to take up the slack as a committee when it comes to scoring, taking over the leadership role that Dowell held will likely be another story.
"Whether those guys can be replaced or not remains to be seen," Brett said. "You just don't replace somebody as big as Crody and you don't just replace somebody like Dowell, especially when you've counted on him to run things the last couple of years."
Brett notes that it may take a while before someone steps up and shows they have the leadership skill and ability -- to put it simply -- it's just too early in the year to know.
"It's going to take a while to replace both those spots," Brett admitted. "Of course we also lost Jeb Batchelor who was a senior part time starter and pretty valuable reserve for us."
Brett admits that as far as who will run the show on the floor is a question mark. And until that question mark gets answered he says he himself will have to do a little more work on the sidelines.
"At least early I'm going to have to make a lot of decisions for them that you would like for them to make on the floor for themselves," he said. "We hope that somebody or all of them can step up and take charge like Dowell did and make things easier for the old coach."
Things in the middle might be a little more difficult work around. Gone is the 6-8 and big body that Crody brought to the game every night.
Now Brett will look to other sources, whether they be West, Christian Burris, Jeff Bessling or Morin or someone else to take up the mantle in the middle.
He even admits there could be games where he goes with three guards and not have a true center in the post.
"We may play with five guards sometimes or four guards and a forward," Brett said. "It will depend on the situation, we may not have a center all year, it kind of depends on how those guys develop."
Brett estimates there could be as many as eight or nine players that could make a difference.
"We've seen them in open gym quite a bit," Brett said. "But until you see them under fire you don't know what you've got."
The season gets underway when the Lakers travel to Bloomfield on Friday, Nov. 30 for a Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference game against the Cardinals at 6 p.m.
2012-13 Shakamak Lakers
Head coach: Steve Brett (54-41, four seasons, 448-331 in 34 seasons overall).
Assistant coach: Brent Anderson.
|Nov. 30||at Bloomfield||6 p.m.|
|Dec. 1||Sullivan||6 p.m.|
|Dec. 8||at Union||6 p.m.|
|Dec. 14||Linton-Stockton||6 p.m.|
|Dec. 15||Eminence||6 p.m.|
|Dec. 26||Wabash Valley Classic||TBA|
|Dec. 27||Wabash Valley Classic||TBA|
|Dec. 28||Wabash Valley Classic||TBA|
|Dec. 29||Wabash Valley Classic||TBA|
|Jan. 2||Greene County Invitational||TBA|
|Jan. 3||Greene County Invitational||TBA|
|Jan. 4||Greene County Invitational||TBA|
|Jan. 5||Greene County Invitational||TBA|
|Jan. 11||North Daviess||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 12||Marshall (Ill.)||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 18||at White River Valley||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 19||West Vigo||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 25||at Barr-Reeve||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 26||at North Central||6 p.m.|
|Feb. 1||Clay City||6 p.m.|
|Feb. 7||Vincennes Rivet||6 p.m.|
|Feb. 15||at Eastern Greene||6 p.m.|
|Feb. 22||Owen Valley||6 p.m.|
Wabash Valley Classic at Terre Haute South
Greene County Invitational at WRV