With only two returning starters, coach Drew Glentzer has two expectations for the Edinburgh boys basketball team.
He expects growing pains in the early going but expects the Lancers to be sectional contenders by season’s end.
In short, he’s more concerned with how the Lancers finish then how they start.
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“We’re a little thin down here this year,” said Glentzer, who has guided Edinburgh to winning records in each of his first five seasons at the school. “I think we’re going to have to have some patience.”
That said, Glentzer — now in his sixth season — is confident the Lancers will become viable sectional contenders, even if the going is a bit rough early.
And with only three returning letterwinners, the going could indeed be rough early.
Seniors Kyle Pendleton, Bobby Simpson and Christian Burton are the letterwinners from last year’s 14-10 team.
Pendleton and Simpson are the returning starters. Both were honorable mention All-County selections last season.
A 6-foot guard, Pendleton is the top returning scorer. He averaged 18 points and six rebounds.
Simpson, also a 6-foot guard, averaged 12 points and five assists last season.
Burton, a 5-11 guard, averaged six rebounds off the bench and will join Pendleton and Simpson in a starting lineup that also is expected to include sophomores Christian Cox and Jacob Atha.
Cox is a 6-2 forward. Atha is a 5-9 guard.
“There’s no doubt about it, we’ll be leaning on our three senior (starters) at the beginning, obviously, for guidance,” Glentzer said. “Not only for leadership, but scoring and rebounding.
“We need those three guys to lead us in those categories until the other guys catch on.”
Besides the starters, the Lancers expect contributions from juniors Addison Lollar, Isaiah Litchfield and Cameron Cravens, and from senior transfer student Marcus Ruch.
Lollar is a 5-5 guard. Litchfield is a 6-4 center. Cravens is a 5-10 guard/forward. And Ruch is a 6-2 forward.
“We’re going to be a little deeper than we’ve probably been in the past,” Glentzer said. “Overall, team defense and just playing hard (will be strengths).
“I didn’t really think about playing hard as being a skill, but the longer I’ve coached, the more I understand that playing hard is a skill, because every kid doesn’t.”
If the Lancers get the kind of nightly effort Glentzer is confident the Lancers can deliver, he sees now reason why they can’t contend for their first sectional title since 2012, when they also won the regional.
“We’ll have an opportunity to win that (sectional) when that comes around,” Glentzer said. “I think we’re going to improve all year long. When you only have two starters back, obviously they don’t have a lot of time playing with each other.
“I think our chemistry will improve as the season goes along, and our understanding of the game will continue to improve.”
Nov.;24 at Southwestern;7:30 p.m.
Nov. 28;*Indian Creek;3:30 p.m.
Dec. 4;Oldenburg Academy;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5;at Waldron;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 11;Triton Central;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 12;North Decatur;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 18;Hauser;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 19;at Monrovia;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 28;Edinburgh Tourney;TBA
Dec. 29;Edinburgh Tourney;TBA
Jan. 5;at Seymour;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 9;Lutheran;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 23;Knightstown;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 29;at Morristown;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 30;Central Christian;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4;at Greenwood;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 16;at Eastern Hancock;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 19;South Decatur;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 23;Southwestern;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 25;at Brown County;7:30 p.m.