2015-16 Minerva Boys’ Basketball Preview

2015-16 Minerva Lions’ Boys’ Basketball Preview
Head Coach: Shawn Green, 2nd season (5-18)
Record: 5-18 (2-12), 8th place in Northeastern Buckeye Conference
5-Year Winning Percentage: 26.1%
5-Year League Record: 13-57

Season in Review
Minerva’s senior class accounted for 80% plus of all their statistical totals. According to coach Shawn Green, Joey Gill and Kristian Knight helped the team reduce the amount of turnovers from a year ago. The Lions dropped their post-season appearance to Steubenville in the Belmont Sectional Final, 65-46, to end the season with a record of 5-18.

The Lions closed out 2014-15 season with their sixth straight year of finishing with a non-winning season in Northeastern Basketball Conference play.

2014-15 Northeastern Buckeye Conference Standings
League Record
Louisville – 14-0
Canton South – 12-2
Alliance – 8-6
Marlington – 7-7
West Branch – 5-9
Salem – 4-10
Carrollton – 4-10
Minerva – 2-12

Recent League Champions
2014-15: Louisville (14-0)
2013-14: Alliance (14-0)
2012-13: Canton South (12-2)
2011-12: Alliance (14-0)
2010-11: Carrollton (14-0)
2009-10: Louisville (13-1)
2008-09: Minerva (13-1)
2007-08: Alliance, Marlington, & Northwest (11-3)

Key Losses
Wylie Brown
Austin Catlett
Logan Coe
Billy Eyer
Joey Gill
Dakota Hudy
Kristian Knight
Derek McNutt

Key Returnees
Sophomore Connor Wright is one of two returning letter winners from last year’s team. Wright averaged 7.4 points and 4 rebounds per game while snagging an honorable mention nod in the league. The Lions’ tallest player is 6’2 so height may become an issue with the team rebounding. Coach Green points to competition for playing time as a strength on this year’s roster. “There is nothing better for team improvement than players fighting for minutes and their spot. We will be very youthful but we’ll have a large group of newcomers who will be battling for roles. I think we have a lot of players who have the potential to be well-rounded players in multiple ways.”

Kyle Gulling (Sr./F)
Ethan Hall (Sr./F)
Jake Preston (Sr./F)
Scout Angione (Jr./F)
Adam Gross (Jr./F)
Jack Hanley (Jr./G)
Blaine Neikirk (Jr./G)
Brett Russell (Jr./G)
Connor Wright (So./G)

Northeastern Buckeye Conference Outlook
Alliance The Aviators closed out last season with an 8-6 mark in the league. When you have had the success that Alliance has had lately (2 league title in the previous 3 years) – that’s a down year.

Canton South Canton South has put together a pair of 12-2 NBC seasons in the last three seasons. This is the same Wildcats who finished the 2009-10 season with just a single win overall (1-20).

Carrollton Since Carrollton finished the league schedule in 2010-11 with a perfect 14-0 record, the Warriors have only been able to post one winning season in the NBC (2011-12: 8-6).

Louisville Coach Tom Siegfried returns three starters from last year’s undefeated group in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference which includes 6’7 senior Drew Noble.

Marlington The poster child for consistent play in the league, the Dukes had won 31 of their prior 42 league games before last year. Marlington finished 7-7 in the NBC.

Minerva Connor Wright and company will look to give coach Shawn Green a lift in his second season.

Salem For anyone who hasn’t seen D.J. Pullie play – get to a gym near you. The Quakers, who finished 10-14 last year, appear to be a good pick for a bounce back year.

West Branch Former Hoover coach Randy Montgomery returns to the sidelines, this time he’ll attempt to lead the Warriors back to respectability with players such as Jeremy Gorby and Matt Heffinger leading the group.
2015-16 Schedule
Nov. 27 – St. Thomas Aquinas, 7:30
Dec. 1 – Tusky Valley, 7:30
Dec. 4 – at West Branch, 7:30
Dec. 11 – at Alliance, 7:30
Dec. 12 – at East Canton, 7:30
Dec. 18 – Marlington, 7:30
Dec. 19 – Malvern, 7:30
Dec. 22 – Canton South, 7:30
Dec. 29 – BW3 Classic at Philo (TBA)
Dec. 30 – BW3 Classic at Philo (TBA)
Jan. 2 – at Claymont, 7:30
Jan. 8 – Carrollton, 7:30
Jan. 9 – Edison, 5
Jan. 12 – at Salem, 7:30
Jan. 15 – West Branch, 7:30
Jan. 19 – at Louisville, 7:30
Jan. 22 – Alliance, 7:30
Jan. 26 – at Marlington, 7:30
Jan. 29 – at Canton South, 7:30
Feb. 2 – Louisville, 7:30
Feb. 5 – at Carrollton, 7:30
Feb. 12 – Salem, 7:30

Post-Season History
State Championships: None
Regional Championships: None
…The Lions have not won a playoff game since 2012 (def. Steubenville, 78-70 in Sectional Semifinals).

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