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MADISON BOYS BASKETBALL
Rebuilt Cubs looking forward to season
, Courier Sportswriter
Friday, November 22, 2013 10:00 AM
WATCHFUL EYE: Madison boys basketball coach Pat King watches senior Landon Perry run a drill during practice on Wednesday. Expectations are high this season for the Cubs, who return three starters led by Perry, who averaged a team-high 13.3 points per game last season. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
The Madison team that hits the floor for the annual Turkey Shootout next week will be a very confident one. And for good reason. The Cubs return three starters from last year's team that won 11 games and gave eventual state champion Greensburg fits in the sectional championship game.
Now the key for Madison will be to channel that confidence into success on the floor. And after two strong rebuilding years, the Cubs appear ready to jump to the next level.
"The kids are hopeful and I think everybody in town is looking forward to this season," said Madison coach Pat King, who enters his third season at the helm of the Cubs. "We've had two really good rebuilding years and as far as any kind of program that I've tried to set up, I think things have gone pretty well as planned.
"At the end of last season we wanted to be playing our best basketball and I don't think there's any doubt that the product we put on the floor at Greensburg was a pretty good product," King added. "For us to play Greensburg and Rushville at that level in front of that size of a crowd, I thought was a credit to the kids and everybody involved with the program."
Despite injuries to several key players, Madison seemed to catch fire late in the season. The Cubs opened sectional play with a resounding 10-point win over Rushville and led Greensburg late in the third quarter before falling 69-52.
The Greensburg loss opened a lot of eyes, not only to area fans, but the Cubs as well. The confidence gained in that game carried over to a very successful summer campaign and so far in practice has given the Cubs an extra boost not seen in recent seasons.
"The leadership is there and we all know our roles," said senior guard Landon Perry. "Our leadership shouldn't be a problem. After the first practice I went to coach and told him that our communication for a first practice was great. It was the best first practice we've ever had."
Perry, along with fellow senior Carson Wattenbarger and junior Nick Macon will be the keys to the season. The trio averaged nearly 35 points a game last season but more is expected this year after the graduation of Ryan Thurston and Matt Woolard.
Perry led the team at 13.3 points per game and was closely followed by Macon, who came in at 12.6 points per game as a sophomore. Wattenbarger, who didn't even start early in the season, ended up averaging 8.5.
Perry and Macon may be considered undersized at 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-11, respectively, but both can get to the rim as well as anyone in southeastern Indiana. Perry also shot 43.5 percent from 3-point range while Macon was at 49.7 percent from the floor overall.
Wattenbarger, at 6-foot-4, gives the Cubs not only some much-needed post presence but is also a dead-eye shooter as well. He hit 23 treys at a 40.4 percent clip last year and made teams pay for concentrating on Madison's two guards.
"I think we're the best two guards in the conference," Macon said. "I can drive it in and kick it out to Landon and Carson and they can both knock it down. I have every confidence their shots are going to go down every time."
"Carson's really good in the post. He can do everything. He can turn around and shoot the fadeaway, a jumper in the corner. He's really good looking opposite," Perry said. "Nick is the best ballhandler and a great point guard. He makes us all better. You can't ask for anything more. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be able to do half the things I do."
"Those three are going to have to play well. Obviously they're going to be the top names on the scouting report," King said. "All three are capable of scoring 20-plus on any given night. And the nice thing is, we're talking about three people. We're not talking about one or two people. We really feel like we have three people that can score a lot of points."
Of course it takes more than three players to win a basketball game. Tyler Manaugh, a 6-foot-7 senior, and Scott King, a 6-foot-2 senior, will likely start and provide defense and rebounding. Several other players, such as 5-foot-10 senior Tanner Sauley, 5-foot-10 junior Willie Huffman, 6-foot junior Kyle Tucker and 6-foot-2 junior center Alex Weaver, give King what he feels like is his deepest team since he's been at Madison.
"I really like our role players," coach King said. "Tyler Manaugh had a great summer and has had a good fall. Scott King and Tanner Sauley have worked really hard. And I think the people are really going to like Alex Weaver and Kyle Tucker. Kyle had a good football season and I think that's going to carry over. That's nine names of people that I feel very confident in playing late minutes."
Madison will host Lanesville in a scrimmage at 1 p.m. on Saturday before beginning the season for real on Wednesday at Southwestern in the annual Turkey Shootout.
After that will be a tough December stretch that includes road games at Jennings County and Jeffersonville and home games against Providence and Bedford North Lawrence. Madison also added Greensburg to the schedule this year and will face the defending 3A champs at their place on Jan. 24.
After a long summer of tournaments in the Indianapolis area where Madison picked up some big wins, King is ready to start playing games for real.
"We've had a very good preseason. The kids have worked really hard," King said. "To be honest, we need to play. We've had two weeks. We could play a game right now. The recall is good, we're taking care of some details, taking care of some bumps and bruises. We're really looking forward to the season getting started."
(Home games in CAPS)
Nov. 27 at Southwestern 8 p.m.
Dec. 6 at Jennings Co.* 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 7 PROVIDENCE 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 13 SOUTH DEARBORN 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 14 at Jeffersonville* 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 20 BEDFORD N.L.* 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 21 at Austin 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 4 SALEM 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10 at Scottsburg 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17 NEW ALBANY* 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 24 at Greensburg 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 25 FLOYD CENTRAL* 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 31 at Silver Creek 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 1 NORTH HARRISON 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 at Seymour* 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 8 SHAWE 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 13 LAWRENCEBURG 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 21 at Columbus East* 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 25 SOUTH RIPLEY 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 28 at Switzerland Co. 7:30 p.m.
March 4 Class 3A Sectional TBA
Head Coach: Pat King (3rd year, 20-23; 267-271 overall)
2012-13 Record: 11-11, 2-5 HHC
Tournament Run: Sectional - defeated Rushville 62-52; lost to Greensburg 69-52.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP
Pos. - No. - Name - Cl. - Ht. - Key Stats
G - 23 - Nick Macon - Jr. - 5-11 - 12.6 ppg, 3.7 apg
G - 11 - Landon Perry - Sr. - 5-9 - 13.3 ppg, 1.3 apg
F - 33 - Scott King - Sr. - 6-2 - 1.4 ppg, 0.5 rpg
F - 24 - Carson Wattenbarger - Sr. - 6-4 - 8.5 ppg, 1.0 apg
C - 40 - Tyler Manaugh - Sr. - 6-7 - 2.1 ppg, 0.6 rpg
G - 10 - Kyle Tucker - Jr. - 6-0 - 0.2 ppg
G - 12 - Dylan Bilz - Jr. - 5-7 - First Varsity
G - 14 - Quenton White - Jr. - 5-10 - First Varsity
C - 20 - Alex Weaver - Jr. - 6-2 - First Varsity
G - 22 - Willie Huffman - Jr. - 5-10 - 3.0 ppg, 2.0 apg
F - 30 - Kevin Stewart - Jr. - 6-1 - 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
G - 34 - Tanner Sauley - Sr. - 5-10 - 2.5 ppg, 0.9 apg
F - 42 - Mitchell Seng - Jr. - 6-4 - First Varsity
Assistant Coaches: Burton Chambers, Rich Bagienski
PHOTOS: MADISON BOYS BASKETBALL
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