Indians return with more experience

by Todd Brooks

The fact the Comanche Indians had no seniors on last year’s squad meant some growing pains for the young team. This year’s team, however, will get to benefit from that experience as all players return for the 2021-22 season.

“I feel like we are in a pretty good spot,” said Caleb Patterson, head coach. “I feel more comfortable about this team than I have the last couple of years. We’ve got a bunch of seniors and the younger guys have gotten better. So, I’m feeling fairly comfortable going into the season.”

The coach is taking advantage of now having a veteran group.

“We’ve brought in a lot of changes that we’ve implemented and I think it’s really helping us,” Patterson said. “I feel like we have a good rotation and we are deep enough where anybody that comes in is going to be able to perform and help us succeed.”

Some of the changes include slowing down the pace from the past couple of years, a style that has served the Indians well in the past.

“We’re not focused on playing fast so much,” Patterson said. “We’re just mixing things up on offense and mixing things up on defense and trying to focus on our post players more. Last year, they weren’t really focused on and that‘s something we need to change to be more successful.”

There is plenty of experience returning but Patterson will be looking for some leadership from seniors Mason Kulbeth and Landon Ellis, both guards. Jeremy Crisp will give the Indians some size in the post. The Ellis twins of Dillon and Myles will bring some experience at guard as will Briar Blair and Corbin Bowen. Cason Morris and Aiden Cain bring some additional size in the paint.

Patterson likens the team to one he had a few years ago that played hard all season long.

“I think this team will play as hard as they did, but I think this team is a little more skilled,” Patterson said. “We don’t have a guy like J.J. Francis for us, you know, that one guy, but I think we have a bunch of guys who are going to help each other out every night.”

The Indians may not have a player that will be able to put up 15 points a night, but the coach thinks he has several players that could put up big numbers on any night.

“I think we are probably going to play 10, as of today,” Patterson said. “That could change and could be more or less but I think there are seven different guys that can get into double figures any given night. We have guys like Landon Ellis who might score 15 one game and two the next, but he’s out there every game playing hard. I think we have more guys like that this year and with the way we are going to try to play, I think it’s going to complement them well.”

The schedule won’t be easy.

“It’s going to be a tough test every game,” Patterson said. “We don’t have any ‘gimmes.’ “

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