Jeeps look to capitalize with upperclassmen talent


Herald File Photo
Northeast Dubois’ Ethan Ziegler is one of 10 upperclassmen who comprise this year’s basketball squad.












DUBOIS — Terry Friedman is very optimistic about what his boys team at Northeast Dubois can do this season.

The 14-year coach and athletic director said the Jeeps are excited, and feel like they have a chance of being a respectable team. Friedman will be manning an elderly group that features 10 upperclassmen on a team of 12 players.

The Jeeps have four seniors. He called Reece Bauer, who averaged 14.9 points per game last year, the focal point of the senior group, and Ethan Ziegler, who averaged 6.8 points, will complement Bauer in the back court. Friedman said Ziegler is more seasoned and mature this year after last season was his first in varsity play. He is also looking for Eli Schott and Ethan Fromme to contribute off the bench. They will be joined six juniors, including Lane Knies, who was the team’s third-leading scorer last year with an average of 5.3 points per game, and also Nick Lueken, whom Friedman said has worked very hard to improve his defense. He said on Monday the team was relying on its help defense.

Last year’s team went 10-14, but also won the opening round of the sectional tournament. Friedman chalked that up to his sophomore class maturing by the end of the year. He thought they were moving in a solid direction into the tournament, and praised how competitive his players were in that maturity process.

The Jeeps pride themselves on defense, having allowed an average of only 46 points per game last year. Northeast Dubois particularly likes the man-to-man. However, he said they will also run different types of zone defenses, such as the 3-2, the 2-3 and the 1-3-1. Friedman is also looking to improve the offense, because the offense averaged 46 points per game last year. He said the keys to success for Northeast Dubois this year will be maintaining its defensive intensity, and also having a good shot selection. Friedman said the Jeeps will take an average of 45-50 shots per game.

“We’ve got some shooters, but we have to understand that there’s a difference between a good shot and a better shot,” Friedman said.

Friedman said the situation is a determining factor in shot selection, too. He’s hoping the team will gain a concept of the aforementioned difference as the season moves along in practices as well as games. He believes in Northeast Dubois moving the ball around and getting touches early. Friedman is looking for everybody to get involved in the offense. He said the Jeeps are primarily a motion team, and added they will frequently run the man-to-man motion. Friedman is hoping the offense will be more balanced in 2019-20.

Another thing the coach is looking for is improvement on the team’s rebounding. Friedman said the Jeeps focus on that every day in practice. He added that Northeast Dubois isn’t the biggest team around, and might be undersized. Friedman said, therefore, that his players must be keen and on cue when it comes to blocking out the opponent in an attempt to get boards. He said one way for the team to get around its lack of size is having ball pressure on defense to force turnovers and turn into points on offense.

Friedman said he was pleased with the team’s performance during the summer. The team competed at Super Hoops at Indiana Wesleyan University, going 6-1 in pool play. However, he said summer ball usually isn’t as intense as winter ball, something Northeast Dubois must bring early on this season. He was very pleased, though, with the intensity the team has shown recently, citing the Jeeps’ Blue and White scrimmage Nov. 14, and their practice the very next day.

“We are moving in the right direction right now,” he said. “The kids are continuing to work hard. We have to build trust between them, and we have to build confidence. That comes from repetition and hard work.”

He said Northeast Dubois is more confident, and more comfortable because it knows what it must do in order to compete. The Jeeps have been partaking in five-on-five in practice, and Friedman said this week’s practices are devoted to putting together more stuff in a team framework both on offense and defense. He added the Jeeps will be running sets, working on the offense and inbound plays. Friedman said Northeast Dubois will have multiple morning practices this week as well to help implement stuff as quickly as possible.

The Jeeps will be in action at 1 p.m. Saturday when they welcome Tell City for a scrimmage. Their regular-season opener is Nov. 27 at home against Pike Central. Northeast Dubois won last year’s season opener against the Chargers, 52-44.

“We just have to come out ready to play,” Friedman said. “I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of emotion. It’s the home opener for us and first game. We have to control our emotions and stay focused on what we do.”


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