Carmel boys basketball preview

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Coach Tim Bowen

Now in his fourth year at the helm for Carmel, Bowen is tied with two other basketball coaches for the longest tenure at the school in 20 years. Stability has its upside. “I’d like to think we’ve done some things and made some improvements,” Bowen said. “I know our kids are talking the basketball language the coaches are using in terms of what we want them to do on offense and defense.”

Expect the Corsairs to run a motion offense against man-to-man defenses, although they will be more methodical than most.

“We will take our time and get good shots. It’s in our best interests to have possession of the ball longer than some of the good teams we play in our conference,” Bowen said.

Guard Billy Kirby

The 6-foot-1 senior will start the season as the team’s starting point guard. Stronger and more skilled than last year, Kirby is evolving into what the Corsairs need from the position: a floor general.

“He’s barking out nice commands and getting the younger guys to where they belong,” Bowen said.

A more patient player this year, Kirby will be asked to score more for Carmel within the team’s offensive system.

“His jump shot has gotten better,” Bowen said.

Center Jack George

One of the tallest players in the ESCC at 6-foot-10, George came on late last year and was a key contributor in the Corsairs’ run to a Class 3A sectional final. George worked all summer and fall developing a hook shot and step-out jumper. After losing all-conference forward Cullen Barr to graduation, George will be asked to do more than score.

“We are expecting him to pick up what we lost with Cullen. Rebounding, post defense and post scoring,” Bowen said. “I think he’s picked up more awareness of the basketball court, and his skills have gotten better.”

It’s always very difficult to play Carmel. They play very intense, hard-nosed man-to-man defense and they are patient with the ball on offense. They are tough kids and play well together. They have our respect.

2012-13 record: 15-14 overall, 3-5 ESCC

2013 playoffs: Lost in Class 3A sectional final to North Chicago

Head coach: Tim Bowen, fourth season

Projected starting five: sr. G Billy Kirby, sr. G Nickai Poyser, so. G/F Christopher Duff Jr., sr. F Michael Barr, sr. C Jack George.

Game to watch: St. Viator at Carmel, 7 p.m. Dec. 13. The ESCC opener for the Corsairs pits a pair of sectional finalists from the 2012-13 season.

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