By KEVIN HARRIS
During his team’s summer activities in June, Providence boys’ basketball coach Lou Lefevre focused on one area — offense.
The Pioneers averaged 52.9 points per game during their 17-4 season in 2012-13. Ever since Lefevre took over the program in the 2004-05 season, Providence’s highest scoring average was 59.6 points a contest in his first PHS campaign, which resulted in a 19-1 record.
The 2003-04 season was the last time the Pioneers have averaged more 60 points per game for the year.
Lefevre’s task to improve his team’s offense is even more challenging after Providence lost two of its top scorers from last year to graduation in George Knott and Dalton Duley.
“This summer, we’ve worked on offensive skills, primarily shooting and footwork,” Lefevre said. “We’ve got to score more to be competitive next year.”
Lefevre said some of the drills he utilized in summer practices can be done by his players on their own in July and August when the Pioneers take a break from their offseason activities.
“It’s up to them right now,” Lefevre said.
Providence played in one team camp this summer. It was the Super Hoops camp at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, where the Pioneers’ freshman team won its division’s championship.
During the camp and summer practices, Lefevre thought the six returning seniors for next year’s squad showed a desire to be a winning ballclub for the 2013-14 campaign.
“They want to prove to themselves and prove to everybody else that they can have a winning team,” Lefevre said. “We have several seniors that are pretty good players. They are a work in progress.”
PROVIDENCE’S 2013-14 OUTLOOK
• COACH: Lou Lefevre (160-45 entering his 10th year at Providence, 446-189 entering his 26th year overall).
• 2012-13 RECORD: 17-4.
• RETURNING STARTERS: None.
• OTHER KEY RETURNING PLAYERS: Brad Koerner (6-0, F, Sr.); Ben Shahroudi (5-10, G, Sr.); Brock Hayden (6-1, F, Sr.); Daniel Schuler (6-1, C, Sr.); Grant Goad (6-4, G, Sr.); Nick Hayes (6-2, C, Sr.).
• DEPARTURES: Nano Grantz (6-1, G); Ryan Pickerrell (6-4, C); Cory Cahalan (5-10, G); George Knott (6-4, C); Dalton Duley (6-5, F).
• 2012-13 SEASON RECAP: The Pioneers bolted out to a 10-0 start before losing a heartbreaker to Jeffersonville on a buzzer-beating shot by Darryl Baker on Jan. 12 (59-56) for their first setback of the season. Providence closed out its regular season by winning seven of its last nine games. But the Pioneers suffered a 39-35 first-round loss in the first round of the Class 2A Crawford County Sectional to eventual sectional champion and archrival Clarksville. Providence won the Silver Creek Holiday Tournament and was ranked in the top 10 of The Associated Press Class 2A poll for most of the season.
• 2013-14 PRESEASON EXPECTATIONS: Providence lost all of its starters to graduation, including its entire front line of Knott, Pickerrell and Duley. The six returning seniors for next season will get their chance to show people they can keep the Pioneers a winning program even though they have limited varsity experience. But at least two players from that incoming senior group must step up and be consistent scorers if Providence expects to be a competitive team.