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November 26, 2013

H.S. BASKETBALL: Coaches rank Jeff 17th in preseason poll

Defending champion Borden, New Albany also receive votes

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Defending Class 4A Seymour Regional champion Jeffersonville was ranked 17th by the preseason single-class Indiana Basketball Coaches Association poll, which was released Sunday evening.

With three starters returning from last year’s 24-4 campaign, the Red Devils — under first-year coach and former Jeff star Matt Pait — are expected to be Hoosier Hills Conference and sectional champions and a regional contender in 2013-14.

Jeffersonville was ranked 11th in last week’s Class 4A Associated Press preseason poll.

“It really doesn’t mean much,” Pait said of the ranking. “It’s great that we’re recognized by the other coaches in the state, but in reality, no one’s played a game yet.”

Jeffersonville is the only HHC or Sectional 15 team in the IBCA top 20, but rival New Albany received votes.

Despite winning last year’s regional, three potential regional opponents — Evansville Harrison at No. 3, Columbus North at No. 7 and Bloomington South at No. 14 — are ranked ahead of the Red Devils.  

Pait said he doesn’t take that as a slight to his team.

“All those teams are very good,” he said. “They were very good last year and have almost everybody back. Both teams are deserving of those rankings.”

Jeff doesn’t open its season until Friday, Dec. 6 when it hosts Evansville Bosse, which also received votes.

“We’ve had a really good first two weeks of practice,” Pait said. “It’s good that we have another two weeks until we play. We still have some work to put in. At the end of two weeks, we will be glad to get out there, I do know that.”

Defending Class A state champion Borden, which will open the season tonight at home against rival Eastern and ranked No. 3 in the AP Class A poll, also received votes in the coaches poll.

Indianapolis Tech is ranked No. 1 in the IBCA poll, a single point ahead of two-time defending Class 4A champion Carmel, which was the top-ranked 4A team  by the AP. The Titans received eight first-place votes, three fewer than Carmel. Harrison received the other two first-place votes.

The other local teams of interest to receive votes in the coaches’ poll were Brownstown Central, Linton-Stockton, Loogootee, Washington and four more Evansville schools — Central, Reitz, North and Memorial.

 

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