NEW ALBANY — Coach Wiley Brown enters season No. 12 coaching IU Southeast men’s basketball with nearly as many new faces as his years of experience.
He’s hoping a pair of key newcomers can help ease the transition. The Grenadiers do not, however, ease into their schedule as NAIA No. 16 University of the Cumberlands visits tonight for the team’s season opener.
Junior guard Jared Osborne and 6-3 junior David Burton will be among the candidates to take over the plentiful playmaking opportunities left by the graduation of All-American guard Jamie Johnson.
The two Louisville metro area products — Osborne a Bullitt East grad and Burton a former Trinity standout — are looking forward to leading and helping Brown shape this year’s team.
“We have a lot of JUCO transfers and I think that’s gonna help us a lot,” Osborne said. “They’re experienced, they’ve played college basketball before. We’ll have to lean on them, they’re not like the freshmen coming in.”
Burton, the only player to start all 30 games last season, was one of Brown’s most durable and efficient players. He shot 53.3 percent from the field and 44.7 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, averaging 12.1 points.
“We have a lot of new faces that have a lot of talent. Jared and I have been here all summer and just trying to step it up,” Burton said.
Brown certainly wants both guys being aggressive and getting up a higher volume of attempts this season.
“Both of those guys had a great summer. They were in the gym at all times,” Brown said. “It’s continued on as practice is going on and the games are coming. They’ve really worked during the offseason. I’m asking David and Jared, they’re normally guys that don’t speak very much, but I’m asking them to get out of their comfort zone and be vocal leaders. I normally let the team vote on captains, but I made the captains. So they have to be leaders out there. They’ve got to be the coach on the court.”
Brown, a member of the 1980 University of Louisville NCAA champions, hopes to maintain the standard of success the Grenadiers have had during his tenure. Contend for the River States Conference title to have a shot at making the national tournament.
“We’re always playing to go to the national tournament. Our league is tough. Any given night, anybody can beat you,” Brown said.
Osborne’s goals for himself are also high. Both he and Burton spoke about providing more consistency.
“First-team All-Conference and lead this team. I hope to be a more consistent scorer. I was in double figures multiple times but I hope to be more consistent and lead this team,” Osborne said.
IU Southeast roster
NAME CL. POS. HT. WT. HOMETOWN PREVIOUS SCHOOL
Anthony Wales Jr. SO G 6-0 165 Louisville, Ky. Mineral Area C.C.
Jacobi Hendricks FR G 6-0 160 Jeffersontown, Ky. Jeffersontown H.S.
Kereion Douglas SO G 6-2 190 Louisville, Ky. Ballard H.S.
Antonio Rogers SO G 6-3 185 Louisville, Ky. Rend Lake C.C.
Jared Osborne JR G 6-0 170 Mt. Washington, Ky. Bullitt East H.S.
Glenn Hill JR G 6-4 190 Louisville, Ky. Southern H.S.
Maurice Tolley FR G 6-0 160 Louisville, Ky. Butler Traditional H.S.
David Burton JR G/F 6-3 185 Louisville, Ky. Trinity H.S.
Tamaje Blackwell JR G 6-1 190 Evansville, Ind. Goshen College
Jathan Ritter FR G 6-4 175 Bedford, Ind. Bedford North Lawrence H.S.
Jacobe Brown FR F 6-6 190 Louisville, Ky. Western H.S.
Seth Cox SR C 7-0 265 Greenfield, Ind. Union College
Cameron Simmons* FR G 6-5 175 Indianapolis, Ind. Indiana State
Justice Dixon* JR G 6-0 150 Evansville, Ind. Dodge City C.C.