MERRILLVILLE

Scouting the 2013-14 Merrillville Pirates boys basketball team

2013-11-23T00:00:00Z Scouting the 2013-14 Merrillville Pirates boys basketball team nwitimes.com
November 23, 2013 12:00 am

Last year: 22-4, 13-1 (DAC)

Team breakdown

The Pirates lost 99 percent of their scoring and every starter from the semistate squad. That doesn't mean this won't be a fun season for Merrillville. "They know they're all competing for playing time," coach T.J. Lux said. "It's fun to be at practice every day, they're having fun, but I'm also the first to remind them that they haven't done anything yet." The retention of the 2012-13 squad notwithstanding, this will still be a good team. Athleticism runs rampant and there are players already being seen by Division I coaches. There will be a height differential with the graduation of 6-foot-5 players and none on this roster taller than 6-3. "We won't be as long, but we will be every bit as quick as last year," Lux said. "We have guys that are as quick and fast, we're going to have to be to be able to compete." — Hillary Smith

Last season finish

Lost in Class 4A Lafayette Jefferson Semistate to Carmel.

Leading returning scorer

D.J. Wilkins.

Star power

D.J. Wilkins, So., G: The guard is already on the radar of several Big Ten schools, who are waiting to see if this will be his breakout season now that the Class of 2013 has graduated. He has a high basketball IQ and can attack the basket or step back and shoot a bunny.

Newcomer to watch

Fard Muhammad, Jr., G/F: The junior had a successful summer and fall and gives the Pirates coaching staff bright hopes for what Muhammad can bring to the offense.

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