WEST SIDE

Scouting the 2013-14 West Side Cougars boys basketball team

2013-11-23T00:00:00Z 2014-06-24T21:03:35Z Scouting the 2013-14 West Side Cougars boys basketball team nwitimes.com

Last year: 12-8, 2-0 (NC)

Team breakdown

Last year, Murray Richards had two weeks to work with his team after he was hired just before the start of the season. This time the long-time Cougars assistant had an entire summer and he believes that should make a big difference. "We had a great summer," Richards said of his team that went 20-4 in the summer season. "This time together should help us. The kids know me and I know them. We have five kids who can all handle the ball. We were in a lot of close games last year. It's time to get over the hump." Six of the Cougars' eight losses last season were by eight points or less. Having four returning starters should change some of those numbers. Arnold Wilson played power forward last year, but will now handle the point. His strength and power will make him like a Big Ten guard, Richards said. Three football players — Lonnie Johnson, JonVea' Johnson and Christian Jacobs — should bring some physicality and a winning attitude to the hoops program. The big question is who will be able to knock down the perimeter shot, just like last year. "We all got a lot stronger," Richards said. "The kids have worked hard. We're ready to go." — Steve Hanlon

Last season finish

Lost in the Class 4A Munster Sectional semifinal to Munster.

Leading returning scorer

Arnold Wilson, 18 ppg.

Leading returning rebounder

Arnold Wilson, 10 rpg.

Star power

Arnold Wilson, Sr., G: The multi-skilled athlete will be the key for the Cougars wherever he plays. Wilson can rebound like Barkley and finish like Rose. It's now time to see how he sets up teammates.

Newcomer to watch

Tremaine Grubbs, Sr., G: He played with the lights off through two varsity games last year and was demoted. He wasn't ready mentally, but the lights went on this summer and the super-quick 2-guard filled the basket with offense. Expect much more from Grubbs this time around.

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