WARRIOR WARMUP: Warriors land final basketball recruit
MOUNT CARMEL — Wabash Valley College men’s basketball head coach Mike Carpenter has signed his last recruit. He is 6-foot-7 Austin Trice, who is a power forward.
Tice played his high school basketball at Hales Franciscan located in Hyde Park, a neighborhood in Chicago. During his senior year, the Spartans finished fourth at the IHSA Class 2A State Tournament. They lost the third-place game to Taylor Ridge Rockridge on a shot at the buzzer from three-quarters court.
The WVC coaching staff recruited Trice out of high school, but lost that original recruiting battle to Moberly, Mo., Area College.
Last season, Trice played for former WVC head coach Pat Smith at Moberly Area. Coach Smith released Trice from his roster so Trice could play basketball closer to home.
As a freshman, Trice played in 25 games, averaged 4.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and shot 55 percent from the field.
He is a very aggressive, athletic and physical post player, which is something the Warriors have been missing in the recent seasons.
According to Carpenter, Smith had great things to say about Trice, and was hoping he would return to Moberly Area.
Looking at this recruiting class, Carpenter has the most talented group he has had in his four years at WVC.
Several players come from winning programs, like freshman Josh Thomas from Simeon High School in Chicago and Jalen Newsom from Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.
Both of them played on teams that won Illinois and Indiana Class 4A State Tournament championships.
There are three more junior college transfers who all played in 25 or more games last season.
“We have experience, some older guys who know what it is going to take to win along with younger players who come from winning programs,” Carpenter said.
Another key to this group of recruits is that all 15 players come from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
“This was a priority of the coaching staff as went out recruiting this year’s team,” Carpenter said. “Now it is up to the coaching staff to get the kids to buy into our system, build solid team chemistry and learn to play together.”
On paper, it appears that the Warriors have good depth with good size in the post, while the guards are quick and can shoot the ball.
Carpenter looks for this team to be an excellent defensive unit that will play a faster-paced style of basketball this season.
NOTE: Bill Hackler is a sports correspondent for the Mount Carmel Register. He can be reached by calling (618) 262-5144 or by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.