The Michigan City Wolves return a lot of talent, while also seeing their front line graduate high school and move on to college basketball. City finished last season at 12-11.
First on the graduation side: 2015-16 leading score ShanQuan “Tank” Hemphill is one of a growing line of Michigan City Wolves who once they cross the stage for graduation, signed on to play at the next level. Tank takes his 17 points per game, and his state runner up 6′ 11″ high jump down to play basketball at Florida Southwestern State College. Also moving on to the next level is Rob Howard who is going to play with MCHS Alum Mike Miller at Shawnee Community College. Also leaving the Wolves through graduation are Cevin Crawford and guard Zach Vigil.
The 2016-17 Wolfpack returns start right at the top of the roster with Coach John Boyd returning for his 8th year on the bench at Michigan City High School, having set the school record for most wins in school history last year. City also continues their tradition of only scheduling the best teams in the state of Indiana as nationally prominent program LaLumiere will come calling to the Wolves Den this year, highlighting one of the toughest schedules in the state of Indiana. East Chicago Central returns to the City schedule, and City also hosts top program South Bend Adams, along with Penn. Michigan City will also appear in multiple shootouts including on in January on its own floor, along with a trip back to Chicago and to Detroit for prestigious games there. Then the Wolves get into the always brutal Duneland Athletic Conference schedule.
City also returns a lot of scoring and back court players. Their starting line up figures to return about 1000 points worth of experience, including multiple 3 years starters. This version of the Wolves looks to have many threats from 3 point range, as well as some slashers who can attack the basket. Expect the Wolves to specialize in defensive pressure and rotate up to 10 players on a regular basis on to the floor.
The leader of the pack this year figures to be 6’4″ Senior swing man Dante Combs. Combs has put up just under 400 points in his high school career to this point, including averaging 11.2 points per game last year. Combs previewed what this season looked like by having some very large scoring outbursts during the period of time when Hemphill was out with a shoulder injury last year. Combs will be backed up by returning three year starter Jaronde Boyd at the point guard. Boyd has put in 369 points so far in his high school career, including 7.5 per game last year. Joining Boyd in the back court is Troy Jones. Jones is another three year starter, who returns with a team high 425 points as a Wolf so far, including 7.6 per game last year. Two other players in the mix as potential starters include guard Matt Westman who averaged nearly 5 points per game last year in a part time starting role and 6’4″ State Champion hurdler and basketball letterman Makiyah Smallwood on the front line.
Michigan City has also added a very excited move in to their community and basketball squad in Keishawn Lewis. Lewis got a lot of minutes playing at East Chicago with some very talented teams. Lewis will add a long frame, a lightning fast first step, and a keen basketball IQ to a team that loves to pressure other teams.
Two freshmen last year saw significant minutes with the varsity Wolves and figure to see a lot more minutes this year in Jaivion Reid and Rayshon Howard. Howard figures to see minutes on the front line, while Reid will fill minutes in the loaded back court.
Two Wolves will be moving from the record setting football squad, back into basketball shape in linebacker Orson Eckwood and wide receiver Keyshawn McGill. Eckwood will bring the Wolves a high energy shot and defender off of the bench, with McGill giving depth and length to the back court.
Other Wolves that played primarily JV ball last year, but will be looking to steal minutes this year include football wide receiver William Hanyard, Edward French and Salih Washington and Michael Briggs. Hanyard will be in the back court, while French, Washington, and Briggs will all add depth to the front court.