The Indians graduated all-state guard Josh Fearing, who is suiting up for Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs. Fearing has played in nine games for the Mustangs (9-2).
Senior Tayton Montgomery also decided to skip basketball in favor of indoor track and field. Classmate Rhett Muchmore did the same, but with wrestling. Seniors Paul Sheppard and Blane Cowley also didn’t go out for basketball this season.
Those five players accounted for an average of 28.3 of Central’s 41.5 points per game, so they’re significant losses.
Here is what you should know about what Central will put on the court this winter:
Senior guard Bryce Francois averaged 5 points and 2.1 rebounds last season.
“From all of the camps and film that I saw, I thought he finished last year really strong and was playing really well,” Lain said. “He had a great offseason.”
Junior Nicholas Fraley has gotten bigger and more physical, Lain said.
“He’s always been a good basketball player, but now he’s starting to get the size and strength to go with that,” the coach said. “He’s a little bit of a late-bloomer and he’s going to continue to grow. He gives us an inside and outside presence and that’s huge.”
Junior post Brock Anderson played as well as anyone late last season. He averaged 3.9 points and 1.9 rebounds. Lain called Jackson Ayala postseason play important as well..
“He rebounded well and did a lot of little things,” Lain said. “He’s really physical and I expect big things out of him.”
Junior guards Dontel Ybarra and Jason Teixeira also will see significant playing time, and Lain expects them to contribute right away.
Senior post John Scott stands 6-foot-7 and could be a big surprise for the Indians.
“(Scott) has really worked hard so we have the opportunity to use him,” Lain said. “He’s had to really learn how to play defensively, position himself and how to be strong inside on offense. He’s put a lot of strength into the lower half of his body. He’s gotten those squat numbers up and has gotten more physical.
“He’s shown the ability to give a good first effort, but whether he wins or loses on that first effort, he’s got to learn how to stay focused and give the second and third efforts. He’s shown me some things in the offseason. We can use him on defense and he’s not going to get lost.”
Expect Dom Sanchez, Nick Wood, Grant Storebo, Grayson Voycheske and Skye Soffe to also play valuable roles for Central.