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Chillicothe Times-Bulletin - Chillicothe, IL
  • IVC boys basketball prepares for first season with head coach Joe Mintus

  • While it sounds like a broken record, another Illinois Valley Central team is starting the season with a new coach.
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  • While it sounds like a broken record, another Illinois Valley Central team is starting the season with a new coach.
    When the boys' basketball team takes the court for the 2012-13 season, it will be under the helm of first year coach Joe Mintus.
    "My goal every year is for the team to get progressively better as the year goes on," Mintus said. "Of course, as a coach, every year I want to win the State championship, but that's every coach's goal. We are going to develop our season goals going in and those will change as we change. The team is going to change a lot this year as it goes along."
    This year the team will be led by the senior class of Sam Reuter, Caleb Magee, Conner Smithson, AJ Johnson, Luke Schaub, Keegan Gauwitz and Adam Reginald.
    "They are good kids and bring a lot of competition," Mintus said. "They are competitive kids and have done a good job of being leaders so far."
    The junior class is comprised of Zac Kluge, Ben Rashid, Mitch McIntyre, Ryan Beard, Spencer Youngman, Reilly Owens and John Matthews.
    "Our junior class is a very talented group but a lot of those kids haven't played varsity basketball yet," Mintus said. "We have some guys who didn't play last year that don't have that varsity experience.
    "I think the juniors we have are talented guys. They will play a lot."
    One issue the team is facing, Mintus said, is a problem that is more of a positive than a negative.
    "Our one problem is a good problem to have, and that's the fact that I have no idea who will start for us," Mintus said. "We have so many guys competing for five spots. We are really stressing defense and competition."
    "I think we have good depth at the guard spot. We don't have any definite point guards, two guards or three guards, but a bunch of guys who can do all of it. We have a bunch of guys who are really good that any given night can contribute a lot."
    When the competition gets going for the season, the team will at least have some up-tempo experience under its belt.
    "We have had some really spirited practices early," Mintus said. "It's hard for them now because they are learning a new system. We did a lot of things in the summer, but I told them that summer and a week before the first game are very different situations.
    "They are doing a nice job, and we are trying to take it slow. We might not be great at the beginning of the year, but we should get better as the year goes on."
    Page 2 of 2 - During the season, Mintus said the team will have a need for speed.
    "We are trying to play fast," Mintus said. "We want to do a full court press and play as fast as we can without turning the ball over too much. We don't have a lot of size so we can't get into a half-court game with teams because we don't have the size to guard down low.
    "We want to speed things up and play fast offensively. We are still thinking and learning a lot of things right now. As you are trying to play fast and think about it at the same time, it's tough, but we'll get there."
    With a team learning a new style of play from a new coach, Mintus said things might take some time to get going.
    "We are going to find out how good we are right off the bat," Mintus said. "We will find out right away what we need to work on. We have three good teams in the Thanksgiving Tournament and that will give us a good indication of where we need to go and what we need to work on. November is about learning and getting better. Hopefully we are a better team in December and are doing what we need to be doing to win by March."
    The Grey Ghosts open the season at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in the Tournament of Champions at Washington High School.

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