I’ve been to a lot of high school open gyms over the last few weeks. Thursday morning’s workout at Noblesville was the most fun I’ve had at a practice so far. First off, Coach Scott McClelland is one of the…
I’ve been to a lot of high school open gyms over the last few weeks. Thursday morning’s workout at Noblesville was the most fun I’ve had at a practice so far. First off, Coach Scott McClelland is one of the best in the business and it was great to catch up with him. Also, former Muncie Central head coach Matt Fine is one of his assistants and is very enjoyable to talk with. However, it was legendary New Castle head coach Steve Bennett that stole the show. He was brought in to run some still work for the Millers and, boy, is he fun to listen to. Just an absolute basketball junkie that does an excellent job of teaching the game. I learned a lot in my two hours at Noblesville today getting to be around these great coaches.
Now, let’s breakdown the actual basketball team. Coach McClelland is 246-169 heading into his 19th season of coaching, but this will be his first at Noblesville. He is presented the luxury of returning the two leading scorers from last season’s team. Senior guard E.J. Smith E.J. Smith 6'1" | PG Noblesville | 2022 State IN brings back a team-leading 12.1 points per game to go with 3.1 assists. He is a talented, athletic playmaker that is poised for a big senior season. Alongside Smith will be junior guard Luke Almodovar Luke Almodovar 6'2" | SG Noblesville | 2023 State IN who averaged 11 points per game a year ago. Almodovar is a skilled lefty that gives the Millers a very good one-two punch in terms of perimeter shooting with Smith. These two guys can flat out score the basketball.
Two of the better prospects on the team are 6’4″ junior wing Preston Roberts Preston Roberts 6'5" | SF Noblesville | 2023 State IN and 6’2″ sophomore guard Aaron Fine Aaron Fine 6'3" | SG Noblesville | 2024 State IN . Roberts is currently ranked #20 in the Class of 2023 by Prep Hoops Indiana and holds an offer from Coastal Carolina. He has all of the physical tools you would want and continues to develop skill wise. Averaged 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore. He is a truly explosive athlete with a lot of present strength. As for Fine, he scored 5.2 points per game as a freshman and should experience a breakout year. Very skilled guard with some size and strength on the wing. He is ranked #14 in the Class of 2024 by Prep Hoops Indiana. Both of these guys will be vital to the success of the Millers as they continue to develop.
Rounding out the rotation for Noblesville will be junior Cooper Bean Cooper Bean 6'4" | SG Noblesville | 2023 State IN and seniors Cameron Karns Cameron Karns 6'7" | PF Noblesville | 2022 IN and Luke Wilson. Bean had a really strong summer and has improved a lot over the last year. He is ready to contribute as a junior. Skilled shooting guard that can create his own shot off of the bounce. 6’7″ senior Karns is the Millers interior presence. He also has really developed skill wise and should have a nice senior season. His size will be very important for Noblesville. 5’11″ senior guard Luke Wilson brings back some varsity experience and will provide backcourt depth.
Final Thought: The Millers may be the sleepers of the Hoosier Crossroads Conference. They don’t necessarily have the top end talent of Zionsville and Westfield or the depth of a team like Fishers, but they have a very solid core with a great coaching staff. Competing around the basket may be hard, but this team has the perimeter play to keep up on the scoreboard. Don’t be surprised if this team wins some games that you wouldn’t expect this season.