In just one season, the Dupo Tigers under first year head coach Cole Grapperhaus doubled their win total from the previous campaign.
It is a small improvement, going from a 4-19 year to an 8-20 season.
But it is a big deal to the kids who are trying to help this coach rebuild a program that hasn't had many things to smile about on the hardwood in the past two decades.
Coach Grapperhaus leads a club into a conference season that has some wins available as none of the Kaskaskia Division teams look overpowering.
The Tigers return some players that were on the team that got swept out off their own regional by Alton Marquette, the eventual regional titlist.
Three senior starters are back from that squad that managed to win a regional game over East Alton-Wood River.
Austin Francis is a 6-foot senior and top scorer back for Dupo after averaging a 14.3 points a game as a junior.
Michael Overbay, a 5-foot-7 senior guard, added 10.2 p.p.g.
Six-foot-five Jerrett Dixon is a big man in the middle for the Tigers and he will probably produce more offensively this season than his 4.4 p.p.g. from a year ago.
Cody Richardson, a 6-foot-1 senior, 6-foot-2 senior Kenny Spisak and 5-foot-10 sophomore Kelvin Swims all got in the varsity pool last season a few times.
Newcomers to the program are 6-foot-1 Jimmy Mantz and 6-foot-3 Taylor Stanek.
“I believe that we will be very strong in the guard department, with multiple guys competing for playing time,” said Coach Grapperhaus, a Mater Dei grad from 2002 where he gathered in a lot of awards around the state and went on to play at Southeast Missouri State. “The key to our season is very simple. Rebounding and the play of our post players inside will truly be the difference from a successful season to a non-successful one. Due to our lack of size we must defend, and gang/group rebound limiting teams to one look. Of course, staying healthy or injury free will be very important as well. Utilizing strengths and fixing weaknesses will become a vital part to the 2016-2017 season.”
N20-25 Metro-East Lutheran Turkey Tournament J16 Marissa-Coulterville


@ Marissa-Coulterville J19 @ New Athens
D8 Lebanon J22-27 Herculaneum Invitational Tournament
D9 Red Bud F2 @ Steeleville
D12 Steeleville F7 Madison
D15 @ Valmeyer F9 Valmeyer
D18 New Athens F13 @ Lebanon
D26-29 Columbia/Freeburg Holiday Tournament F16 @ Red Bud
J3 St. Louis (MO.) Valley Park F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD
J12 @ East Alton-Wood River F27-M2 IHSA Sectional TBD