For the Du Quoin Indians and their first season under head coach Justin Barrington, it was a tough rookie campaign.
The Tribe went just 7-23, 2-8 in the SIRR Mississippi Division and were vanquished by eventual regional champion Pinckneyville at the Sparta Regional.
But from every indication things are going to get better for this coach and his kids heading into this winter.
Two seniors are set to suit up for their final prep seasons as Caleb Vogel and Braden Heape will be in the front court for Coach Barrington.
Vogel is a 6-foot-3 forward who is one of the best athletes in the school.
He was all-SIRR Mississippi Division.
Heape, a 6-foot-4 forward, will add size in the middle.
Coach Barrington, who excelled as a guard at Carterville when the Lions reached a sectional title game back in 2003, also has some underclassmen set to step up.
Ashton Smith is a 5-foot-11 junior who was also on the floor a lot last season.
The Du Quoin Junior High School basketball team won the SIJHSAA Class L title last February and one of the starters on that team, 6-foot-6 freshman Lamontay Daughtery, will likely start the varsity for Coach Barrington who believes there is a great deal of potential for this young man.
Coach B mentioned some other kids who will suit up for an Indians squad that had a pretty good summer of basketball in preparation for a winter of hoops.
Six-foot-three junior Cullen Higgins, 6-foot junior Will Woodside and 5-foot-8 junior Donovan McBride were mentioned as were seniors Blaine Bradley and Zayne Fornear.
Both are 5-foot-11.
Sophomore Josh Heape, a 6-foot-2 forward, was also on the list of what looks like a deep team for 2016-17.
Junior Hank Stewart, who would have been a big part of the club, tore an ACL and is out for the season.
“We've got players back from last year that we will be counting on to improve their performance, but we will be young outside of the three returning starters (Vogel, Heape, Smith) in terms of varsity playing experience, but we feel as a team we will be more athletic this season and get into the open floor more. We'll rely on Caleb and Braden to provide leadership on both ends of the floor, and will want to see Ashton expand his game more this season,” said Coach Barrington. “We're going to play another tough schedule with the new additions to the Duster Thomas Hoops Classic and moving to the Okawville tournament in January, but our guys have had a very strong football season and the goal is to continue that success in the gym this winter.”
N27-D2 Du Quoin "Tip-Off Classic" J12 Nashville


@ Carterville J13 @ Campbell Hill Trico
D9 Murphysboro J15-20 Okawville Invitational Tournament
D15 Pinckneyville J26 Carterville
D16 Harrisburg J30 @ West Frankfort
D19 @ Sparta F3 @ Pinckneyville
D21 Bluford Webber Township F9 Sparta
D29-30 Pinckneyville "DT Hoops Classic" F10 Anna-Jonesboro
J5 @ Anna-Jonesboro F16 @ Nashville
J9 @ McLeansboro Hamilton County F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD