The Du Quoin Indians basketball fortunes took a turn for the better last season and it could be even better in 2017-18.

Head coach Justin Barrington saw his team battle injuries and growing pains with some young guys who were thrust into action last winter.

The result was two really good things happened.The young kids got experience for the future and the Indians reached the .500 mark at 15-15 overall and 4-6 in the Mississippi Division.

There are a two key seniors that graduated last spring that will be missed;Caleb Vogel and Braden Heape.

The pair represented 32-points and 16-rebounds a game for the Tribe last year.

Du Quoin lost in the regional title game at Trico to Perry County rival Pinckneyville last February and Coach Barrington wants to build on last season's upswing.

One of the top sophomores in the State of Illinois missed some time last season with a broken ankle but he has returned healthy.

Six-foot-seven forward Lamontay Daughtery missed seven weeks of the season but when he was on the floor he was a big contributor, averaging 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, both numbers were significant for a first year prep player.

Those stats could skyrocket this year.

Coach Barrington mention third year starter Ashton Smith, a 5-foot-10 senior guard who averaged 6.5 points a contest as a junior.

Shamar Adams, a 5-foot-11 junior, started a lot of games as a sophomore and will play a key role as a shooting guard this season for Du Quoin.

Six-foot-one senior Hank Stewart started every varsity game as a sophomore but he missed all of 2016-17 with a torn ACL.

He is a welcomed sight to this coaching staff and having him back healthy is important for the experience.

Josh Heape, a 6-foot-2 junior, also spent time on the injured list with a torn meniscus last season but he returned late last season and will be ready when the Tribe hosts their annual Tip-Off Classic.

This team looks to have some depth and 6-foot-3 sophomore Braeden Persell will add size and some help on both ends of the floor.

Senior Eliot Gross, a 5-foot-11 guard, will provide some support while four other seniors were also mentioned by this coach.

Six-foot-one senior Will Woodside, 5-foot-8 senior Donovan McBride and 5-foot-6 Klayton Donoghue will be part of the group,

Donoghue missed all of his junior year with a torn ACL.

“We want to push the basketball, and speed teams up with the athletes we have that will be a strength of the team. We have to find guys to replace not only the scoring we lost, but the rebounding and leadership our seniors provided,” said Coach Barrington. “Every player on the varsity has been on another successful football team this fall, so we're excited to see that and know the kids come in expecting to win. We improved by 8 wins from 2015-2016 to 2016-2017 and are hopeful we can take another step forward this winter.”

OUTLOOK – The Indians look to keep the improvement going and they have the skill and the depth that could me it a much better season. This could be a year where they break through and get to 20-wins for the first time in many years. In the conference they should be part of the chase for the top spot and they will be a real threat when the postseason comes along. Lamontay Daughtery is already getting D-I attention. The next three seasons with him could be very special.

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