Saint Francis returns just two seniors from last seasons 18-13 squad. There are nine freshmen or sophomores on the roster.
The two returning seniors for the Cougars are both Bishop Dwenger grads. Forward Scott Kohne led the 2012-13 Cougars in scoring (18.2 ppg) and rebounding (10.0 rpg). Guard Zach Welkin played just four minutes all season.
All 17 players on the Saint Francis roster are from Indiana.
There are two Comers on the team: Spencer, a junior guard/forward, and Kegan, a freshman guard. They are not related – although Spencers brother Zach is a senior linebacker on the Saint Francis football team.
Saint Francis returns just 48 of its 126 three-pointers from a year ago.
4 games of interest
Nov. 1: Saint Francis (Ill.) at Grand Rapids, Mich.: First game of the Davenport Tournament, which kicks off the season.
Dec. 3: vs. Taylor: The Cougars lost twice to Taylor last season. A win gets them off on a better foot.
Dec. 7: at Indiana Wesleyan: Always a grudge match, the Cougars lost 85-77 at Wesleyan last year but won 89-73 in Hutzell.
Jan. 7: at Bethel: First meeting with the Pilots since the Cougars collapsed down the stretch and lost 89-73 in the Crossroads League Tournament. It was the first time Saint Francis lost in the first round since 2008-09.
3 key players
Scott Kohne, Sr., F
: Whatever form the Cougars offense will take, it will likely run through Kohne. The 6-foot-7, 205-pounder shot just north of 50 percent last season and led the team with 46 blocks at the defensive end.
Josh Hogan, Jr., G/F
: The 6-3 Hogan started 10 games, averaged 9.9. points and had 26 threes and 30 steals, both second on the team. He averaged 22.9 minutes.
Kyle Sovine, So., F/C
: The tallest Cougar at 6-9, Sovine saw action in 21 games last year and averaged 3.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 8.8 minutes. With Brad Sneary gone, hell likely be expected to contribute more to help Kohne inside.
2 points of concern
Threes no company
: With so much firepower on the perimeter gone, the Cougars will be looking for someone to provide the outside portion of their inside/outside game. Outside of Hogan, no one had more than the nine threes sophomore guard Jordan Hahn made in 30 attempts. The kids – Troy Blair, Brogan Gary, Charles Peterson, Kegan Comer, Michael Kindler, et al – will need to grow up in a hurry.
Dishing the rock
: As with so much else, head coach Chad LaCross will be looking for someone to seize the reins at point guard. Take away Kohnes 40 assists, and the top distributors are Hogan (34 assists) and Hahn (23).
1 major issue
: Saint Francis won 10 of its first 12 games last season but didnt finish the way it started. After beating Indiana Wesleyan at home by 16, the Cougars went 1-3 to end the season, losing to Grace by 18, Marian by nine and Bethel by 16 in the conference tourney. The upside: With a young team, theyre bound to get stronger as the season goes on.