The Tigers lost All-State guard Desmond Buerge to graduation as he now plays for Missouri State-West Plains. With Buerge’s graduation also went his 24-point-per-game average from last season’s Carthage team that finished 21-8 overall
Also gone is Kyle Reed, who was a three-year starter at the point for Carthage.
Carthage head coach Steve Ray expects growing pains with his inexperienced backcourt.
“This year’s team will be very inexperienced in the backcourt and play against a very difficult schedule. That is usually a recipe for some tough nights,” Ray said. “We fully expect there will be some growing pains, but we hope to steadily improve throughout the season and hope to be in the mix for a district title in late February.”
A host of players will see time at the guard positions for Carthage this year led by senior Dawson Allmoslecher, juniors Cory Prevost and Anthony Turk along with sophomores Ralston Schramm and Cole Orscheln.
Both Reid and Coss are going to be stalwarts in the middle this season.
Reid, a six-foot-six senior, averaged 11.3 points and 7.8 rebounds last year on his way to an All-Conference honorable mention selection.
Coss, a six-foot-five sophomore, played in every game as a freshman last year and will be a starter this season.
“Both Nathan Reid and Jaryd Coss have shown ability to score at the varsity level, we will need both to increase their output and find others who can contribute,” Ray said.
While the duo can score, Carthage will have to commit to realizing its potential as a defensive team.
“We feel like this team has good chemistry and has a strong work ethic. We will need to become more consistent on the defensive end of the floor, but I think this team has some growth potential to become a very good defensive team,” Ray said.
Carthage opens the season the final week of November with its home tournament now in its 66th year.