DALEVILLE — Nothing has been easy for the Daleville boys basketball team over the past five seasons.
Over that period, they’ve won 12 games. They suffered through a winless 2011-12 campaign. Coach Daniel Hanson took over the team two years ago, and it’s still in the rebuilding process.
Keaton Shipley knows that. One of the seniors on the team, he’s seen more of the struggles than anyone else.
And he makes no excuses, starting with himself.
“We took a lot of bad shots last season, and I was a part of that,” Shipley said. “Trying to rebuild the program, the hardest part is accepting defeat … but you’re never going to rebuild a program if you don’t keep your head up and try to make something happen.”
The Broncos have been young over the past few seasons. They graduated just two seniors in the offseason while a plethora of sophomores and juniors played significant minutes last year. The point guard, who averaged 10.1 points per game last season, said the offense will likely flow through TJ Price.
Price averaged a team-high 10.7 points per game while becoming the main offensive weapon as a sophomore.
“I’m a competitor and I hate losing,” Price said. “It’s been hard, but I know if you put in the work, it’ll pay off eventually.”
Part of Daleville’s struggles last season came on the offensive end. Shipley and Price have the ability to knock down outside shots and slash into the lane, but Daleville lacked inside threats to force teams to respect the paint. They averaged just 42 points per game, Shipley saying they pulled up for 3’s and long 2’s instead of moving the ball to the basket like they should have.
Hanson said Price has spent all summer working both on his shot and getting bigger in the weight room, sentiments echoed by Price. But to have success, they’ll need to find options outside of just Price and Shipley.
Hanson noted he’ll look to Jacob Knight to contribute at a third guard position along with Kory Buntin, two players who combined for just under six points per game last season. They’ll be expected to play more minutes and have larger contributions this year.
After pushing through injuries throughout his career, Elliott Jackson could play a key role now that he’s healthy. He averaged 8.6 points per game last season and provides much-needed offense for a team trying to figure out where its firepower will come from.
“The last couple of years, we played some really young guys who didn’t have experience,” Hanson said. “Now we return a backcourt that’s played together for a full year and got to be in the weight room together all offseason.”
For Shipley, taking the team to a new level starts by having a winning mentality. The results will only come if the Broncos believe they can win.
“We’re working hard and I think we can really do something this year,” Shipley said.
“We’re going to put Daleville back on the map.”
Contact prep sports reporter David Polaski at (765) 213-5848. Follow him on Twitter @DavidPolaskiTSP