Last season, the Evanston Township High School boys’ basketball team finished with an overall record of 21-9 and lost to Maine South in the IHSA Class 4A Maine South Sectional semifinals. This season, the Wildkits hope to avenge that loss with a solid 2014-15 season.
When asked what his goals are for the upcoming season, head coach Mike Ellis stressed daily improvement and working hard every day in order to be in position to be playing their best basketball come playoff time. “In terms of goals, it is just the same as it is every year – to continue to get better each day in practice and try to be better the next day, and try to improve our play [every day] until we reach the postseason where we are playing at our best.” Ellis added, “So basically it is coming in every day and putting everything you can into tomorrow’s practice and try to be better than the day before.”
Heading into this season, Coach Ellis hopes his team can match last year’s team in terms of play style. The Coach said, “We won (over 20 games) with a group of seniors that really played well together, they played the right way, they played for each other, were a very unselfish group, and we are hoping that the underclassmen saw the success they had due to the unselfishness they played with.”
Coach Ellis said he is counting on senior Elijah Henry (an All-Central Suburban League South Conference player last season), sophomore Nojel Eastern, junior Micquel Roseman, and senior Xavier Hilliard to help carry the load this season.
“Henry is a three-year starter for us. He is one of our main scorers and rebounders. Eastern is one of the top prospects in the state of Illinois in the class of 2017, so he is going to be a player that we are going to count on heavily. Roseman is a guard that started for us as a freshman and some last year as a sophomore, so were counting on him (as well),” said the Coach. “We (also) have a new mix of guys that we are counting on to play heavy minutes.”
The Coach added, “We will have a nice mixture of players. We have got five seniors on the team, five juniors on the team, and five sophomores on the team, and a couple freshmen, so it is a good balance of student athletes.”
The Kits open the season against Westinghouse on Nov. 24 as part of the Battle of the Bridge Tournament at Gordon Tech, which will be played from Nov. 24 to Nov. 28. After that tournament, they participate in the Team Rose Shootout against Crete-Monee at Morton College on Nov. 30.
Regarding Westinghouse in the season opener, Ellis said, “They are very athletic. They graduated a lot of seniors, so we are two similar teams. At the Proviso Holiday tournament [last season] they started five seniors, so they are going to have a new lineup in as well as us.” The Coach added, “So it will be two new teams to the varsity level that will be coming in to try to make their claim to starting off to a successful season, so it should be a great challenge.”