Blog Post #65 – Carmel Boys Basketball Weekly Recap

Boys Basketball Weekly Recap


Sean Grove

A 2-2 Team, ranked outside of the AP Poll’s Top 5 in 4A for the first time in as long as I can remember, and a team struggling to score the basketball. 

This years team was supposed to rival the 2018 team that was nationally ranked, won the state championship, and lost 1 game that season. This 2-2 start has left more questions than answers, so let’s dive in. 

Starting the season ranked 23rd in the country and 1st in the state leaves high expectations and pressure on kids ages 16-18. Pressure that seemed to boil over in the second half at Zionsville High School in the season opener. The Hounds went into the half up nine points and kept junior guard Logan Imes in check for the most part. A half seemingly showing how good the Hounds were going to be bubbled over into a second half that left everyone wondering if the Greyhounds were ever going to score a point again. The Hounds scored a total of 3 points in the third quarter, a baffling yet unsurprising stat if you watched any of the second half. Not only could the Hounds not shoot the ball, they just weren’t getting many shots (a problem I’ll speak more to later). Carmel lost the game against Zionsville in stunning fashion, and in one of the loudest gyms I have been in. Looking back on that game, I kind of gave the Greyhounds a pass, thinking that they had too much pressure on them, and that they lost a game they shouldn’t have. It later seems like some of these problems are endemic to the Greyhounds. 

The next one up was Cincinnati Elder the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Given, I wasn’t at the game, but from people telling me about the game, it was the less bad team that won. Carmel 36, Cincinnati Elder 33, the Hounds were 1-1, but had problems to fix. 

That brings us up to last Friday when the Greyhounds went on the road to Lawrence Central to take on a young and struggling Bears squad. I went into it with low expectations of a 10-point win, and left thinking that the Greyhounds were a shoe-in state champion who had just dominated the Bears from start to finish. Not only did Pete Suder do his thing (18 points, 7 assists, 9 rebounds), but Charlie Williams finally showed Greyhounds fans what he could do. Williams had 23 points, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 3 rebounds. Talking to Assistant Coach Foley, he said that Williams had been hurt over the summer and had caught up with where they knew they wanted him to be. My X-factor for that game was Burke Weldy. Weldy had not played a minute until the Lawrence Central game, but he seemed to be a piece that helped the Hounds score the basketball at an efficient clip. His statline was nothing special (3 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds), but getting Pete Suder off the ball and being able to flash him back to it seemed to help Suder, and Williams get more involved. The Greyhounds looked like a shoe-in for the state championship and looked like the MIC was theirs for the taking. Overall the LC game gave Greyhounds fans a glimpse into what this team could be, and the Homestead game showed them where this team is right now. 

The Carmel Greyhounds knew exactly what they were getting in the Sneakers for Santa Shootout at Brownsburg High School, a talented Homestead team, with Fletcher Loyer starring. Loyer was averaging 30 points per game heading into the Carmel game, and had just dominated Warsaw the night before. While he did his thing against the Greyhounds, he wasn’t anybody who looked like they would be headed to Purdue the next year. Josh Whack and the Greyhounds held Loyer to 25 points, 2 assists, and a rebound. Loyer never took over control of the game, he just contributed to a well-balanced Homestead team. The Kaopuicki family felt good about their transfer of sons Caden and Kyron to Homestead, with Kyron going for 8 points, 2 assists, and 7 rebounds. In a game with star power, and plenty of scouting (Matt Painter, Lavall Jordan, Pacers scouts, Pelicans scouts, and many other college coaches in attendance) the Hounds needed to step up to what Homestead threw at them, and the Hounds struggled mightily. The Carmel Greyhounds went into the half down 19-16. The first half seemed strange as I never think we played more than 30 seconds without a foul or turnover of some sort. As I said during my halftime show, the first few minutes of the third would develop momentum and likely choose a winner. It was in the second half that the Hounds shot 4/14 from three (28%), 7/23 from two (30%), and 3/6 from the free throw line (50%). It wasn’t only the shooting woes that downed the Greyhounds in the second half, it was also the inability to get easy buckets in a hurry. 

There isn’t a simple answer to why this happened, but my summary is that the Hounds passed on good shots to find great shots (except the great shots were never there). Carmel would hold onto the ball for long periods of time and go nowhere with it, and end up running high ball screens and not giving Williams any touches in the paint (similar to today’s Butler Basketball team). The epitome of what I’m talking about was with under 2 minutes left, when Pete Suder dribbled the ball down the court, matched up with Kaopuicki, went cross-cross-stepback three and splashed it. Pete Suder has so much talent and raw ability, and the Greyhounds seemed to not worry about getting him the ball in big spots against the Spartans. The Greyhounds need to put the ball in the hands of their best players, and let those players make plays, something that they haven’t done this season as they try to use everyone. 

Finally my most interesting and disappointing note is the slow start of Spencer White. Shooting just 1 of 12 to start the year, he has struggled to find the twine. He has all the skill sets to do so, and just has not so far this year. For a talented kid to be struggling this heavily is tough to see, but we will have to see how it plays out. Getting him rolling against Noblesville on a couple of easy drives or trips to the line would help the three point shooting develop, after missing to my count 3 wide open threes against Homestead. 

The Homestead game brought the Hounds to 2-2, and left them with way more questions than after the Zionsville game, as it proved the Hounds lack an ability to grind out tough games. 

In conclusion, the Hounds have issues that need to be resolved. If there is a man to do it, it’s head coach Ryan Osborn. Osborn has an incredible staff, and an incredibly talented team. The 2021-2022 Carmel men’s basketball team is amazingly talented and has the opportunity to accomplish a three-peat for the program. So, is it time to pound the panic button? The cynicism in me says yes, but the realist in me says no. The realist says that this Carmel team has three months to figure out their offensive woes before the postseason, and has all the talent in the world to make another run to Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Only time will tell how good this Carmel team could be, but it starts Friday at the Eric Clark Activity Center for the home opener against Noblesville, and again Saturday against Fishers. The Greyhounds need wins, and this weekend is the perfect opportunity to get a couple. 

-Sean Grove, Events Manager and Senior Sports Broadcaster