Kasey Semler and Dusty Albaugh are not coming back. Their Marion High School basketball careers are done.
"Wouldn't that be nice, if they got a redshirt year?" Coach Mike Manderscheid joked.
Semler, an all-state guard who averaged 21.2 points last season, is a freshman at Kirkwood Community College now. Albaugh, who averaged 12.1 points, is a student at Iowa State.
They're gone, taking much of Marion's firepower with them.
Dan Van Gorp, Dylan Cronk, Tyler Fisher, Austin Hardman and Tre Kinney are gone, too, eliminating much of the supporting cast that helped the Indians finish 17-8 and reach the Class 3A state tournament.
"We return less than 10 points total per game and I think maybe five rebounds, if we're lucky," Manderscheid noted. "So we know we're going to have to work extremely hard right way.
"Our lack of experience is going to cause some bumps in the road. But we're going to look at it long term and say, 'If we can keep working hard, let's look at the results at the end of the year.' "
There aren't are any flashy statistics among the returning players, but there are seven guys who contributed to the club's success with Isaac Frazier, Mark Stone, Cale Cannoy, Jared Hundorf, Jake McDonald, Tyler Hedtke and Mitch Wagner. Ty Gunderson and Brandon Landuyt, who played on a successful sophomore team last year, also are in the mix.
Stone and Wagner have to sit out the first seven games for violating school policy.
"We've got to get some senior leadership if we're going to be able to have a successful year," Manderscheid said. "That might be a question mark right now. Where is that going to come from, because nobody was in that role last year. That team last year had pretty good leaders."
Manderscheid plans to stress one thing to his club, perhaps over and over: Work hard, and work harder than you ever have before.
"All we can control is how hard we work," he said. "If we do those things, whether our record indicates it or not, I think we're going to be successful."
Practice starts Monday. So does the hard work. Manderscheid thinks this team could have a good record, despite the drawbacks.
"If we work hard, I think .500 or better," he said. "We're going to have to work hard to do that. We're definitely a work in progress."
The Indians host Solon in the season opener Nov. 29.
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