April 24, 2024
SISN Indiana Highschool Boys Basketball End of the Year Awards including Player of the Year, Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, and All SISN Team

It seems like every other local media outlet has released their end of year awards for Indiana boys basketball players, so we figured we’d release our SISN awards as well. For the 2023 boys season we will have award callouts for teams in the Northern and Southern part of Indiana. We’ll have awards for the following categories:

  • Team of the Year
  • Player of the Year
  • Coach of the Year
  • All SISN Team North and South
  • Fan Favorite Vote
  • Next Year Award

As usual, we’re considering any team in the Indianapolis market and north of the center line, the northern part of the state. For everything else, we consider Southern Indiana. Of course, with every list there is a little bias going in. We try to look at the game as fair as possible, and evaluate teams and players on what we see in person and what the numbers are telling us. We haven’t seen every team, but we’ve seen a lot, and we feel confident in the players and teams we’re picking below.

Team of the Year 2023

South

Linton-Stockton Miners

A lot of drama surrounded the Linton Miners this year, but they didn’t let that phase them on their trip to the State Finals. They would lose in a valiant effort to Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian, 52-45. There were some unbelievable players on this Miners squad, and it really was a team for the ages. The Miners finished the 2023 season with a 29-2 record, and notched up big wins over Brownstown Central, Evansville Reitz, Terre Haute South Vigo, Bloomfield, and North Daviess.

Linton’s Guard Logan Webb

North

Ben Davis Giants

I think we can all agree that Ben Davis was the best team in state after going 33-0. So of course we had to pick them as the best team in the North. They capped off the impressive season with a dominant win over Kokomo, solidifying them as one of the best squads ever. The Giants beat teams by an average of 18 points this year, and had ten games over 70 points scored.

Ben Davis' Zane Doughty
Ben Davis’ Zane Doughty

Player of the Year 2023

South

Joey Hart, Senior Shooting Guard, Linton Stockton Miners

The University of Central Florida commit, Joey Hart, is a heck of a player, finishing the season with 23.7 points a game, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. Hart has a solid all around game, and was not weary to involve his teammates. His strength of character and calm presence is a testament to his game.

North

Markus Burton, Senior Point Guard, Penn Kingsmen

To many, Markus Burton should be Mr. Basketball for Indiana in 2023, but we’ll have to wait until April 19th during Indiana High School Sports Award Show, for that to be announced. Until then, Burton is our pick for Player of the Year in the north. Markus averaged 30.2 points per game, 4.6 assists, and 3.3 steals. Burton will be playing D1 basketball at Notre Dame next year under new coach Micah Shrewsberry.

Coach of the Year 2023

South

Josh Land, Jennings County Panthers

Josh Land has coached at Jennings County for seven seasons, and it wasn’t until this season that his team found any success in the offseason. They finished 2023 with a record of 24-3 and a IHSAA Regional title over Evansville Reitz. Before this season, Land’s record was 66-78. This year’s team was special, and he the way he brought them together deserves praise in our books.

Jennings County High School may be a 4A school, but passing through North Vernon, you’ll find that its not a big area, an area shadowed by Seymour and other towns along 65. Land’s players were smaller, quick, and could shoot lights out. They beat teams by an average of 16 points a game.

At first look, they’d look like your typical crop of 2A players. To me, the Panthers just feel like they’re a small school stuck among some goliaths, but they weren’t scared of the challenge. I don’t know what next year holds for JC, but this year Josh Land was our choice for Coach of the Year.

North

Don Carlisle, Ben Davis Giants

Ben Davis and IUPUI alum, Don Carlisle coached his team to a perfect 33-0 and 4A IHSAA Finals win. This was his fifth season with the Giants and first Championship as a coach with the team. He won 2 as a player on Ben Davis in the 1995 and 1996 seasons. This 2023 team will go down as one of the best in the books, I’m sure Coach Carlisle will have continued success at the reigns of the Giants.

Ben Davis Coach Don Carlisle
Ben Davis Coach Don Carlisle

All SISN 2023 Teams

These are our top 7 players from Southern and Northern Indiana. We looked at post season success, regular season success and stats, and hype to build our list of players. Please share your top 7 favorite players in the comments.

SISN All South Team

Guard – Jaylen Mullen, North Daviess Cougar Senior
Guard – Keegan Manowitz, Jennings County Panthers Senior
Guard – Joey Hart, Linton Stockton Miners Senior
Forward – Jack Benter, Brownstown Central Braves Junior
Forward – Trent Sisley, Heritage Hills Patriots Sophomore

Reserve – Peyton Bledsoe, Loogootee Lions Senior
Reserve – Josiah Dunham, Evansville Christian Junior

SISN All North Team

Guard – Markus Burton, Penn Kingsmen Senior
Guard – Jalen Haralson, Fishers Tigers Sophomore
Forward – Kellen Pickett, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian Braves Sophomore
Forward – Zane Doughty, Ben Davis Giants Senior
Center – Flory Bidunga, Kokomo Wildkats Junior

Reserve – Cade Brenner, Northwood Panthers Senior
Reserve – LJ Ward, Indianapolis Lutheran Saints Sophomore

Lutheran’s LJ Ward

Next Year Award

The Next Year award is just a hypothetical look at the two teams that will be a big focus of the next season.

South

Brownstown Central Braves

The Braves go into next season with virtually the same team. They’ll have all the hype to win the 2A South, and a lot of people will continue to talk about Jack Benter as he enters his senior season. If Brownstown doesn’t win the 2A title next year, I’d say it was a bust for this team.

Jack Benter Brownstown Boys Basketball 2022-1
Brownstown Central star Jack Benter

North

Kokomo Wildkats

All eyes will be on Flory and the Wildkats next season as Bidunga moves into his senior season. They’ll be looking for another trip to the final game, and if they don’t get there it’d be another bust for them. Flory is already picking up a lot hype, and its just going to me crazy next year.

Kokomo's Flory Bidunga
Kokomo’s Flory Bidunga

Fan Vote for Favorite Southern and Northern Indiana Player

Place your vote for Fan Favorite Player of Southern and Northern Indiana. Vote as many times as you’d like. Voting ends Thursday at 6 pm Eastern Time.

This poll is no longer accepting votes

Who was your favorite Southern Indiana basketball player?
7933 votes

This poll is no longer accepting votes

Who was your favorite Northern Indiana Basketball Player of 2023?
202 votes

Thank you for taking the time to read our choices for SISN End of Season awards. Please share your thoughts in the comments, and as always please like and share on your socials.


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