OTTUMWA --- For the second time in the past three years, the Indian Hills Warriors will enter the season as The Sporting News’ choice as the No. 1 team in the country. In its college basketball preview magazine, currently on newsstands, TSN has the Warriors atop the national poll.
Indian Hills received the top ranking heading into the 2013-14 campaign, the same spot it occupied prior to the start of the 2011-12 season, Barret Peery’s first as IHCC head coach. Peery’s two-year record is 60-8, including a 26-4 mark last year when the Warriors were prevented by the NJCAA from playing in the postseason.
In the magazine, TSN writer Tony Jimenez says Peery has “a gift of gab that has led to great recruiting success.” The preview article also says the Warriors potentially have 10 major-college players on the roster.
That group includes transfer Quevyn Winters, who was named to the first team of the Super Sophomores list in the publication. Winters played last season at Duquesne. Another transfer, Lester Medford, who came to IHCC from Arizona Western, was named to the Super Sophs fourth team.
Asked about the No. 1 rating, Peery responded, “I think it’s a tremendous credit to our school, players and staff. At Indian Hills we expect to be in this position, but also know that we have a great responsibility to live up to what is expected.”
Two of IHCC’s conference rivals are also in the preseason top-10, Iowa Western 8th and Southeastern 10th. The two teams Indian Hills will play in a November tournament in Florida, Northwest Florida State and Chipola, are ranked 4th and 7th, respectively.
Based on what he’s seen so far this fall, Peery likes his team and their potential. “We have a really good group that I am excited about,” the coach said. “We have a chance to be as good as anybody when it’s most important. And we have players that really fit our program on and off the court. It will be a fun group to watch.”
The last time Indian Hills entered the season ranked No. 1, they went 33-4 and finished 7th at the national tournament.