OFFSEASON HOOPS NOTEBOOK: Franklin Central lures coach Criss Beyers away from Warren Central; Windham, LaRavia back on market
Only a year removed from a perfect season capped by a Class 4A state championship, Criss Beyers is leaving the Warren Central bench and is now ready for a rebuild effort at Franklin Central. Beyers, set to helm the Indiana All-Stars this summer, was announced as Franklin Central’s new coach this past week.
Franklin Central finished 3-20 in 2019. Beyers’ predecessor, John Rockney, won four straight sectionals (2013-2016) earlier this decade but only a combined seven ball games since 2017. The Flashes have a nice 1-2 punch returning in point guard Javon Small and wing Isaiah Morgan for Beyers to work with in his first year on the job.
In four glorious campaigns pacing the sidelines for Warren Central, Beyers led the Warriors to an 86-18 record (76-6 in his final three seasons), highlighted by a 46-game winning streak and the 2018 state crown. Warren Central was 21-3 this year. Beyers boasts two very esteemed mentors in the coaching profession: He was a grad assistant in the college ranks at Indiana University under Hall of Famer Bobby Knight and served as a longtime assistant at Bloomington South under the IHSAA’s winningest coach, the venerable J.R. Holmes.
Back on the market
Ben Davis senior combo guard Jalen Windham and Lawrence Central senior forward Jake LaRavia, have reopened their respective recruitments. Following coaching changes, Windham de-committed from Georgia State and LaRavia de-committed from SIU-Edwardsville.
The 6-foot-5 Windham was sensational in the state tournament, sparking his club on a run into the 4A state finals with fabulous playmaking on the perimeter. He averaged 18 points per game, shot a high percentage and proved a Grade-A finisher at the rim. LaRavia recorded 17 points and 8 boards a night as a senior, blossoming into a true force inside and out. Kent State visited Windham this week at his home and LaRavia will be on campus at Indiana State next weekend.
Bear of a talent to Tiffin
Lawrence Central senior forward Wes Jordan signed with Tiffin University in Ohio. Jordan (6-foot-8) and Jake LaRavia manned the post for a Bears squad that won a 4A sectional title last month. Jordan is a high-upside type, has length and a soft touch. He put up 10 points and 8 boards per outing.