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Can Coach Todd Franklin and the Trail Blazers continue to shine

Star guard Chris Darrington is back to lead the Vincennes attack

Many who follow basketball would be shocked to find out which program in Indiana is the most successful. Many would guess Indiana, Purdue or Notre Dame. Those are not bad choices, but the most consistent program lies in the southwest corner of the state.

Most teams that win 26 games would reflect back on a remarkable season. Vincennes and Head Coach Todd Franklin has a 172-33 record in six seasons at the helm of the Trailblazers.This is at a school that has won over 1500 games, 30 NJCAA tournament appearances and 3 National Titles. Vincennes has produced many big time talents including: Bob McAdoo, RIcky Green, Tyrone Nesby, Eric Williams and Shawn Marion all of whom have played in the NBA.

As usual Franklin and the Trailblazers simply reload not rebuild. The Trailblazers return only four members of the 2015-16 roster. Recruiters came and took away Markur Puou (9.2 ppg) who signed with New Orleans, guard Jeremiah Bell (14 ppg) left after one season at VU and is headed to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, forwards Stuart Jackson (9 ppg) and Darren Groves (6 ppg) are headed to Indiana Tech. Former Gary Bowman standout Justin King (6-7) averaged 10 ppg. and is still looking for his future home. Some others who have also moved on to other JUCOs are Forward Dreon Lewis (Dodge City), guard Doriane Dawson (Coffeyville), guard Jordan Manse, guard Calvin Kintu and guard Theo Holloway. 

The Blazers welcome back 6-2 sophomore Chris Darrington (11.7 ppg). The speedy guard will surely sign a D1 scholarship sooner than later. Sharpshooting wing Nate Hansen (10.8  ppg), who played his high school ball at Evansville Reitz. 

A couple of big guys whose role should expand are 7-0 Romaro Gill (1.8 ppg) from Jamaica and 6-8 Dainius Chatkevicius (3 ppg), a Lithuanian product. 

Todd Frankin is use to turning his roster over on a year by year basis. He relies heavily on one of the JUCO's best recruiters in assistant Coach Brian Davis.

An unbelievable 11 newcomers will dot the Trailblazers roster in 2016-17. Newcomers come from literally all over the planet. The Congo, Serbia and Canada are home to several Vincennes newcomers.

Looking to join Darrington in the backcourt will be: 

Isaiah Tisdale 6-1 guard from Lexington Henry Clay- Averaged 19 ppg

Jamal Burton 6-2 Chicago Morgan Park

Robert Dalton 6-1 Lawrence County, KY

C.J. Hedgepeth G 6-0 Evansville Harrison

Jaelin Sanford 5-10 G SO- Transfer from West Plains JC- Originally from Louisville

Jamal Parks G 6-5- Bloom Township IL

Looking to help out up front are:

Shakem Johnson 6-7 Warren, OH

Veron Kalonji 6-9 Canada

Hugo Mbumba 6-7 The Congo

Nikola Andric 6-6 Serbia

Rade Kukobat 6-9 Gary Lighthouse, Don Bosco Prep, IN

It should be another great season at Vincennes. Look for Coach Todd Franklin and the Trailblazers to pump out plenty of victories in the 2016-17 season. 


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