Greenwood boys basketball preview

The down side of being a 3-point specialist is that if that’s the only club in your bag, it’s pretty easy for opposing defenses to take away from you.

Jake Mosemann found that out the hard way more than once last season.

“Last year, teams would scout me out and know I’m a shooter, so they’d kind of shut me down a little bit in some games,” the Greenwood senior said. “So this offseason I’ve just been working hard at expanding my game, driving more, looking for more opportunities to get to the basket and score more.”

Beginning with Wednesday’s opener at Center Grove, the Woodmen are hoping to unleash a stronger and more well-rounded Mosemann. Coach Joe Bradburn has been duly impressed by the strides the 6-foot-3 wing has been making, both on and off the court.

“He’s been phenomenal,” Bradburn said. “I don’t know if I’ve had a player have a better offseason in a long, long time than what Jake has had. He’s mentally and physically conditioned himself to just get better. Skill-wise, he’s in the gym shooting and ballhandling every day. From a strength training situation, he was in the weight room every day, so he’s done a great job of conditioning his mind and his body to get ready for the season.”

Mosemann, who scored 9.6 points per game on 39% 3-point shooting as a junior, plans to put his added muscle to use by driving into the lane more and generating contact; Bradburn is expecting him to make far more trips to the free throw line this season.

Greenwood needs more physicality on the floor this year with two of its more muscular players, Noah Apgar and Gavin Ruppert, now graduated. Knowing that, Mosemann and his teammates made a concerted effort to beef up, working out regularly with Woodmen strength coach Jerrod Watson.

“Obviously, (Apgar and Ruppert) are real big and real strong,” Mosemann said, “so a bunch of us, we had to step up and get in the weight room and realized we had to take on that kind of role and get better in that aspect.”

The strength gains won’t just come in handy on the offensive end of the floor.

Greenwood has prided itself on being a hard-nosed defensive team under Bradburn; it led all Class 4A teams in scoring defense in 2019-20 and 2020-21, and last year’s squad allowed just 44 points per game. Mosemann hadn’t necessarily been a liability in that regard, but being a lockdown defender hadn’t been a top priority for him.

It is now, though.

“Jake has developed a competitive edge,” Bradburn said. “In the past, he just was a shooter. In the spring, the summer and in the fall, he’s been very competitive. He’s developed a defensive mindset, believe it or not, where he wants to stop somebody. He’s taken on some of the values that we’ve preached here the last few years, and he’s embraced them. He knows that’s what we have to do to be competitive.”

Getting stronger has helped, but so has buying into what the coaching staff sells.

“It’s really just a lot of dedication, knowing all the drills, and that also comes with experience,” Mosemann said. “Now, I’m more prepared for this year.”

Expectations for the Woodmen, at least from the outside, aren’t particularly high. The team was 9-14 a year ago and struggled to score; with some key voids to fill, there are several question marks — but Greenwood also has a strong history of overachieving in recent years, and Mosemann believes his team is capable of doing that again.

“We hear all that stuff on the outside,” he said. “We just keep working, do what we do and come out with the results we expect. Hopefully, that’s what happens this year.”


Coach: Joe Bradburn

Last season: 9-14, lost to Franklin Central in first round of Class 4A sectional

Key returnees: Carter Campbell, senior; Jakeb Hornbeak, Cade Kelly and Jake Mosemann, juniors

Top newcomers: Jabar Elemikan and Nathan Kremer, seniors; Ethan King and Wyatt Peterson, sophomores

Outlook: The Woodmen lost a lot of size and strength off of last season’s team and will have to find ways to replace that, but there’s likely to be more offensive talent on the floor — a welcome change for a group that struggled to score a year ago. Campbell and Mosemann are both proven shooters who will need to expand their offensive games. Bradburn hopes to maintain the same level of quality and intensity that his teams traditionally show on the defensive end. Greenwood comes into the season with a lot of unknowns but some intriguing what-ifs, including the 6-foot-6 Elemikan, who didn’t play last winter but offers boundless potential. Look for Bradburn to work his usual magic and put another scrappy, competitive team on the court that plays beyond external expectations.