2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 11/21/2013 3:03 PM

Scouting Elgin Maroons

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Elgin Maroons

Last year: 14-14, 3-9 Upstate Eight River (tied sixth)

Coach: Mike Sitter, seventh season (101-71)

Top returnees: seniors Isaiah Butler (6-0, W), Donte Harper (5-9, W), Kiko Mari (6-3, P), Desmond Sanders (6-4, P), Ryan Sitter (6-1, P),

Top newcomers: junior Mike Miller (5-10, W); sophomores Lavion Baldwin (6-1, W), Desmond Douglas (5-10, G)

Outlook: All-Area honorary captain Arie Williams has graduated, but Elgin returns some experienced players who should help the program remain competitive. Senior Isaiah Butler is poised to become Elgin's primary scorer. His 11.7 points per game rank fifth among area returning players. Butler threw down some dazzling breakaway dunks last season, but he was just as comfortable at the 3-point arc, where he buried 28 of 72 attempts (38.9 percent). "We're counting on him for scoring and leadership," Elgin coach Mike Sitter said. "He knows this is his final chance and he wants to make the most of it. We lost a big-time scorer in Arie, but Isaiah wants to step in. He knows the hard work it takes to do that and he has the parts around him to help him achieve it. If he plays sound defense and takes care of the basketball, he can score in bunches." Seniors Ryan Sitter and Kiko Mari, close friends since their Larsen Middle School days and top pitchers on Elgin's baseball team, will play together in the post. Both will do the dirty work: take charges, rebound and score on putbacks. Though Ryan Sitter is a bit undersized at 6-foot-1, the former point guard has good hands, which allows the Maroons to run a lot of their offense through the post, according to Mike Sitter. Senior Desmond Sanders is a 6-4 shooter who gained some experience last season. He has a high release and can shoot from anywhere. Guard Donte Harper is former Maroon Alan Walker's younger brother. Two sophomores have been elevated to the varsity: Lavion Baldwin and Desmond Douglas. Both will play reserve roles. Douglas is a strong ballhandler who will see minutes at point guard. Baldwin is a 6-1 shooting guard who last season played on the sophomore team as a freshman. He is a cousin of former Elgin and Eastern Illinois standout Jeremy Granger, now playing professionally in Greece. "The sky is the limit for both of them," their coach said. Junior Mike Miller is a lunchpail player who rebounds and runs the floor well. He'll back up Mari and Sitter in the post. Transfer Khiree Edwards didn't join the team until after the summer season had ended. The lightning-quick guard will gain minutes at the point or the wing as he comes to better understand the system. The Maroons are athletic and fast. Very fast. "If we were a track team, we could win the 4x4 at state," Mike Sitter said. "What's nice about this team is we have a little of everything. We have some guys who can dribble, a couple who can shoot and a couple who can bang. There are no glaring holes and we have good balance. If we rebound and do the little things, we can win some basketball games."

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