JANESVILLE

Matt Bredesen sorts objectives into two categories.

In his first season as Janesville Parker’s head boys basketball coach, the Vikings will have process goals and they will have outcome goals.

The process goals include the “little things” that need to be done daily to set a struggling program on a new course. And ideally, accomplishing those process goals will eventually lead to meeting outcome goals—including a boost in victories after going 6-63 in the past three seasons.

The new era begins tonight with a road nonconference game against Stoughton.

“We just talk about being competitive each and every night and competing from horn to horn,” said Bredesen, who had previous stops coaching at Montello and Waupaca. “I truly believe if we compete and identify the little things we need to do correctly—boxing out, rebounding, the little things—then the wins and losses will improve and get better on their own.”

Bredesen takes over a Parker program that is coming off a 2-21 season. The Vikings earned back-to-back victories over Beloit Memorial and Milwaukee Carmen in December of last year but lost 13 straight games to end the season.

The Vikings return four players with starting experience and will likely mix some of that experience with a strong crop of sophomores in an effort to begin tackling those aforementioned goals.

Senior Tremar Curry is the team’s leading returning scorer at 9.3 points per game. He had a six-game stretch late last season where he scored at least nine points every game and twice reached 20 points.

“He’s an explosive athlete,” Bredesen said of the point guard. “We expect him to lead us both by providing energy and leading by example.”

Fellow seniors Brody Dahlke and AJ Thompson join Curry as three-year varsity contributors. Dahlke averaged 5.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Thompson, who averaged 6.3 points, may be slowed by an ankle injury to begin the season.

“Brody is a good shooter who can stretch defenses,” Bredesen said. “AJ is a hustle player who brings lots of energy to the game.”

Brady Biba is the team’s lone junior and was a starter during the second half of last season. He chipped in 5.5 points and five rebounds per game. At 6-foot-5, Biba is Parker’s tallest player.

Other seniors include Brody Lippens, Nolan Kluge and Connor Stricklin.

“Having those guys that have experience mixing with some of our younger guys is invaluable,” Bredesen said. “It gives our younger guys a chance to learn.”

And there are plenty of those younger guys. Bredesen said 24 sophomores and 29 freshmen are out for basketball, giving the program two JV2—typically freshmen—teams.

Robert DeLong played with the varsity group as a freshman. Sophomore classmates joining him on the team this year that could contribute include Matthew Hartwig, Brendan Weis, Ethan Thompson, Michael Gray, Nick Galvan and Kaden Vernon.

“I really think that there’s a lot of desire here to improve the program with the kids we have,” said Bredesen, noting his players played in upwards of 40 games together this summer. “They’re willing to put the time and effort in above and beyond the season.”

Bredesen said he likes his teams to play motion offense, and with an undersized group, it’s likely Parker will be perimeter-oriented. Defensively, he prefers to play man-to-man but said he’s not afraid to change things up.

The first-year head coach acknowledges the Vikings may be undersized in the rugged Big Eight Conference. But he said if they push themselves, they’ll set Parker’s program moving in the right direction.

“We’ve told the kids that for them to change how things have gone in the past, wins and losses-wise, they need to challenge themselves to do some things out of their comfort zone,” Bredesen said. “Whether that means doing things on the basketball court they’re not comfortable with. Whether that means bonding and coming together as a team, maybe with people they don’t’ normally hang out with. Whether that means putting in extra time.

“All of those things can lead to increased production and reaching our goals.”

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