Trayvon Kendrex had four points in Indy's match-up with Fort Scott Tuesday night.
Trayvon Kendrex had four points in Indy's match-up with Fort Scott Tuesday night.

Indy's depth is in better shape right now than it was at any point last season. That's not to say that Indy didn't have good players coming off of the bench last year, many of them are the same actually, but the fact is that this season their depth has been such a big part of why they have been winning games.

It's a huge reason why they have won five of their last six games and it's probably the biggest reason they even made it to the finals of the Burlington Invitational last week.

And while we'll actually dive a little bit further into this in coming days, the young man we're going go focus on today is Trayvon Kendrex.

The junior guard/forward has not gotten the most playing time this year or played in that many games.

In fact, out of Indy's 11 games so far this year Kendrex hasn't played in two of them and he has only gotten field goal attempts in seven of them. All the while he is averaging 2.6 points and one rebound per game.

Those don't look like the most impactful stats on a score sheet, but here is a fact, Indy does not get to the finals of the Burlington Invitational without having Kendrex playing the way he did.

In Indy's match-up with Burlington last Tuesday night the junior had six points in the first half alone. And in that game Indy had three starters with two fouls and had to have someone step up.

Had Kendrex not stepped up the Bulldogs would have likely been down by a lot more than nine points.

Then in their match-up with Iola in the semis they just couldn't get anything going in the first half. Then Kendrex came in, scored six more points, and Indy was down by two going into the half. 

He was completely vital to what they did in that tournament.

"He's probably one of the better offensive players I have," head coach Marcus Lanning said. "The problem is sometimes he gets caught up too much watching on defense, but he's getting better in practice, that's why we started using him more."

Over Kendrex's last four games he is averaging better than six points per game. Prior to the Burlington game last week he had scored three points all season long.

And while it may be easy to assume Kendrex got more time because it was a tournament and depth is always tested there, but Tuesday night versus Fort Scott he scored four more points, big points in the first half.

He has given Lanning a better option off of the bench in addition to Caden Hayward, Evan Kleiber and Josh Pralle.

His emergence made Indy as good as they have been in a long time and without him they may not even make it to the finals of the Burlington Invitational.

"He does a great job at the JV level so I wanted to get him some time here," Lanning said. "And there's no quarter restrictions and he did a good job (those nights), and I'm more confident with him to give him some more minutes here and there."

What will really give Kendrex those minutes though will be how he improves on defense. 

He does often get a quick pull because he does have some defensive lapses on the court, but with the way he has come along offensively that pull is coming a little slower now.

But if he's able to shore up those defensive mistakes those pulls may be fewer and farer between. Knowing that Kendrex is doing his best to put in his time defensively during the season.

"I have to work a lot," he said. "My help defense sometimes isn't all that good and one one one I can't really move my feet that good, but I try to do the best I can."

He has done more than enough in the Bulldogs' last four games. He has become the type of option necessary to win games late.

He has been a big reason for their success as of late along with Kleiber coming off the bench as well.

But overall all of these players simply want to help. Sure, they want to start as much as the next guy, but to get time on the court and help their team win is what all of these young men are trying to do. And over the last week Kendrex has done more than enough of that.

"I just make the best out of the minutes coach puts me in and lets me play," the junior said. "I just do the best for my team as much as I can."