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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Next Level Translation


One thing that most parents, fans, and players themselves struggle with, at the high school level, is how a player's game will translate to the college level. Most fans seen a kid who scores 20 points per game and automatically think he will be a good college player. That player might very well be a good collegiate player, but some characteristics make it more or less likely. Most casual fans can tell how skilled a certain player is, but will he be able to do those skills at a faster pace against smarter, quicker, stronger opponents?

One example of being a great player at one level and not having it translate to the next level is former Oklahoma All-American Hollis Price. Price was generously listed at 6'1". He was probably closer to 5'10" than he was to 6'1". So, his height would be a major factor in the NBA. Height alone won't disqualify you from playing at any level (middle school all the way to the NBA). A player will have to be able to offset the disadvantage with a great strength though. Usually if a player is shorter than the average he will have to be unbelievably quick in order to create separation. Hollis was very quick for the college game, but probably average or slightly below average for an NBA point guard.

The next level is always made up of better athletes and more skilled players. The NBA is disliked by many people because of the lack of effort. That is true, but they are the best in the world. NBA benches are filled with college All-Americans. Guys that might have been the best player their college ever produced might struggle to get off the bench in the NBA. Hollis Price was a consensus second team All-American and never even made an NBA roster.

Every college team is made up of guys who led their team in scoring in high school. That is true for every college level as well D2, D3, NAIA...not just D1. That is hard for most people to understand. People see someone struggle to play well in the Big Ten and assume he isn't very good. If he was in a smaller conference though, he would probably be the leading scorer for a lot of teams. It can be very deceiving to the eye at times.

One player that has started a lot of arguments between fans of Indiana high school basketball is Nic Moore. The junior point guard from Warsaw is a great high school player. Not good, he's been great since he stepped on the floor as a freshmen. There is no doubt he is very skilled, hard nosed, and a smart player. He has a few things that will likely hold him back from playing in a major conference (Big Ten, ACC, Big East, etc.)and those things include his height and his lack of ultra quickness. He is very quick for the high school game, but he has average or below average quickness for those major conferences.

A lot of people think I'm just "hating" on Nic Moore. For one, I hate the phrase "hating on" someone. I respect his game very much. I just think he has some things that would make it very hard for him to play well in a major conference. He could even play for some of the weaker teams in the major conferences, but he would likely struggle against the good teams. His toughness and competitiveness definitely help offset his height disadvantage. I don't believe it is quite enough though.

I hope this helps parents, fans, and players to be more realistic about what level they think someone can play.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Road Trip: Eastern Illinois

My first trip to Eastern Illinois was a success. EIU ended up winning by 10, I believe. They were down most of the first half but closed it out on a nice little run. The officiating was not very good but it was half way consistent for how bad it was. EIU battled in the second half and started getting to the rim more for easy looks. The "bigs" for EIU played well especially in the second half. Indianapolis native James Hollowell had a very good game and hit some big shots down the stretch.

Overall, I liked the gym although it probably only seats 5,000 (pure guess)but has a good atmosphere. The band was rocking all night and the crowd was into the game which isn't always the guess at smaller conference schools. The only thing missing was a few more Indiana kids on the Eastern Illinois roster.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

All Rankings Updated

All rankings have been completely updated at inbasketballsource.com and all you have to do is sign-up for a free account.

Rankings will be kept up to date at that site. I will try to change the rankings anytime I change my database rankings.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter Plans Revisited

Before the high school season started I listed the high school teams I wanted to see. I will put an "X" by the teams I have seen.

Avon
Ben Davis
Bishop Chatard
Bloomington North
Bloomington South [x]
Bowman Academy [x]
Broad Ripple [x]
Carmel [x]
Centerville [x]
Chesterton [x]
Danville [x]
Hamilton Southeastern [x]
Howe [x]
Lake Central
Lawrence Central [x]
Lawrence North [x]
Luers [x]
Merrillville [x]
Michigan City
Muncie Central [x]
Munster [x]
New Castle [x]
North Central [x]
Park Tudor
Rushville
Southport [x]
Tech [x]
Valparaiso [x]
Warsaw
Winchester [x]
Whitko
Zionsville [x]

Not too bad plus I still have a couple weeks left and the postseason to see more teams. I think I am on a good pace though.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Danville at North Central

This game featured two Purdue commits (North Central’s Terone Johnson and Danville’s Travis Carroll) and two highly ranked teams (North Central #2 in 4A and Danville #1 in 3A). It did lose a little bit of its hype with North Central losing to Center Grove last night. Danville entered the game a perfect 17-0.

The first quarter was up and down just like North Central likes to play. Terone Johnson got off to a fast start. Johnson had 10 points in the quarter. Travis Carroll had a couple of impressive post moves to start the game. Carroll had 6 points and 5 boards in the quarter. North Central substituted very liberally early in an obvious attempt to wear down Danville with their superior depth. Danville held a slim 18-17 lead after the first.

North Central picked up the pace even more in the second quarter if that is possible. They extended their pressure up the court more into a full-court press and it started to wear down Danville. Aaron Bluitt had a strong second quarter…busting out for 7 points. Carroll had to help alleviate the North Central full-court pressure. He used up a lot of energy doing that. North Central did a great job of pushing Carroll away from the block. Carroll did a good job of facing up and making big time moves against the physical play of North Central. Carroll had 16 points and 8 rebounds in the first half on 8-10 shooting. Not to be out done, Johnson had 16 points himself.

Read the rest of the article at Danville at North Central

Friday, February 19, 2010

Feb. 19th and 20th

It looks like I am going to go to the Indianapolis Tech/Broad Ripple game tonight (Feb. 19th) and the Danville/North Central game tomorrow night (Feb. 20th).

I haven't seen Danville play yet this year. I would like to see how Tyler Hall can handle the pressure the North Central guards will apply. Danville's big man Travis Carroll should be able to have a good game as North Central lacks size down low. Fellow Purdue commit Terone Johnson will probably get his usual 30.

I've only seen Tech once this year and they didn't play well. Mo Cross was in foul trouble the whole game...I think he ended up fouling out in the 3rd quarter if I remember correctly. So, I would like to get a better look at Tech against the athletes that Broad Ripple has. We all know what the Broad Ripple guys can do...Ron Patterson, Steven Jamison, and Aaron Payne.

If anyone has suggestions for upcoming games I should go to please let me know. They have to feature really good teams or kids that have D1 potential for me to go in all likelihood.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chesterton at Merrillville

I was excited for this game because of the big men featured by each team. Chesterton has 6′10″ junior Mitch McGary and Merrillville has 6′8″ sophomore Edward Seay. I had seen both in action last week and both had disappointing showings. I was hoping to see both play at a higher level against each other tonight. Those hopes were dashed though as we walked into the gym with news of Mitch McGary having mono and being out until sectional play.

Merrillville controlled this game early by going into Seay on the first possession and getting a basket. Seay dominated the boards in the first quarter by getting to four rebounds. Jeremiah Jones had a solid first quarter getting to the rim on a couple of easy drives. Chesterton ended the quarter with a few straight baskets and it was 12-12 going to the second period.

In the second quarter, Chesterton’s offense looked a lot better. They had more ball movement and were a lot more aggressive looking to drive. Junior shooter Scott Homner connected on 3 three point field goals and senior guard Remy Lewis had 8 points in the quarter including 2 three’s. Merrillville struggled against Chesterton’s 2-3 zone. The Pirates were trying to force passes inside and Chesterton was anticipating the passes. Chesterton led 27-23 at halftime.

Read the rest of the article at Chesterton at Merrillville

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Newer 2012 Rankings

I have posted more updated 2012 rankings at inbasketballsource.com. You will need to create a free account to see them. The ranking will be updated regularly there especially when we see new 2012 prospects and 2013 kids we have yet to see.

Merrillville at Munster

Merrillville and Munster entered Saturday night’s meeting with two losses each. Munster’s coaching staff is filled with Merrillville alumi. Coach Mike Hackett coached under Merrillville’s Jim East for many years and Munster’s JV coach Jake Argenta was on a semi-state team at Merrillville. So, there is a lot of familiarity on the coaching staffs.

The first quarter featured both teams playing zone defense and both offenses shooting over the top of the zones effectively. Jeremiah Jones, 6′3″ junior guard, hit 3 three pointers in the quarter while Munster hit three of their own. Merrillville had a 16-15 lead going to the second quarter.

Munster switched their defenses in the second quarter. They played man to man for the first portion and then went back to their 2-1-2. The man to man defense helped slow down Jones. Offensively, Munster rode 6′4″ junior Brian Stolarz. Stolarz had 16 points in the first half on 6-7 shooting. He hit a couple of 3’s and was really good finding gaps in the Merrillville zone which he exploited to get to the rim. Munster took a 29-28 lead into the locker room.

Read the rest of the report at Merrillville at Munster

Chesterton vs Valpo

Valparaiso is having a great year with only a close loss to Carmel on their record. Chesterton has been up and down especially because Mitch McGary has been fighting injuries all season. In the first match-up, Valparaiso jumped on Chesterton opening up a huge lead in the first quarter and they never looked back. That was without McGary in the line-up for Chesterton.

This game was very different. Chesterton played with a lot of energy especially early behind the play of senior guard Remy Lewis. Lewis hit a couple of three’s and had a couple of assists in the first quarter. McGary looked like he was going to get off to a fast start. He converted a basket inside and on the next defensive possession McGary got into the passing lane for a breakaway, but he was never able to control the ball and they missed an opportunity. Valparaiso led 17-13 with Jerrick Suiter doing a lot for the Vikings. Suiter is a competitor to sum it up. He had the duty of guarding the much bigger McGary in the post (with a lot of help obviously). Suiter really attacks rebounds with great intensity.

The second quarter was controlled by Chesterton. Senior point guard Freddy Price was able to break down the Viking defense one on one to get to the rim. Valpo struggled to convert many shots although that was partly because Chesterton was playing pretty good defense. Valparaiso still held a 24-23 lead at halftime though.

Read more at Chesterton vs Valpo

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Winchester @ Centerville

A rivalry game and the intensity showed it. The game was played at a frenzy pace early. After the first quarter, the game was tied at 14. Centerville created a bit of separation in the second quarter behind the shooting of Zac Sandlin. Sandlin hit 3 three's in the first half and had 11 points for the half. Centerville led at halftime 27-21.

Winchester came out in the second half and quickly wiped away the lead. The game was tied a minute into the third quarter. Centerville took a time-out and regained their composure. Winchester did take a 39-38 lead to the fourth quarter though.

Matt Schauss had a great second half for Centerville. He scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half. Many of them were tough shots off the dribble and pressure free-throws down the stretch.

Centerville made a few more plays late than Winchester did and pulled off the 56-48 victory.

Matt Schauss, 6'4 junior point guard Centerville, is a true 6'4 and plays the point for Centerville. He is naturally more of a shooting guard, but can handle the ball against pressure. It looks like he has worked on scoring off the dribble more. Schauss hit some tough shots off the dribble against pressure. He was also 7-8 from the line. I think he can be a low-major combo guard. His defensive ability is a question mark, but it is improving.

Neal Beshears, 6'6 senior wing Winchester, had a quiet game. Centerville played a zone the whole game and really concentrated on taking Beshears out of the game. Neal did a good job of not forcing shots although Winchester relies on him a lot. Beshears finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. I liked that it looked like he had more arc on his shot and he elevates well on his shot. It also appears that he has added some muscle. If he can continue to add muscle, I think he would be a very good 3/4 man at the low-major level. He could be really good at the D2/NAIA level immediately.