News and analysis of the prep and college basketball scenes by the sports staff at The Beacon-News

January 2011 Archives

Calhoun weighs in on suspension

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Funny, isn't it? Sometimes, the further you are from a story the closer you're able to get to it.

Such was the case when we checked out a blog post from University of Connecticut men's basketball beat writer Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant. He recently talked with coach Jim Calhoun about that one-game suspension served by East Aurora's Ryan Boatright earlier this week and reported on the Huskie recruit:

...Calhoun didn't offer many details on the incident other than to say he had spoken to Jeffries and is not concerned. The incident that led to the suspension is said to have followed a frustrating, upset loss to Metea Valley last Saturday.
"He's a really talkative, out-going kid -- smile, personality, all that," Calhoun said. "But somethimes with that, maybe the coach sometimes doesn't want to hear your answer. Maybe he wants to hear nothing. I don't know all the circumstances. I've talked to the coach. I really like Ryan. I'm more concerned that he continues to work hard on his grades. He's been admitted, but he has to (qualify) when it's all said and done."

Calhoun then described Boatright, comparing him to a player on his current roster:
"Shabazz (Napier) with almost more zip. It's hard to think of that."

Napier is a 6-foot, 170-pound freshman guard out of Charlestown (Mass.) High School who has come off the bench in all 19 UConn games this season. He's averaged 23.6 minutes, 8.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

East adds Brooks to schedule

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Be careful what you wish for.

Considering the East Aurora boys basketball team is riding a three-game losing streak heading into tonight's matchup with North Chicago at the Ernie Kivisto Tomcat Hoopsfest, the announcement by athletic director Cam Leadbetter that he's added a game with Brooks to his team's schedule could be received with mixed views by Tomcat fans.

East will play host to the team from Chicago's south side on Saturday, Feb. 5th at 7:30 p.m. Leadbetter has been trying to pick up a game for coach Wendell Jeffries' team for several weeks now and had hoped to land either Curie or Brooks. East had an opening on its schedule after its participation in another shootout fell through earlier in the season.

Brooks, which won the Waubonsie Valley Matt Laurich Memorial Christmas Tournament, currently stands at 14-3 and is ranked No. 15 by the Sun-Times. The Eagles recently dropped an 11-point decision to No. 1 Simeon in Chicago Public League Red-South play.

But this week, Brooks claimed a 54-51 win over St. Ignatius, which features 6-foot-10 Illinois-bound center Nnanna Egwu (18 points, 7 blocks). In that game, Brooks 6-6 forward Keith Gray matched the big man, scoring 22 points and pulling down nine rebounds. He has a twin brother, Kevin, who is also a force inside. East fans will also likely hear plenty from senior guard Michael Powell that night.

The Saturday varsity contest will be preceded by a freshman game at 4:30 and sophomore game at 6 p.m.

Oswego's McGaughy up to the task

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How good was Elliot McGaughy in Tuesday's 73-70 Oswego win at Plainfield South in a battle for first place in the Southwest Priaire Conference?

Coach Kevin Schnable could have been doing a good Jim Rome imitation when he answered afterward: "Elliot was phenomenal. In the first half, with or without the ball, he controlled things. The first 16 minutes, he controlled our team. Shot selection, execution. He showed the way and clearly is developing into our quarterback."

The 6-foot-2 sophomore scored 20 points in the first half, making seven of 11 shots from the floor. He finished with 26 points on nine of 13 shooting. That's 69 percent. Even more remarkable considering eight of them came from beyond the 3-point arc, where he made five.

He also had six rebounds.

Schnable was right on. Phenomenal.

And how good are the young Panthers, who start four sophomores? A one-game lead in the conference race at the halfway mark says they're pretty darn good, especially when you consider their lone loss to Minooka, came when they played without junior starter Ryan West.

I didn't know the SPC coaches did a preseason vote, but I'm told they do and Schnable's team was picked to finish seventh this year. Don't imagine they'll make that mistake next year or the year after.

Krieger loss tough setback for Plainfield North

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Senior forward Jack Krieger, the leading scorer for Plainfield North, has been lost for at least two weeks with a broken bone in his right thumb according to a report in our sister paper, the Joliet Herald-News.

The 6-4 Krieger, who averages about 25 points-per-game, suffered the injury in last Friday's 74-70 loss to Plainfield Central and did not play in Tuesday's 51-38 loss to Minooka. Both were Southwest Prairie Conference games.

Oswego East plays host to Plainfield North this Friday. League leader Oswego meets the Tigers on Feb. 11th. Krieger may be back for that game.

They could be lovin' it

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East Aurora's Ryan Boatright and Newark's Kyle Anderson are among 43 Illinois high school senior boys named as candidates for this year's McDonald's All-American Game.

Geneva seniors Sammy Scofield and Kat Yelle are also being considered for the girls game.

The event, featuring a girls and boys doubleheader at the United Center on March 30th, will be televised on ESPN. Nearly 2,000 players, nationwide, are being considered for the teams.

Boatright, the University of Connecticut recruit and two-time Beacon-News Player of the Year, leads area scorers with a 31.4 average. Anderson, a University of Delaware recruit, headlines a Newark team that has made it to the Class 1A super-sectional each of the past two seasons.

McDonald's will name the final roster of 24 boys and 24 girls during the 2011 selection show on ESPNU on Feb. 10th at 4:30 p.m.

Going home

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Two West Aurora High School graduates return to the area Saturday.

Billy Taylor, head coach at Ball State University, brings his 8-4 Cardinals to DeKalb for a 3 p.m. game at the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center. It's the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.

Later that evening, Tyler Thompson and his Quincy University teammates take on Lewis University in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game in Romeoville. Tip-off is a 7:30 p.m.
The Hawks are 9-3 and 2-2 in the league and Thompson, a junior forward, is second on the team in scoring and its leading rebounder.

More time for Harris at Valpo

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Sophomore guard Matt Kenney suffered a concussion in a recent game with Ball State, leading to more playing time for Valparaiso freshman Jay Harris (Oswego East). The former Wolves' sharpshooter responded with a career-high 14 points in 18 minutes in a loss to Butler.

According to a report by Mark Lazerus for our sister paper, the Post-Tribune, in northwest Indiana:

At 6-1, 155 pounds -- and at age 18, still young enough to be a high school senior -- Harris has been physically overmatched at times playing against full-grown men. But he's been getting more and more confident with every game.

"He's learning the physicality of the game," Drew said. "It's hard for all freshmen -- the game is faster, it's more physical. And freshmen have that adjustment period, like Jay has. But we've seen a great deal of improvement over the last three or four weeks with him, and he's getting stronger. He's getting better and better and he's got a good basketball IQ, so we hope that he continues to improve."

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2010 is the previous archive.

February 2011 is the next archive.

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