Team of the Day – Evangel Men: Evangel went 1-1 on Wednesday, but they still proved that next year should be another great season for the defending HAAC Champs. The Crusaders have two of the area’s best scorers in wings Zack Kleine and Brodie Wingert. Both have the ability to stretch the floor by shooting it from three, as well as a nice mid-range game. Point guard J.J. Williams is tough defensively and is proving to be more of a threat offensively, and Korry Tillery gives Evangel a nice threat from the four spot and a matchup nightmare. Steve Jenkins also has a nice compliment of role players that fill their need well.
Player of the Day –Christian Kirk and Mikala McGhee, Missouri State: Both Missouri State forwards showed progression in their games that will have Bears’ fans drooling. For the 6-foot-7 Kirk, who has often been slightly undersized collegiately, showed a nice mid-range jumper and the ability to take defenders off the dribble and finish. His face a jumper, a point of emphasis this summer will not only make him more of a threat offensively, but will also allow him to play both forward slots… McGhee also proved that she is more than just a defensive stopper. The 5-foot-11 forward knocked down perimeter jumpers and created offense for others, in addition to guarding every position on the court.
Play of the Day – Lonnie Boga, Drury: New week, but the same team takes this honor. Last week Kameron Bundy hit a game-winning shot for Drury, this week Boga took a game-winning charge to preserve a 60-57 victory over C of O. Although Drury didn’t look particularly cohesive in the win, it is still only June.
The Ewww/Gross Moment of the Day – Malik London, MSU-West Plains: Luckily week 2 avoided the opening day mess that was Pete Leonard’s split forehead. However, one BBC player (that will remain nameless) received a posterization from the Grizzlies’ 6-foot-8 forward that won’t be soon forgotten. Kids, be who you are on the basketball court. Meaning if you aren’t a shot blocker, then don’t jump to block shots.
Lesson of the Day – MSU-West Plains: If you happen to attend a courts game and hear continuous banging sounds don’t be alarmed, it is just the Grizzlies going through their pregame “layup” line. I use the term layup loosely because every player on their roster has an assortment of dunks; guards and forwards alike. West Plains is still unbeaten and likes to play with a little flare. The big take away from Wednesday is don’t coast on a layup, or it will get blocked, and if you see a fast break coming DO NOT jump. It doesn’t end well.
Old School Player of the Day – Kyle Weems: Even though it may be just a summer treat, Weems dazzled fans with flashes of what made him a legendary Bear, and also a sneak peek at what will possibly land him on an NBA Summer League roster. The slim and trim Weems has the stroke and fire that he had here in Springfield, but added care of his body has seemingly taken his game to another level. He is better and more agile defensively, and also more explosive, resulting in a few crowd-pleasing dunks.
New School Player of the Day – Paige Wilson, Drury: The freshman-to-be isn’t a household name yet in Springfield, but she will be. The Bartlesville, Okla. native is a combo guard with a lethal stroke from behind the arc. The 5-foot-7 guard buried eight triples in Drury’s final game Wednesday against C of O. She is also pesky defensively and has the ability to get her teammates involved.
Odds and Ins
C of O fans… Can expect yet another successful season with both programs. Although both sides lose a ton of talent, the Cats, as they have in recent years are just reloading. The men bring in Brett Krisik, a 6-foot-6 athletic forward from Ozark, as well at Nathan Reid, a scoring combo guard from Carthage. They will need increased leadership and production from Pete Leonard, but he’s shown so far this summer that shouldn’t be an issue… The addition of baseballer turned roundballer Joe Young should also prove to be a nice addition for C of O… For the women, Emily Walker will take on more responsibility scoring as the Lady Cats transition into the Becky Vest era. Helping that process out will be hot-handed freshmen Alice Heinzler and Jeana Raper. The COC rivals turned teammates have shown excellent chemistry this summer in various all-star games. They will add a scoring punch to the C of O backcourt this year.
The observations are nice and interesting to read,however,the courts doesn't mean a thing this time of year. The courts are important and have a purpose however. The first point is as talented as MSU- West Plains is would barely win a game against most of these teams in league play and in season. A second point is,the Drury men do not have all present and are playing split squads. By October player's will have assignments,know the offenses better,and have rotations in the line ups established. In addition,there is such a mix match of talent and age that it is not even realistic. Also,many of these players (bench) will not even be playing during the season without naming names but play at the courts which is good. Finally,some teams have 5 or 6 new player's and that takes awhile but realistically, league play won't be learned at the courts. I have been out every week so far and believe this is good for many reasons. Kudos to Ozarks sports,Mediacom,and all the teams playing.