Two of Indiana’s finest duke it out on ESPNU
After already having chronicled the first two ESPN games at FAU, we set our DVR to catch two of the Hoosier state’s finest: Lawrence North and Bishop Luers.
Lawrence North boasts the high flying pair of Michael Chandler and Ryan Taylor. These two 2011 studs are already committed to Louisville, but have not quite reached the status of Lawrence North’s last dynamic duo: Mike Conley Jr and Greg Oden. Head coach Jack Keefer has seemingly been on the helm at LN since the days of the dinosaurs, but continues to get it done year in and year out. Coach Keefer could have possibly had one of his best teams yet, had seniors Dominique Ferguson (Florida International commit) and Justin Martin (Xavier commit) both not opted to bounce Nap town for prep schools.
Bishop Luers isn’t quite the powerhouse that Lawrence North is, but coach James Blackmon rocks two state championship rings to prove his accord. Dude knows the game and is an Indiana HS legend, having played at Kentucky and being drafted by the Knicks back in the day. Luckily for Blackmon, he has the pleasure of passing on his knowledge to senior Deshaun Thomas, who is a little over 300 points away from breaking Indiana’s all-time scoring record.
With the state of Indiana holding claim to eight of the nation’s 10 biggest high school gyms, one can only imagine how rocking this game was. From a fan’s prospective though, it wasn’t the most exciting as both teams packed in to various zones and forced each other to bomb from the perimeter. It was a low scoring affair and went to OT, where Michael Chandler proved to be too much of a bully inside and carried Lawrence North to a 49-48 victory.
DeShaun Thomas | 6-7 | SF/PF | Bishop Luers | 2010
Thomas went on center stage to prove that he can straight up get buckets on anyone who guards him. Faced with triple teams throughout the entire game, he still found a way to drop 22 points. Equipped with a strong body and skilled game, the Fort Wayne product can legitimately play either forward position for stretches. DeShaun showed NBA range from the three point line, although he didn’t connect quite as often as he usually does. The fact that he can post you or kill you off of the bounce makes him a mismatch nightmare. Even though he didn’t put up his average of 34 ppg, he still showed everyone that turned in to ESPNU why he’s a consensus top 20 guy in the Class of 2010.
Michael Chandler | 6-10 | C | Lawrence North | 2011
In terms of upside, there aren’t too many big men in the Class of 2011 that have the upside that Chandler does. Unlike most big men at this stage, he owns a suitable offensive game, as seen by his 25 points. Big Mike has surprisingly solid footwork on the blocks and can even shoot the faceup J. The Louisville commit has to work on his left hand when finishing around the rim, but is able to get away with it as this point. His performance this game further solidified his spot in our next Fresh 25.
Ryan Taylor | 6-6 | SF | Lawrence North | 2011
Back in the day (wow, it seems weird saying that about a junior in high school), Taylor was known as a guy who had all of the potential in the world but never really put it all together. Fast forward to his junior year and things have changed, big time. Taylor can drill the open three when open, puts the clamps on you on D, and will bang on you at the drop of a dime. Ryan played mad hard on both ends of the hardwood and was a monster on the glass against Lawrence North. There are still some holes in his game, but he should be a really nice player in Mr. Pitino’s system at Louisville.