Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Next J.J. Redick?

Earlier tonight - as a warmup for basketball heaven - I rolled down to Loyola University with my buddy Chris to watch one of Illinois' "Super Sectional" high school playoff games (Round of 16). On display were three D-I quality players in Waukegan seniors LaRon Frazier (shifty guard with no conscience) and Emmanuel Gaiter (Bobby Simmons type swingman with a great feel for the game), and Glenbrook North's star guard, junior Jon Scheyer. I'd heard through the grapevine that Scheyer was considered to be one of the top rated juniors in the country and let me say, he did not disappoint. Scheyer carried the Spartans to a 70-58 victory and a trip to the state tournament. He was even better than advertised, dropping 48 points and making a dizzying array of jump shots and hanging leaners around the basket. Without a stat sheet in front of me, I would guess that he went about 10-for-14 from behind the three-point line. I'm hard-pressed to think of a better high school performance that I've witnessed in person. Maybe Jason Terry in the Washington State high school championship game (higher stakes), and perhaps one of Dan Dickau's virtuoso performances back in the old Greater St. Helens League. But I don't even think those guys can compare. What a show.

Scheyer is 6'6" and has the purest stroke I've EVER seen for a player under the age of 20. He can shoot off the dribble, the catch, the pump fake, and coming around screens. He moves without the ball better than 75% of NBA guards and can finish around the rim. Plus, his teammates seem to love him even though he takes almost all the shots, so that's a good sign. The word is that he's narrowed his list of schools to Duke, Arizona, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Wherever he goes, expect him to light it up.


Anonymous said...

He sounds like a Duke player. $50 bucks says he ends up there.

Adam Hoff said...
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Jeff Dritz said...

Having seen him play a few more times than Adam, I can indeed say that Jon is for real. He has a much stronger all-around game than Redick. His D is extremely tough, and he can take the ball away from opposing players when necessary. He can get to the basket at will, and is an "and-1" machine when it comes to finishing. The performance he put on in leading Glenbrook North to the IHSA Class AA state championship was awe-inspiring.

Beyond that, he is very grounded, balanced, grateful, and well-raised kid. He's not going to leave school after one or two years, but will be the sort of player a program builds around. Whichever school he chooses (and a decision will supposedly come soon) will get a very special player and person. Jon works hard and plays with a good attitude, truly a coach's dream.