"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Thursday, February 10, 2005

A Confession: I didn't listen to the TCU game.

I missed last nights game.

Not because WISN wasn't working.

Not because I couldn't find the right bar with the right satellite dish.

I made plans to watch another game. A HS game.

Okay, so it was a girls HS basketball game. In my defense, the daughter's 8th grade team made plans to see this game as a group, so how could I say no?

But the highlight for an MU fan was that Terri Mitchell was in house (as George Thompson would say), so I figure there's some reasonable tie to Marquette. Besides, from what I've read, I probably wouldn't have been happy had I stayed home to listen to TCU.

The game was between Benet Academy--a top Catholic college prep in the Chicago suburbs, and a school that sends many of its grads to the likes of MU, Dayton, and SLU--and Whitney Young. Benet was ranked 11th in the state--Whitney Young #1 in the state, and #18 in the USA Today national poll.

I'd like to say that any HS game between the #1 and #11 teams would be a good match. And for about three minutes, it was.

Here's the big Benet highlight: They scored first and led the game 2-0. But they trailed by 16 at half, on the way to a 51-36 loss. Read all about it here, here, and here.

Who might Coach Mitchell been looking at? Two players stand out.

Amanda Thompson of Whitney Young is rated 54th overall nationally and only a Junior, and looked it. Not a flashy offensive player--she wasn't the leading scorer--but solid on defense, and made one basket that is probably still leaving everyone who was in the gym wondering how she did it. On transition, there was a pass ahead of Thompson--one of those "too bad, the PG passed the ball out of bounds" situations--pass to nobody on the block--Thompson was only at the elbow when the pass was made. Somehow, she sped up, caught the ball on the baseline, stayed in bounds, turned direction, crossed under the basket, and made a reverse layup.

The other potential recruit was Benet's junior Kaitlin McInerny. She matched up against Whitney Young's 6'5" center Danielle Campbell. Campbell is headed to Purdue, and that big gold "P" is going to stand for project. In short, McInerny had her way with a very nice drop step against Campbell--either getting a nice clean look at the basket or drawing a foul nearly every time she got the ball. Two problems, however. First, two early fouls (one questionable) put her on the bench for much of the first half. Second, Whitney Young has as much team quickness as I've seen at just about any level, which prevented most passes when they mattered. Campbell did get a lot of inside rebounds (helps when you're 5" taller than most of the other players on the court). She may be ranked 28th in that same national list. But in the one-on-one matchup, she didn't look all that impressive.

So, for those of you looking for me to bring the bright side of the TCU loss, sorry to disappoint. And in a move that will likely disappoint nobody, I promise no more HS girls basketball reports.

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