Posted On: 12/29/17 11:33 AM

Lakeville South opened the Granite City Classic with a dominating victory over Rogers led by a balanced offensive attack led by senior Shae Mitchell.

Its a New Era of Lakeville South basketball. This is not the South basketball team I saw in the past.  The bench is into the game both coaches and players and their message is universal.  Guys are being held accountable no matter what the score and the players are responding.  Cooper Jackson, Beau Bailey, and Shae Mitchell are all playing their best basketball and it all started from July to September.  They’ve carried that into the season and even though the record against a tough schedule could be a win better, this is an improving Cougars team that is going to be dangerous in a stacked Section 1AAAA.

Beau Knows Jumpers. Another viewing of 6-foot-5 shooting guard Beau Bailey and it’s another day where Beau is knocking down shots and playing like a much different prospect than in the past.  I think we can now use the word “consistent” with Beau because we consistently see him shoot well and make plays.  Today Bailey hit three treys and I also liked his stepback jumper from the elbow and he has some swings to the corner helping teammates hit jumpers.  I would be very surprised if Beau doesn’t start getting some of the NAIA schools to extend an offer as they are in the crowd today.  He’s just turned the corner so who knows what the future could be.

Shae Mitchell Still Hitting. Shae Mitchell found a comfort zone this 17u season where he seemed to just stop caring about the whispers and just started to enjoy playing again.  With that came a confident three point stroke and a more relaxed approach to the game.  Since then Shae Mitchell has been a different performer.  Just recently he had a couple good games but bounced back from that today knocking out five three pointers and leading the vocal excitement as South crushed Rogers 82-50.  Mitchell scored a team high 19 points on eight shots with five boards and three assists in 21 minutes.  It’s fun to watch him enjoy playing.

Depth. Can South beat Apple Valley or Lakeville North?  They have the talent to but are these kids at that level yet in terms of their 36 minute approach?  That remains to be seen but the talent is there and Joe Janquart is the man for the job.  Cooper Jackson brings toughness to this unit as showed with 16 points and four assists completely out playing the Rogers guards both ways. Freshmen Riley Mahlman had a dozen points but what really caught my eye was his comfort with the ball on the perimeter.  Cody Niesen hit three shots and gave the Cougars another option.

Rogers. The Royals scored 50 points and Jordan Belka had 26 of them.  It was also telling to me that even when the game was a 25-30 point differential Jordan was still on the floor as Rogers just doesn’t have the pieces behind him.  Jordan worked his way to the foul line for 16 of 17 free throw shooting leading his way to 26 points.  Rogers had 23 turnovers so no other player on the team took more than four shots.  As a team Belka took 14 shots and the rest of the team took 15.