Posted On: 02/9/18 1:58 AM
Lincoln topped Madison 50-43 in a battle for third place in the PIL. In the teams first matchup on January 12, Madison got off to a hot-shooting start and won by 19 points, but on Thursday, Lincoln dominated throughout, earning a 40-24 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Cardinals improved to 8-5 in league as the Senators fell to 6-6. Here’s what stood out:
The Mujeeb Rufai storyline
Rufai, a 6-foot-2 athletic wing who has signed to play football at Boise State, played for Lincoln last year before transferring to Madison and it was clear Lincoln players and fans weren’t happy to see him in an opposing uniform. Students in attendance piped at Rufai a several times and, at one point, Lincoln senior Addison Phillips got a technical foul for tauntingly clapping in Rufai’s face. After the game, the teams jawed a bit before heading into their respective locker rooms.
Rufai was dared to shoot and, although he hit three treys, he missed several more. He penetrated more and showed flashes of brilliance, although it was not his strongest performance. He finished with 13 points. At times, he displayed his athleticism in finishing up-and-unders, showing off his D-I ability.
Where will Bryce Sloan end up?
Sloan has been Lincoln’s star for two seasons now and had another leading performance with 18 points on Thursday. He shot 8 of 10 from the stripe. More impressive was his passing. Several times, he made terrific passes to teammates, his best probably being on a nearly full court heave that Addison Phillips caught like a wide receiver and very craftily laid in.
Sloan is receiving offers from Division II schools and some low-major D-I interest. NAIAs are also in the mix. Listed at 6-foot-4, he is a polished and complete player. He’ll likely end up at a D-II.
The soccer ball head
The best hair on the floor easily went to Lincoln sophomore Max Weissflog, who donned a ‘do that looked just like a soccer ball, complete with a hexagonal black-and-white pattern. On the court, he finished with 6 points and is a consistent bench player for the Cardinals. A 6-foot-3 athlete, he has big upside. On a varsity roster with one junior and two sophomores and considering that he is one of only two non-seniors (the other is Daniel Kovalev) to receive playing time, he should be expected to take on a bigger role next year. Kovalev can score, but is more of a distributor, so it’s likely Weissflog will take on a primary scoring role.
— Hayes Gardner (@HayesGardner) February 9, 2018
Impassioned guard play
Madison’s Tre Ratcliff was the Senators clear second option behind Mujeeb Rufai and he was totally capable of scoring by himself. He finished with 10 points, all on layups, as he drove and finished in traffic. He did receive a technical (there were three total in the game) for complaining to the refs, but he played hard throughout. A 5-foot-11 junior guard who bites on his mouthpiece as he plays, he is a key player for Madison and will be key for them next year.
Solid minutes from Lincoln’s bench
Lincoln’s starting five is a nifty, well-oiled machine, but they go 8-plus deep. Outside of Weissflog, it’s seniors Quinton Galash and Blake Phillips, both lanky forwards, who get playing time. Phillips came up with a steal late in a quarter, totaling three points, and Galash looked comfortable shooting the three.
(For more prep hoops coverage, follow @HayesGardner on Twitter.)