Posted On: 03/15/18 11:55 AM
Cleveland State hosted the Division I Regional Finals last night, a pair of games that didn’t disappoint. Whether you were looking for compelling games or college prospects, there were plenty of both as Solon knocked off Shaker Heights and Copley defeated Massillon Jackson.
In both contests, efficient transition offense and star players prevailed. Solon’s trio of guard prospects (Sincere Carry, Mike Bekelja, Trent Williams) combined for 71 points. Before that, Copley’s starters scored every point in a win over the defending State Champs.
Anyways, let’s get into the top performers!
Emich is a talented passer for a stretch-4 type. In fact, we may even label him as more of a combo forward given what he was doing off the dribble last night. He gets into the lane via straight-line drives and finds teammates when an opposing big helps over. However, he was overly passive at times and didn’t show a scoring game at the second level of the defense.
Emich is an active screener and defensive rebounder. He can also shoot it a little bit. Despite being the tallest and biggest player on the court against Solon on Saturday, he won’t get ran off the court whatsoever.
Roberts, although a bit unorthodox as a shooter and dribbler, is extremely quick. As the game went on, Roberts was able to create separation whenever he needed it with crossovers and snatch-backs. While speed is his game, the unsigned senior is also able to reign it in during half-court situations. He slowed the game down in the fourth and took care of the ball.
Rogers may not be the top Copley prospect, but he was the top player last night. His 15 points were a reflection of hustle. He also grabbed 10 rebounds at 6-feet tall and came away with three steals. Rogers just flew all over the court and beat everyone to 50-50 balls. They dominated transition, and he was the foundation of many of those easy scoring opportunities.
Another viewing of Stanislawski meant another example of his improvement. The kid just always gets better. Despite dealing with a minor injury this offseason, he went from role player to primary scorer this year for Jackson.
With his elusive handle, he’s especially effective in the pick and roll. Stanislawski moves off the ball and is able to shoot over guys with his high release. His ability to finish has also improved. Ohio Wesleyan snagged a good one.
Bekelja, an early Fairmont State verbal commit, was lights out in the Regional Semifinal round. He scored a whopping 35 points and it wasn’t just his long-range shooting that keyed the effort. Instead, Bekelja was getting a step on players who closed and finishing in all sorts of ways, including reverses and scoops. Also, Bekelja was plain consistent, which was major. He didn’t have a poor shooting quarter including the first, where Solon got off to a very shaky start.
Williams continues to pick-up momentum as a prospect as Solon continues winning. He’s proven to be a knock-down catch-and-shoot guy who makes good decisions with the ball previously.
Last night, he added the next piece to a stellar evaluation: on-ball defense. He defended Fairmont State signee Dale Bonner and routinely stayed with him on the drive. Although Bonner won some battles too, Williams knocked out the ball from him plenty of times. He’s handsy. The defense led to run-outs the other way and kept Shaker’s offense choppy.
If Williams doesn’t draw severe D-II/NAIA interest or offers this summer, I’ll be flat-out confused.
It wasn’t the dynamic first half we expected from the Mr. Basketball Candidate and West Liberty signee. However, Carry ensured a Solon victory by handling the ball and remaining poised in a hectic second half. His ability to put pressure on the defense in the secondary break makes Solon go.
Let’s just start with the raw statistics here: Guess finished with 30 points, 17 rebounds, and five assists in a loss to Solon. He allocated his athleticism and energy to the glass and secondary break. Guess always is able to get to his right hand on finishes, often absorbing a massive amount of contact before releasing a clean look at the block. Guess is a premier slasher and prototypical wing at the Division I level, minus a consistent jumper.