Posted On: 09/27/18 7:30 AM
I sat right beside Center Hill’s senior point guard Calvin Temple on Wednesday as his teammates went into a full-fledged practice as the 2018 high school basketball season looms.
Head coach Newton Mealer wore a long sleeve Center Hill Basketball T-Shirt with a pair of black shorts and a pair a light grey Nike shoes. He had his whistle around his neck and blew it each time he saw one of his players make a mistake.
The Mustangs went through multiple drills and ended their practice with a scrimmage. This is where things got interesting. This is where I was able to see who can really play this game. During the scrimmage, Temple, who verbally committed to IUPUI two and a half weeks ago, pointed out some guys who can help the team win a lot of games this upcoming season.
Center Hill lacks size as of right now. Decorian Peyton, standing at 6-foot-5, is the tallest player currently on the roster. But Mealer mentioned to me after practice that he’s expecting the Mustangs’ right guard James Mitchell, 6-7, to play varsity basketball this upcoming season.
Mitchell, who plays football for the school, is expected to clog up the paint for Center Hill. From the looks of the scrimmage, the Mustangs’ strength will be in the backcourt. The frontcourt with Peyton and Kaeden Laws has promise.
Mealer’s main philosophy is for his team to outwork teams that are much bigger. It remains to be seen how tough and gritty Center Hill will be this upcoming season but the Mustangs are talented.
Here are my four observations from Center Hill’s open gym workout:
Kenneth Lewis is a special guard.
Kenneth Lewis, who transferred from Lake Cormorant High School, has a high motor. During the scrimmage, he always found himself near the basketball. Lewis loves to attack the basket and can knock down shots from long range. Lewis hasn’t been ruled eligible in his senior season but Mealer is confident he will be go to good before the season starts.
Kaeden Laws needs to take more shots.
Small forward Kaeden Laws is missing a consistent jump shot. At 6-4, Laws is what college coaches want. If he wants to be one of the best players in the 2021 class, Laws will need to develop a steady outside jump shot. The best way to do that is to continue to shoot.
Braxton Morris is good.
I’m not ready to call junior guard Braxton Morris a special player but he has the potential. He has solid ball handling skills. He’s one of the team’s best shooters, and he plays defense. But he only shows promise in a scrimmage. Mealer mentioned how special Morris can be if applies himself each day at practice. He doesn’t give 100 percent every day. That has to change if Morris wants to play at the next level.
Antwan Honor and Jhamal Ross could play small but solid roles this season.
This is Antwan Honor’s final season in high school. Jhamal Ross is just getting started. Both players can play small but solid roles for their team this upcoming season. Honor is a 6-2 forward. Ross is a 5-7 point guard. Honor plays defense and can score between 7-9 points a game. Ross plays hard as a small guard and is hard to double team because of his quickness.
Both Honor and Ross will come off the bench but will be needed. Mealer has depth to go along with his starters.