Posted On: 11/21/18 10:42 AM
STOUGHTON — What we learned after Stoughton (1-0) opened the season with a 74-46 win over Janesville Parker (0-1) on Tuesday…
Cael McGee Was Better Than Expected
We projected that he’d be one of the bigger breakout players in the state of Wisconsin this season.
But we didn’t see this coming.
The sophomore guard exploded for 31 points in the opener, including 22 in the first half alone. Had Stoughton not had a comfortable lead, McGee would have likely hit 40 without breaking much of a sweat. In fact, he scored 16 of the team’s first 18 points.
Granted, the Vikings have much tougher challenges ahead, but keep in mind that McGee wasn’t even a full-time varsity player last season and
played mostly JV.
This is a kid that obviously worked his tail off during the off-season. McGee came out with supreme confidence to take over the game from the get go and has added some above the rim ability in transition.
A strong guard who can take contact around the rim, McGee had a handful of impressive finishes. He’ll also hit a high percentage from 3-point range and has a knack of knocking down difficult, step-back jumpers off the bounce.
As for his collegiate projection, McGee’s bottom is Division 2. If he plays anywhere close to this level in the spring, you’ll probably start seeing the Division 1 programs sniff around.
Tremar Curry Has a Tough Job Ahead
He’ll probably end up being second-team All-Big Eight…at best. However, Curry is one of the better hidden gems in the Madison area and is tasked with one of the toughest jobs in the state.
Curry does so much for this Janesville Parker team and right now, probably won’t get much help. Curry, who has no other choice but to force the issue, scored 11 points, but more impressively, created a ton of open shots for his teammates — shots that just didn’t go down.
An athletic combo guard with a deadly crossover, Curry can isolate and get to the rim against multiple defenders. His outside shot needs some more and he’ll be a lot more effective if opponents have to respect it, but for now, Curry is excellent at drawing help and kicking out for open looks.
You could see the burden start to wear on him late in the second half. Curry missed some easy opportunities around the rim and was visibly frustrated. Trying to turn this Parker program around, Curry has a heavy weight on his shoulders.
Parker is Playing For Head Coach Matt Bredesen
On the bright side, the Vikings are playing hard for their first-year head coach, who knows the tall task that lies ahead with trying to turn Parker into a Big Eight power.
Despite the big deficit, you didn’t see guys putting their heads down and quitting. They played for all 36 minutes. Even though shots didn’t fall, the Vikings hunted down second chance opportunities and continued to run their stuff and actually generate some quality offense even though the ball wasn’t going in the basket.
Adam Hobson is a Sleeper to Know
He didn’t score a point on Tuesday, but anybody that knows anything about basketball can appreciate how valuable Hobson is to Stoughton.
Willing to do whatever is asked of him, Hobson doesn’t get too high or too low based on how many points he’s scoring. Whether he has 20, or like on Tuesday, a goose egg, Hobson’s approach and effort level is the same.
An excellent passing forward, Hobson is very unselfish. A lot of times, he won’t get credit for assists because he’s making the pass that leads to the assist itself or giving up the ball early in transition to allow his teammates to make a play.
The quarterback and game manager in him definitely translates to the hardwood.
Stoughton Can Win the Badger South
We thought going into the season that despite losing some key pieces, Stoughton would remain in the top two of the Badger South Conference. Head coach Nolan Weber seems to have restructured the team somewhat and adjusted to what he has.
When the ball is in McGee’s hands, he has the green light. The Vikings will push the tempo and it doesn’t matter if the opposition has just converted a made basket, McGee has the option to put it up.
Their new point guard Nathan Hutcherson is quick and decisive. He’s allowed to probe and can be dangerous as he’s surrounded with stretch forwards like Hobson and Drew Anderson.
In the middle, Stoughton football commit Jack Nelson is a beast. The Vikings may not run anything for him, but his job is to be tenacious around the rim and set the tone, which he does a good job of.
You don’t like to take too much away from the first game of the season, especially against an over matched opponent, but this is what really good teams do — dismantle their opponent and put it away early and Stoughton should get credit for that.