Posted On: 03/3/19 9:20 AM
With good high school programs, it seems like they always have a new guy come in every year to replace the guys before them. At Oscar Smith it’s been extremely prevalent at the forward spot, where they always have a slightly undersized but bouncy and versatile player. Two years ago it was TJ Taylor (now at Wyoming), last year it was Nyzaiah Chambers and this year it’s junior Karl Chavis.
The 6’6″ Chavis is built more in the mold of Taylor, a hybrid forward who is bouncy and plays extremely well in transition. At times Chavis is playing the five for Smith, but that makes him a big time mismatch because he can put it on the deck in transition and beat guys down the floor and he can step out and shoot the three ball.
While there are seniors in Briquan Harrell and Kai Lockhart, and fellow juniors in Andre Bottoms and Torey Jordan who all have been more proven up to this year, Chavis has really stepped up as one of their key guys, and he credits his teammates for having confidence in him when he’s on the floor.
“My team has a lot of confidence in me and they always tell me to keep looking for my shot and that they’ll keep feeding me if I’m making them,” Chavis said.
As far as what position Chavis is, that’s going to be the question moving forward. He’s likely best as a small ball four man because he creates mismatches and he can finish lobs in the paint, however you can use him on the wing if you want to go big and he seems fine out there as well. He just considers himself a player, and knows that he needs to continue to work moving forward if he’s going to continue to get better.
“I consider myself a role player because I just do whatever the team needs me to do to help us win,” he said. “I definitely need to get stronger and more physical, and I need to keep working on my jump shot. My strengths are mainly finishing around the basket and just being able to get to my spots at all times.”
While the Tigers fell to Landstown in the Region 6A Championship, their second loss of the season, they still look like they’re in firm contention for a state championship moving forward. They’re playing their best basketball late in the season, and the confidence that both Chavis and his teammates have are showing in their elevated play as of late.
As far as their mental state, Chavis knows it’s all about focusing at the task at hand and staying committed to the ones beside them.
“We’re just going to keep taking it one game at a time, we aren’t going to worry about anyone else we’re just going to keep doing what it takes to win. We’re all family, no matter whether we win or lose we’re going to do it together and we’re going to have each other’s backs.”
When asked about college recruitment, Chavis said he’s not sure if he has any, which isn’t surprising because he’s a guy who is a late bloomer and none of us really knew about until this season. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pull some scholarship offers as early as April in the AAU season.