Goss: College success speaks well of Joliet-area boys basketball
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org February 13, 2013 10:00PM
Robert Morris' Brian Bradley (front), a Lockport alum, battles Valparaiso's Bobby Capobianco for control of the ball. | File photo
Updated: March 15, 2013 1:01PM
The consensus is boys basketball in the Joliet area has been in a funk for a while now.
The latest indicator is the sectional seedings. Joliet West is No. 4 in the Class 4A Thornton Sectional. Most of our major schools are in 4A, and that is as good as it gets in the state’s largest class.
Then again, a sampling of former area standouts who are contributing on various levels of college basketball outside our area indicates something is being done right in these parts.
Let’s take a look as of early this week.
Derrick Marks (Plainfield Central), a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard, is the scoring leader for NCAA Division I Boise State (16-7) at 16.6 points per game. He’s averaging 29.0 minutes, 3.6 assists, 3.3 rebounds and a team-best 2.0 steals. He also is shooting .482 from the field, .500 from three-point range (15-of-30) and .860 from the free throw line.
Plainfield East enjoyed a big season last year, and 6-9 Brian Bennett, the Herald-News Player of the Year, has started all 22 games for D-I Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (11-11). He is averaging 24.7 minutes and is second on the team in scoring at 9.9 points and rebounding at 4.6. He is shooting .552 from the field and .735 from the line.
Bennett’s Plainfield East teammate, Deontre Brown, is a 6-foot freshman guard at D-II West Georgia (7-13). He has appeared in all 20 games and is averaging 16.7 minutes, 6.0 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
Richaun Holmes (Lockport), a 6-8 sophomore forward, leads Bowling Green State (9-14) in blocked shots (2.4 average) and is second in rebounds (4.6). He is shooting .611 from the field (55-of-90) and .600 from the free-throw line and is averaging 18.5 minutes and 5.7 points.
Remy Roberts-Burnett (Joliet West), a 6-foot sophomore guard, was sidelined early because of a concussion but has settled into a regular role at Western Illinois (18-15). He is averaging 25.3 minutes, 6.6 points, 2.3 assists and 1.7 rebounds. His shooting percentage, which sits at .448, is on the rise.
Former H-N Player of the Year Diamond Taylor (Bolingbrook) has played in four games and is averaging 5.8 minutes at Southern Illinois (9-15). The junior guard returned from suspension at the beginning of the second semester.
Troy Snyder (Bolingbrook), a 6-6 sophomore forward at Maryland Eastern Shore (1-19), is averaging 33.1 minutes, 10.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.4 assists.
Snyder formerly played at Wisconsin-Green Bay, as so did Seth Evans (Seneca), who is enjoying a big season as a senior guard at D-II Florida Southern (18-2). He has started all 20 games and is averaging 31.1 minutes, 15.2 points, 3.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals. After a sluggish start, he is up to .440 from the field, .408 on threes (58-of-142) and .862 from the free-throw line (56-of-65).
On the NCAA Division III level, Landon Gamble (Lockport) is continuing his solid career at No. 8 North Central (20-3). The 6-6 junior forward has averaged 24.7 minutes, 14.2 points 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists. The scoring and rebounding figures rank second on the team. He is shooting .575 from the floor (122-of-212) and .661 from the line (82-of-124).
Also at North Central are 6-6 sophomore forward Jack Burchett (Providence), 6-4 freshman guard Ben Heide (Minooka), 6-foot junior guard Sam Mampe (Lincoln-Way Central) and 6-4 freshman forward Adam Reynolds (Minooka). Burchett is averaging 14.4 minutes, 5.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.0 assist. He is shooting .573 from the field (47-of-82).
Elsewhere in D-III, Jawan Straughter (Plainfield East) is a 6-foot freshman guard at Augustana (16-7), Andy Supergan (Seneca, Joliet Junior College) a 6-7 senior forward at St. Ambrose (9-17) and Andre Norris a 6-7 freshman forward at Dubuque.
Straughter averages 14.3 minutes, 2.0 points and 1.8 rebounds, Supergan 8.3 minutes, 2.6 points and 2.4 rebounds. Norris is shooting .548 from the field, .353 from three-point range and is averaging 9.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals.
The NAIA review includes 6-3 sophomore guard Jack Krieger (Plainfield North) at No. 8 Saint Xavier (24-4). He is averaging 30.6 minutes, 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting .525 from the field, .453 on threes (58-of-128) and .729 from the line (78-of-107).
At Robert Morris (13-13), 6-3 senior guard Brian Bradley (Lockport, Joliet Junior College) and 6-7 junior forward Anthony Shoemaker (Joliet) are contributing.
Bradley is averaging 13.5 points, second on the team, to go with 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals. He is shooting .389 from the field, .329 from three and .722 from the free-throw line.
Shoemaker is averaging 27.8 minutes, 12.6 points, 5.1 rebounds (second on the team), 2.3 assists and 2.2 steals. He is shooting .438 from the floor, .304 from three and .667 from the line.
At Avila (8-16), also an NAIA school, 6-4 senior guard Brandon Redmond (Lockport, Joliet Junior College) is averaging 26.1 minutes, 12.6 points, a team-best 8.1 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.5 assists. He is shooting .482 from the floor.
In the junior college ranks, 6-7 sophomore forward Karrington Ward (Lockport) is lighting it up at D-II No. 9 Moraine Valley (21-4). In 24 games, he is averaging 20.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.8 blocks and is shooting .485 from the field, .322 from three and .696 from the line.
Also at Moraine, Kyle Ward (Lockport) is a 6-1 freshman guard and Desnique Harris (Plainfield East), is a 6-4 freshman forward. Ward is averaging 7.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.5 steals while Harris is at 3.6 points and 2.8 rebounds.
At D-I Tallahassee C.C. (12-13), 6-9 freshman forward Marlon Johnson (Joliet West) is averaging 23.9 minutes, 7.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists.
Our area may not have been at its strongest in recent years, but there are success stories — probably more than we mentioned here.