McIntosh, Greensburg handle pressure
Greensburg (Ind) is a school coming off of a 3A state title in Indiana and have two division signees in Northwestern bound Bryant McIntosh and Ball State pledge Sean Sellers. The question however for Greensburg is how would a smaller 3A team handle the athletic pressure of a 4A power like Indianapolis (Ind) North Central which features star 2016 guard Eron Gordon.
North Central is a pressure basketball team that can compete against any school in the state, and McIntosh and his teammates more than handled it. McIntosh handled the point guard duties and more than held his own. He limited turnovers, had 18 points, and simply controlled everything about the game.
McIntosh is a good athlete and someone who can really get to the rim when he has some time and space, and then is a very good outside shooter. With a lot of minutes becoming available in the Northwestern backcourt, there is a ripe opportunity for McIntosh to come in as a freshman and play big minutes. He proved he can handle any kind of pressure and athleticism, and led his team to a big win.
Also Greensburg got a lift from junior Ryan Welage. Welage looks to have grown to a legit 6-foot-8, maybe taller, and while he needs to put on weight, he runs the floor well and shows good hands. Welage scored 22 points and converted big buckets while also controlling the glass against a smaller, but more athletic North Central team. Welage is getting mid-major looks right now, and is looking to play his way into some offers.
Edwards shows improved jumper
One of the big attractions of the day was seeing junior Hyron Edwards. The four-star class of 2015 point guard from East Chicago (Ind.) started off the game aggressive and assertive, but his style of play was a bit of surprise.
Always a near elite athlete who loves to get up and down the floor and get to the rim, but Edwards came out shooting the basketball from deep, and he actually did it fairly well. Now he will indeed have to continue to prove he can make shots, but Edwards was hitting from deep and showed some good athleticism as well.
The one thing that Edwards needs to continue to do is attack the rim, at times he got a little too shot happy, and he needs to watch that, as he can’t get away from his strength.
After leading his team to a win, Edwards noted that his recruiting is still going steady. He said Xavier has really picked things up recently as has Iowa. Beyond those two, Purdue remains in constant contact with Edwards who is one of the better point guards in the Midwest.
Young stars shine
One of the highlights of the Forum Credit Union Tip Off Classic was seeing some of the top young players in the state of Indiana, and two really stood out. One was Gordon, and the other was 2017 wing Paul Scruggs.
Gordon scored 33 points and was really the only North Central player that was able to deal with the big stage against Greensburg. Gordon did take 27 shots to get those 33 points, but with his teammates not handling the load, he had to be a volume guy. As usual Gordon was a freight train going to the rim and then he got hot towards the end of the first half from deep.
The 6-foot-2 Gordon will need to continue to rep his outside jumper and get a consistent stroke, right now he shoots different ways on different shots, but he is making strides and was huge in what almost was an epic North Central comeback.
With Scruggs, the 6-foot-3 wing kept Southport in the game. Already holding an offer from Indiana, Scruggs is one of the most talented freshmen in the state. One thing that is surprising about Scruggs is he is actually a better passer with a little better feel than he is given credit.
Now clearly the game for Scruggs is to provide athleticism and energy, and that is what led to most of his buckets. He crashed the glass and attacked the rim well, and then was able to hit a few jumpers, though that definitely needs work.
There is no doubt that Scruggs will be one of the better prospects in the state going forward, and has a chance to be big time before it is all said and done.