Maverick Maniac's Musings

January 5, 2008

Jones vs. Young I

Filed under: High School Sports — Jon Green @ 11:51 am

So on Monday I went to the Finale of the Metro Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament.

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Jones being the one in the white (#23 for Omaha Central) and Young being the one in the purple (#30 for Bellevue West).

These two are both commited to Creighton for next year, and will be a special duo at Creighton.  I don’t know when the last time Creighton had two big time Omaha kids on the roster, let alone both the same class.  They will also get to play one year with Josh Dotzler (another former Bellevue West PG) as he will be a senior.

It’s fun to watch these two and their teams battle in their final year as rivals before they become teammates.  Jones would guard Young often on defense, while Bellevue West played more zone and Young wasn’t on Jones very much.

Jones is a better shooter and hit some great shots while only scoring 10 points.  He had a sick crossover pullback jumper over Young in the first half that got the crowd excited.  He also plays good defense.  He’s a pretty impressive talent, especially considering he had open heart surgery over the summer.

Young is the more talented of the two.  At 6’0″ he’s fearless driving the paint constantly and drawing lots of fouls (though not as much in this game).  The best facet of his game is definitely his passing though.  He shows an uncanny ability to pass that you know is special when you see it.  His passes are so smooth and crisp, a thing of beauty.  He also showed some strong ability to look off defenders on passes and threw a few perfect no look passes.

At Creighton, both of these players can thrive if they work hard.  Young could play PG, or SG for Dana.  If he does play PG, it will be a stark difference from former Bellevue West PG Josh Dotzler, whose shooting ability (or disability) has disheartened some Jays fans.  What Dotzler doesn’t have in shooting he does have in running Dana’s offense and playing defense.  His backup, Cavel Witter, provides some penetrating ability and offensive spark off the bench.  If Josh continues to develop, he could provide both of those roles in one PG.  Jones will also thrive in an offense where he has some better players to set him up (no offense to Ronnel Grixby and Chris Griffin).

Near the end of the game with about 3-4 minutes left, Young picked up his 5th foul while trying to block a Central player.  I didn’t think it was a very good call, Young is the biggest name in the state and I don’t think you foul him out on a play like this one.  West was up a few, but I think everyone at the game got the feeling that Omaha would put on a bit of a run and win the game.  The next few minutes however were quite surprising.  West, led by Jeff Algood, played strong down the stretch and managed to hold off Central to win by around 10 points.  Central never could get Jones going all day.  I was a little disappointed with how they ran their offense down the stretch.  Their best player is clearly Jones and there were too many possesions where he didn’t even touch the ball.  Part of this falls on his teammates, and part on him, but he needs to more assertive in situations like this.  I felt he probably could have scored some more points, but he didn’t really assert himself into the game like he was going to take it over.  He may be a player that doesn’t really want to take a game over, and that will be fine at Creighton where other players will be willing to take that role (see P’Allen Stinnett this year and Nate Funk last year).

Game 2 between these two will be January 18th (at Central).  If your a hoops fan, definitely considering making it to that game.  These teams and these two players are fun to watch!

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