Blogs > Pemberton's Point

Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Summit League notebook

The next George Hill?
IUPUI freshman Alex Young has already earned some serious praise from head coach Ron Hunter. Hunter told the Indianapolis Star, “He's special. It's the 'it' factor, and either you have 'it' or you don't. George Hill had it; this kid has it.
“He plays like one of those old-school guys who knows how to play and has a presence about him. I love George Hill, but if you ask me, this kid is ahead of where George was as a freshman, and it's not even close.”
Young is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, who averaged 18.6 points and 13.7 rebounds for Northwest High School and was named the Indianapolis Public School Player of the Year. Young had 17 points (6-for-10 from the field) and six rebounds in IUPUI’s loss to Northeastern and 15 points and four rebounds in a win over Michigan Tech.
The Jaguars will need Young to step up early after senior point guard and leading returning scorer Gary Patterson broke his non-shooting hand. IUPUI hopes freshman Larry Stone can fill in while Patterson is out and get some valuable experience.

IPFW’s Yearby anxious to play
Kansas State transfer Deilvez Yearby is anxious to play meaningful games after sitting out last season. The 6-foot-6 Yearby is a talented player, who IPFW head coach Dane Fife thinks can really make an impact this season.
“He can make us better, there's no question,” Fife told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. “The things he can do are something we do not have. And his combination of athleticism and size make him potentially one of the top players in this league if he puts it all together. He's someone who could be of great value.”
Yearby’s biggest obstacle has apparently been his work ethic. Fife admitted to the Journal Gazette that there were times in his mind that Yearby was off the team. But apparently Yearby, who graduated from Detroit Central, put in the effort over the summer and is looking forward to the start of the season. IPFW opens at Xavier on Friday night.

Major Payne
Southern Utah signed seven new players over the offseason in hopes of easing the blow of losing leading scorer Geoff Payne, but it has been two veterans that have looked good during the exhibiion season.
Junior Davis Baker scored 35 points against Montana Westerna and 20 against Adams State.
“It's nice having Davis back because he can float around from the perimeter and play inside," Southern Utah coach Roger Reid told The Spectrum. "He's not going to score 30 every night, but he if can come up with 15 and explode from time to time we'll be fine."
Senior Tyler Quinney has also looked solid with 18 points and nine rebounds against Adams State and 17 points and 11 rebounds in a 98-92 win over Montana Western.
The Thunderbirds added some serious size in the early signing period by inking two Australian big men in 6-10 225-pound Matt Hodgson and 7-foot 200-pound Nathan Crombie.
Reid on Hodgson (courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics): “When we saw Matt we were really impressed, we thought we would be very fortunate to sign him,” Reid said. “He could play for a lot of people. He’s a true center with a 7-foot-nine inch wingspan. He’s strong around the basket but he can also step out and shoot the ball. On the other end of the floor he has a good defensive presence. He still has a lot of work to do to be the player he can be — remember, he’s only 17 years old — but he has all the tools to be a very good basketball player. He’s also a good student with a great family”
Reid on Crombie: “Nathan is a legitimate 7-footer, a great athlete who runs the floor as well as any guard on our team,” Reid noted. “He’s got good quickness and a nice touch out to 15 or 16 feet; I think he also has the ability to develop an even better jump shot even though we don’t really see him as a jump shooter.”

Bison ink three
North Dakota State signed three recruits in the early signing period, 6-9 forward Jordan Aaberg from Rothsay, Minn., 6-0 guard Nathan Zastrow from Manitowoc, Wis. and 6-3 guard Mike Felt from Redwood Falls, Minn.
Bison head coach Saul Phillips is excited about all three recruits. Here is what Phillips said about the recruits to The Forum.
On Aaberg: “He is oozing with potential,” said Bison head coach Saul Phillips, who said Aaberg will most likely redshirt next season. “We are just starting to the see the emergence of a special player.”
On Zastrow: “He’s the kind of kid who looks like the nicest kid in the gym but will rip your heart out to get the basketball,” said Phillips, who feels Zastrow will more than likely play next year. “He’s a tough-nosed kid who knows how to compete.
On Felt: “His shooting form is as good as I have seen in a high school player,” said Phillips, who said Felt will most likely play next year. “He’s sneaky athletic and can throw in a dunk every once in awhile too.”
Don’t know what type of competition Felt is facing but he averaged 30.3 points a game last year, including a 56 points game.

To sign or not to sign
Oral Roberts has yet to sign any recruits in the early signing period. The Golden Eagls have a verbal commitment from Damen Bell-Holter, a 6-foot-9 center from Ketchikan, Alaska. According to the Tulsa World, Bell-Holter plans on signing sometime during the early signing period and planned on attending Oral Roberts this fall, but is at a prep school in New Hampshire after being declared an NCAA academic nonqualifier. Bell-Holter averaged 28.3 points and 16.8 rebounds as high school senior.



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