Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
June 21, 2012Kendall Stephens already looks right at home shooting in Mackey Arena.
Led by Stephens shooting and all-around scoring ability, his St. Charles East team posted a 3-1 record, finishing fourth, in Thursday's Purdue Shootout.
The class of 2013 Purdue commit averaged 21.5 points per game in the four-game session, shooting 41.7 percent overall and 36.8 percent from three-point range.
"I have some things I can work on, but I think I played pretty well individually," Stephens said. "I am thankful that I was able to have some family members come out to see me play, so that was the highlight."
While he displayed his usual shooting stroke, Stephens also displayed an ability to get to the rim and finish through contact, a facet of his game that St. Charles coach Pat Wood has emphasized.
"He is getting better at going to the basket, which I like to see," Woods said. "That is going to make him tough to guard. I really liked seeing him finish strong with a couple dunks over people.
"We are doing a lot more screen-and-rolls with him and that is doing a lot to open up the game for him and he is making his teammates better through that, too."
For Stephens, Thursday's tournament was an opportunity for an advanced screening, so-to-speak, of the arena and facilities that will become his home for four years starting next fall.
"Every day when I'm thinking about it, it really doesn't hit me about how blessed I am," Stephens said, "with the facilities and all the alumni that coach Painter and coach Keady have produced. I'm just really excited."
Stephens and his St. Charles teammates and coaches were given a behind-the-scenes look at the Purdue facilities while they were on campus.
"Coach took us around and showed us the locker room and the weight room," Wood said. "I am really impressed with the facilities. He is coming to a great place."
It was clear that Thursday's trip to West Lafayette was an experience for the whole team.
"It was great for my teammates to see where I am going to be next year," Stephens said. "I am really excited and I'm just really blessed and thankful for this opportunity."
The Saints began their day with a 53-48 victory over Delta on Keady Court in Mackey Arena. Stephens led the way, scoring 21 points on 7-20 shooting, and 2-9 three-point attempts. He added six rebounds, two blocks and a pair of steals.
In the second game of the day, Stephens scored 10 points in fairly limited action against Tippecanoe Valley. As St. Charles held a commanding lead throughout the second half, Stephens played sparingly.
It was in the final two games of the day that Stephens really turned things on.
In the final pool-play game, St. Charles struggled from the tip, falling behind 9-0 to Michigan City. It was at that point that Stephens began shouldering the scoring load.
After missing his first three shots from the field, Stephens made seven of his next 11, finishing the half with 20 points, including four threes. He didn't slow down in the second half, either, adding 10 points after halftime.
With the game tied at the end of regulation, Stephens won the game with a free throw after drawing a shooting foul on the first possession of the sudden-death overtime.
St. Charles' last game of the day matched the Saints against Lake Central and class of 2014 big man Tyler Wideman.
Lake Central would win the finale, 57-50 on Cardinal Court, in the new Purdue practice facility.
Wideman finished with 11 points, four blocks, three rebounds, and two assists.
He showed plenty of skill throughout the contest, hitting one of his two three point attempts and leading Lake Central break several times, leading to easy buckets.
Stephens closed his day with a 24-point performance, finishing 10-21 from the field and 4-11 from three-point range.
While it ended in defeat, Stephens afternoon was certainly an impressive one, at least in his coach's eyes.
"I'm only going into my second year coaching Kendall," Wood said, "and that is the best that I have seen him play. He has a world of potential.
Sellers and McIntosh impress for Greensburg
In the early portion of Thursday's games, a pair of 2014 prospects had solid outings.
Rising juniors Sean Sellers and Bryant McIntosh played well in a pair of wins for the Pirates.
In their opening-game victory over Clarksville, McIntosh scored 23 points and added five rebounds and a pair of assists.
Sellers poured in 15 points and grabbed six rebounds in the victory.
In their next game, the duo again posted double-figure scoring outputs. McIntosh finished with 18 points on 7-13 shooting, including 2-2 from three-point range while Sellers added 10 points.
Both had strong spring sessions on the AAU circuit and have received growing interest as the most recent contact period opened up.
For McIntosh, there are currently three schools who have shown the most interest.
"Indiana State, Dayton and Xavier have really took on quite a bit of my recruiting so far," McIntosh said. "Indiana State has offered me, so it's going pretty well. It has been a good experience."
McIntosh is in no rush to make a decision, but knows what qualities in a program will stand out during his recruitment, both off and on the court.
"I want a good relationship with the coaching staff because they are basically your parents for the four years that you are there," McIntosh said. "You have to have a good relationship there.
"I just want to be able to make an NCAA tournament run."