ST. LOUIS – The Scottrade Center in St. Louis played host to some of the area’s top local talent Thursday at the third annual Coaches v. Cancer Shootout. On a day filled with pink shoes, socks and even uniforms to support the cause, Notre Dame-bound Cameron Biedscheid turned in a big-time performance.
Cause hits close to home
It isn’t a surprise that Cameron Biedscheid was the leading scorer in St. Louis Cardinal Ritter’s win over previously undefeated Kirkwood (Mo.) Vianney. In fact, the wing’s 26 points were actually about six fewer than he’s been averaging on the season.
However, the way that the lengthy 6-foot-6 small forward/shooting guard put together those 26 points against a stingy box-and-one, which included an automatic double once he touched the ball, was impressive.
Never rattled or rushed, the No. 30 player in the 2012 Rivals150 got on the glass, was highly efficient with his shots (7-of-11 FGs, 3-of-6 3-PTs, 9-of-13 FTs) and played a tough overall game, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists.
Most importantly, he was able to trust in teammates such as sophomore Charles Jones (career-high 22, including six threes) and senior Charles Hill (17 and four assists) to make the plays needed to open up the game for him.
“I trust in my teammates because when I’m getting doubled the easiest thing to do is find them,” Biedscheid told Rivals.com. “I know that if I get the ball to them that they are going to knock down shots and that’s what they did.”
Always capable of shooting from deep and slashing to the rim, Biedscheid showed off an improved handle and big-time ability to knock in shots off the dribble.
“I really think it’s preparation and confidence,” said Biedscheid of his biggest improvements. “I’ve been in the gym grinding and getting better. I’m working on my handle, on my shot and just on my overall feel for the game.”
Finally, the 69-66 win also meant a lot to Biedscheid because the Coaches v. Cancer cause is one that hits very close to him and his family.
“This game was very special to me,” said Biedscheid. “My mom, Kim, is a breast cancer survivor so I really wanted to win this game.”
Whitney Young grinds out win
Chicago Whitney Young hadn’t initially planned on playing in the CVC Shootout, but a spot opened up late and the Dolphins jumped on the opportunity to make the trip to St. Louis.
Waiting for Whitney Young was a very feisty and athletic St. Louis Soldan team primed for an upset.
That upset would never happen as the visitors from Chicago ran things through their stud five-star sophomore big man Jahlil Okafor . The 6-foot-9 center scored 15 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked seven shots as he led his team to a 53-46 win.
Big and strong in the post, Okafor truly had to grind things out in this one as he was hacked and grabbed every step of the way. It wasn’t pretty, but he got the job done and appreciated being part of the event.
“It was something different out there,” Okafor said. “We got to wear the pink shoes and participate in a great cause like Coaches versus Cancer.”
Okafor didn’t mind having to play with guys hanging all over him.
“I don’t mind it as long as we win,” said Okafor of the game’s slow, grinding pace. “As long as we win, it’s all good.”
On the recruiting front, Okafor confirmed that he received a recent offer from North Carolina, to go along with those he already has from Duke, Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan State, Memphis, DePaul, Arkansas and others.
Keep eyes on 2014 point guard
Rashad Lindsey and his teammates at St. Louis MICDS caught the early game of the day and took a tough loss to Parkway South.
During the game, the 5-foot-10 sophomore point guard had his struggles from the floor, making just two of his nine shots. Still, the young floor general was able to show that he’s a guy to keep an eye on.
Quick with the ball, Lindsey is a very confident ballhandler going left or right, and he does a good job of finding teammates. He’s got the body control and smarts to finish around the basket and he can play in an up-and-down or deliberate tempo.
Most of all, he’s just trying to lead.
“I try to talk to the team out there,” Lindsey said. “I try to calm us down and to get us into the offense so we can score.”
On the recruiting side, Lindsey has already taken a handful of trips to Iowa State and he’ll be in Ames again this weekend to watch the Cyclones take on Kansas. Other schools that have been in to see Lindsey this winter include Loyola (Chicago), SIU-Edwardsville and Indiana State.
Whitney Young’s other (healthy at least) star sophomore Paul White had a fine game as well. His shot wasn’t there, but the 6-foot-7 wing did a fine job of handling the ball and hitting the glass. Most importantly, he made his free throws (11-of-12) to help preserve his team’s win during a 13-point, nine-rebound, three-assist outing.
It shouldn’t be too difficult for Florissant (Mo.) McCluer senior guard Demetrious Floyd to find a Division I home prior to the close of the spring signing period. Definitely more of a shooting guard than point guard at about 5-foot-11, Floyd isn’t the biggest guy but he is very good. A confident kid with superior quickness, he can pull from deep or use his ballhandling ability to break off defenders and free himself for easy scoring opportunities.
Illinois commitment Malcolm Hill and his Belleville (Ill.) East teammates took a tough loss to crosstown rival Belleville West. However, after a slow, even passive, start the 6-foot-4 four-star shooting guard showed what he can do. At his best, Hill is a guy with great scoring instincts off the dribble and a well-developed mid-range game. However, a Belleville West zone kept him from attacking from 8-17 feet. Instead, he had to focus more on getting to the rim in transition and making jumpers during a 21-point, five-rebound, three-assist performance.