From the Sidelines
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Coach Rick's Take Away from the Greensboro Day vs. Wesleyan Christian
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Two of the better teams in the state regardless of affiliation battled it out at Wesleyan Christian Academy. Greensboro Day entered the contest with a 23-4 record while Wesleyan Christian entered the game with at 22-4 record. Both teams have played a tough and enduring national schedule and are without question a top 25 teams on the national level. Playing without the services of 6'2 senior Will Dillard, Greensboro Day simply did not have the overall athleticism and talent to challenge a star-studded lineup by Wesleyan Christian. National scouting service 247 currently has 6'8 Jaylen Hoard at no. 28 and 6'6 Aaron Wiggins at no. 38 while Greensboro Day's top player John Newman is listed at no. 149. Wesleyan Christian captured the 66-52 victory and if the play of Wesleyan Christian is any indication, they will definitely be in the conversation as one of the best teams in the state.

 

Remember the Titans

In the movie 'Remember the Titans,' Coach Ron Boone stated to a reporter after losing Gerry Bertier to an injury, 'You can't replace a Gerry Bertier.' We're sure Coach Freddy Johnson can echo those famous words about Will Dillard. Dillard is sidelined with complications from a blood clot and make no mistake, Will Dillard was sorely missed in this contest. Whether he would have been enough to overcome the difference, probably not, but one thing is for certain, it would have been a much closer game. Dillard's athleticism and defense are on an elite level and anytime you lose a quality player like Dillard, it hurts!

 

Simply Sensational

There's a reason why Aaron Wiggins is considered a top forty player in the country by almost every scouting/ranking service. In the game against Greensboro Day, Wiggins was simply dialed in and gave a sensational performance. We're talking about a lengthy wing guard that is silky smooth from the perimeter. He has a terrific shooting touch with a quick release and is as good as any shooter in a 'catch and shoot' situation. Wiggins finished with 31 points including five 3-pointers. The folks in College Park, Maryland should be absolutely elated over the future Terrapin.

 

Simply Underrated

We have been a huge John Newman fan for quite some time and in our opinion, if Wiggins and Hoard are top forty prospects on a national level, there are not another 100 players better than Newman. Newman is a 'do it all' wing that plays both ends of the court. He can score from all three levels and is the ultimate warrior and intense competitor on the court. Newman finished with 22 points including three 3-pointers, dished out assists and made positive players the entire night, not to mention his rebounding and defense are on another level for his size/position. His no-nonsense approach and willingness to play tough
aggressive defense will earn him big time minutes as a freshman at Clemson.

 

Total Team Effort

Coach Keith Gatlin has enjoyed some very talented teams over the past 10 years at Wesleyan, but this may just be his best team yet. Why' Two things clearly stand out. First of all, this team is very unselfish and are a very good passing team. They make the extra pass and their offense is predicated on ball movement and dribble penetration. In addition, this team has bought into playing tough man to man defense. Greensboro Day struggled from the floor, but it was the suffocating defense that contributed to that. If Wesleyan can continue the play demonstrated in the game against Greensboro Day, they
will be hard to beat and the odds-on favorite to win the NCISAA 3A championship. That being
said, there is still a lot of season remaining, but one thing is for certain, Coach Gatlin has them
trending in the right direction.

 

The Forgotten One

When you hear about Wesleyan Christian, the general consensus and conversation centers around Jaylen Hoard, Aaron Wiggins and the Langley twins. Let's not forget that 6'4 Shawn Walker is a very talented player in his own right and a solid mid-major prospect. Walker finished with an efficient 16 points including three 3-pointers. That being said, Walker is a low risk, high return player. He makes winning plays and plays within the rhythm of the offense. Rarely will you see him 'hunt or manufacture' his own shot. He understands his role and look for Walker to be one of the go-to players for Wesleyan next
season. Walker is quietly biding his time and understands the big picture, which is not often seen today.

 

Double the pleasure, double the pain!

Also, in the underrated category is the Langley twins, Kobe and Keyshaun. Kobe and Keyshaun both have playmaking ability. They are extremely quick off the dribble/bounce and use their quickness and athleticism to dribble penetrate for beautiful 'kick out' passes to open shooters. In addition, they are intense are the defensive side of the ball. They have unbelievable lateral quickness and great anticipation. While they are not putting up typical scoring numbers, make no mistake about it, they are the straws that stir the drink for coach Keith Gatlin.

 

True Professional

When it comes to basketball coaches at any level, it's hard to beat Freddy Johnson of Greensboro Day. A true gentleman of the game, he made absolutely no excuses for the loss. He would be the first one to tell you, the better team won the game last night.

 

 

Captain of the Ship

Coach Keith Gatlin has built a powerhouse at Wesleyan Christian and this has to be his best team and that is saying a mouth full. Over the years, he has accumulated some tremendous talent, but this year's squad is playing beautiful basketball and is playing as a team. As we stated earlier, they are very unselfish and all the players are making the extra pass to get a teammate a better shot.

 

Let's not forget Jaylen Hoard

6'8 Jaylen Hoard probably has as much skill and potential as any player on the court. He finished with 11 points and the tweener forward can play both on the interior and the perimeter. Hoard is highly skilled and played more on the interior against Greensboro Day. That being said, he has the skillset and mobility to play on the perimeter at the collegiate level. It wasn't his best game stat wise, but he created a lot of havoc in the paint defensively as Greensboro Day struggled to finish around the rim.

 

Best of the Rest

6'2 unsigned senior Tripp Greene chipped in 11 points including three 3-pointers. With the loss of Will Dillard, Greene will be the key player in the next few weeks. He has the ability and potential to be a 20-point scorer.

 

 

 

 

6'3 Carson McCorkle scored nine points in the second half and has the ability to create his own shot off the dribble. He's a cagey and high IQ player that has an advanced feel for the game. He too, will be looked upon to provide more scoring without the services of Will Dillard.