Trey shooters can earn scholarship

Published 6:36 pm Thursday, March 18, 2010

“My kingdom for a 3-point shooter!”

The trey-maker doesn’t have to look like a horse or be as big as abear. What the marksman or markswoman must do is possess theability to shoot and make the 3-point basket with someone’s hand intheir face.

Girls and boys, now pay attention. If you are 5-foot-7 or shorter,don’t despair. You have a future in college basketball if you canmake the 3-point bucket. It takes lots of practice and you must bedurable enough to survive the bumps, scratches and bruisesencountered at the college level.

Co-Lin women’s coach Gwyn Young desperately needs some consistent3-point sharpshooters. Consider long-range shooting an art form.They are beautiful to watch and more precious than gold tocoaches.

Young’s Lady Wolves misfired from long range Wednesday and sufferedthe consequences in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament inSalina, Kan. They made just one of 15 shots from beyond the arc andlost 66-56 to Casper (Wy.) College. Obviously, they couldn’t findthe range in the spacious Bicentennial Center.

Overall, Co-Lin shot a cold 28 percent from the field, making just21 of 69 shots. Free throw shooting was less than good, netting 13of 25.

“Co-Lin couldn’t put the biscuit in the basket today,” proclaimedCo-Lin radio broadcaster Robbie Hamilton after the game. Obviously,the Lady Wolves hustled and played defense. They just couldn’tscore. Amen.

Young’s team has enjoyed a glorious season. They were 28-1 andranked No. 3 in the nation entering the nationals. Four weeks ago,they lost to Jones County in the MACJC State Tournament finals fora second straight year.

Having seen them play numerous times, we noted the obvious. TheLady Wolves are strong and athletic, quick and fast. They havetalent and play well together.

Unfortunately, the team’s perimeter shooting left a lot to bedesired. Also, they lacked a true post player who stood 6-foot ortaller. The strong center could always pick up a lot of garbagepoints like Erica “E-Train” Trahan did three years ago in thenationals when Co-Lin placed sixth. Trahan was only 5-10 but shewas extremely strong in the paint and crashed the backboards.

By contrast, Casper’s Lady Thunderbirds boasted a 6-foot-2 centerin Samira VanGrinsven from The Netherlands. Australian JuliannaPaunovic is a 6-foot forward who scored 22 points against Co-Lin,nine above her average.

In many cases, a team’s best players elevate their game when theygo to the nationals. Paunovic certainly did. In 2007, Co-Lin’s lastnational appearance, guard Nikki Williams poured in 32 points asCo-Lin won its opener. She graduated that spring and starred twomore years for Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

Stuck in the consolation bracket, Co-Lin can finish as high asseventh in the 16-team field if the Lady Wolves win three straightgames. That’s a tall order but it’s certainly possible.

For the unknowing reader, Co-Lin is going against stronger, tallerteams with international players and large recruiting budgets. WhatCo-Lin really needs are some international connections with prepcoaches who know some super-talented basketball players seeking acommunity college education in Wesson, Miss.

Congratulations to the Starkville boys and the Raymond girls. Theywere crowned champions of the MHSAA Grand Slam Tournament lastSaturday. Unfortunately, this will probably be the last Grand Slamtourney unless some large corporation steps up and finances theaffair.

Attendance at the Slam was down right atrocious. It probablyaveraged less than 500 folks per session, hardly enough to pay theofficials and the rental fee at Jackson’s Mississippi Coliseumwhich can seat 8,000 for basketball games.

The Capital City really needs a basketball arena attached to thedowntown convention center. The 55-year-old Coliseum is bettersuited for tractor pulls and rodeos.

During the recent two-week run for the MHSAA State Tournament,basketball fans and players did without heat. While coping with oneof the coldest Mississippi winters on record, the building’sheating and cooling system was being replaced. Ceiling panels weremissing, which exposed pipes and electrical wires in thehallways.

Not exactly an ideal setting for the showcase of state basketballtalent. Obviously, someone failed to mark the state tournament onthe Coliseum calendar.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. BOX551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com