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filer lifts noll to new level

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



Bishop Noll boys basketball coach Drew Trost chuckles when he thinks about his conversation earlier this summer with Adonis Filer’s father, Steve.

When Mr. Filer called Trost to inquire about Adonis possibly transferring from Mount Carmel to Noll and playing basketball for him, Trost was completely honest with him.

“I told him we went 17-5 last year and we already had a good team, and that his son probably wouldn’t play much,’’ Trost said. “I don’t pay attention to Illinois basketball, but his dad said he started for Mount Carmel and was a good player.’’

That might be the high school hoops understatement of the year.

As a junior last year, Filer averaged 14.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.3 steals, and was an All-Chicago Catholic League first team selection.

The 6-foot-2 senior was a two-sport star, before deciding to give up football and concentrate on basketball before his junior year.

His brother, Steve, plays football at Notre Dame.

The ultra-athletic Filer has made an enormous impact since taking over the point guard spot vacated when Kendall Coleman graduated.

“Adonis has a ton of talent, and he’s really helped our team in many ways, but I think the thing I’ve been most impressed with his leadership and competitiveness,’’ Trost said.

“He’s a joy to coach. He competes every single day. He must love basketball. He always has a huge smile on his face. He loves it in a way that really makes him compete -- and not just in games. He does it in practice every single day. He’s always yelling, clapping his hands and getting excited. He makes practice more competitive and exciting. He really gets into drills, scrimmages, whatever we’re doing. He’s brought another level of toughness to our team. He’s not scared of anybody and neither are the rest of our players.’’

Filer’s enthusiasm has pumped even more energy into a talented group of players.

“I just love basketball,’’ said Filer, who’s averaging 15.5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals for the balanced Warriors (17-0).

“When I step on the court, I like to bring energy to the team and to myself. It makes everyone want to practice hard. I hate losing anything. If I lose a drill in practice, it makes me really mad, so I work hard to win the next one. I usually don’t lose two drills in a row. I want to bring out the best in my teammates.’’

Filer is so intense, he’ll sometimes talk too much.

“He wants to win every drill, every scrimmage, everything,’’ Trost said. “In a loving way, he’ll tell his teammates if he beats them -- and that really makes our guys get after each other, which is awesome.’’

Filer’s voice rises when he talks about practices.

“I talk about it when me, or my teammates, get the ‘W,’” he said. “We take no losses. My team always wins. If we lose, I still talk and tell everybody we’re going to win the next one. The more I talk, the more they get mad, and the more they want to beat me. That’s good for all of us.’’

Filer, who has several D-I offers -- Baylor, Bradley and Valparaiso -- said one of his biggest worries when he came to Noll was how he’d be received.

“I was just wondering if I was going to fit in, but as soon as I walked in the door they welcomed me with open arms,’’ he said. “They trust me on the court. They know I’m not a selfish player. They all know I’m not going to take bad shots or make bad passes.’’

With Filer in the lineup, Noll is more difficult to defend.

The Warriors already have a pair of can’t-miss Division I recruits in Ronnye Beamon — who’s received offers from Lehigh, Valparaiso, Evansville and Illinois State — and center Milos Kostic — who was offered by Northwestern as a freshman and has been scouted by coaches from Notre Dame, Purdue and Michigan.

“It’s exciting to watch our team play,’’ Trost said. “We have a lot of weapons and nobody can really key on anyone. I would hate to try and match up with us.’’

The amazing thing about the Warriors is, they have a high-caliber player in every class.

Filer’s a senior. Beamon, a junior, and Kostic, a sophomore.

Mix in talented freshman Larry Crisler and Jonathan Bock, who comes off the bench, along with junior starters Jose Rosario and John Dodson, and it’s enough to give a coach nightmares.

“Everyone can play, not just me and the others,’’ Kostic said. “All of us can step up and make key points and passes. If you stop me, if doesn’t mean we’re going to lose. Somebody else, like Ronnye, is going to hit a 3. We have lots of weapons. Everyone can shoot, dribble and pass. I’m pretty excited about the season. We’re getting better and better and playing well together.’’

Beamon said Filer’s athletic ability gives Noll a whole different dimension.

“He brings so much intensity and energy to our practices and that brings out the best in all of us,’’ he said. “When I first heard he was thinking about coming here, I was really excited.’’

Beamon said he and Filer took a driver’s education class together a couple years ago, and became friends watching each other in AAU ball.

“He’s the main key to our team right now,’’ Beamon said. “He opens things up for everyone. When he’s driving and slashing to the hoop, it frees me up to knock down a shot. He draws a lot of attention to himself, and then dumps the ball off.’’

Trost said playing better team defense and getting used to playing together were two things his team has worked to improve.

“Those things really needed to happen in order for us to make a push,’’ Trost said. “I think the scary thing is, we still haven’t played our best basketball.’’

The Warriors allow only 45 points per game — which ranks No. 23 in the state in all classes. They average 12.38 steals and rank No. 3 in the state in all classes in scoring margin (24.5), while scoring nearly 70 points per game, which ranks No. 16 in all classes.

Despite the team’s success, Trost confesses there have been struggles.

In games against Bowman Academy and Valparaiso, Trost said his team didn’t look good in the first couple of quarters.

“It takes a while for us to get going at times, but once we figure things out, we usually start playing up to our capabilities, and we’re fine,’’ he said.

“Beating Bowman was really big, but beating Valpo was huge. I’m definitely excited about this team. We’re getting better and better. Hopefully, we can reach our full potential as we enter the state tournament.’’

 

 



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