Give Gary a hoops regional
By Mike HUtton 648-3139 or email@example.com May 29, 2012 11:36PM
Munster junior Mike Schlotman bring the ball up the court against Lake Central with a full house behind them during their opening round sectional game at West Side High School Tuesday, February 28, 2012, in Gary, Ind. The West Side gym was near capacity for this game. | Scott M. Bort~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 12:46PM
Busy time of year for the Answer Man. All kinds of questions, all of them centered around basketball, that need responses. Let’s get started.
Who will host the Class 4A basketball regional next year?
Gary city athletic director Earl Smith put a bid in for the regional this year and IHSAA director Bobby Cox said the board is going to consider giving West Side a regional. He didn’t say which one, but Smith told the Answer Man that he specifically asked for the 4A regional. If West Side gets it, Michigan City will have to give it up.
Cox sounded slightly exasperated when asked why certain schools don’t get to host regionals and others do. Here is the big problem: You have to request the regionals.
There is frequently lots of grousing about travel time for schools to sites, but some of that has more to do with desire than logistics. It takes a small village of committed school employees to host a regional, and not every school wants to do the work.
Smith said he’d take any regional he could get, but that his first choice would be the Michigan City Regional.
Personally, the Answer Man would like to see West Side get it simply because it’s time for another school to host it. Besides, it’s not fair that Michigan City gets both a sectional and a regional. It really doesn’t make any sense for the IHSAA to give West Side anything less than 4A, because its gym is so large. They need to fill up these places or at least come close to it, like they did when Lake Central played Munster in the first game of the West Side Sectional this season. The smaller schools won’t be able to get close to the 7,000 that West Side holds.
Will West Side still host the sectional if it gets the regional?
Possibly. It depends on which, if any, schools want the sectional.
The Answer Man would like to see East Chicago and West Side split the sectional and regional for 4A in Lake County. It’s ridiculous that schools get to host both the sectional and regional. Again, in some instances, it comes down to schools that actually want to have it. That’s why there is duplication. East Chicago has to put in for one of them. Hope they’re reading this.
Why doesn’t the IHSAA host more tournament games on college sites?
That one is pretty simple. The colleges don’t really want them. Or they do — at a price. Everyone wants to see Hinkle Fieldhouse host a sectional, but Butler wouldn’t do it because it wants to keep the first weekend in March open for the Horizon League Tournament. Cox said that tourney is worth roughly a million dollars for the school. Hinkle did host the Lawrence Central Regional this year and the interest was mediocre, according to Cox. The school charged $8,000 for the day to rent the gym.
Will Jarrod Jones get drafted?
Jones graduated from Michigan City the year after Robbie Hummel and Scott Martin left Valparaiso High School. The power forward developed into a legitimate NBA prospect at Ball State, sprouting from a skinny 6-7, 185-pound tweener into a 6-9, 220-pound beast. Jones averaged 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game in his final year at BSU and he never averaged under double figures for the Cardinals.
He is currently working out with John Lucas in Texas, hoping to get the call on draft day. That is probably a long shot this year — he is ranked as the 72nd best prospect by DraftExpress, but he certainly could work himself onto the roster of any NBA team with some time in the NBA Development League.
Jones has flown under the radar ever since he broke his leg after his junior season. He lost his leverage with major Division I schools because of the setback and his refusal to go to prep school for a year. It worked out for him, though. He was able to get plenty of early playing time at Ball State and he left third on the Cardinals’ all-time scoring list with 1,623 points and third in rebounds with 981. He was first in career starts with 120.
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