Hutton: The Answer Man sprays to all fields
By Mike Hutton 648-3139 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter:@MikeHuttonPT February 12, 2013 11:22PM
Bowman Academy junior Stacy Whitt puts up a shot overAndrean senior J.J. Bosak Saturday, Dec 1, 2012, at Andrean High School in Merrillville. | Scott M. Bort~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 14, 2013 6:48AM
The Answer Man comes bearing winter gifts. He’s got answers to some of your most bedeviling sports questions.
Which boy’s basketball team has the chance at advancing the furthest in the state tournament?
Wow — the degree of difficulty on that one is pretty high.
Initially, The Answer Man was smitten with Michigan City Marquette. The Blazers have two guys 6-8 in their starting lineup and a solid point guard in Nate Flores. One of the big men, Ryan Fazekas, could be playing in the Big Ten someday.
Marquette is a Class 1A school, which means that Triton looms in sectionals. Here is the problem with falling into the Marquette basket. The Blazers still haven’t done it yet under pressure and the program doesn’t have a winning history. They play a tough schedule, but so does Triton. The Answer Man just can’t commit there.
Munster definitely deserves the love, after garnering the top rankings in both The Associated Press and Indiana Basketball Coaches Association polls this week. However, Class 4A is such a slog that it’s hard to project past regionals and it’s hard for the Answer Man to get past the Lake Central-Munster possibility in the West Side Regional.
Munster beat up LC pretty good but that was without Indian’s coach Dave Milausnic, who had to sit out the game after getting suspended for receiving two technical against Merrillville. The Answer Man actually believes LC has improved despite an uninspired performance against Valparaiso last week. The Indians are tough matchup for the Mustangs, in other words.
Andrean has it easy in the Rensselaer Sectional but then the 59ers have to play in the Plymouth Regional. That regional is payback for a weak sectional. Both Plymouth and Mishawaka Marian (Notre Dame-bound Demetrious Jackson is on that team).
Once again, that leaves Class 2A and, you got it, Bowman as the most likely to succeed. Bishop Noll is lurking but Davon Dillard (around 16 points per game) is starting to heat it up for the Eagles. The Warriors are plenty good but they have struggled a bit lately, losing badly to Valparaiso and barely beating Gavit.
Should the Gary public schools allow kids from the charter schools to compete on their athletic teams?
Absolutely but, of course, they don’t. It’s an all or nothing proposition for the Gary Community Schools, which, wouldn’t for instance, let a student from Bowman who wants to swim compete for the West Side swim team (if they had swimming). Or a student from 21st Century play on the Lew Wallace football team. Why? Strictly for competitive purposes. However, this doesn’t help the kids and it weakens the programs in a district which is getting smaller every year. It’s a policy that needs to be revisited by the school board and changed.
Indiana or MSU?
Well, without completely discounting a most excellent Michigan team, the Answer Man likes MSU to win the Big Ten title.
Ouch — I know that hurts. (This was written before the results of the Michigan-MSU game.)
The Spartans are awful young but young doesn’t matter much anymore in college basketball. They aren’t reliant on small guards (Jordan Hulls and Yogi Ferrell, like IU is) and they have a nice menu of slashers (Branden Dawson) and 3-point shooters (Gary Harris).
The Hoosiers are better inside with Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo is great and so is Christian Watford, but the fact that IU still has to drop back to zone occasionally kills The Answer Man. Still, it’s a hard call.
Should the rooftop owners near Wrigley Field let go of their angst over the signage that the Cubs owners want to put up?
The rooftop owners are making the Cubs look like a non-profit on this one (Ok, that’s an exaggeration).
Let’s get this clear. The rooftop owners are upset because their views will be obstructed with new signage, which means they have to charge less for the fans who are grilling on top of the building while watching the game? Meanwhile, the Cubs have essentially offered to foot the entire bill for the renovation of Wrigley Field, as long as they get a few things in exchange, like more night games and 3:05 starts on Friday.
This protracted, difficult negotiation for something that should’ve happened 20 years ago shows you why it’s so hard for the team to actually win.