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HUTTON: LC’s Tyler Wideman perfect fit at Butler

Lake Central's Head Coach Dave Milausnic gives insructions Tyler Wideman between play during opening round West Side boys basketball sectionals

Lake Central's Head Coach Dave Milausnic gives insructions to Tyler Wideman in between play during the opening round of the West Side boys basketball sectionals held at West Side High School in Gary on Tuesday February 26, 2013. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 25, 2013 6:39AM



I’m glad that new Butler basketball coach Brandon Miller made Lake Central’s Tyler Wideman his first recruit as the Bulldogs’ head coach.

Butler has added value to its team throughout the years by taking players that no one else wanted and plugging them into a system that rewards selflessness and discipline. Butler’s roster is loaded with no-star players — guys that were never offered scholarships by Purdue or Indiana — but who excelled in the buttoned-down system that Brad Stevens perfected well enough over the years to get to two national championship games.

Here is the thing about Wideman: He has unfairly battled the perception in private that he doesn’t always play hard and that he was a classic tweener — a guy who wasn’t big enough to play power forward in college and one who didn’t shoot the ball well enough from the outside to play small forward. Or handle it well enough.

Those criticisms were always unwarranted and incomplete.

Wideman is a great passer and he’s completely unselfish. He also has dropped a bucket-load of weight since his freshman year.

I have watched him run the floor, pull up and make 3-pointers in All-Star games.

His first two years at LC were spent in the shadow of Glenn Robinson III — a player he naturally deferred to. He always deferred to the needs of his teammates — a trait that is not prevalent with many talented players.

He played last year under the same sort of distress that he’ll have this year. Under the constant stress of double teams and sagging defenses. He has also learned to avoid foul trouble.

He’s still the best big man in the area, easily, and he has learned to play purposefully over the years. Butler, more than any college around, knows how to make the right call on guys like Wideman.

It’s nice to know that he did get the call from Butler, a team and a program that will still be very good, if not as good, with Stevens in the NBA.

Bishop Noll has a coach

Bishop Noll has a new coach, and just in time.

The Warriors hired Josh Belluomini, a three-year assistant under former coach Drew Trost, last Thursday.

Noll had said it was going to wait until a new principal was hired before it made a move on a coach.

The school doesn’t yet have a principal in place (Collen McCoy-Cejka, the former principal, left for new job out west) but the administration decided it couldn’t wait any longer to make a hire.

And for good reason.

The Warriors have a core of really talented players such as Larry Crisler and Tyreon Gates, who could lead them to some place special this year if everything unfolds neatly for them.

They needed to know who was in charge.

Belluomini, who played at St. Joe’s in Chicago, the same high school that Isaiah Thomas graduated from, coached for four seasons at Jones College Prep in Chicago.

He coached the freshman and junior varsity teams for Trost.

Belluomini said he doesn’t plan to change much of what the Warriors did last year.

“We’ll tweak a few things but there won’t be much that is different,” he said.

He credited assistant Javier Heredia with keeping the team together through the uncertainty.

“He provided a lot of the stability,” Belluomini said.

It’s Northern Amateur time

The Northern Amateur begins today at Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton. The tournament, which was restarted three years ago after a long break, features local players such as Kyle Meihofer and Bobby Jacobs of Valparaiso, Nick Grubnich of Crown Point, Jordan Lenard of LaPorte and Kyle and Ryan Grassel of Chesterton. Tee times begin at 7:18 a.m. at Sand Creek.



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