Who do you like better--6-foot-2 junior Marquis Teague from Indianapolis (Pike) Ind., or 6-6 junior Brandon Dawson from Gary (Lew Wallace) Ind.?
That's the question a lot of people were asking this weekend at the 2010 Indiana AAU Boys Basketball National Qualifier at Franklin Community High School in Franklin, Ind. Dawson is an incredible athlete with great hands, a tremendous wing span, and that Gary toughness, which he uses to rule the boards and dominate around the basket. He's also an extremely quick jumper, has a better outside shot than most people give him great for having, and is second to none when it comes hitting a teammate on the fast break with the outlet pass. We're talking about a guy who list of schools includes Purdue, Michigan State, Indiana, UCLA, Marquette, Georgetown, and Louisville.
However, in the final analysis it doesn't matter how much we like Dawson's game. Many think he's just not better than Teague, who is so quick and athletic, has so much natural talent, and has such good handling and passing skills that he is almost impossible to stop off the dribble.
Teague does need to become more consistent and play harder at times. But his game is on another level and, even though he wasn't hitting his shot in the championship game, he was finding the open man and making his teammates better.
The main beneficiary in the title game was 6-1 Jr Demetrius Lawson from Zionsville (H.S.) IN, who finished with 22 points and three 3-pointers against a loaded SYF Players team, which featured Dawson, 6-9 junior Mitch McGeary from Chesterton (H.S.) IN, 6-foot junior Travis Trice from Huber Heights (Wayne) Ind., 6-foot junior Brandon Clark from Merrillville (H.S.) Ind., and 6-4 junior Jeremiah Jones from Merrillville (H.S.) Ind.
And making the story even more interesting is the fact that Progeny jumped out to a six-point early lead against the SYF Players and was only down by one at the half, despite the fact that Teague only had two points prior to the intermission. Teague did end up scoring 19 points. But down the stretch the SYF Players slowly but surely opened things up en route to a 80-71 victory in the 17-Under Championship Game. Dawson was the leading scorer with 25 points and McGeary, who is one of the biggest sleepers in the nation due to the fact that he missed most of last season with injuries, chipped in with 17 points.
The other big story at this year's 2010 Indiana AAU Boys Basketball National Qualifier was Indiana Elite South's stunning 77-63 win against the SYF Players in the championship game of the 15-Under Division. The SYF Players clearly had the best player in the game in 5-9 freshman DeAndre Williams from Gary (Lew Wallace) IN, who finished with 19 point and has jet-like speed and quickness and is great going coast-to-coast.
However, former Bowling Green head coach Dan Dakich had a pair of coaches' sons on his team (his own and Evansville head coach Marty Simmons' son) and they did an excellent job of running motion, making shots, and keeping the SYF Players from getting into any kind of rhythm. The star of the game was 6-3 freshman Blake Simmons from Castle (H.S.) IN, who finished with 25 points and made a living all weekend cutting to the basket for easy lay-ups.