By Brady Stiff
Last night I went to see my high school play in the state tournament. Rolling Meadows had won the night before, beating Palatine.
That earned them a date with top-seeded Waukegan. Waukegan has a player named Jereme Richmond, who’s committed to the University of Illinois. Richmond is a 5-star recruit, according to Scout.com. He’s also been chosen as a McDonald’s All-American, one of just 24 boys across the country.
Needless to say, I was interested to see what the Hoosiers would be going up against for the next year or two.
The first thing I noticed was how much taller than his teammates he was. I’ve seen him listed anywhere between 6′ 6″ and 6′ 8″. I’d say he’s more on the low end of that scale, but certainly very tall.
He definitely showed flashes of why he’s rated as high as he is. Nevermind the four or five dunks he had (including a nice reverse). It’s obvious that he’s really comfortable with the ball down low. Sometimes you see big guys who don’t know how to play with their back to the basket. That’s not the case with him.
That being said, Rolling Meadows didn’t exactly have the talent to match up with him effectively. It will be interesting to see how he plays against better competition.
Despite his offensive skills, he did look sort of bored out there, for lack of a better word. He wasn’t really into the game it seemed (he still scored 30 points before being taken out with about six and a half to go in the game). I even heard the same thing in line at the concession stand at halftime from a Waukegan fan.
I did notice something that might follow him to Illinois. Whenever he missed a shot or turned the ball over, he would hang his head and not get back on defense. I don’t know if that happens all the time, but he won’t be getting away with that down in Champaign. They won’t be waiting for you in the Big Ten.
A little about Waukegan as a team…They are very quick. They get up and down the floor with ease. They’ve got some shooters, so if Richmond gets doubled or tripled in the post, he can easily find a capable teammate for an open three. They rebound and outlet quickly, setting up the fast break.
On the defensive end, against Meadows, Waukegan tried to force them to the sidelines, where they would trap. Meadows slowly figured out that good ball movement would get them some open looks, they just couldn’t hit the shots. I don’t think it would have mattered, but they would have at least been able to keep the game closer longer.