By Dan Ruane
Bloom knew exactly what it had to do to win the championship game of the McDipper tournament. The Blazing Trojans took the air out of the ball and came away with a 52-45 victory over Crete-Monee to win the 39th Tournament at Rich South high school.It was Blooms first title at this tournament since the Blazing Trojans downed Crete-Monee in 1995.This is the most versatile team that I have ever coached, Bloom coach Jasper Williams said. We wanted to get Crete into a half-court game because we did not want to go ninety-four feet up and down the floor with them.The key to the tempo was Bloom point guard Donald Moore, who was named the tournaments most valuable player. Moore was controlling the ball while working the 35 second shot clock down to single digits in most cases before either shooting or creating for his teammates. Moore finished with 14 points.The plan worked well for the most part as Bloom (13-0) held the lead for the entire game and edged out to a 40-24 lead just past the midway point of the third quarter. Moore keyed a big run in the third quarter by scoring eight points and assisting on Lejavious Johnsons three pointer for an 11-2 run to start the third that all but buried Crete.They beat us three times last year including in the playoffs, Moore said. It felt good to beat them finally, especially in the Dipper championship game.Donald is the leader of our team, Williams said. We want the ball in his hands at the end of games. He is one of the best point guards in the city.Crete (10-3) whittled away at the lead to cut the score to 50-45 with just over a minute left to play. LaQuon Treadwell willed the Warriors back into the game with 10 second half points including a base-line jam that had the standing-room only crowd out of its seats. Treadwell finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.We all love being around each other. We are like brothers, Johnson said. Teams think that they just have to stop me and Donald but we are way more than that. Every guy on this team can step up and play.
A report via Sporting News writer Sean Deveney surfaced early on Tuesday morning, stating that the Bulls possibly have interest in free agent big man Jahlil Okafor.
According to sources, Okafor, the No. 3 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, worked out for four teams last Wednesday in Las Vegas, and remains hopeful of signing with a team ahead of training camp next fall.
The Pacers were listed along with the Bulls as teams that could be looking at Okafor, though neither team was at his summer workouts in Las Vegas.
From a public relations standpoint, the Bulls could sell the idea of having a roster with multiple IHSA champions. It would be a feel-good story, with Okafor and Parker joining a young and developing core. But from an on-court perspective, the move makes little sense.
Chicago has a clogged frontcourt rotation that includes Lauri Markkanen, Bobby Portis, Robin Lopez, Cristiano Felicio and No. 7 overall pick Wendell Carter Jr. And while Parker is likely going to play the majority of his minutes on the wing, he will see time at the four and possibly five as well in spot minutes. Okafor has proven to be a capable low-post scorer and little else at this stage in his career.
Okafor has averaged 12.9 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game, but has only played 131 games over three seasons. He struggled to get minutes last year with the Sixers or the Brooklyn Nets (12.6 minutes per game in 2017-18). His continued poor defense and lack of rebounding prowess were the main reasons why.
He had a 59.3 true shooting percentage in his 26 games with the Nets, as well as 18.2 points per 36 minutes. But his defensive rating of 110 points given up per 100 possessions would do little to help a Bulls team that currently lacks established defensive centers sans Lopez. Even on a minimum contract, an Okafor signing would likely signal a forthcoming trade from the Bulls. In today’s NBA, Having four centers on your roster would be ridiculous, no matter how good the narrative is.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Kelly Crull spoke with Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber after an electric and entertaining Home Run Derby in Washington D.C.
Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here: