Nobody likes to talk about next year, but I liked enough of Stevens younger guys that I feel next year will be a big improvement for them. However, tonight ended up being a veteran Converse Judson team's night.
I sat at the UTSA media table with San Francisco Assistant Coach Jeff Linder who had originally flown in to see the Austin Bowie-San Antonio Reagan game that was snowed out. He asked me who had some good young talent playing in the area tonight, so I told him Stevens had the guys to watch. He drove down from Austin and caught the game with me.
I pointed out my earlier prediction that Judson would be happy to win this one, 35-34 and with 45 seconds left that's exactly what it was. A few late free throws threw me off just a little..lol Judson jumped on top early, 17-6 in the 1st quarter by hitting 4 triples; two by 2010 PG Michael Stewart who led the Rockets with 13 & two by 2010 W Tevin Russell who finished with 9 points. At the half it was Judson up 23-15 as Stevens started to chip away at the lead and play more confidently.
The 3rd quarter was all Stevens as they took a slim 29-28 lead. They were buoyed by their two youngsters; 2012 WG uche Ofoegbu with 6 points, all from the FT line. Unfortunately, he went 6-10 and that may have been the difference in the game. I was most impressed with 2012 W 6'5" Marcus Roper (below) who finished with 13 points. He defended the perimeter extremely well for a lanky soph and had several key steals on the Judson guards. he'll be added to my list of recruitable 2012 players along with Ofoegbu who was already there. 2010 Stevens Post, Joe Monroe (St. Mary's) finished his high school career with 7 pts, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks. Although he didn't show up with big numbers in the box score it was 7 footer Stuart Lagerson (UT-Arlington) of Judson who made a couple of decisive blocks down the stretch including a big one as Stevens went for the tie in the waning seconds. Judson now has a date with Austin Akins in the 2nd Round.