I've always been a stat guy. Even back to when I was a little kid and collecting thousands upon thousands of baseball cards, I poured over the stats of players.
As I grew past the baseball cards it became the daily sports section. My wonderful mom made sure that when I went to college I wasn't without my statistical fix, buying me a subscription to USA Today. That was the ultimate stat gurus bible, pretty much every boxscore known to man was available at your finger tips from all the major sports and I digested pretty much all that my melon could hold.
I suppose part of that is what led me to my current position with The Brazil Times, a constant, vigilant eye for everything sports.
As high school basketball season is in full swing now, it's always fun to check out who's hot from around the state. That's especially true if you're a hoops fan because if you scour papers from around the state (thank you internet age!), there is a wealth of information out there.
In trying to keep up with future opponents for our county hoops teams, I've come across some sites that have proved to be a wealth of interesting information about players outside of our mid-state. It's not always easy to keep tabs on athletes that don't have Wabash Valley ties, but as the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic approaches I've been looking outside the area for some stats and come across some eye popping efforts during the early portion of the boys' prep season.
What first caught my eye on www.hoosierhoopsreport.com, is someone that Northview fans will get an opportunity to see on Saturday night.
The Knights head to Avon to face a 4-1 Orioles squad in a freshmen, JV and varsity match-up this weekend and will face a rising sophomore guard for the home team.
Kendall Griffin (6'5) helped Avon down Plainfield last week and stuffed the boxscore with an 18-point, seven rebound, four assist, three block game. Against fourth-ranked and unbeaten Danville, Griffin tallied 14 points and eight rebounds in a 70-67 overtime loss. Most impressive however, might have been his effort in a 73-71 win over Pike where he drilled the Red Devils with a 30-point, five rebound, four assist game in which he scored 19 points in the fourth quarter. Eleven came in the fourth quarter.
The Knights will also have to deal with Griffin's classmate, JaJuan Sarver.
Sarver had 12 points and five assists in the win over Pike.
Danville got a big night from their own star in the win over the Orioles as Travis Carroll had 28 points and 14-rebound game. The Knights will get a chance to end the regular season against Carroll, who is a Purdue recruit, and the Warriors.
Lafayette Jeff has started the season 5-1 and has averaged nearly 81 points per game even without last year's Junior All-Star, Brandon Williams.
Jesse Berry, a junior guard, was a big reason the team came through with a championship, winning three games.
Berry scored 51 points in a win over Rossville before following that up with a 36-point game against Lafayette Harrison. In the title game, Berry added a 24-point first half on the way to a 46-point night in a win over Lafayette Jeff.
Not to be lost in the tourney is the performance of Frankfort senior Stevie Loveless.
The 6'6 senior opened the tourney with a 31-point, 19-rebound game in a win over Lafayette Central Catholic before posting 30 points and 26 boards against Central Catholic. In the title game he scored 17-points and had 15 caroms in a loss to Jeff.
It would be hard to find another team in the state that has had as much bad luck to open the season as Tri-West and coach Eric Rauch.
The Bruins apparently have already lost three starters to season-ending injuries, but have gotten a big effort from Randall Lowe, who has averaged just under 27 points per game over three early games.
If anyone thought that the cupboard was getting a bit thin at Indianapolis North Central, a Class 4A No. 3 ranking and a 5-0 start would put an end to that idea. Even more depressing for other MIC schools is the emergence of freshman D'vaunte Smith-Rivera.
Smith-Rivera has burst onto the scene with a 17-point, 16-rebound night in a blowout win over Pike. He followed that with a 21-point night against Broad Ripple before posting an 18-point night in a win over Lawrence Central.