This pair’s performance couldn’t have been any different on Friday night, as Trey Lyles’ Arsenal Tech team took down Ron Patterson’s Broad Ripple squad to win the IPS regular season title — the team’s first title since 2003. Much of that title has been on Lyles’ shoulders all along, as the double-double machine has cemented himself as one of the best players in the state of Indiana, regardless of class. Heck, he’s one of the better players in the nation regardless of class.
And his coach, Jason Delaney, knows that better than anyone. Delaney said after the game that, when Broad Ripple kept it close going into halftime, he told Lyles to take the game over. With as much talent and poise that Lyles has, he did exactly that. Lyles finished the game with 21 points and 16 rebounds on 7-of-7 shooting from the field. He showed more poise working the baseline and using moves inside than he did the last time I saw him, and his touch around the basket was better than any recruit I’ve watched since I came to Indiana.
Lyles didn’t miss anything until a missed shot from the charity stripe with two minutes remaining in the game. Broad Ripple tried to double-team Lyles at times, but it was to no avail. He would either go up and score anyway or pass it out of the post to an open teammate. That’s what you want out of a dominant post player, and he’s still got two seasons remaining at Tech.
I hate to simply heap praise on Lyles, but there really wasn’t anything left to be desired watching his game. He shot 100 percent from the floor, and perhaps even more impressive, his defense on the perimeter was very solid, even against a smaller and quicker opponent. Most post players can’t do that sort of thing, and Lyles likely won’t be able to at the next level. But the fact that he can do it now against solid guard play of Broad Ripple is still quite impressive.
Patterson, on the other hand, did not have his best effort. The senior guard finished 2-of-10 from the field — and 0-of-4 from long range — with just six points. He also fouled out when his team needed him most down the stretch — not something you want to see out of a poised senior guard. But little about Patterson seemed poised on Friday, as he turned the ball over on several occasions, and at least half of his shots were ill-advised. He seemed like he was in a hurry to shoot, and he didn’t really try to get any rhythm within the offense. On certain possessions, he looked as though he had already decided to shoot when he took the ball down the floor. That won’t be Patterson’s role at Indiana, and his transition to the college game will be the most interesting of the entire 2012 class, in my opinion.
His defense, as usual, was solid. This game was my first look into Patterson’s aggressive defense, and I found him to be an extremely active defender, more so even than I expected. The use of his hands kind of reminded me of a poor man’s Aaron Craft when it comes to on-ball defense. And I mean that as a serious compliment.
Patterson has a reputation, somewhat, for taking a lot of shots, so that’s no surprise. But he was an inefficient offensive player on Friday, and we’ll see as the postseason begins how he handles even better perimeter defense. It was a frustrating performance for the senior, and he almost took out that frustration as Tech celebrated their title at midcourt. But Patterson was held back by his teammtes — the same teammates who kept Broad Ripple in the game until late.
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