Northside hoops has high hopesPublished 10:50pm Wednesday, November 28, 2012
PINETOWN — After making the U.S.A. 16U National team this fall the legend of Northside freshman Edrice Adebayo has grown as long as his 6-8, 220-pound frame.
Now, Northside coach Mike Proctor is hoping that the mythical talents of Adebayo can translate into something more tangible for the Panthers: wins.
The hype is huge surrounding the budding star and for good reason. Adebayo is every inch of his 6-8 listing and has a good frame that will only improve as time goes on.
Adebayo is near the top of the list on just about every recruiting site for the class of 2016 and Proctor said he has not disappointed during the team’s preseason practices.
“He’s a big time player and a real good person,” Proctor said. “He works real hard at his game. … He can do it all. He can post up, beat you off the dribble, he’s got a good inside game and he can do just about everything.”
Proctor said Adebayo has extreme athleticism and the ability to play just about any position on the court.
“He’s just a good basketball player,” Proctor said. “He’s tall, long, handles the ball extremely well, he shoots the ball well and he can play a lot of positions.
“I tend to put players where they need to be. I’m not the kind of coach to say, ‘You need to play center or you need to play forward.’ I just try to put people where I think they will play the best and are best suited. He’s going to be spending a lot of time in the post, but he can shoot it too. He’s going to be doing a lot of different things.”
The Panthers finished 12-12 last season and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Northampton-West. They also lost 2011-12 WDN Player of the Year Tony Peele, who averaged 27.8 points and 15 rebounds a game.
Northside will look to Adebayo to fill that void, while it will rely on junior 6-2, 223 pound wing Antonio “Boot Man” Woods for punch from the perimeter.
Like Adebayo, Woods is capable of playing a lot of roles for the Panthers.
“We’re going to lean on Boot Man a lot,” Proctor said. “He’s been starting for us for two years and we’re counting on him to provide a whole lot of leadership. He can score and grab rebounds and he doesn’t mind doing the dirty work. He’s just a really good player.”
Proctor said he is also counting on sharpshooters Caleb Sherman and Ryan Arthur to make good on open looks, while he expects speedster Kentrell Washington to run the point.
The Panthers’ coach said the team has shown a good attitude in practice and that he feels that chemistry will be the key to the 2012-13 season.
“Right now we are working very, very hard in practice and the team has been unselfish,” Proctor said. “I like this team, they get along really well, practice really hard and give a great effort.”