Percy Gibson outshines Mr. Basketball candidates Kearney and Costello…

Gavin Raath | Great Lakes Hoops

LANSING, Michigan — Somewhere in the conversation of the match-up between Bay City Western and Detroit Southeastern I forgot about Percy Gibson.  I was too focused on the match-up between future Spartans Brandan Kearney and Matt Costello.  Too focused on Costello using this platform to all but seal next year’s Mr. Basketball.  But the real story Friday afternoon was Southeastern’s Percy Gibson.

The 6’9ish center kept it simple all night long, Kevin Love-style.  He took shots close to the rim, and actually took advantage of the “free” aspect of free throws.  Not to mention the solid work on the glass and defense.  Matched up against Western’s twin towers of Costello and 6’8″ senior Brandon Havercamp, Gibson should have struggled.  Instead he emerged as the best player on the floor with a 22 point and 11 rebound performance, including an astonishing 10-11 from the line.

But Costello isn’t far off.  The junior is the complete package.  Unlike Gibson, he doesn’t keep things simple, but he makes it look that way, hitting threes, jumpers and handling the rock.  An early scare when Costello pulled up lame in the second quarter minimized his stats, but he was still the most talented player on the court, and his performance may have been impressive enough to make him the front-runner for Mr. Basketball.

Now I have a rule.  I usually devote a commensurate amount of writing space based upon contribution to a game, therefore I can write nothing about Brandan Kearney.  I’ve never seen a Mr. Basketball candidate who I forgot was on the floor.

But with that rule in mind, I have to give a nod to Southeastern’s Darryl Flemister and Landon Gray.  Both guys were killer on defense and taking care of the ball on offense.  Without them, Southeastern does not win this game.

Ed Brown was 0-10 from the field.  He’s got great defensive instincts and should probably stick to that aspect of his game.

As for Western, where did they get that height?  And it’s good height too.

Aaron Tithof hit a ton of key shots, especially from deep, and Havercamp and Ryan Haag did what they could against Gibson.

But despite the blessing of size, Western’s biggest effort came from Tyler Ellis.  The senior point guard did a great job of handling Southeastern’s pressure, a lot better than his 6 turnovers would indicate.  He hit key shots and led the game with six assists.  Good effort, needs to improve his left hand for the next level, but he’ll get there.

I’m not sure what the future holds for Western.  With Costello they will have a shot to get back here, but it’s probably a long one with no real other threats from the 2012-13 class on the table.  Hope you enjoyed it Bay City.


Filed under High School

19 Responses to Percy Gibson outshines Mr. Basketball candidates Kearney and Costello…

  1. Anthony Coggins

    Branden Kearney was here??

    Gavin, this article could not have been more spot on. I think everyone watching wanted to see Costello v. Kearney…and Gibson stole the spotlight. He showed Dayton is getting a pretty damn good player! Costello looks good…real good. If the rumors of Hawkins leaving Powers are true, then Costello has to be next years VERY EARLY front runner. I mean, who would have picked Dwaun Anderson last year??

    • I think Costello already is the frontrunner.

      Let’s give Dayton some credit here. Gibson looked tremendous today and the best player in the state, Henton, is going to Dayton with him.

  2. Brundidge and Kearney were, to put it kindly, pretty average today.

    • Anthony Coggins

      Average? You are just being nice. Brundige showed a couple glimpses with passes and defense every now and then, but that was it. Kearney forgot he had a game, and he got bailed out by Gibson. Dayton is getting two damn good ones in Henton and Gibson…

      • On one play, Kearney’s coach yelled to the team to take the final shot. There was one minute left in the half. Kearney jacked up an air-balled 3-pointer about two seconds later. It was just that kind of day.

        Not a Nix-like performance in front of the home crowd, but it was lackluster.

  3. Patrick Hayes

    I’ve texted enough with Jared on this to make my head explode already, but Kearney had 8-4-2-2. He didn’t turn it over. He handled the ball a lot setting up the Southeastern offense. Gibson was unstoppable inside. You guys are treating this like Kearney laid and egg that cost them the game. They simply went to their hot hand, Gibson. Kearney played a supporting role.

    Also, to not mention the defense he played on Costello on the final two possessions is doing him a disservice. On the last play, Kearney held his ground, forced Costello off balance, and that’s what caused Costello to lose the ball. I’ll assume that I had a better view of that on TV and with replays than was available in the arena, but when they switched Kearney on Costello in the fourth, he had some really nice defensive possessions against a player that is much stronger than him.

  4. Gavin

    Patrick that’s fine, but role players don’t earn candidacy for mr. Basketball and get scholarships to msu. I actually think he has a ton of talent, and could be a player at the next level — he just doesn’t seem interested in putting in effort.

    • Patrick Hayes

      Well, if you look at his season averages, he’s clearly not a role player. He’s a guy who didn’t have a great offensive game on a day when a teammate had it going. I mean, he didn’t put up his usual numbers in this game, but are you really saying he shouldn’t have been a Mr. Basketball finalist because Friday wasn’t his best game?

      • I’ve seen him at least four times and I’ve never seen him play well. Maybe I just happened to see him when was having off nights. Speaking for myself, clearly I know he’s really talented. I believe he’s a high-major talent. He’s 6-5, a great athlete with long arms and a great burst in the open court. Before I saw him for the first time, I thought he would be MSU’s best player because early on he was packaged like a 6-5 point guard. As soon as it became clear that he was a 2/3, his stock began to fall. I remember people talking about him like he was a surefire NBA type of talent when he was on that FIBA team in South America. Now people talk about him like he can be a role player at State. I mean, sure, he could have played a lot for State THIS YEAR but this was not a typical year. Thornton and Kebler played a lot of minutes for state, and those guys don’t belong at a high-major school like MSU.

  5. JM

    Patrick Hayes has it right………….you can tell who knows basketball and who doesnt reading comments made to articles like this and in forums. The “novices” are hung up on stats and rankings of rivals, espn etc. The people who really know basketball realize not only do you need talented players but you also need talented guys who dont need to score 30 or even 20 a game to make an impact but rather do the little things to make their team and teammates better. Scary to think what MSU could be with talented players who really know how to play the game. I see a lot of Draymond Green types coming in the next couple years and a lot fewer of the individually talented players who lacked the intangibles to make their team better.

    • Perhaps. But I can spot a fan in a crowd all day long.

      Kearney a Mr. B finalist and offered a scholarship to an elite program when he was a sophomore. Now you’re talking about him as a role player there. That’s great.

      • I happen to love his game when he goes hard, but I also feel he is misjudged because his fluid motions make things look methodical and slower. Many long and lean 6’5″-6’8″ high schoolers go through this from what I have seen. At times they are labeled incorrectly as not playing hard, and other times it is true. Having coached against him and seeing him play a number of times, I believe he does have the ability to translate to the PG at the next level and he is extremely heady on the court. It is hard to find ball-handling in that size package and the IQ is there. When forced to focus evry day and every practice on the next level, watch out.

      • I don’t think anyone is dismissing the importance of role players. I think my point is that when MSU offers a wing when he’s a sophomore, he better be a high-impact guy. I mean, MSU can get role players from anywhere. Heck, the prototype role player at MSU came out of Flint — Tim Bograkos. He was not a heralded basketball player, but he was one heck of a good role player for them.

        Gibson is Southeastern’s best and most-dominant player. That much has been obvious during the playoffs. I think Kearney had at-best eight points in the quarters against Romulus. It was the other guards that stepped up. A friend of mine was at that game and he said Kearney was flat and going through the motions. Not playing hard should not be considered a method.

        I think MSU missed on Gibson, and I know a lot of people who would agree. As for Kearney, he’s probably a role player at State and that’s OK. MSU, again, needs better players. He’s as talented as they come, but he has to start getting after it. If he does that, then certainly he has the talent to be more than that.

        Oh, and when I think of Kearney I can’t help but remember this from a few weeks back, from Freep:

        As the ball bounced away, the Southeastern players celebrated together while Kearney, who shot 5-for-15 for 17 points, raced over to the crowd and grabbed a WWE-type belt. He ran across the court to the scorer’s table and jumped on top and held up the belt for all to see.

      • But the again, I happen to like “role players” as you will see in a soon-to-be-released post…

      • There is no excuse for not playing hard…I agree WHOLE-HEARTEDELY on that one, but we need to wait a bit before passing the judgement for the next level. Remember, there will also be “next-level” coaching and competition that makes cream rise to the top. By the way, Tim Bograkos was not a role player, but rather operated within a role…lol. Draymond Green is MSU’s role player by my definition…

  6. Gavin

    Those are good points Patrick, but mr. Basketball candidates stand out and should always be impact players. Can’t imagine a game where one of the three main candidates last year would have looked like role players. jones, appling and ray always stood out.

  7. Based on what I saw, and the predominant talk after the game, this ESPN evaluation of Kearney’s weaknesses rings pretty true:

    Inconsistency is the first thing that comes to mind when describing Kearney. He has all the tools you want in a 2/3, but he lacks the urgency to win or play hard far too often. There were many times this summer during critical moments of the game where eh seemed to be distant from the action. In addition, at this stage he lacks the needed strength for the physical play at the next level.

    I expected him to challenge the defense all game, like he did on the opening play where he beat everyone down the floor for a finish. Instead, he looked disinterested and scored six points the rest of the way.

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