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RICHMOND WILL FACE A TRUE GIANT FRIDAY NIGHT

January 27, 2014
Richmond High School



RICHMOND WILL FACE A TRUE “GIANT” FRIDAY NIGHT

(Richmond)  Friday night has all the promise to be a reminder of what Richmond and Marion fans used to see, two excellent basketball teams playing for an NCC championship, players who can light up the scoreboard and hopefully hard to find seats at the Tiernan Center.

James Blackmon Jr., Indiana’s prize recruit in Tom Crean’s 2014 class, will bring the Giants into Richmond looking to stop Richmond’s possible run to a NCC title and momentum for the Red Devils as they get closer to the upcoming sectional tournament in New Castle.  

Blackmon’s resume’ is very impressive.  35 points per game…3.4 rebounds, almost two steals…64% field goals shooting…51% from three point range and 85% from the free throw line.  Blackmon also scored 54 earlier this season breaking his father’s scoring record for a single game at Marion and scored 42 at Anderson Friday night.  He also surpassed 2,000 points in his career playing between Ft. Wayne Luers and Marion.

Fans will mostly come to see Blackmon Jr., but the Giants have more, including Blackmon’s younger brother, Vijay.  Vijay is averaging nearly 12 points per game and two steals.  Former Red Devil Reggie Jones is averaging 10 points per game on 57% shooting and 77% from the free throw line. Cor’Nell Wingate averages 4.6 rebounds and 4.4 points per game.  After that, the Giants have secondary support from Alec Turner (2.7 assists per game), Dalon Hill (4.5ppg), Xavier Aguilar (1.8ppg), Kacsheaus Jackson (3.6ppg), Michael Tucker (2.1ppg) and Cameron Wheels (0.8ppg).

As a team, the Giants are averaging 80 points per game while allowing only 63.  Marion also averages 11 steals per contest and 2.2 blocks.  They know how to win on the road with big wins in the NCC at Kokomo (75-51) and Anderson (93-74).   

Marion has played a good schedule in the first half with games against Lawrence North (L 85-84), Indianapolis Tech (L 83-67) and FW Carroll (L 67-61).

Richmond on the other hand will counter the Giants with an 11-1 record, winners of three straight and six of its last seven. The Red Devils lone loss of the season came at the hands of the Bull Dogs of Columbus North at the Wettig Memorial Tournament.  The Devils beat Logansport on Saturday 86-81 led by Mike Tillman with 24 (7 three pointers) and Davious Webster with 22.   Joe Luce is 3-1 against his old team after beating the Giants last season at Marion, 65-59.  The only time Marion beat the Red Devils was in Luce’s first year in Richmond in the 2009-10 season at the Tiernan Center 65-43.

Richmond will find out how good they really are on Friday night.  Question will be….can they keep Blackmon in check and not allow him to score 35 plus?  Can Richmond’s pressure defense cause the Giants to play at a pace they won’t be comfortable with like they have against just about every other opponent this season?  What impact will former Red Devil Reggie Jones have?   We do know this: the Red Devils will not be able to get off to a slow start and they can’t go into scoring droughts of any length.  And if the game is close, Richmond also can’t afford to miss free throws…an area of concern for the Red Devils this season.   Whatever the outcome, it might be a good idea to get there early if you want a good seat….it will be fun to watch!!!


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