For the second year in a row, Scotland Campus kicked off their campaign with two wins at the National Prep Showcase. But this year's wins were secured in a much different fashion, against much tougher opponents and sent a much louder message.
Scotland was able to come away with defining wins against both Northfield-Mt Hermon (79-59) and MacDuffie (76-66), two teams who should challenge for their respective NEPSAC conference titles. If the way his team handled their business was any indication, Chris Chaney has put together one of the more well-rounded outfits in prep basketball this season.
Judah Jordan, a versatile 6’2” Weber State-bound PG/Wing, can go with the best of them and proved that he is comfortable operating on or off the ball. He’s also equally adept from both spots, an aggravating proposition for opponents who might feel a sense of relief after he coughs up the ball to start the Scotland offense. Time after time, Jordan worked without the ball and found himself open on the perimeter, knocking down 6-8 from 3 in the two wins.
Despite playing with foul trouble for most of the MacDuffie win, Karim Coulibaly was able to showcase his ability to create offense from the post for himself and his teammates. The 6’9” big man employs efficient drop-steps for easy buckets but also has a much better feel for the game than he’s given credit for. On multiple occasions, weakside defenders would quickly come over to double Coulibaly and he’d calmly make a pass that directly -or eventually- led to an open Scotland look.
With a supporting cast that features Clarence Nadolny, KK Curry, Dequarius Nicholas, Austin Galuppo and others, Scotland’s team doesn’t just revolve around two premier players. Nicholas proved that against MacDuffie when he exploded for 23 points, many of which came while Coulibaly was on the bench. Galuppo made a statement of his own when the rain-maker dropped four 3’s on NMH in their opener.
Nadolny and Curry are the typical low-maintenance jack-of-all-trades with versatility to play and defend multiple positions whenever called upon. Nadolny is the perfect compliment to Jordan, as a play-making primary ball-handler who can get to the rack for a bucket or drive, draw and dish depending on what the situation dictates.
Curry, a 6’5” wing and South Alabama-pledge, is the wild card. He’s the type of fiery, no-BS pitbull who might start a minor altercation with the opposing team’s best player if he feels that it will ultimately benefit his squad. He might get T’ed up from time-to-time for an over-aggressive foul on a big man that’s getting too comfortable in the lane. He might get tossed from a game or two this season. And he also might be my favorite player on the whole damn team!
With all of these dynamic ingredients at his disposal, Chaney will have the opportunity to experiment and inject his own flavor throughout the season. After he masters the recipe over the course of the next few months, opposing teams will probably be looking to avoid the final product when the National Prep Championship menu comes out in March.