Simeon came out in the second half and changed up their defensive game plan, getting out of the 2-3 zone and going to a more pressure oriented man-to-man defense. Sophomore Derrick Rose was used often as the player double teaming the ball, as he just ran around on the defensive side of the court wreaking havoc on the Westinghouse guards. This defensive change by Simeon's Head Coach Robert Smith allowed his team to cut the Westinghouse lead just eight with five minutes left to play in the game. Simeon would get no closer.
After Westinghouse let their half time lead of eighteen drop to eight, the Warriors went back to their big man and closed out Simeon with an 8-2 run capped off by a DeAndre Thomas breakaway slam dunk. Thomas finished with 29 points on 11-of19 shooting from the floor and 7-of-9 from the free throw line, while contributing 7 rebounds and three assists.
DERRICK ROSE SCOUTING REPORT
- There is no escaping the hype that has surrounded Derrick from the moment he stepped on the court as a varsity player for Simeon. Every one on the Internet that follows recruiting knew about a freshman from Simeon that was going to be the next in the line of great Simeon players, and the Chicago papers would not let you ignore him once this high school season started. The main question I had going into last night's game was, "Is the hype justified?" Yes, it probably is. Now, the only issue will be whether or not the Chicago Hype Machine gets to be too much for this talented player.
- When watching Rose on the court, the one thing I consistently thought about was: He will be a great college point guard. If you throw out his athleticism, and his high flying dunks, you still have a player that can see the court, and pass the ball through the tiniest of crevices to a teammate. On Saturday night, there were plenty of times where Rose would throw great passes to teammates and they would convert. There were also plenty of times that Rose would see an opening for a teammate and throw the pass, only to have it bounce out of bounds, or be deflected to a Westinghouse player because his teammate was not ready to receive the pass.
- Defensively, Rose was used by Robert Smith as the pressure, especially in the second half when Simeon switched from their 2-3 zone to a man-to-man pressuring defense. Rose was roaming around the court trying to find someone to trap, and cause turnovers.
TIM FLOWERS SCOUTING REPORT
- After Friday night's semifinal performance, the spotlight was on Tim Flowers heading into Saturday's Championship game against Westinghouse. Flowers was assigned the difficult task of stopping DeAndre Thomas in Simeon's 2-3 zone, but Flowers was giving up two inches and probably 50 pounds to the Westinghouse center. Flowers just did not have enough bulk on the inside to slow down Thomas, and he was saddled with foul trouble all game, in fact he had three fouls by halftime, forcing him to be used just sparingly in the second half.
- When Flowers was in the game, he showed a very good nose for the basketball. He could find the ball coming off the defensive or offensive glass, and he used his offensive rebounding ability, and the general lack of desire to rebound defensively from DeAndre Thomas to convert Simeon's missed shots into easy bunnies for himself.
DeANDRE THOMAS SCOUTING REPORT
- You can never get past a scouting report of DeAndre Thomas without mentioning his size. DeAndre Thomas is a big boy, and he is easily pushing 300 pounds, and reminds me in terms of size of former Florida State player, Nigel Dickinson.
- After noticing his size, the next thing you notice about Thomas is his touch when the ball is in his hands. Thomas is a very skilled shooter, and has touch from fifteen feet and in on the offensive end of the court. When Thomas would receive the ball in the post, he really only had one post move, he would spin towards the basket (no matter which block he was on), and then shoot a five foot jump shot in the middle of the lane over the defense.
- Defensively, Thomas uses his size to push the offensive player off the block. He is not really active, and he does not really seem to enjoy rebounding. When a ball comes off the glass, he just sort of stands there and if the ball comes to him, he will rebound it, but if it requires him to jump for it, he will probably not get the rebound. Tim Flowers was able to get quite a few offensive put backs because he was more aggressive on the offensive glass than DeAndre was on the defensive glass.
The final thing that is obvious about Thomas is his attitude. Thomas wants to win, and he shows it with the emotion he plays with on the court, but he takes that emotion too far sometimes. On Saturday night, at one point he was called for a foul and it looked like he was about to take out the ref who called the foul on him before his teammates could get over to him and restrain him. There were also numerous other times where Thomas would just scowl at the refs after they made calls that he did not agree with.
During the Simeon run in the second half, Thomas was not getting the ball as much from the Westinghouse guards, and he started to sulk on the court. Instead of continuing to get position in the post, Thomas would just stand about twelve feet out, and pout that he was not getting the ball. At one point during the run, Thomas pulled aside a Westinghouse guard and told him to "give me the effing ball!" Westinghouse did, and they closed the game on an 8-2 run.