After spending most of December traveling the country, it was a good chance to go out and check out some local hoops at one of the best gyms in the entire city as Kansas City (MO) Paseo and sophomore star Rahmon Fletcher traveled across the border to square off with Kansas City (KS) Schlagle.
FLETCHER TURNING HEADS, GENERATES INTEREST FROM KANSAS
Maybe it’s something in the water over at Paseo, but the school has a history of producing talented lefties. First there was former Mizzou star and current NBA’er Anthony Peeler, then it was current UMKC -- after transferring from USC -- point guard Quinton “Pooh” Day who made his mark for the Pirates.
The latest southpaw standout at Paseo is class of 2007 sensation Rahmon Fletcher. The 5-9 PG first turned heads last winter when he averaged nearly 20 points per game as a freshman and he hasn’t slowed down since. Several colleges have taken notice and Fletcher, along with his cousin Donnell, was a guest of the Kansas staff the Kansas-Georgia Tech.
“It was real hype in there,” said Fletcher of the Allen Fieldhouse environment. “They are number two in the country without Wayne, that’s pretty impressive.”
Monday night Fletcher was showing off several aspects of his impressive game as he went for 22 points (10-15 FG, 1-3 3 PT, 1-3 FT) three assists, six steals and five rebounds in a tough 58-55 setback.
You won’t find a quicker player in the city -- perhaps the country -- and Fletcher makes up for a lack of height with his blazing speed off the dribble and impressive athleticism. He breaks off defenders with an assortment of crossovers, step-backs, hesitation dribbles and stop-n-go maneuvers off of the bounce. Once he gets by you he has enough lift around the hoop to finish among the trees and he’s also a very sound passer.
Last year the knock on him was that he couldn’t shoot but he’s taken care of that and is turning into an assassin on mid-range pull-ups. He does need to add strength to his slender frame but the most important area for him right now is to go right a little more often. It isn’t that he can’t, but he’s so quick to his natural side he often forgets about one half of the court and charting his shots was a perfect illustration. Of his 15 shots on the evening, 12 came from the left hand side of the court.
“My ability to get to the rim is my strength and I know I need to go right more,” said Fletcher. “I need to work on my leadership and trusting my teammates. You know, trust them more to shoot and make a play when they get the ball so I don’t try to do too much.”
At this point he’s established himself as a player that is more than worthy of high major interest and he’s already hearing from Purdue, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Iowa State and Southern Illinois in addition to Kansas.
His cousin Donnell Fletcher who attends all of Rahmon’s games and plays a mentorship role enjoyed the Kansas experience as well and has noticed a change in his little cousin’s approach recently.
“We really enjoyed it,” said Donnell Fletcher. “He was really excited about it. Since that game he’s been going out a lot more excited to play and isn’t so nonchalant about things.”
OTHER NOTES FROM SCHAGLE VS. PASEO
There isn’t a better high school band in the area than the Schlagle Marching Stallions and it isn’t even close. They throw down the latest jams mixed with the latest dance steps and are more than worth the price of admission alone. The University of Kansas is looking to add more timeout and halftime entertainment at their games and they’d be wise to invite the Stallions over to play, they certainly wouldn’t regret it….One of the most improved players in the city is Paseo’s 6-5 senior BF Daniel Jackson. He’s long and athletic, rebounds well and blocks some shots but lacks polish. He had an off night Monday, but if he heads to a junior college he could develop into a nice Division 2 prospect.
Sophomore twins Dan and Don Rowe are going to be interesting to watch for Schlagle. Dan is right handed and starts for the varsity while his lefty brother provides minutes off the bench. They are both long athletes who can get to the rim but must work on their jump shots. Certainly a pair to keep an eye on.
Perhaps the MVP of the game was Schagle’s relatively unknown 6-7 junior BF Patrick James. He’s lanky and doesn’t intimidate physically, but he gets off the floor in a hurry and blocked 11 shots by our count.
One final note of interest from the game is in regards to Schagle alum, Ryan Martin. Martin is a sophomore at Coffeyville (KS) CC and the 6-5 BF has offers from UMKC, Southern Illinois, Tulsa and Northern Iowa. Not bad for a kid who was considered a football recruit out of high school.
- Total games seen- 111
- Total teams seen- 85
- Total miles traveled- 8,218