eBoss Road Show: Releford Show at Aquinas

After taking some time to regroup after the holidays and catching up with the family, the Road Show was back is back in action Thursday swinging by St. Thomas Aquinas to catch a pair of ball games at the annual Saints Classic.

While Kansas bound Travis Releford and his younger brother Trevor played starring roles, they weren't the only ones making noise. Shawnee Mission South sophomore Will Spradling was busy showing why he's one of the top floor generals in the city while senior Dominique Lane from Northeast was proving why he may be the most underrated senior in the area.

THURSDAY'S STANDOUTS

Travis Releford - With fans looking for the Kansas bound senior to give them something to cheer about, the 6-5 wing didn't leave them disappointed. Playing just about three quarters in Miege's 71-52 win over Topeka (KS) Washburn Rural, Releford put up an unofficial line of 21 points (9-12 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2-4 FT), five rebounds, four steals and three assists while turning the ball over just one time. Those looking for dunks from the future Jayhawk were rewarded with four thunderous first half jams but it was Releford's continued improvement off the bounce that was most noticeable. Looking comfortable with either his right or left hand, he left defenders in the dust and maneuvered through heavy traffic for buckets or dropped slick dishes to wide open teammates for easy looks.

Trevor Releford- There's probably not a better -- or at least not more entertaining -- ball handler in the KC Metro than the 5-9 sophomore from Bishop Miege. An alert heads up dribbler who is very crafty with the ball, Releford is able to see passing lanes that most high school point guards can't and delivers the ball to streaking teammates with ease. At his best on the move, his jumper is starting to look a little better. On the defensive end he's becoming a total pest and he was using his quick hands to strip opponents and start Miege fast breaks. Trevor has continued to grow over the past year but the development of a consistent floater or pull-up jumper from between six and 12 feet will only make him that much more dangerous.

Will Spradling- If you appreciate a point guard who has a tremendous feel for the game and makes those around him better, then the 6-0 sophomore from Shawnee Mission South is a guy you need to see. Still maturing physically, Spradling has the game of a crafty veteran and he picked apart Kansas City (MO) Northeast's zone with ease while setting his teammates up for easy buckets and leading the charge to a win. When he couldn't find an open teammate, Spradling cooly knocked down open looks from deep or reset the offense during a 14 point and seven (unofficial) assist effort. A gym rat who is only going to get better as he matures and gains strength, Spradling is going to be a lot of fun to watch develop over the next couple of years.

Dominique Lane- Anybody who monitors local box scores has probably noticed that Lane has been putting up big numbers all year long for KC Northeast and he continued to do so on Thursday in a 25 point outing. Spending a lot of his time running the point, the 6-4 Lane is a natural two guard who loves to shoot pull-up jumpers from between 12 and 17 feet going to either his right or left. A fine open court athlete, Lane gets tremendous lift on his shot and has a high release point with plenty of arch and rotation. When needed, he can get to the rim and he's got the quickness and ability to one day develop into a fine defender. He's still a little raw at this point and can go through stretches where he's a little too quiet, but there's absolutely a division one ball player in that body and he'll get some looks before the season ends.

MORE NOTES FROM AQUINAS

Today's game was the fourth time this season that the Road Show has watched Travis Releford and it looks like he's starting to trust his jumper a little more. He still seems a little hesitant to catch and shoot from deep, but hit a couple of very nice looking pull-up jumpers where he exploded off the floor and displayed nice looking mechanics on his shot. … While the Releford brothers get most of the headlines for Bishop Miege, it's important to recognize the job that senior guard Jason Payton and sophomore forward Justin McCay do to provide them support. At 5-11, Payton is quick, a good shooter from deep and his ability to put up numbers really helps to keep defenses honest. Standing 6-4, McCay is as aggressive an inside player as there is in the city and he plays physical and tough on each end of the floor. … It's a shame that Miege and Shawnee Mission South are on opposite sides of the bracket because it would have been a treat to see a head to head matchup of the two best young point guards in the city. Here's hoping that a Will Spradling versus Trevor Releford battle still happens -- preferably in the finals -- before the end of the weekend. …

Schools in attendance- Missouri State.

Total teams seen- 166.

Total games watched- 91.

Total miles traveled- 11,432.

Up Next- Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, Springfield (MO), Friday Jan. 18 and King Holiday Hoopfest, Seattle (WA), Monday Jan. 21.


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