Chandler talks improvement

Michael Chandler, a promising 6-foot-11 sophomore center from Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence North, has struggled to breakthrough on the varsity level this season. The Louisville commit spent most of the season on the JV but has forced his way into the varsity rotation with improved play down the stretch.

Playing for Indiana's No. 3-ranked Class 4A team, Michael Chandler found varsity minutes tough to come by this season behind a slew of established frontcourt stars, including 6-foot-9 Louisville signee Stephan Van Treese, 6-foot-9 Kentucky commit Dominque Ferguson, plus Louisville commits Justin Martin and Ryan Taylor.

But Chandler has bided his time and slowly worked his way into Jack Kiefer's varsity rotation in recent weeks, including a breakout performance last week against Pike with Rick Pitino watching in the stands.

"The coach has been telling me stuff I need to work on to get major varsity minutes," said Chandler. "So I've just been running the floor, getting rebounds and listening to coach. I've just been doing what I can to help the team. I'm not worried about the stats. I just want our team to win – that's all that matters."

Lawrence North opens sectional play on Wednesday against Broad Ripple. An improved Chandler could help get his team get through tough sectional and regional action and advance to the state tournament.

"I'm more aware on the court and I have better stamina running up and down the court and getting rebounds," Chandler said. "And just listening to coach and staying focused."

Chandler had the biggest game of his high school career last week with Rick Pitino looking. The 6-foot-11 sophomore scored a career-high 18 points, connecting on 6 of 6 free throws, to help lead Lawrence North to a victory over Marquis Teague's young but talented Pike squad.

"I didn't really notice coach (Pitino) I just went out and played my game and helped the team come out with the win," Chandler said. "I talked to him after the game and he said I did pretty good. I hit all of my free throws and did some key things to help the team."

Chandler has made two unofficial visits to Louisville this season – once for the Kentucky and again for the UConn contest. He said he's hoping Teague, who also visited for the Kentucky game, joins Van Treese, Martin, Taylor and himself at Louisville. Teague told after visiting Louisville for the Marquette game that he's getting close to making a college decision.

"Marquis is real good," Chandler said. "He's a real nice penetrator and he causes problems for people trying to contain him. We held him down – so we did good. I hope he goes to Louisville. I've played with him a couple of times and he's a real good guard."

When his high school season comes to an end later this month, Chandler will play for Indy Fast Break – one of the Spiece teams - on the Nike AAU circuit. Ryan Taylor will also play on the same team as Chandler.

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