Passes are not all that Aldridge has caught. The agile 6-10 sophomore has caught the eye of the North Carolina coaching staff.
And the feeling is extremely mutual – as mutual and determined as feelings can be for a 15-year-old. When asked about North Carolina, Lamarcus said, "That's where I want to go. It's a great school; that's where I want to go."
When asked about how UNC's tough year might be affecting his thinking, he responded, "No matter what kind of year they're having, they're my school and that's where I'm going… other schools are interested,but I'm not talking to them -- I'm going to North Carolina."
Against Denton Ryan, Aldridge had 27 points, with all his field goals in the paint, and added nine rebounds (four offensive) to pull off the upset win. He also altered four shots, causing misses as Denton drove the lane.
Virtually deadlocked throughout the game, Seagoville (26-6) switched to a box and one defense designed to shut down the hot shooting of Jay Swafford who had hit four threes during the first half. It worked to perfection as Denton Ryan (20-9) went scoreless for a 5:00 minute stretch of the third period and Seagoville built a five-point lead to start the third quarter. At the same time, Seagoville's guards were effective in feeding the post and Lamarcus delivered on 12 of 20 shots (60%).
Lamarcus commented, "We played good. We executed -- I feel really good about it. The box and one. We had to shut them down, get up on them. I think I played great. I just need to keep it up for the next game."
Asked what was the key to Seagoville's win, an elated Coach Robert Allen had this to say, "No doubt about it! Lamarcus! He was the key to the win. Every time we needed a key basket, he came through for us. He's a big time player! Normally he's up around 12 or 13 rebounds. He's just an excellent ballplayer. We went box and one on Swafford, the pure shooter. That was one of the keys, too."
When Lamarcus' altering of shots was mentioned, Coach Allen said, "He's been doing that all year. He's leading the entire area in blocks. He's averaging somewhere around ten blocks per game and that's key for us in a lot of ballgames."
Lamarcus, who is a good friend and AAU teammate of Cedar Hill (TX) class of 2004 point guard Jason Horton, reminds you of Georgia Tech-bound Chris Bosh's body type. A big difference is that Aldridge, during this game, played with his back to the basket almost exclusively. He did not face up his defender during Friday night's game but used his long body and arms to leverage position and get to the basket. On offense he showed good post skills in never bringing the ball below his waist, instead constantly contending for position, catching it sure-handedly, and then taking the ball straight to the basket with a repertoire of spin moves and drop steps.
Aldridge ran the floor extremely well -- evidenced by a predominantly transition game played on Friday night during which he never sat. He also moved his feet well as he clogged up the lane on defense.
Though not skinny, Aldridge is understandably thin after a season of the intense transition game. With a training table to add needed bulk and with work in the weight room, Aldridge will gain further low post advantages to the agility he already posesses.
The win on Friday night brought a Region II area championship to Seagoville. On February 25/26 they will face the winner of Denison/Dallas South Oak Cliff in Region II's quarterfinals. For a complete schedule of Seagovilles' potential playoff path, visit: http://www.uil.utexas.edu/ath/bbpair/4Ab.html.