The final score tonight is all the indication you need — McClymonds 82, Fremont 42. I’ll post more later after I write my story, but it was pretty clear that coach Brandon Brooks got the response he wanted. This quote from Damon Powell pretty much says it all: “It was a lesson we needed to learn.”
Ok, I promised more on the subject and here goes. It certainly was clear that the Mack players were motivated to show they could play together and this was the highest level I’ve seen them play at since the state championship win over Dominguez. They took good shots (and Justin Standley was on fire tonight with 24, including four 3-pointers), dished the ball well, looked inside to 6-9 freshman Jamaree Strickland early to help set a tone and played with the fire and intensity that you saw all last season.
I’m also very impressed with what the players said after the game. In addition to the above quote from Powell, Standley said the following: “We had to prove to Coach (Brooks) that we could play like he wanted us to.”
By the way, the underclass talent at Mack that has been getting more minutes lately just continues to impress me. Strickland is going to be a stud and I’m told has already had Cal in attendance to watch him, but the 6-4 duo of Maceo Bell and Corey Haynes should be special also, as well as 6-2 Lawrence Otis (Frank Otis’ freshman brother). Bell had a nice steal at halfcourt tonight that turned into a big one-handed jam. My guess is Strickland should get to at least 6-10, 6-11, Bell and Haynes will probably grow to 6-7 or 6-8 and Otis could probably get to his brothers height of 6-6, but he’ll at least be in the 6-4 range. They all have a ton of talent and are going to be really fun to watch in a couple of years.