To kick off our five players to watch each weekend, we thought we could shift focus to only the SAC for a week. After all, this week is the launch of the always interesting girl-boy double headers on the SAC slate, something widely looked forward to each season especially as we creep up on the SAC Holiday Tournament.
But alas, this is 2020 so there is no SAC Holiday Tournament. But still some fun double headers ahead, right?! But alas, this is 2020 so we actually only have two of a possible five double headers to bring you this week.
Snider/Wayne girls, Carroll/Concordia girls and Northrop/Bishop Luers boys are all off the slate this Friday. So with just 7 games to open up SAC double header season, here are five players to keep an eye on Friday night.
GRANT SIMMONS, HOMESTEAD (vs. Bishop Dwenger)
With all of the hype around the Spartans’ two Division I commits, it is important to make sure you don’t ignore another really strong early season start for Simmons (pictured). Averaging 10.3 points per game, Simmons isn’t just being a shooter this year, shooting double from inside the arc than what he has outside of it and hitting at 67 percent from two point range. He has become so much better at attacking the rim aggressively and has been a big catalyst in all of Homestead’s wins, specifically his 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting against Warsaw.
ANNAKA DAVIS, SOUTH SIDE (at North Side)
While the freshman trio at Snider has gotten a ton of attention, Davis is starting to look like she represents the next wave of high level Archer players. She has come out aggressive and not been afraid to take her shot when given the opportunity. It isn’t always easy to find confident freshmen players on a varsity level and the Archers have scored with Davis. Her consistency from long range needs improvement, but getting her to take those shots is important.
CODY BURKEY, CARROLL (at Concordia)
Speaking of big time shooting, Burkey could be a key to big runs at the Chargers looking to further momentum near the top of the SAC. Burkey is a lights out shooter, but being more makes him dangerous. He came out as the third leader scorer early in the season and is scoring well, including 17 in the season opener against Norwell. When Burkey is connecting, it makes Carroll comfortable and that is a place where they have always thrived in. When Carroll gets comfortable, they don’t rest on their laurels and Burkey can get them there.
LEXI LINDER, BISHOP DWENGER (at Homestead)
How can Homestead avoid three straight losses on the girls side? Well it has to fight off balance, which is something that the Saints have. Linder, at many times, is the head of that dragon as a momentum leader by example on both ends of the court. She has the chance to effect this game with her perimeter play, chasing the Spartan guards off the three point line and making them make plays. Linder’s pace setting could be interesting.
CHRISTIAN FLANNIGAN, WAYNE (at Snider)
We saw Flannigan be highly effective against Leo when he had to step up against some similarly lengthy players. His 11 points and 11 rebounds really helped keep the Generals in that game. He hasn’t been so effective however in Wayne’s two wins, shooting just once in their most recent game against Wapahani. Flannigan is a 75 percent shooter from the field this season, so him with a high volume could be a challenge for a Snider team that is not as lengthy.