Xtra Points: NA plays trifectas often
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These aren't the Tigers on Noah's Ark. They are the Tigers who live behind the arc.
The North Allegheny Tigers boys basketball team has a penchant for the 3-point shot like few WPIAL teams have had in the past decade. But it's not just that these Tigers shoot a lot of 3-pointers. They make a lot.
North Allegheny heads into the WPIAL playoffs averaging 10.2 3-pointers a game. The Tigers average 30 3-point attempts per game, which means they make 34 percent.
If you listen to North Allegheny coach Dave DeGregorio, he didn't intend for his team to shoot so many 3-pointers this season.
"It just evolved as we played some in the summer and fall [leagues]," DeGregorio said. "We have always shot a decent number of 3-pointers, but this is the most we've ever shot."
It's hard to argue with the results. North Allegheny has a 19-3 record.
To put North Allegheny's 3-point attempts into perspective, consider that Texas Southern and VMI average the most 3-point shots in NCAA Division I. But they only average 27 3-point attempts a game, three fewer than North Allegheny.
The leading 3-point shooting teams in Division I are Charleston Southern and Canisius, who average 9.6 and 9.5 makes, respectively. Granted, the college 3-point line is one foot farther (20 feet, 9 inches) than high school (19-9), but you get the idea of North Allegheny's marksmanship.
North Allegheny uses the "dribble-drive offense," but it's more like "dribble-drive-and-shoot-a-3" offense.
"We have more shooters at every spot than we have ever had," DeGregorio said. "Every kid on the floor can shoot the 3. We create some space and those 3s become very good looks. We used to have kickouts [passes] and a guy would drive again. Now our guys are shooting it, because every kid can shoot it."
Junior Joe Mancini leads North Allegheny with 60 3-pointers. Sean Hennigan has 39 and Adam Haus 32.
But the adage is "live by the 3 and die by the 3." Will North Allegheny's playoff success depend simply on 3-point shooting?
"You hate to say you live and die by it because, to me, it's a part of the game," DeGregorio said. "You can live and die with post play or mid-range shots, too. This is what we do. If we shoot really poorly, then the game is going to be closer. But I would expect the percentage [of 3-point makes] to stay where it is. The key is the kids believe in it. So even if you miss your first few, they keep shooting."
Foster, Boyd honored
Football players Robert Foster of Central Valley and Tyler Boyd of Clairton were named last Saturday as Mr. Football Pennsylvania award winners by Sportsrecruiters.com.
Foster, a receiver-defensive back and University of Alabama recruit, was selected Mr. Football Pennsylvania for the big schools division (Class AAAA and AAA). Boyd, a running back-receiver-defensive back and Pitt recruit, was the winner of Mr. Football Pennsylvania for the small schools division (Class AA and A).
The two were honored at a banquet in Hershey.
No playoffs for No. 1
Shaler's Geno Thorpe won the WPIAL scoring title this year with a 25.4 average. He edged St. Joseph's John Arcuri, who averaged 25.3.
But there will be no WPIAL playoffs for Thorpe because Shaler finished as the last-place team in Class AAAA Section 3. This is the first time the WPIAL's leading scorer did not qualify for the playoffs since Mohawk's Shawn Carr in 2004.
Super Prep goes under
The Internet helped kill a football recruiting publication that had been around for 28 years.
Super Prep recently decided to stop publishing. The publication, out of Laguna Beach, Calif., was printed three times a year and had only mail subscriptions. The magazine/tabloid published small bios on almost 2,000 players around the country, rated the top players in the country and each state, and also rated recruiting classes.
Allen Wallace was the publisher and editor of Super Prep, which had close to 2,000 subscribers at its peak. The cost for three issues was $72. For years, Wallace was a regular guest on radio shows across the country, discussing recruiting and high school players. He had subscribers in Pennsylvania, including the Pittsburgh area.
"I think we did a very good job, but we just couldn't compete with what is going on on a daily basis with recruiting and the Internet," said Wallace, 60.
Super Prep did not have a web site.
"It was just a slow decline," Wallace said. "We lost subscribers and just couldn't attract new ones. With the insane amount of coverage now with recruiting -- some excellent and some not so good -- we couldn't keep up. In the early to mid 1990s, things were really rolling. We were supplementing incomes with 900 recruiting lines. We had a fax service. The Internet was actually very good to Super Prep initially, but once the big companies came in with the Internet, we became kind of like the mom-and-pop bookstore.
"There is so much coverage now. It's insane to look at what goes on with recruiting on TV now."
Turning down college football
Here is a story you don't see often -- an all-state quarterback has a chance to play in college, but says "no thanks" because he wants to concentrate on academics.
But that's exactly what happened with Donovan McCoy, a senior at Highlands High School in Kentucky. He was the Cincinnati Enquirer's Northern Kentucky Football Player of the Year, led his team to a state championship, threw for 2,769 yards as a senior and rushed for 1,144 yards. McCoy, 6 feet 1, 195 pounds, was recruited mostly by smaller colleges, but he decided to turn down any offers to concentrate on academics.
He has a 4.4 grade point average and most likely will attend the University of Louisville and major in bioengineering.
McCoy told the Cincinnati Enquirer: "Up to about the end of the season, I thought I was wanting to play [college football] and was looking for a place to play, but I have reached a point where I have gotten what I need out of football.
"I've played for 12 years and I'm 18 years old and my body has been to hell and back. I still love the game of football. Hopefully one day when I have kids, they will want to play and watch it with me, but as a player it's just something that I'm ready to move on from."
First Published February 15, 2013 12:00 am