December 20, 2011

Mitty rolling again

Kevin McCarthy

Repeating something can become quite annoying if it's grade level or having to memorize the Gettysburg Address but not if you are the Division II defending state champion as Archbishop Mitty finds itself. In the latter situation, duplication is desirable.

Last season climaxed with a 53-50 Mitty victory over Summit in the state championship game, a matchup buttressed by 17 points and 21 rebounds from (now junior) Aaron Gordon.

photo of Aaron Gordon and Neil Vranicar

Coach Tim Kennedy has uber-talent Gordon and sharpshooting Neil Vranicar back but mixed with a relatively young group of Monarchs this season. Gone are Colin Wan and Kyle Toth, both first-team all-leaguers last year.

The plan is "to get out in transition for easy buckets, run some motion but focus on getting Gordon the ball," according to Kennedy. "The attention on him gets shots for the other guys but we have to prepare for all types of defenses against Gordon."

He added, "we have a lot of work to do because some of our guys are young and inexperienced."

So what more can be typed about the 6-foot-7 Gordon, a nationally-ranked prospect, than has already been presented? It's always possible, if not probable, for him to post a double-double-double, a 20/20, on any given night

He'll be carrying the squad along with 6-foot-5 senior Neil Vranicar who is described by Kennedy as "very hardworking, with a pure shooting stroke, someone who is working on getting to the basket."

Jack Biebel, a 5-foot-10 senior mans the point and Kennedy sees him "stepping up this season."

5-foot-11 two guard Jordan White supplies "senior leadership and is a hardnosed defender."

Thomas Peters, a 6-foot-6 senior lefty is the four man. "He's not a physical post but he can knock down shots for us."

To date, Mitty has posted a 4-0 record, having topped Oakland 54-37, Palma 67-50, Sheldon 74-61 and Newark Memorial 60-40. In the latter, Gordon went for 19 points and 15 boards with Vranicar contributing 10 points.

But yes, the always tough West Catholic Athletic League members await come league play.

In the distance, Archbishop Mitty wants to play Replication High in the last game of the season, thus making it a two-peat. The Monarchs are off to a fine start towards achieving that goal.