On Friday, I was on hand as Metro League conference rival MICDS Rams traveled five minutes down the road to face the John Burroughs Bombers. Both programs have young rosters and talented young coaches who recently assumed the helm at their respective schools after arriving with impressive resumes. MICDS is ranked fourth in Class 4 of the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association State rankings. 

The MICDS Rams are tall and long at virtually every position. In fact, they have four starters listed at 6-7 on their roster, three guards and one forward. The Bombers gave up a lot of size in this contest but worked diligently to gain an advantage with their speed and outside shooting. The plan seemed to work initially. They ended the first quarter trailing by four at 16-12. However, during the second period, MICDS would limit John Burroughs to one attempt at the basket while racking up second chance points for themselves. By halftime, John Burroughs trailed 18-33. The Bombers had some nice moments and made a couple of nice runs during the third quarter behind a strong defensive effort. But in the end, MICDS would use its size and length to propel them to a 69-44 over the Bombers. Here’s is my list of eye-opening performers from the game. 

2021 6-7 Aaron Hendricks MICDS
The junior forward muscled his way to a double-double, scoring 15 points and 12 rebounds. Nearly half of Hendricks rebounds came from the offensive end. His efforts were rewarded with several trips to the line, particularly in the fourth quarter. During the opening period, the Rams used screening action to get the big guy some nice looks near the basket. 

2022 5-10 Anand Dharmarajan John Burroughs
The sophomore guard didn’t shy away from the heat in this contest. Dharmarajan has a tight handle and can create his own shot.  In one memorable play, Anand showed off his ball quickness easily navigating around his man and into the lane for a pretty floater. He also displayed his shooting range after nailing a pair of jumpers from well behind the three. 

2022 6-7 Brandon Mitchell-Day MICDS
Brandon is one of the most intriguing sophomore players in the area because of his versatility. Day is a long 6-7 who is versatile enough to give the Rams quality minutes at any position on the perimeter. He plays with a lot of poise and control for his age and can distribute and create for himself in the half court. Near the rim, Brandon had little trouble punishing smaller defenders. On defense, his length was disrupted the offense of his opponent. Day had five well-timed blocks and three steals. Brandon has already attracted the attention of several mid major programs but look for that list to expand exponentially as Day continues to develop and more coaches get a chance to view the young talent. Day finished with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and five blocks. 

2022 6-6 Tyson Ford John Burroughs
The sophomore forward showed some nice flashes of what’s to come as he continues to hone his skills under Burroughs Head Coach Corey Frazier. The sophomore has good strength and showed the ability to power the ball up in traffic. After a couple of nice moves off screening action, the Rams were forced to take note of the young talent and worked hard to keep him from catching and gaining an advantage near the rim. 

2021 6-7 Jack Pronger MICDS
MICDS is a dangerous team to play when Pronger gets it going and that’s exactly what happened in the second half as the 6-7 guard let loose scoring 12 points in route to a game high   20 points and 7 rebounds. Pronger seemed to be everywhere rocketing across the lane to rebound out of his area, chasing down loose balls, and moving well without the ball. His energy on the glass made him a tough box out assignment. Pronger also was keen enough to recognize a mismatch and back his opponent down closer to the basket for a high percentage shot.