Jarrod Coleman left a lasting impression in his first-ever varsity game. As a wide-eyed, diminutive sophomore, Coleman scored nine points and had five steals in a win over Pine Tree.
Two years later, Coleman admits he’s still short, but the senior point guard is not allowing that to slow him down.
“I’ve grown probably about two inches since my sophomore year,” said Coleman, who is listed at 5-8, but says 5-6 is more likely. Through 13 games, Coleman is averaging 11 points per game to go along with six steals and three assists per contest.
“The game was a lot faster (when I was a sophomore) and now the game has really slowed down and I am more like a leader.”
The Red Raiders (8-5) look for their third win in a row when they face Pine Tree at 7:30 p.m. at Lee Varsity Gymnasium. The game is being played as part of a rare REL basketball doubleheader with the Lady Raiders (12-4) on the floor first at 6 p.m. against Waco.
Tuesday in a 56-47 win at Nacogdoches, Coleman scored 11 points and finished with a modest three assists, one steal and four rebounds.
Lee assistant Danny Russell said that does not tell the whole story.
“(Nacogdoches) would go from a full-court zone press to a half-court trap the whole game,” Russell said.
“Coleman was able to just split double teams and continually find the open man. Being able to get the ball through it and settle us down and get in our offense is his biggest thing.”
What Coleman lacks in size he makes up for in blinding quickness, making it near impossible to trap him. In fact, the senior looks forward to the challenge when teams try.
“I like going through little gaps to beat the press,” Coleman said. “I am small and it actually helps us out when people try to trap me. My teammates always say to just go through them.”
Time after time on Tuesday Nacogdoches would attempt to corner Coleman, and more often than not, the ball would end up in the hands of a teammate in a shooting position.
“He’s a team captain and he’s one of the quickest guys with a basketball in his hands,” said head coach Alan Johnston. “Coaches have to do a full scouting report just on him and I am glad he’s on my team.”
The guard is also more precise with his passes. In years past, Russell said Coleman would be as likely to have a turnover as much as an assist. Thus far he has a 2-1 assist to turnover ratio.
“That is the main thing he is bringing to us right now,” Russell said. “Our bigs are not getting the ball with their backs to the basket, but rather are receiving it in (scoring position) and a lot that is a result of Coleman’s creation and vision.”
Lady Raiders Look To Get Back On Track
The Lady Raiders have rarely been on the wrong end of the scoreboard, but enter today’s contest off consecutive losses. REL aims to get back to winning ways against Waco High.
Lee was limited to 40 points for just the third time this season in a 66-48 loss at Rockwall.
Junior forward Ciara Johnson finished with a season-low four points before fouling out. Senior guard Bre Brooks did her best to pick up the slack, scoring 30 points, but it wasn’t enough.
Waco High travels to Tyler with a 5-9 record and were slammed, 72-28, by DeSoto last week.