Roundtable: Who should be Penn’s starting point guard in 2013-14?

In this week’s roundtable discussion, our editors ask who should be Penn basketball’s starting point guard in 2013-14:

Associate Sports Editor Steven Tydings: This one is tough. While Tony Bagtas told me he is going to “run the team” next year, I think this is a two-man race between Miles Cartwright and Tony Hicks. When Cartwright was running the point effectively, the team played some of its best basketball, and I’d have to think that coach Allen will give the soon-to-be senior the first opportunity to win the job.

That being said, Penn’s best player in the second half of the season was clearly Tony Hicks. His performances at Cornell and at home against Harvard showed he has the potential to be one of the next great point guards in Penn history. But at the same time, I don’t think he should be the point guard to start the year. Cartwright should be given the chance at point guard to start the year. He may not stick. And that’s why it’s important that Hicks is there.

Former Sports Editor Mike Wisniewski: Jerome Allen needs to put the guy there who runs the offense best. My guess is that guy will end up being Miles, at least in the beginning of the year. But if they start the Ivy season and begin losing games, and at that point it becomes clear to the team (because it will probably already be clear to everyone else) that Penn will not win the Ivy League, it will be time to once again look to the future, something Miles will not be a part of.

In that situation, why not give Hicks or Bagtas the bulk of the work to better develop the team for 2014-15? Realistically, Penn won’t be in it next year, but with the young crop of guys they have — if developed properly — they could be in contention the year after next.

Associate Sports Editor John Phillips: I think we’re forgetting about Cam Crocker, who started every game going down the stretch at the point. He had the highest assist to turnover ratio on the team and showed the true passing skills that Cartwright and Hicks don’t naturally have.

But the reason that he should run point over Cartwright or Hicks is really due to what Cartwright and Hicks can do when they are not running the point.

Hicks thrived when he moved without the ball, and Cartwright performed better during the season when he could ease into a contest. When he has the ball in his hands from the opening tip, he tries to do things too quickly. What started to work as the season progressed is that three-guard lineup, with Cartwright, Crocker and Hicks all out on the floor at once. If Cartwright started heating up, then he would start taking the ball up as the game went along.

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Recruit Roundup: Feb. 25

In this week’s Recruit Roundup, we have updates on the end of the season for Penn’s men’s basketball recruits Tony Bagtas, Dave Winfield Jr., Matt Howard and Dylan Jones. All four players’ high school careers came to a close this past week.

6’0 Guard Tony Bagtas: Westlake High School (Ga.) began its state tournament on Feb. 20 with an 81-76 victory over Rockdale County. With the Lions down 60-59 heading into the final quarter, Bagtas scored seven of his 18 points to lead Westlake’s comeback. But the Lions’ run in states came to a sudden end on Feb. 23, as Westlake lost to Tift County, 100-83. The Lions gave up an early 15-3 run and couldn’t recover from the early hole. Bagtas had 34 points to lead all scorers, which included Mr. Georgia Basketball and Tift County shooting guard Brannen Greene.

6’9 Center Dave Winfield Jr.: Harvard-Westlake High School’s season came to a close in the third round of the California Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs as the team lost 78-58 on Feb. 19 to Bishop Montgomery High School. Winfield finished the year with a solid showing, putting up six points on 3-for-5 shooting while grabbing six rebounds. The senior ended the season having averaged 5.9 points and 4.3 boards per game.

6’4 Guard Matt Howard: A.C Flora High School’s run in the South Carolina Class AAA upper-state basketball playoffs ended in the semifinals, as the Falcons lost 54-50 to Daniel High School on Feb. 19. Flora was winning after three quarters, but Daniel’s free throw shooting helped it pull away in the end. Howard led Flora with 16 points in the final game of his high school career.

6’7 Forward Dylan Jones: Jones and the Village School (Texas) finished the season with another blowout victory over a familiar foe. The squad faced off against Christian Home School Sports Ministries, a team the Vikings defeated by 36 on Feb. 6. In this meeting, Jones led all scorers with 24 points as the Vikings won handily, 101-57. The game was over early on, as the Village School led 31-9 after only one quarte

Recruit Roundup: Feb. 18

In this week’s Recruit Roundup, we have updates on Class of 2017 Penn men’s basketball recruits Dave Winfield, Jr., Matt Howard, Tony Bagtas and Dylan Jones. Each player’s high school began postseason play this past week.

6-foot-9 center Dave Winfield, Jr.: The Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) senior had one of his best weeks of the season, helping Harvard-Westlake win its first two playoff games. On Feb. 13, Winfield put up a season-high 16 points to help the eighth-seeded Wolverines to a blowout victory over Templeton High School, 77-46. He also added five rebounds while shooting 8-for-9 from the field. The Wolverines had to make a large trip to defeat Templeton, which is more than 200 miles away from Harvard-Westlake.

On Feb. 15, Harvard-Westlake returned home and defeated Laguna Beach, 73-60. Harvard-Westlake led the entire game after the first quarter, and Winfield provided 13 points along with five rebounds in the victory. Winfield’s squad now travels to No. 1-seeded Bishop Montgomery in the third round of the Southern Section California Division 4-AA Championships.

6-foot-4 guard Matt Howard: Howard’s A.C. Flora (S.C.) also won its first two playoff games last week. On Feb. 12, Flora escaped with a close victory against Travelers Rest High School, 68-63. Howard provided 17 points before his teammates closed out the game with free throws at the end. On Feb. 15, A.C. Flora defeated nearby Chapman High School, 81-68, behind 23 points from Howard. The victory puts A.C. Flora in the quarterfinals of the South Carolina Class AAA State basketball playoffs.

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Recruit Roundup: Feb. 11

Matt Howard scored a game-high 21 points Tuesday to lead A.C. Flora to a win in its regular-season finale.  (Courtesy of the Columbia Star/Careese Robinson)

Matt Howard scored a game-high 21 points Tuesday to lead A.C. Flora to a win in its regular-season finale. (Courtesy of the Columbia Star/Careese Robinson)

In this week’s Recruit Roundup, we have updates on Penn men’s basketball recruits Tony Bagtas, Matt Howard, Dave Winfield Jr. and Dylan Jones as each player’s high school nears the end of its regular season before playoffs begin in the coming weeks.

5-foot-11 Guard Tony Bagtas: Bagtas dominated on senior night for Westlake High School (Ga.), scoring 32 points to lead Westlake to a 71-53 victory on Feb. 8 over nearby Langston Hughes High School. Westlake moved to 21-4, including 9-1 in its region, as it heads into the regional tournament next week. After the game, Bagtas’ coach, Darron Rogers, had nothing but good things to say about the senior guard.

“Tony’s a four-year starter for us at point guard, and he’s our catalyst,” Rogers told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He can do it all. He’s going to Penn so you know he’s intelligent and has basketball smarts. He can score the basketball, but tonight I was glad to see him show his toughness, too. He went to the hole and made some tough baskets tonight.”

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Recruit Roundup: Feb. 5

In this week’s Recruit Roundup, we have updates on Penn’s men’s basketball recruits Matt Howard, Tony Bagtas, Dave Winfield Jr., Dylan Jones and Preston Troutt.

 

6-foot-4 guard Matt Howard: A.C. Flora High School (S.C.) played two games within their region (Region 4-3A) and won both this week. On Jan. 29, the senior hit two three pointers in the first five minutes of play and helped lead A.C. Flora to a nine-point victory over nearby Westwood High School, 51-42. He led the team with 16 points.

On Feb. 1, Howard finished with a game-high 23 points to help A.C. Flora defeat Lower Richland. Lower Richland is in first place in the region and had previously defeated A.C. Flora. A.C. Flora is now just one game behind Lower Richland and is assured of a spot in the postseason, as Flora has now clinched second place in Region 4-3A.

 

6-foot-0 guard Tony Bagtas: Bagtas, a senior at Westlake High School in Atlanta, Ga., has played well this season, with Westlake sporting a 20-4 record on the season. In back-to-back games a week and a half ago, Bagtas helped lead Westlake to two victories.

On Jan. 25, Bagtas had 29 points, 11 assists and two steals, which assisted Westlake in avenging one of its early season losses against Douglas County. The following day, Jan. 26, Bagtas scored 21 points to go with 9 assists and three steals, as Westlake defeated Tri-Cities High School.

Overall, Westlake has won 10 straight games, with nine of the 10 victories coming by double-digits.

 

6-foot-9 center Dave Winfield Jr.: Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) had three games last week and went 1-2 in the three contests. On Jan. 28, Winfield scored two points and had one rebound in a loss to Chaminade High School. Winfield followed that up with a seven point, five rebound performance during a victory over Alemany High School on Jan. 30.

On Feb. 1, Winfield had a solid outing with eight points and four rebounds in a loss against St. Francis. Winfield went 2-for-2 from the field while hitting all four of his free throw attempts.

 

6-foot-8 forward Dylan Jones: There was a death at the Village School (Texas) this past week and all games were canceled as a result. Their next scheduled game is Wednesday.

 

5-foot-11 guard Preston Troutt: The Trinity Christian (Texas) senior still has not played since mid-December due to injury and it is unclear when he will return.

 

 

M. Hoops picks up its third commit

Jerome Allen and the rest of the Penn men's basketball team got a great commitment Wednesday night in Matt Howard. The shooting guard from Columbia, S.C. announced his decision on Twitter Wednesday evening:

He chose Penn over Harvard, Stanford and Virginia Tech. He visited Penn on the weekend of Oct. 5 and Harvard the weekend after.

ESPN scouted him as a 67 and said the 6-foot-4, 185-pounder listed him as the No. 6 recruit in the state and the No. 82 shooting guard in the country. Howard joins Tony Bagtas and Dave Winfield, Jr. in what will be Penn's Class of 2017.