STEVE HANLON: Bowman's Dillard needs to turn off the hype

2013-12-13T22:00:00Z 2013-12-26T18:47:11Z STEVE HANLON: Bowman's Dillard needs to turn off the hypeSteve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
December 13, 2013 10:00 pm  • 

ST. JOHN | Marvin Rea felt a little like Marc Trestman on Friday night. He had a star player who hadn't played in awhile. He had a tough decision to make.

All week, I've listened to sports talk radio's gibberish about whether the Bears' should start Jay Cutler on Sunday in Cleveland or Josh McCown.

I believe Hell will have sports talk radio playing over the PA. Especially with topics like this.

Rea had a similar decision. His Eagles were flying high with several big wins with superstar Davon Dillard on the bench.

“Suspended,” Rea said with a stern look.

Dillard is one of the top players in the state of Indiana. The 6-foot-5 junior guard is on everyone's radar.

But at times, like Bowman's first three games, he was nowhere to be found.

“If not for the guys on the team coming to me, I would've kicked him off,” said Rea, who would not talk about what the infraction was.

In a super-crazy 63-58 win at No. 2 Lake Central, Times No. 1 Bowman's defense was the star, not Dillard.

“I was rusty,” said Dillard, who scored scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds.

He and Rea had a few stare downs on the night whenever Dillard came out of the game. This is not Cutler-McCown-like.

“He's got to stop listening to all the AAU people who tell him he's the greatest thing around,” Rea said.

The first half for Bowman was not impressive. The Eagles trailed the Indians 33-23. Dillard looked lost at time.

But in the end, he nailed an unbelievable fallaway jumper that extended the lead to five. That's where Dillard does things that most can't.

It's the small things, the little things, that have to be shored up.

The defending Class 2A state champs are now in 3A. With impressive wins over Indianapolis Tech, Chesterton and Lake Central, it's obvious Bowman can get back to Indy in a bigger class.

But Dillard must turn his cellphone off and listen to Rea. Or, the Bowman train will be derailed before it heads south.

“I wanted to come back and not force nothing,” he said. “I wanted to help my team out.”

For those who saw last year's state final win Dillard's game was clean, above the rim and ridiculous. Many other games earlier it was not.

I've been doing this for 100 years and I've learned that 95 percent of what AAU coaches say is hogwash. Bunk. Useless.

A high school coach has bigger things on the plate than some trophy won in Upper Mongolia, in front of 17 people.

“It took us a little while to get the chemistry right,” said senior Justin King, who scored 17 points and closed the door in the fourth quarter at the free throw line. “I'm glad he's back. (We're) complete. It's on.”

I could care less what he did. I'm sure the administration is doing the right thing and trying to help him see the light.

Davon Dillard is an unbelievable talent. But he'll never be all he can be until he stops believing the sentence above.

And let's hope that Cutler has a better first game back than Dillard did.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at steve.hanlon@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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