New position growing on Eagle Boys basketball: Once a point guard, Centennial's Andy McShane shot up 8 inches in height and moved to the forward spot.

January 11, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Andy McShane played point guard for most of his basketball '' life. Not any longer.

The senior with the size 15 feet has grown 8 inches since his freshman year and now stands 6 feet 7. He weighs 190 pounds. High school coaches just don't waste 6-7 guys at point guard.

But Centennial coach Jim Hill is playing McShane at a small forward or swing position in deference to McShane's guard-like ball-handling and driving skills.

"I like the No. 3 position best and have played it every game, except for Linganore," McShane said.

A role player from off the bench for Centennial's back-to-back county championship teams, McShane has responded with strong scoring and rebounding numbers as a key starter.

Through Wednesday's game, he was averaging 18 points and seven rebounds.

"I've shown drastic improvement since last season," McShane said. "I added 10 pounds through working in the weight room and am fairly happy with the way I've stepped up."

McShane's versatility makes him difficult to defend. If a tall player guards him, he takes that player outside and then drives on him. If a shorter player guards him, then he uses his superior height to shoot over him.

McShane used his post moves to score 18 points against a 6-7 Linganore player.

"He has a nice drop-step and a turnaround shot," Hill said. "He's really made himself into a good player the last couple of years."

The Eagles' senior tri-captain said: "I concentrated on improving my post moves during two weeks of camp last summer. There were about 200 [college] scouts there, and I received about 20 letters after that."

Hill is not surprised that a bunch of Division III schools are busily scouting McShane in hope of luring him to their schools. Washington College, St. Mary's, Johns Hopkins, Juniata, Wittenberg and Hampden-Sydney are just a few.

"It makes sense to recruit a 6-7 kid who can handle the ball reasonably well, because he can have some success at the Division III level," Hill said. "He's going to be hard for us to replace."

McShane also has received letters from several Division I schools, including Loyola, Bucknell, Lafayette and William and Mary.

McShane's best game was against a quality Westminster team. He scored 19 points -- 12 in the fourth quarter when Centennial trimmed a 12-point deficit to three before eventually losing.

"Andy played an all-around great game against Westminster," Hill said. "He made some clutch rebounds and had a couple of blocks."

McShane posted his best all-around numbers of 24 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in a win over C. Milton Wright.

Although the Eagles have struggled this season after graduating their entire starting lineup, McShane still has hopes that they can improve upon a 4-5 record.

"Losing three straight games is frustrating, because the last two seasons we were a combined 40-7," McShane said.

McShane also is a good lacrosse player, who took last season off to concentrate on basketball. He led the Eagles' JV stickers in scoring his sophomore year and was a captain of that team.

"Basketball is such a challenging sport that it requires 100 percent, but if I feel unfulfilled at the end of basketball season, I may play lacrosse this spring, because I'd like to go out on a good note," he said.

Pub Date: 1/11/98

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