"It's All About The Game"

Team Takeover's Presence in NCAA Tournament






Robert Stephens, Featured Writer

Team Takeover's travel team success is translating to collegiate wins.


April 18, 2013 - The Louisville Cardinals the chosen favorite did not let their fans down winning the 75th NCAA Basketball tournament defeating Michigan 82-76 before 74,326 in attendance at the Georgia Dome.

The Cardinals were led by George Mason transfer Luke Hancock who led all scorers with 22 points. Peyton Siva chipped in with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assist. Chane Behanan delivered in the paint with 15 points and 12 rebounds as Coach Rick Pitino won his second NCAA title.

Louisville finished their season with a record of 35-5.

Team Takeover is preparing for their upcoming summer schedule and I got a chance to talk with head coach and CEO Keith Stevens about this years NCAA Tournament and his players that participated.

This year Victor Olipido had a breakout year being named player of the year by the Sporting News, First Team All-American by the Associated Press, First team all Big Ten amongst several honors representing the Indiana Hoosiers who finished with a record of 29-7.

I asked coach Stevens was he surprised at Olipido's success this season; Victor is a 6’5” junior guard, who has decided to leave school for the National Basketball Association.

"No, not really." said Stevens. "His work ethic is great nobody puts in more than Victor”.

What was the difference that you saw as a coach between this year and last year?

Vic Oladipo, this year in Progressive Tournament action.

"First thing he came into the season with confidence. Victor had become a student of the game. He studied a lot of game film and worked hard on the other parts of his game especially his shooting.

"He would have study sessions with his coach (Tom Crean) and just work on what needed to be improved".

As a 6’3”, true freshmen guard, James Robinson ranked third in minutes logged for the 24-9 Pitt Panthers.

Stevens, how did you feel about his first year ?

"Solid did what he had to do and got better as the season progressed" said Stevens.

Robinson despite his freshmen status was nationally ranked all season in turnover-assist ratio.

"Always has been smart with the ball. He doesn't allow people to speed him up. Always in control”, said Stevens.

Jerian Grant 6'5 Jr. led Notre Dame in scoring averaging 13.3 pts. and 5.5 assists leading the Irish to a 25-10 record. Grant was a second team All-Big East selection and first team, NABC, District V choice.

How good can Jerian become?

"He doesn't know how good could he can become" said Stevens. "He needs a little more confidence, he's going to be really good, just needs that confidence”.

A 6’8” sophomore, Mikael Hopkins started at center for all 32 games for the Hoyas of Georgetown who finished with a record of 25-7. Mikeal averaged 5.9 pts and 2.9 rebounds per same.

What about Mikael's play, Coach ?

"Confidence is a big factor in Mikael's development", said Stevens.

Jerami Grant has future star written all over him.

Jerami Grant 6’9 freshmen averaged 3.9 points and 3.0 rebounds of the bench for 30-10 Syracuse Grant had a career high of 13 against Villanova.

“His best days are ahead of him“ said Stevens. “With playing time he will be fine”.

John Manning, another Takeover alum, was a sophomore role player with St. Louis University, averaging 2.8 points per game.

“John also needs a little confidence but he’s a hard worker” commented Stevens on the 6’11” center.

The EYBL league starts this weekend at Anaheim and we will have a recap of the 2013 Takeover summer.

See FaceBook.com/RonBailey19_albums for photos

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