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Published: Thursday, 12/28/2006

Sidelines: Wyse a good fit at Scott

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Scott senior Chris Wyse is averaging 30 points per game for the 5-0 Bulldogs. He is playing at the fourth school of his high school career. Scott senior Chris Wyse is averaging 30 points per game for the 5-0 Bulldogs. He is playing at the fourth school of his high school career.
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Aside from his talents on a basketball court, Scott s Chris Wyse is well-traveled young man.

The Bulldogs senior standout is at his fourth high school in four years, and is finding Scott very much to his liking five games into this season.

Wyse started on the Bowsher varsity as a freshman in 2003-04 before relocating to Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas, for his sophomore year.

He admits that move was necessary because he lacked discipline, academically and socially.

Last year, he returned to Toledo and enrolled at St. Francis de Sales, teaming with City League co-player of the year Darryl Roberts to help the Knights to an 18-3 record.

Wyse had intended to remain at St. Francis, but his academic failures there during the fourth quarter of the 2005-06 school year would have, he says, made it highly unlikely for him to graduate from St. Francis on time.

"I met a lot of great guys over there and I learned how to play team ball and be a good friend to everybody," Wyse said of St. Francis. "It was a great school environment. The fourth quarter was a struggle for me. I knew I wasn t going to get all my credits in to graduate."

Thus, Wyse enrolled at Scott, his district of residence. At Scott, part of Toledo Public Schools, Wyse said he will need fewer credits to graduate and can do so on time, provided he completes his current course-load plan.

Whatever Wyse has lacked in discipline off the court or in the classroom, the talented 6-3 point guard has a high understanding of the game of basketball more than Bulldogs coach Joe Suboticki anticipated.

Heading into games tomorrow and Saturday at a holiday tournament in Kalamazoo, Mich., Wyse leads the City League in scoring at an even 30 points per game for the 5-0 Bulldogs.

Did Suboticki think Wyse would have such a strong impact at Scott?

"I had no idea," the Bulldogs coach admitted. "When he played for St. Francis last year he was kind of a subordinate player to Darryl Roberts. I never dreamed that he was as good as he is."

Wyse has been given the reins of the Scott offense. He averaged 11 points as the second or third option at off-guard last year at St. Francis (after Roberts and current senior Nick Meinert).

"My adjustment has been major," Wyse said. "Here, [Suboticki] lets me run the show. That s what he wants me to do. At St. Francis, I just wanted to be on the team to help them out.

"They had some leaders over there already. I just wanted to be in a role. I didn t want to be the main guy because they already had Darryl Roberts."

Wyse said playing alongside Roberts helped bolster his game.

"I picked up a lot of the smart things he does," Wyse said. "His passing decisions and the basic things, like not forcing things if they aren t there. He taught me how to dribble in pressure."

Now free to play to his strengths, Wyse has thrived with a lethal combination of pull-up jumpers and a creative array of drives to the basket.

With body control, balance, and an ability to finish, Wyse usually either converts on his penetrations, draws fouls, or does both.

Just ask the Waite Indians, who saw Wyse hit 19 of 22 free throws en route to a 35-point performance in a Scott win over the Tribe.

"He s quite a talent," Suboticki said. "W.B. [Libbey s William Buford] might be the best in the city, but Chris isn t far behind.

"He s very strong with the ball and he s a pretty [physically] strong kid. He s got a good handle, and he can go inside or out. When he goes to the basket, it s hard to stop him because he s got good hang time and he can make shots from funny positions."

For the season, Wyse has meshed 45 of 61 (73 percent) free throw attempts, essentially a 9-for-12 effort at the line per contest.

"My favorite player is Allen Iverson," Wyse said. "He goes to the hole and tries to draw fouls. That s basically what I base my game upon."

Wyse s talents have led to recruiting contacts from at least five notable Division I programs Tennessee, Kansas State, Cincinnati, Dayton and Utah. He said Cincinnati has extend,ed a scholarship offer.

If Wyse does not have a substantial

recovery in the classroom, however, a direct move to a four-year college program may not be possible. In that event, Wyse s alternate plan would be play at a one-year prep-school program. He said he does not intend to play at a junior college.

For now, Wyse is content to lead the Bulldogs in their quest for a repeat CL championship and a deep tournament run. And, Suboticki is content to have him be that leader.

"I really didn t know what to make of the team with chemistry and if there would be jealousy and that kind of a thing," Suboticki said. "I think we had some of that in the preseason, but when the season started it all came together a little bit. Each week it s getting a little better.

"The blend is pretty good now, and [Wyse] is leading us. There were a couple games where he wouldn t let us lose, and that s what a senior is supposed to do."

Suboticki hasn t previously coached a player with Wyse s combination of skills.

"He doesn t really remind me of any of my past players," Suboticki said. "I had very good point guard named Curtis Wilson [at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary] who went to Ohio State and played.

"But Curtis was more of a passer first and a scorer second, where Wyse is opposite. And, Wyse is a bigger player. We put him at the point because he s had at least a little bit of experience there and, so far, it s worked out well."

Where does Suboticki think his team would be without Wyse?

"You would like to think that other guys would step up," he said, "but it s pretty hard to step up and make up 30 points. That s usually what two guys score. So, he s done a heck of a job, and I don t know where we would be without him."



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