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Published: Wednesday, 2/29/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Freshman workhorse develops skills at Owens

Whitmer grad carves out important role

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Franklin Lindsey, a former player for Whitmer High School, blocks a pass. Coach Dave Clarke, in his first year at Owens, says, 'Franklin is the hardest-working kid on the team,' going after loose balls and playing strong defense. Franklin Lindsey, a former player for Whitmer High School, blocks a pass. Coach Dave Clarke, in his first year at Owens, says, 'Franklin is the hardest-working kid on the team,' going after loose balls and playing strong defense.
OWENS COMMUNITY COLLEGE Enlarge

Franklin Lindsey's biography on Owens Community College's basketball Web site shows a quote from Express coach Dave Clarke that signifies what makes Lindsey such an asset to his team.

"Franklin is the hardest-working kid on the team," Clarke said.

What that means is Lindsey, a freshman guard/forward from Whitmer High School, sacrifices his body to corral loose balls, draws charges, and plays strong defense.

Lindsey has used his high energy to carve out an important role on an Owens team that recently notched its first 20-win season since 2006-07.

"I take that as a big compliment," Lindsey said of Clarke's assessment of him. "I do always try to work hard. Since I'm undersized playing the power forward sometimes, I feel like I have to work harder than bigger and stronger players."

Those attributes are what led first-year coach Clarke and his staff to decide to recruit Lindsey shortly after Whitmer bowed out of the playoffs last season in the district semifinals. "What we decided is he's basically a really good athlete that works extremely hard, and that's the type of players we want on our team," Clarke said.

After not logging much playing time while he adapted to the speed and strength of the college game, the 6-foot-4-inch Lindsey slowly began getting more minutes. His best performance came Feb. 1 at home in a 96-71 win over Edison State when he totaled 16 points, three rebounds, and 4 3-pointers in 21 minutes.

"I was having some trouble getting some playing time and people told me don't worry about it and that when coach puts you in be ready," Lindsey said. "[Clarke] told me I gave the team the energy to help us win the game. I had the hot hand and I kept playing hard."

Lindsey is averaging 3.5 rebounds and a shade under 4 points per game. A marketing and sales major, he has a grade-point-average of about 3.5.

"Lately he's been playing a lot better mostly because of confidence," Clarke said. "Offensively, we've wanted him to be a little more aggressive in scoring points. He's picked up our defensive and offensive philosophies well in the last month."

The Express finished the regular season at 20-10 overall and 7-5 in the Ohio Community College Athletic Association. Their win total is an improvement of 10 from last season.

They will host a quarterfinal game in the NJCAA Region XII tournament on March 6.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @RyanAutullo



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