By Joe Henricksen
At a young age -- and I'm talking freshmen and sophomores -- there are players that have the hype, show flashes of potential and are legitimate college prospects even without the production or end results. That is typically the progression of a young player. Then there are the rare few that, along with the hype and potential, come the added bonus of immediate results and production. With Mount Carmel freshman Tracy Abrams we have seen both.
Those that watched Abrams early in the season, particularly in four games at the Pekin Holiday Tournament in December, saw the young player with promise. However, his role was limited throughout the first two-thirds of the season and the production was minimal. Abrams was 7-of-24 from the field and averaged 4.5 points a game in four games at Pekin. Again, it's the natural progression of a young player who is just beginning to tap into his potential and understand the game at the varsity level. You never know when the light turns on and a player turns the corner. For Abrams it's been sooner than later.
The Mount Carmel point guard, who the City/Suburban Hoops Report believes is just behind DeLaSalle's Mike Shaw, Curie's Wayne Blackshear and Limestone's Donivine Stewart in what is blossoming into a very promising freshman class in Illinois, was absolutely stunning in two wins at the Proviso East Sectional.
He scored 22 points in a semifinal win over DeLaSalle and followed it up with 15 big points in the second half to help the Caravan upset Whitney Young in the sectional championship. In the win over Whitney Young in particular, it was more than the point production. It was about a point guard playing extremely composed and just making plays. When Mount Carmel needed a big play, Abrams was there to provide it. That is rare for a player that age, in that position, against that type of competition and in that type of environment. In a word he was fearless. His style of play shows flashes of a Chris Paul-type, a slender-framed, slightly undersized point guard who gets into the lane and to the basket, finishes and plays in control and -- again, in a word -- fearless.
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