Small school Lewis comes up big

SHARE Small school Lewis comes up big

By Joe Henricksen

No, Lewis University in Romeoville is not in the Big Ten or Big East, but it plays in one of the toughest Division II

conferences in the country. And head coach Scott Trost added a couple of talented pieces this week that will help

his Flyers contend in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in the near future.

Ironically, both players that committed to Lewis–Sandburg’s Matt Toth and Wheeling’s Chris McClellan–are similar in

a lot of ways, despite one being 6-8 and an inside player (Toth) and one being 5-11 and a point guard (McClellan).

The biggest similarity is they both were being overlooked by Division I schools because they lacked something

specific that Division I coaches can’t look past. With Toth, he was a skilled 6-8 player who plays below the rim and

lacked the athleticism and explosiveness that has become a “requirement” now to play at that level. With McClellan,

he was an undersized guard. All I know is there are a lot of small school Division I players right now who are far

less productive than these two would be at that level.

Both Toth and McClellan really are going to be playing at the perfect level. So many times players wait for an

opportunity to play at the Division I level, it comes and, in the end, they aren’t very happy once they get there. They

realize at some small school Division I programs that it’s not all that’s it cracked up to be. They may realize their

playing time won’t be what they anticipated. They see coaches depart for greener pastures or recruit over them.

So many times a prospect doesn’t see or appreciate what the Division II level has to offer.

Toth, who the Hoops Report has called the most underrated senior player in the state of Illinois since this past

summer, is a steal for Lewis. He’s fundamentally sound, has a great feel and is a true big man who can actually

play and is not considered a project. McClellan compares favorably to another Mid-Suburban League guard a few

years back–Jonny Reibel of Hoffman Estates. At that time the Hoops Report called Reibel the most underrated

senior in Illinois. He went on to Rollins College, a Division II school in Florida, where he has excelled.

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