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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