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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
North Side point guard Trevion Crews has learned to be more of a leader as the Redskins look to repeat as SAC champions.

Redskins’ guard proves valuable

Leadership skills help Crews excel

– When evaluating Trevion Crews’ importance to the team, North Side coach Shabaz Khaliq points to last year’s 90-70 sectional loss to Northrop as an example.

With Crews in the lineup, the SAC champion Redskins led their conference rival Bruins by seven points. When Crews went to the bench, North Side quickly fell behind by 13, and it was a deficit too big to overcome to a team the Redskins beat in the regular season.

“He’s the difference in us accomplishing the goals that we have set forward or being a .500 or sub-.500 ballclub,” Khaliq said. “He makes life easier for our players. We are a puzzle, and you need every piece of the puzzle for it to be complete, but he is the biggest piece of the puzzle.”

The 6-foot senior point guard led northeast Indiana with 7.8 assists per game and earned first-team All-SAC honors last season. Crews also averaged 13.1 points and 1.6 steals.

“He’s a much better leader than what he was,” Khaliq said. “A lot of that has come with maturity. Some of the things he is doing a much better job of now is understanding the position a lot better.

“He understands as a point guard it is not just his job to facilitate but also be more involved offensively, so he is becoming more aggressive offensively, and he is scoring a lot more. He has always been capable of scoring. One of the things that makes him tough is he can shoot the three well, but also pull up and shoot in transition. That makes him difficult to guard. Not too many kids his age can do it better and do it consistently. That’s what sets him apart.”

The Redskins lost All-SAC first-teamer Dwight Richards to graduation but return seniors Mike Davis, Oosha Mitchell, Myluv Sutton and junior Sean McGee.

“It’s good playing with these dudes night in and night out,” Crews said. “Every day all my guys are getting better. You pick your poison as we go to everybody.

“I just want to work on my game so I can take my team where I think we can go this year. Everybody definitely has their mindset on going to state. I always want to make that push to go there. I just want to take my team as far as we can go.”

Crews learned how to be a leader in his first two seasons behind the graduated Quilyn Howard-Upshaw and senior Leander Williams, who transferred to Snider last year.

“Coach Baz really leans on me on the offensive end and the defensive end to get it done,” Crews said. “Now I know how the program works and how to get things flowing. It comes really easy now. It didn’t always come easy. It has been a work in progress. It was definitely hard.”

While Crews was learning on the court his first two years at North Side, his grades were suffering. That will probably keep him from being eligible academically to play at the NCAA Division I level with interest from DePaul and Furman. More than likely, Crews will end up at a junior college.

“I definitely should have taken my freshman and sophomore years more serious, academically,” Crews said. “Seeing that I have to go the junior (college) route now, it’s tough. But whatever it takes from there, I am blessed to go wherever I go. It shows me a lot.”

gjones@jg.net

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