Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – The Class 4A state basketball tournament will feature its usual impressive collection of individual talent.
There are Division I recruits, 20 point per game scorers and all-state performers across the loaded Class 4A field.
Brayden Adcock doesn’t fit into any of those categories and yet the senior point guard will be among the most important components for fourth-ranked West High (17-4) in another state title run this week at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
“There is no way you can win a state tournament without a solid point guard,” West High leading scorer Patrick McCaffery said. “That’s exactly what Brayden has been this year.”
In a tournament filled with stars Adcock is easy to overlook.
His 3.2 points per game are the fewest among any starter on a 4A qualifier and he hasn’t put up double-digit points in a game since December.
What Adcock means to West High and the Trojans title chances doesn’t go unnoticed among his peers.
“He’s been huge for us on defense and offensively he controls the tempo,” junior Nick Pepin said. “He’s steady, he’s solid. He’s been huge for us.”
Adcock won’t get a lot of attention among tournament fans.
The unassuming senior doesn’t even draw much attention on his own team that features one of the state’s best players in McCaffery, a Division I big man in junior Even Brauns and newcomers like Nick Pepin and Marcus Morgan.
That fine with Adcock who doesn’t mind doing his work in the shadows.
“Day in and day out I just want to do what is best for the team and try to help us win,” Adcock said. “If that is just passing to the open guy then that’s what I’m going to do.”
Passing to the open guy is what Adcock has done as well as anyone in Iowa this season.
Adcock ranks fifth in 4A in assists with 111 and his assist to turnover ratio of 3:1 is third best among 4A players with more than 80 assists.
“He has a lot of assists with not very many turnovers,” West High coach Steve Bergman said. “He isn’t scoring a lot but I think the other teams have to account for him.”
A spot player last season on West High’s runner-up team Adcock has spent most of his varsity career watching and learning behind a long line of strong point guards.
He watched current Iowa freshman and four-year starter Connor McCaffery run the team for two seasons and was an understudy to Dante Eldridge a year ago.
“Connor, Devontae (Lane) just watching those guys or Dante (Eldridge) last year I learned a lot,” Adcock said. “I feel like I have come a long way and learned a lot the past few years.”
One of the first things Adcock learned from his point guard predecessors was the importance of being a leader.
Being looked to as a leader from Bergman and the West High coaching staff instilled the confidence in Adcock to take on a bigger leadership role alongside fellow senior McCaffery this season.
“It definitely helps a lot when Coach Bergman puts trust in you to be a leader in this program,” Adcock said. “All the coaches have trust in me and that has really helped me with everything this year.”
In his first season as a starter Adcock has put his knowledge to use.
While he lacks the gaudy scoring numbers of others Adcock has become one of the top point guards in Class 4A.
The 6-foot senior has a pair of games with 11 assists this season, most recently in a substate final win over Davenport Central and has seven games with seven or more assists.
“We don’t ask him to score a lot, we have everyone else that can do that he just needs to be able to get the ball to where we need it and he’s been really good at that,” McCaffery said.
While Adcock has been an important piece of the offensive puzzle for West High he has been even more critical on the defensive end.
“Defensively he’s the best we have,” Bergman said. “He’s filling his role, would we like him to score a little more, sure, but that’s not his role and if he does score that’s great too. He’s just really solid on defense.”
Adcock leads the Trojans with 23 steals and regularly is saddled with the responsibility of defending the opponent’s top perimeter player.
That will be key for Adcock this week at the state tournament as West High attempts to claim a fifth 4A title in eight seasons.
“At the end of the year I don’t care about points or stats I just want to be a state champion,” Adcock said. “Whatever I can do to help us reach that goal that’s what I’m trying to do.”
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