Adrian Anderson is the next in line.
The Morton senior point guard joins a growing list of talented players to lead the Mustangs’ offense. Anderson gained a first-class education on leading a program by watching Jesus Perez handle the difficult position during his sophomore season. Anderson credited Perez, a dynamo with next-level ball handling and driving skills, for speeding up his transition from reserve to starting point guard last season.
“I learned a lot of things over the last year, mainly from watching Jesus and playing against him every day in practice,” Anderson said. “He taught me how to score, but also to help and get the ball to my teammates. Just seeing him handle different situations really helped me.”
Anderson said he spent most of last season adjusting to playing in high-pressure games while attempting to spark the offense. This summer, Anderson has showcased an improved offensive game.
“Last year, I mainly facilitated and got my shooters the ball and got my teammates going,” Anderson said. “I learned a lot of new things in my first year starting, mainly about getting my teammates involved. But now I’m coming into more of a scoring role.”
Anderson said he’s ready to pick up some of the scoring void from the graduation of high-scoring guard Eliseo Gonzalez. Anderson said he cherished testing his skills against highly recruited Rolling Meadows senior guard Cameron Christie in the 19th annual Riverside-Brookfield Summer Shootout.
“It’s different, but I’m always up to the challenge,” Anderson said. “Playing against guys like [Christie] will only help my game. I want to be on that same level, so I’m going to keep working hard. I’m very excited to show what I can do next year.”
Morton assistant coach Eric Kraft said Anderson is poised for a big season after a solid junior campaign.
“Adrian is ready for his third year on the varsity,” Kraft said. “His sophomore year, he didn’t get as much time as he wanted. But he started making up for it. His role has changed every year, so he’s now our senior point guard and we expect a lot out of him. The good thing is we know he can do a lot.”
Anderson said the Mustangs lack a tall front court, with 6-foot-6 senior forward Victor Garrett the tallest player on the team.
“It’s a different group, more of what we’re used to in the past with one big guy and a couple of little guards,” he said. “We’re fast and athletic. We just have to play more together to get better and build our chemistry. We have a lot of juniors coming up this year. We’re trying to incorporate them and get them up to speed. Victor is our big guy, so we’re expecting a lot from him. Michael Barnes is athletic and all over the place with a motor. We’re going to lean on him. We’re excited and ready to go. Summer is fun, but we’re ready for the season.”