Saturday, March 10, 2012
FM Marcus focused on slowing Travis' offense
By Travis L. Brown
AUSTIN, Texas -- Defensive-minded Flower Mound Marcus coach Danny Henderson’s top priority in Saturday’s 5A state final is slowing the offensive production of Fort Bend Travis’ Harrison twins.
Henderson wouldn’t reveal his thoughts on defending Aaron and Andrew Harrision, a pair of 6-foot-5 guards.
“We’ve been working all week on all three teams that are down here, but we’ll make some decisions [Friday night] on how to guard them,” Henderson said after Marcus’ semifinal win Friday.
However, one of Marcus’ top defenders, Nick Banyard, said he wants a shot at one of the twins, and he will mostly likely have his wish granted.
“I told coach after the game that I would be ready to guard one of them,” Banyard said. “It doesn’t matter to me -- I just want to guard one of them.”
Banyard, a New Mexico signee, said he has guarded both Harrison twins in various AAU games, which he believes gives him an edge by “kind of knowing all their moves”.
Banyard said his best defense will be to get under their skin and try to frustrate them out of good play.
“I know what gets in their head," Banyard said. "If you get in their, head they get real frustrated real easily. You’ll probably see me talking a lot.”
Both Banyard and Marcus Smart agreed that Henderson would most likely use Banyard and A.J. Luckey to guard against the twins, mixing Smart into the mix sporadically throughout the game.
“Eventually I’ll be matched up with them, but I don’t think at the beginning because we have two great defenders with A.J. Luckey and Nick Banyard," Smart said.
Banyard matched up against Garland Naaman Forest’s 6-foot-11 center Prince Ibeh in Marcus’ state semifinal, holding him to six points and seven rebounds.
The players should get what they want in defensive matchups Saturday, but Smart knows the game is really a matchup the entire state has yearned to witness.
“Everyone has wanted to see Flower Mound Marcus versus Travis." Smart said, "and they got it.”