Time Out: March 6, 2013

Some believe basketball is a big man’s game. Those folks have never watched SUNY Delhi guard Stefan Bock play the game.

Stefan Bock is a coach’s dream. Bock attends to all the ‘little things,’ those minute basketball details that often mean the difference in the outcome of a game that coaches love to extol.
I paid careful attention to Bock, scripting everything he did during the first three minutes of Delhi’s semifinal match-up with HVCC Saturday afternoon. The kid is amazing.

Stefan drove the ball into the lane and kicked a pass out to an open forward for a three-point try. The six-foot, one-inch guard grabbed a defensive rebound then stepped into a shot that he couldn’t finish during the Bronco’s second possession.

Taking control
The next time Delhi commanded the ball, Brock went back to work on his passing game, setting up teammate DL Nickelson for a three-point score. Bock then ran down a long defensive rebound and, without using a dribble, fired a quick outlet pass that one pass later resulted in a Bronco fast-break jump shot basket.

After a teammate drew an offensive foul, Bock threaded an inside pass to find Sean Scott free for a shot. A Bock defensive hedge forced a bad H-V shot on the other end and after a Hawk snared the offensive rebound, Bock stripped him of the ball with his long outlet ending in a Bronco layup.
Not a bad body of work for three minutes, especially considering the fact that Bock is also assigned to defend the top offensive guard of the opposing team.

Watching Bock play makes me wonder if Anticipation is his middle name. It’s as if Bock knows what to do with the basketball before the ball ever reaches his hands. Sometimes his feet and hands are set to initiate a jump shot. Sometimes he reads the defense knowing the last perimeter defender is closing out to pick him up, and, without hesitation, zips a pass to a wide-open teammate on the wing where the defender departed. And, if that defender hedges, Bock takes the ball to him, forcing the defender to play the ball and opening a passing lane to his teammate waiting at the wing.

A rebounder, too
Bock’s envisage isn’t limited to only the passing game. Twice on Saturday he flew through the lane on a teammate’s shot, playing the missed carom from high off the ground and banking the ball through the nets before he had landed.

Bock’s court vision is superb and he always seems to find the correct angle to hawk his man on defense or make a clean pass when he’s holding the ball. Most important of all, Bock clearly wants the ball in his hands, but doesn’t fall into the trap of wasting dribbles, attacking the basket in a north/south directional route and freely distributing the ball to open teammates when they are in position to best utilize his pass.

Yes, there are many big men who play basketball, but nothing on the hardwoods compares to the wizardry a dazzling guard like SUNY Delhi sophomore Stephan Bock brings to the game.