All about respect for Seitz, McDonald

McDONALD – You have to respect Matt Seitz’s jump shot.

The McDonald junior can pull up and a nail a jumper from just about anywhere on the court – and that’s pretty much what he did Friday against Western Reserve.

Seitz scored a game-high 27 points – 23 coming in the first half – as the Blue Devils cruised past Western Reserve, 84-50, in an Inter Tri-County League, Lower Tier matchup.

The problem for opponents trying to guard the 6-foot-3 Seitz is they also have to respect his inside game, his quick first step and his mid-range shot. There’s a lot of respect to be had for Seitz. Heck, even Seitz, who admittedly doesn’t lack confidence, has respect for himself.

“I feel like every ball is gonna go in for me,” said Seitz of when he started to feel his shot come around against Western Reserve. “I always feel confident. I don’t disrespect my jump shot.”

Apparently, Western Reserve didn’t get the memo. Seitz was given plenty of room to shoot on Friday, and he took advantage, hitting five 3s in the first half and making 8 of 12 shots for McDonald (13-2, 9-1).

McDonald coach Jeff Rasile laughed a bit at the swagger of Seitz, but he also emphatically backs up the all-around game of his leading scorer.

“(His potential) is off the charts,” Rasile said. “He’s probably got more potential than anyone who’s walked in this building in the last 30 years. He’s about 6-2, 6-3, he’s got long arms, which actually makes him a little bigger. He can shoot it, he can drive it and he’s got pretty good vision. And he’s a junior, so he could really be something next year.”

He’s not bad this year either. He was a big part of the Blue Devils building a 17-0 lead on Western Reserve (4-11). The reason that lead swelled to 30-5 by the end of the first quarter is because Seitz had plenty of help, too. Christian Rusinowski scored nine of his 13 points in the quarter, Stephen Politano netted five of his 24, and every player who stepped on the floor for McDonald registered at least one point in the first eight minutes.

Much of McDonald’s success stemmed from its full-court press defense, which created 11 first-quarter turnovers.

“We were executing our defense really well,” Seitz said. “I thought we moved the ball good on offense – we had a lot of people score tonight. And we really picked up the intensity in the first quarter. That’s what coach was telling us. We were playing badly (in the first quarter) the past several weeks, so this was a good game to help with the intensity.”

Defensive execution is one of the few areas Rasile said is lacking with Seitz, who agreed with his coach and said he spent most of the offseason working on that facet of his game. Rasile said Seitz’s physical attributes aren’t the problem.

“The one thing with Matt is his focus,” Rasile said. “He’s got to play defense a little harder and get after it because, really, he should be a monster defender, and he’s a mediocre defender. And he should be a monster rebounder, and he’s a mediocre rebounder. If he does those things, he’ll be the best player to walk through these doors in a long time.”

McDonald plays at Sebring on Tuesday.