Why he was selected:
Sam Schultz, a 6-foot-7 sophomore, had 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead the Wolves past Neuqua Valley 61-53 to win the championship of the East Aurora Holiday Tournament.
Schultz previously had 19 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Plainfield Central, and 20 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Joliet Central. Schultz, named the tournament MVP, is averaging 15.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game on the season. He talked with sports editor Joshua Welge about the tournament and more. Here is an edited version of the transcript:
Welge: What does winning this tournament mean?
Schultz: We were barely .500 before, so it's a big confidence-booster to pull off four wins in a row.
Welge: You lost some close games earlier this season to good teams, but you've now run off a few wins. What did you learn from those games?
Schultz: We're starting to learn that when we were up in the third quarter or fourth quarter we need to close games out. No more articles that we were close – those were getting old. It's all on the defensive side. We have to lock down on defense when it counts and take smart shots, maybe not as quick shots when we are up late in the game.
Welge: What's been the biggest adjustments to the varsity game?
Schultz: Getting used to being more physical. Sophomore basketball is not as physical. I think it's making my body stronger.
Welge: How many people ask you if you're Sydney's brother? [Ex-Oswego East girls basketball star Sydney Schultz now plays at Missouri State.]
Schultz: I get that a lot.
Welge: Did you have a growth spurt or were you always tall?
Schultz: Ever since I was in third grade, I was always taller than everybody else. I wanted to play point guard but nobody wanted me to do it. That's where I get my handles from.
Welge: You do seem to have some guard skills for 6-7. Where did those come from?
Schultz: I've always trained to be a guard, like dribbling and shooting. You won't see me going to work out posting up; the post work comes naturally, runs in the family.
Welge: What's new with the college recruiting?
Schultz: I've been on visits to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, NIU and Illinois. UW-Green Bay has shown interest. Texas-Arlington and Ohio have called my coach.
Welge: What kind of feedback do colleges give your coach?
Schultz: Freshman year it was we know he has good size, now he needs to get stronger and quicker. Now it's I just got to play more.
Welge: Crystal ball, where would you love to play college?
Schultz: My dream school is Wisconsin. They've sent me a letter, and I went to their camp. If Wisconsin came with an offer, I'd consider committing early.