Schneider shaping into offensive threatLincolnshire Wednesday, 6/29/11 Barrington's John Schneider (40) tries to get a shot up under Warren's Nathan Boothe (54) during the first half of Wednesday evening's semifinal game at Stevenson High School. Barrington beat Warren 38-37. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 14, 2011 2:34PM
After dark, Broncos senior John Schneider positions his car so headlights illuminate the basketball hoop at Barrington’s Citizens Park.
If he’s not there, Schneider can be found on the Buehler YMCA courts working on his jump shot. The 6-foot-8 forward is determined this summer to hone his offensive versatility. Imagine a local version of Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh’s unique ability to shoot from outside, drive to the hoop or post up.
“My shot has really improved, but I’ve been working on every aspect of my game so I can take guys off the dribble if my shot isn’t falling, or vice versa,” Schneider said.
Since Barrington’s summer league season wrapped up, Schneider is now also competing on Dickey Simpkins’ Next Level Performance AAU team.
“This is really important,” Schneider said of his senior year preparation.
Junior point guard Brad Zaumseil is on the AAU circuit, as well, while spending his days off in the weight room or practice gym. Senior swing forward Mark Bennett is now gearing up for the Broncos football season.
“It was clear to me that many of our players have really been working hard on getting better and improving on their weaknesses,” said coach Bryan Tucker of his team’s 30-game summer workload. “I think it was a great teaching tool to a lot of our kids to see where they’re at. We still have a lot of time between now and November to get better.”
Tucker already announced that Zaumseil and Bennett will be Broncos captains heading into the winter varsity season.
“It was nice to see that they weren’t resting on their laurels,” Tucker said. “They’ve really improved this summer. Clearly we’re looking for them to be leaders next year, and it’s great because they sent a message to their teammates to get in the gym to work and improve.”
Focusing on his three team leaders, Tucker reported that Zaumseil’s speed and dynamic presence has provided the team a fast-paced scoring luxury.
“He is so good with the ball and he changes ends quickly,” Tucker said. “His teammates really trust him and know that if they run the floor hard they will get the ball. And with John (Schneider) and Mark (Bennett), they have worked to become more versatile, too. They have worked to improve their all-around games and I think they will be threats both inside and outside.”
Tucker said he doesn’t put much stock in the win-loss record from summer play but was pleased with his team’s work in the Carmel and Stevenson high school leagues. The Broncos finished above .500 while rotating more than 20 players through the grueling schedule, which included each week two doubleheaders at Carmel and one at Stevenson.
The highlight, Schneider and Zaumseil agreed, was the Broncos’ win over Warren, the Class 4A runner-up.
“We won because we were ready to play,” Zaumseil said. “We played defense.”
Zaumseil reported that he learned this summer that the Broncos have a dynamic, versatile and talented roster. The speedy point guard added that he was surprised at how quick and smooth the team’s transition game came together.
“I take the lead with that as the point guard, but my teammates really tried to run and get easy baskets in transition.”
The point guard didn’t want to talk personal goals.
“I just want to improve from last year,” he said. “I just want to win games, not focus on points totals.
“I feel we have a good team. I think it could be the best team Barrington had in a while.”