Shooter 'D-Lux': Crown Point junior quickly becoming one of the Region's top 3-point threats
MICHIGAN CITY -- It's been a while since T.J. Lux has played H-O-R-S-E with his son A.J.
Given the way the Crown Point junior shoots the ball, dad's probably wise in sticking to one-on-one, even if the current Bulldogs assistant isn't quite as spry as he was in his playing days.
"I was up by a lot," A.J. said of their last match-up. "Then I missed a shot, he got the ball, and he just posted me up like 10 straight possessions."
Friday, it was Michigan City that got a good look at what's fast becoming one of the Region's top jump shots.
The 6-foot-5 junior splashed five first-half 3s, most of them from the 25-foot range, scoring a game-high 20 points to go with 10 rebounds in leading Crown Point past the Wolves, 58-49, in the teams' Duneland Conference opener.
"I don't know if I've had a guy, from the end of one season to the next year, grow by leaps and bounds like he has," Crown Point coach Clint Swan said. "He comes out and scores 15 points in the first half. They knew who he was. Those aren't weak little JV guys. Those are men trying to run him down and he's still making shots. It speaks to what goes on when he's on his own, when the bright lights aren't on. He's just working and working. It's pretty cool."
Basketball took T.J., a 6-8 post player, to Northern Illinois, France and Germany for basketball. While A.J.'s game is much different than his dad's, he may end up at about the same height, which could mean big things, given his perimeter abilities, in recruiting.
"I went to the doctor. My growth plate is still open, so hopefully I grow a couple more inches," he said.
Division II Purdue Northwest recently offered Lux, whose drawn interest from schools including Central Florida, coached by Johnny Dawkins.
"He has gotten stronger, more athletic," Swan said. "He's just got that bounce, that spring to him. He's really good at getting his momentum going one way and coming back the other. He uses his movement, spacing. He has tremendous range and that quick release. When you have those things, along with the size he has, it's going to take him a long way."
Michigan City applied heavy ball pressure, but with only two players as tall as 6-2, Lux had no issue rising over them, drilling three straight deep ball in the second quarter, each from a different spot.
"I think two came off communication errors, one he ended up just wide open in the corner, and the other two were just tough shots," Michigan City assistant Will Walker said. "Like any great shooter, he's going to get some, especially when they're looking for him."
"Every time we caught it, we were strong with the ball, moving it, getting it to our spots," Lux said.
Lux is part of a pedigreed Crown Point roster that includes three players with
dads who played in college and have coached at various levels. Swan's son Elliot is a sophomore guard. Clint played at St. Joseph's College. Senior guard Drew Adzia's dad Chris played at Purdue Calumet and has coached at the youth, high school and college level over a span of close to 20 years.
"Sometimes, it's good," Swan said with a laugh. "A night like tonight, it's great."
While the hoops talk at home might sometimes become a little too much for his mom, A.J. appreciates having his dad as such an integral part of his budding career.
"It means everything," he said. "Being able to see him on the sideline, to help me get through whatever, it helps me and the team a lot."