The evolution of basketball at all levels has led to more spread, five-guard, "dribble drive" offenses in which there seems to be little need for a true big man.
Then again, most teams will assume they don't need a big man … until they actually have one.
Libertyville coach Scott Bogumil, a fan of up-tempo, guard-oriented offenses, is loving the fact that he's got a huge, old-school big man at the center of his offense this season.
Joe Borcia, a 6-foot-10 junior, is averaging 22 points and 10 rebounds for the 5-1 Wildcats.
"Joe plays like that old-school post player that you just don't see a lot of anymore," Bogumil said. "It used to be that NBA teams would draft a big man first if they could. You wanted that size. Now, everything is so guard and wing-oriented. It's kind of nice when you see a really good big man like Joe. He's got a great drop step and counter move. He's great with his back to the basket. He can also shoot 3-pointers, but he's so good in the post.
"We've been doing a really good job of getting him the ball and he's getting to the basket."
Big or small:
Once small(er), Libertyville 6-foot-6 senior forward Steve Braun (who is now much bigger) can play big or small.
The Wildcats love his versatility, especially on defense.
"Steve was about 6-foot-1 as a freshman and he's a little bit of a late bloomer," Libertyville coach Scott Bogumil said. "He's become a great defender. He's used to guarding guys out on the perimeter, but now he can also take on guys inside."
Against Warren last week, Braun was busy doing both. He battled inside for 15 rebounds while holding Warren star guard Eric Gillespie to just 7 points. Gillespie scored 37 points in a game over Thanksgiving.
Over the Moon:
No one would have guessed that Matt Moon had just one practice under his belt before last week's game against Mundelein.
The Lake Zurich guard looked as if he were in mid-season form.
Moon, who came to basketball late since he was busy helping the football team advance to the Class 7A state championship game over Thanksgiving weekend, came off the bench to give the Bears a big lift.
"We were up by 2 points when we put Matt Moon in, and in about 3-and-a-half minutes, we were up by 19 points," Lake Zurich coach Billy Pitcher said. "He came in a got a three-point play, he had a bunch of assists, he was able to find open guys in their press, he played great defense.
"Matt did a lot of really good stuff."
Moon, who finished with 5 assists, may continue to come off the bench, but only because Pitcher likes the spark he can give.
"He will play starter minutes," Pitcher said of Moon, a defensive back for the football team. "He's just a really good athlete who can make a big difference for us."
In their season opener against Chicago King, Lake Zurich guards Mike Travlos and Brad Kruse had a field day, scoring 29 and 28 points respectively.
Bears coach Billy Pitcher believes that kind of production will be the rule and not the exception this season for this dynamic backcourt duo.
Both are versatile scorers: dangerous from 3-point range and also capable of getting to the basket and scoring off the dribble.
"It's really nice to have two really good scoring guards," Pitcher said. "Those two are both year-round basketball guys and they've just gotten better and added more strength and athleticism to their games. There are a lot of high expectations about our team because of them."
Travlos is averaging about 23 points while Kruse is at 15 points. If Travlos keeps at this pace, he'll easily reach the 1,000-point mark for his career with another full season to play next year.
"If he can do that, he'll have a lot of options at the next level," Pitcher said. "Both (Travlos and Kruse) have a lot of college potential."
After last year's 5-22 campaign that also yielded an 0-12 finish in the North Suburban Prairie Division, Antioch is thrilled with its 2-3 start.
In fact, the Sequoits are screaming from the rooftops that they've even busted through some thick walls in the process.
"So far, it's been a year of firsts for us," Antioch coach Jim White said. "We won our first game of the season (against Crystal Lake Central) for the first time since 2005. We won our home opener (against Johnsburg) for the first time since 2002. That's all really good bulletin board stuff for us.
"I think we've had some challenging times, but the kids have bought into our system since I've gotten here. They've heard it from me, but this is the kind of stuff that really makes them feel it."
Rebounding has been an issue in the past for Antioch.
But Matt Powers (6-foot-4) and Jack Kovachs (6-foot-3) are already making that a distant memory.
"We're not getting out-rebounded this year," Antioch coach Jim White said. "We've got some height, we've got some big guys and we've been scrappy. We're getting second and third opportunities sometimes and that's really helping."
Powers and Kovachs are converting on some of their offensive rebounds. They average 9 points and 6.5 points per game respectively.