Yorkville Christian, Schutt continue hot start
Jaden Schutt is more than just a shooter.
And he's not Yorkville Christian's only shooter, either.
Both statements are reflective of the growth of Schutt, and the Mustangs' program, since he arrived. His role last year was playing the two-guard, coming off screens and shooting 3s. Now he's playing the point, and happy to have a much deeper roster around him.
"First two years, not much depth. We had five players, and you'd kind of play 32 minutes and that's how it was throughout the season," said Schutt, Yorkville Christian's junior guard. "It's definitely been a blessing to have numbers. Obviously, with the style we play, we need numbers."
The Mustangs are putting up huge numbers this season, and did do again Wednesday.
Schutt scored 35 points, 19 coming in the third quarter. Fellow junior K.J. Vasser added 21 and hit six of Yorkville Christian's 13 3-pointers in a 90-48 rout of visiting West Aurora.
Brayden Long added 19 for Yorkville Christian (7-0), which led 30-15 by the end of the first quarter and 57-31 at halftime on the winless Blackhawks (0-11), who were short-handed missing three players including junior guard Isaiah Siler, who hurt ankle this week, and 6-foot-9 Jonathan Dowd, who hasn't played this season. Kenyon Weekley scored 11 points and Christopher Stinson 10 for West Aurora.
The Mustangs, ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, haven't really been challenged in seven double-digit wins this season, but playing a bigger school with West Aurora's reputation was a welcome sight. Yorkville Christian hosts Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley to close out the season next week.
"It's great to play teams like that, it's a long time coming to play the local bigger 4A schools," Schutt said. "It's taken some time to build to get that level and play those schools to be recognized."
West Aurora coach Brian Johnson is well aware of what Yorkville Christian has.
Former collegiate teammates at Judson with Mustangs' coach Aaron Sovern, they've been close friends ever since. Johnson's son calls Sovern "Uncle Aaron," and the two coaches have run a Hustle Camp for almost 20 years.
"I knew a lot about their team," Johnson said. "I've seen Jaden since he was younger, through our camp, I knew how good Vasser was and how you can't leave him open. He's deadly from the corner. Schutt is a high Division I prospect, they pressure you all game, and they can afford to."
Vasser, a game removed from a career-high 34 points against Harvest Christian, had it cooking early.
He hit his first five 3-point attempts, all from the right side of the court, had 18 by halftime and only missed one shot.
"Kind of just trying to build off that Harvest game," Vasser said. "I had to be prepared, shoot when I'm open."
So does Vasser consider himself a shooter?
"I think I'm OK, I'm trying to catch him," laughed Vasser, motioning toward Schutt.
Surprisingly enough, Schutt only made two of Yorkville Christian's 13 3-point shots, one of them a 25-footer in the first quarter, but he did plenty.
Part of a group effort at halftime, Schutt exploded out of the break with his 19 points, with three dunks. He rattled in an alley-oop, threw down a monster dunk on a drive through an opening in the defense and later threw down a breakaway jam, leaving the game with 1:48 left in the third quarter and Yorkville Christian up 84-42.
"I've never considered myself just a shooter, although that was my role last year," Schutt said. "Just showing my skill set, showing that all the hard work is paying off."