Chris Head was trying to conjure up an image that would best define Springfield Lanphier's Andre Iguodala and Richard McBride.
"Batman and Robin," said Head, who had some scary moments watching that Downstate duo launch an amazing comeback before falling to his Westinghouse team in last week's Class AA championship game. "They are two terrific basketball players.
When it comes to action heroes, the 2002 Tribune All-State boys basketball team is a marvelous collection.
You might as well put Sean Dockery in a cape with a big "S" on his chest. The 6-foot-3-inch guard was practically a one-man show for Public League semifinalist Julian, averaging 28 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and six steals. Some of his explosive fourth quarters, when the Duke signee would seemingly score at will, are now a part of Public League basketball lore.
"People don't realize what Sean had to go through this year in carrying our team," said Julian coach Loren Jackson. "He had to run the team as a point guard, be our primary scorer and guard the other team's best player. Really, Sean is at his best when he can handle the ball and set up everyone else. He is so unselfish, and he always looks to make his teammates better.
"For everything that he has done for us this year, if Sean isn't Mr. Basketball, then I don't know who is. There's absolutely no doubt he is the best player in the state."
Farragut's 6-6, 225-pound Elliott Poole was an incredible hulk this season, never succumbing to the physical toll he took from double- and triple-team defenses inside.
Hobbled by lower back spasms and a hip injury in his last two games, Poole responded with a combined 62 points and 31 rebounds in the city semifinal against Julian and the title-game loss to Westinghouse.
"There's no question Elliott is one of the top players in the state and in the country," Dockery said. "He is unstoppable once he gets the ball down low. He deserved to be chosen for the McDonald's All-American Game, and when he didn't get picked, I know it motivated him.
"Elliott wanted to show everyone that McDonald's made a big mistake."
Farragut coach William Nelson was an outspoken critic of Poole's treatment under the hoop.
"I guess because he is so big and strong, the referees let people push and shove and grab him," Nelson said. "We were playing a game in Minneapolis when he was tackled by two guys--and no whistle. I jumped up and down screaming and told those refs this wasn't Big Ten football.
"[Poole] has really learned to control his temper this season. I'm quite sure there were times when he wanted to reach out and break a guy in half. But he never lost his cool. When he got angry, he just played harder."
Poole, who averaged 24 points and 14 rebounds, had his own way of retaliating against the hackers.
"I would focus all my anger at the free-throw line," said Poole, who hit 26-of-29 free throws in the Public League semifinal and championship game. "That was my way of getting back at them, hitting all my free throws. If I started pushing back, it would only get me in foul trouble."
Call Dee Brown the Flash, because the Proviso East point guard was often just a blur, igniting the Pirates' fast break and pressing defenses.
"He is the fastest player I've ever seen dribbling a basketball," said Proviso East coach Troy Jackson. "All that blinding speed, and yet he stays in control for the most part. How do you guard someone like that? If you sag off, he'll hit the three-pointer. Take one step toward him and he's on his way to a layup or an assist."
In a game against Leyden, Brown hit 12 three-pointers in scoring 42 points. The future Illinois point guard, who is expected to replace Frank Williams next season, averaged 28 points, six assists and five steals.
Supermen of action: The 2001-2 Tribune All-State boys basketball first team
These five first-team All-Staters aren't comic-book fantasy figures. They're flesh and blood. And though their feats on the hardwood seem unbelievable, they've been well-chronicled.
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