Long-range plan — North senior expects to score big

As Columbus North’s boys basketball opponents might learn this season, statistics don’t lie, but they certainly don’t tell the entire story, either.

Take, for example, Bull Dogs senior wing Kooper Glick. The numbers would suggest that an opposing coach would tell his players to slump defensively off Glick to combat his impressive slashing skills.

Glick shot 60 percent on his two-point field goals last season, a terrific performance for a guard or a small forward.

But push Glick to 3-point territory, and, well, numbers would suggest that’s a problem. Glick shot 3 of 38 from the 3-point line a season ago.

Glick understands that opponents will test him from long range. What those opponents might not know is that a gruesome ankle injury plagued Glick’s shooting mechanics.

He injured his right ankle in the 2013-14 season-opener against Hauser. “It was a Grade 3 high and low ankle sprain,” Glick said following practice on Monday. “That’s bad.”

Grade III ankle sprains involve complete tears of the ligaments. It is the type of injury that can plague athletes for years.

“It’s still not 100 percent, it swells,” Glick said. “I work on my ankle strength every night. I used a band with different movements.”

Whether his ankle reaches 100 percent or not, North coach Jason Speer said opponents would be making a mistake by leaving Glick alone on the perimeter.

“I don’t know if anyone would believe me,” Speer said. “But Kooper was our best player before that injury.”

Considering that North has one of the state’s top power forwards in Josh Speidel, that is saying a lot.

“And he is our most improved shooter … very much improved.”

Even though there was a physical reason for his long-distance shooting woes, Glick worked diligently all off-season on his shot.

“I worked with my dad (Rory Glick),” said Glick, who averaged 7.3 points a game as a junior. “I shot and he rebounded for me. It’s important to shoot when you are tired, so I made sure I was tired.”

Through four games this season, all wins, Glick has been tiring out opponents. He is averaging 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3 assists. North hosts Columbus East on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Speer said his senior wing’s numbers are likely to go up.

“My challenge to Kooper was to see how many triple-doubles he could get this season,” Speer said. “When he is a triple threat, that makes us a competitive basketball team.”

The 6-foot-3 Glick is so accomplished at penetrating to the basket that Speer will design plays to present Glick with gaps in a defense so he can attack off the dribble.

Of course, offense is just half the equation.

“He is a lock-down defender,” Speer said. “Laterally, he is very quick.”

Glick said that it works in his favor that North’s opponents might not expect him to be a big scorer.

“Teams think I am a threat to hit the open guy,” he said. “They don’t collapse on me.”

With Speidel and senior wing Trent Larson on the floor, Speer said North has a “Big Three” lineup of scorers.

Glick agrees. “Anyone can score 30 points on a night,” Glick said. “That’s because we are a great passing team. All of us are likely to hit the open guy.”

If one of the “Big Three” is open, the ball likely will go in the basket. “I really like playing with Josh,” Glick said. “He is a great player who can do just about everything. He is a big guy who dominates in high school basketball. I am probably not going to a place in college where I will get to play with somebody like him.

“And I love playing with Trent. He is a great passer and he can space the ball well. His leadership has improved.”

The Bull Dogs will get a chance to showcase their lineup on Friday against their crosstown rival.

“My thinking is that it really is the next game on the schedule,” Glick said. “But there will be more people, and more fun.”

It will be Glick’s first start against East because he was sidelined with the ankle injury a year ago.

He might even be called upon to make a big shot.

“I’ve got my shot down now,” Glick said. “I try not to let it get into my head.”

At a glance

Kooper Glick

SCHOOL: Columbus North

YEAR: Senior

POSITION: Guard/forward

SIZE: 6-foot-3

2013-14 statistics: 7.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals.

2014-15 statistics: 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.5 steals