A player or his coach can offer insight into certain skills that a player possesses. But there's just something about hearing it from an opposing coach or player that paints a true picture.
On Grovetown's Mike Chandler, Greenbrier coach Casey Heckathorn doesn't mince words.
"He's as good a shot blocker as there is at our high school level," he said. "His strength is his wing span."
Being 6-foot-5 helps, but, true to Heckathorn's words, Chandler's uniqueness comes from the length of his arms.
The Warriors' senior is blocking shots at an incredible pace this season. He's averaging nearly a triple-double in the categories of points, rebounds and blocks, and swatted 13 shots in a game earlier this season.
Considering high school games last just 32 minutes, compared to 40 in college and 48 in the NBA, putting up those kinds of statistics isn't easy.
"He blocks the ball better than anybody I've seen without picking up a lot of fouls," Grovetown coach Bill Madigan said. "He hasn't fouled out of any games, and he's been in foul trouble only once.
"The way he positions himself seems almost effortless."
Madigan said he'd like Chandler to be more aggressive on offense because he has the ability to dominate there, too.
He did just that Tuesday night, scoring 10 of the Warriors' 14 first-quarter points and finishing with a game-high 23 in a 64-58 victory against Greenbrier in the Robolli's Christmas Classic.
During his senior season, Chandler is trying to make up for lost time.
After moving to the area from Columbus, Ga., before his junior year, Chandler suffered a season-ending knee injury prior to the Warriors' first game last season.
"I think it was good because I could encourage my teammates, make them better," Chandler said.
He played summer ball, which helped him prepare for the season and regain strength in his knee. Once the season started, it didn't take long for him to prove the knee injury wouldn't slow him down.
Madigan said that Chandler's dominance around the basket allows his guards to take more chances on the perimeter. They can gamble because, if they get beat, he's there to clean up the mess.
"It lets us play a little more freely and aggressively," his coach said. "He changes games."
Chandler has seen the effect a big block can have.
"They get hyped when I do it," he said of the Warriors' fans. "Then my team gets more hyper. It makes us play better."
Madigan said that Chandler's presence forces the opposition to focus more on outside shooting.
It's something Chandler takes pride in seeing.
"They stop driving," he said. "You'll hear their coach, 'Don't drive past (No.) 23. Don't drive past (No.) 23.' It makes me feel good and it makes my team lift up a little bit."
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