Gazette Preps: Boys' basketball preview: Expect big things this year thanks to 2 special big men

Lewis-Palmer's Josh Scott (left) and Sierra's Wesley Gordon (right) are set to make this a special season Photo by PHOTOS BY KEVIN KRECK, SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE

It must have been fun to see. Two of the best big men in the state of Colorado going at it in a gym in Monument, surrounded by their teammates who make up the 4A Metro League’s two favorites for the league title. No referees blowing whistles. No coaches yelling at them. No scouts to impress.

It was just 6-foot-9 Josh Scott and some of his Lewis-Palmer teammates against 6-8 Wesley Gordon and his Sierra teammates playing each other with a smattering of Cheyenne Mountain players joining the game in an open gym at Lewis-Palmer High School in September.

“I just enjoyed watching them go up and down,” said Lewis-Palmer coach Russ McKinstry, who was there to oversee the open gym.

Sierra won both games to 21 by one point, said Scott, who was also quick to point out that Lewis-Palmer didn’t have its full complement of players.

Still, the raw matchup served as a nice prelude to a season that promises to be unlike any other with the two once-in-a-generation big men finishing stellar prep careers before launching to the Pac-12.

A year from now, Scott and Gordon will be teammates at the Coors Events Center playing for Colorado. Until then, they’ll be trying to lead their teams to a league title.

Scott has yet to beat Sierra. The Stallions have won five consecutive games against Lewis-Palmer, four while Scott and Gordon have been on varsity. Last year’s game went to Sierra by one point in overtime. And that game saw Gordon spend much of the first half on the bench with foul trouble. Scott scored a game-high 26 points, while Gordon scored a team-high 19 for the Stallions – all in the second half. This year Lewis-Palmer will trek to Sierra.

“A lot of calls they got won’t be called,” said Gordon about it being a home game this season, adding that the game would’ve been different if fouls hadn’t plagued him. “Josh couldn’t have scored as easily and they wouldn’t have had many points and they wouldn’t have gotten as many rebounds.”

The open gym in September was a good way for Scott and Gordon to get some time against another big man.

“I’ve played ... against Wesley, and I’ve played the best bigs in the country now,” Scott said. “It was fun to just play. ... It’s cool to play someone your size, but I treat him like everybody else.”

Gordon said it was business as usual.

“It was kind of friendly,” Gordon said. “Still kind of competitive. It was fun. We all got together and played. Coaches weren’t there screaming at us.”

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The game Feb. 10, 2012, will be the players’ final regular-season battle. Scott expects the two to meet in the playoffs down the line.  

Since their recruitment and their constant run-ins and comparisons, the two have become friends, though you wouldn’t know it when they take the floor against one another.

“We act like we don’t know each other,” Gordon said.

That’ll change in several months.

“That’s going to bring more excitement to the CU program,” McKinstry said. “They’re going to play right away and take the program to a new level.”

Gordon averaged 22.6 points, yet was known as much for his shot-blocking ability. Scott averaged 23.8 ppg and 11.2 rebounds.

“It’s so much fun for me to see how much they’ve developed over the last three years,” McKinstry said.

Both players say they’re not focused on that game, worrying more about the here and now. But it doesn’t mean they haven’t thought about it.

“Once we get there, we get there,” Scott said. “By no means do we have that circled in any way.”

“We’ll focus on that when we get there,” Gordon said.

But just in case anyone needed a reminder.

“They probably won’t lose to nobody and we probably won’t lose to nobody,” Gordon said. “It’s going to be the biggest game of the season.”

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