For the past two years, Phillips (shown above) often was the recipient of long outlet passes from 6-foot-9 Cameron Krutwig, a relentless rebounder who was masterful at starting the transition game.
Krutwig graduated and is starting for NCAA Division I Loyola, yet Phillips still gets his share of fast-break hoops – although he is also the Golden Eagles’ leading rebounder.
“It’s amazing that he is getting as many layups as he does because he’s been so big rebounding for us,” Jacobs coach Jimmy Roberts said. “He’s not getting 16 rebounds a game like a guy we had (Krutwig), but he’s getting 15 points, seven or eight rebounds. He’s almost more dangerous when he gets a defensive rebound, puts his head down and just goes.”
Phillips, a 6-4 senior guard-forward, leads the Eagles (11-2) in scoring (14.5 ppg.), rebounds (6.9), 3-pointers (27) and is second in assists (2.8 apg.).
The Eagles won their own Hinkle Holiday Classic last week, and Phillips was a unanimous and repeat selection to the all-tournament team. He scored 23 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had eight assists in the Eagles’ 74-48 victory over Barrington in the championship game.
Jacobs grabbed a 13-point lead by halftime, and Phillips scored 14 points in the second quarter. He hit a pair of 3s and had four layups.
“I see a guy get the rebound, I tend to fill the lanes and run hard to try to pick some up,” Phillips said. “It’s in the flow of the offense. Anyone can do it. It happened to be me tonight.”
Still, it’s remarkable that he gets so many layups while hitting the defensive boards like he does.
“When you put together some of our guys’ abilities and experience that they have, get them in the open court, and have the half-court and execute, it’s really hard to guard,” Roberts said.