Wednesday, December 19, 2012
BYU-bound center peaking at right time
By Dave Telep
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Our list of top centers in the 2013 class is littered with guys who “coulda, shoulda, might be.” Fact is, there’s not a lock McDonald’s All-American center.
Guys will have opportunities to punch their ticket to the game, but the postseason all-star games could pass on the position altogether and take power forwards instead. The larger point in bringing this up is the upward mobility of ESPN 100 BYU-bound center Eric Mika (Highland, Utah/Lone Peak).
Mika is not a McDonald’s kid. He is one of two ESPN 100 prospects on Lone Peak’s team (along with fellow BYU signee Nick Emery) and, forgive me, but he’s peaking at the right moment of his high school career.
The buzz began last spring and steamrolled through the summer. If he’s not the most physical center in the senior class, he’s in the conversation. Mika is 6-foot-8, not 7-0, but he carries himself well in the paint, seeks contact and plays like an enforcer. If you’re going to overload with guards, your five man needs to be a beast and he’ll fill that role for Dave Rose. Anything around the rim he’s trying to blast it home.
Against Callaway (Miss.) on Wednesday at the City of Palms Classic, he was 8-for-8 from the field for 22 points while adding 12 rebounds.
Mika is ranked the No. 8 center in the 2013 class, and he has upward mobility to a point. Ranked No. 76 overall right now, my gut feeling is that he ends up between 50-75 and picks off a couple of guys before it's all said and done.
In college, he’ll likely play one season and then take his Mormon mission before returning to play three seasons with the Cougars. By the time he returns from the mission, he’ll be a man. He’ll be out of sight a few seasons, but BYU fans won't forget him. He has a bright future.