Green becoming a leader for Roughs
As a sophomore, Jaylen Green could be in an uncomfortable position as a team leader.
But Green continues to develop on and off the court for the Roughies this season, perhaps peaking at the right time for his team down the stretch.
He and leading scorer Isaiah Graves have provided a perfect combination for the team.
“Isaiah (Graves) can lead his way and I can be more vocal,” said Green. “We approach it in different ways, but we both can lead the team. It has been working for both of us.”
Yet, Graves lately has been increasing the size of his own spotlight. He has been in double figures for the Roughies over their past four games, scoring a career-high 32 points against Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg Jan. 31, and tallying 22 in the Roughies’ loss to Wilson in the opening round of the Colonial League playoffs Feb. 10.
“He (Green) really has been coming into his own,” said head coach Eric Snyder. “He has a lot of potential and can do a number of things for us on the court. If he can consistently score in double figures and play effectively down low for us, it is a huge advantage.”
Green was hampered and eventually sidelined with an ankle injury last year, one that required surgery at the end of June. He spent the summer and fall rehabbing the ankle.
He began the year slowly and knew it would be a process.
“When I came back, I couldn’t make a shot,” said Green. “I felt terrible and really struggled. Cullen Bond and I would stay after in the gym to work on our shooting. It really helped me get back into basketball shape.
“At first, I was nervous to go up for a rebound. Now, I am more aggressive. It was perfect the way things worked out.”
At roughly 6-3, Green often is battling players taller and larger than him in the post. But the adjustment wasn’t a huge one for him.
“Playing AAU ball, I usually am playing against guys who are 6-4 or taller,” he said. “I use my quickness and strength to get around them and guard them. I have gotten used to that type of situation.”
Green also is grateful to his coaches over the years, all of whom have inspired him. He also likely will concentrate all of his efforts in the offseason to basketball and abandon his football plans as a quarterback.
“Every coach has been special,” he said. “They all really helped make me the player I am today. Right now, I just want to keep concentrating on basketball.”
With Bond and Derek Troxell now saddled with injuries, Green knows there are more challenges ahead. But Green is confident his team can overcome the obstacles.
“We have great chemistry on this team,” he said. “We also have had a number of players step up when we needed them to. It really has changed our team form last year. We all get along well, and we know we can keep this going.”