TROPHY CLUB — If you have a few extra bucks lying around, and if you’re free on a Tuesday or Friday evening, do yourself a favor.
Take that cash and swing by Trophy Club Byron Nelson for a boys basketball game.
“If you pay four bucks to get into a game, you’re going to get your money’s worth,” Byron Nelson coach Scott Curran said.
Here’s why: Byron Nelson senior Finley Bizjack is as entertaining of a player as you’ll find in Dallas-Fort Worth. A senior signed with Butler, Bizjack leads all Dallas-area high school basketball players with 29 points per game, among teams who’ve reported their statistics to The Dallas Morning News. And with 2,487 points in his career — and 725 this season — don’t expect the show to slow down any time soon.
It helps, too, that Byron Nelson (21-4) is ranked No. 22 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches statewide 6A poll and eighth in The News’ area 6A rankings.
Bizjack is squarely at the center of the success.
“This is probably my favorite team to play on,” Bizjack said.
You’d be having fun, too, if you were doing the things that Bizjack does on a nightly basis.
“He’s almost like a modern-day Pete Maravich,” Curran said.
‘He was just unbelievable’
When did Vonzell Thomas know that Bizjack was special?
“He was a freshman, and they played against Denton Guyer,” said Thomas, the director of Southern Assault, Bizjack’s AAU team. “They ran a box-and-one on him. When the game started, on the opening tip of the game, they were denying him. And I said, ‘Hold on, this is a freshman.'”
That Denton Guyer team, mind you, included Jalen Wilson (Kansas), De’Vion Harmon (Texas Tech) and KyeRon Lindsay (Texas Tech). This curly-haired freshman drew their attention almost immediately.
“Hold on, this team is loaded, and you’re scared of this freshman?” Thomas said. “He was just unbelievable.”
Bizjack still scored 15 points in that game, and said that he felt like he was in a “league of my own” as a freshman. He later averaged 21 points as a sophomore and 25 as a junior. He cracked the 2,000-point mark last season and committed to Butler the summer before his senior season.
The double teams, box-and-ones and hyper-focused defensive pressure haven’t stopped. (“They’re pretty annoying,” Bizjack said with a laugh). Bizjack’s scoring hasn’t either, though. A three-level scorer, Bizjack is an ace 3-point shooter with 81 on the season, but has also added muscle and height and has perfected his footwork to score at the rim and sidestep defenders.
“Pretty much every game, he’ll do something that makes you look around and go, ‘Hey, that was pretty good,'” Curran said. “His first step has always been really, really good. His footwork is off-the-charts good. The way he can get his feet set for a shot, and that comes from hours and hours in the gym. He’s crafty.”
Add the 14 charges he’s taken this season, plus his five rebounds per game, and Bizjack has become a two-way threat for Byron Nelson.
“He’s one of the best because he can really shoot it, and he can really drive it,” said Thomas, who’s coached NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, five-star Baylor freshman Keyonte George and Stanford standout Harrison Ingram. “I’ve coached some of the best, I’ve had a lot of elite scorers. But with the way he does it, he ranks up at the top.”
Big East bound
It was October when 247Sports.com posed the question.
“[I’m] wondering if [Butler coach] Thad Matta and his staff were ahead of the curve, and the rest of us had him underrated,” Adam Finkelstein wrote of Bizjack, who at the time was an unranked recruit.
Bizjack, a three-star recruit, has since joined 247Sports.com’s national rankings at No. 135. The prompt is still worth exploring.
Was Bizjack underrated, under-recruited?
“I wouldn’t necessarily say he was underrated or underrecruited,” Curran said. “I think he’s a heck of a player. … I don’t know how you underrate him with the numbers he puts up, and we’re good.
“But some people missed him, I can tell you that.”
Maybe he was underrecruited. Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Bizjack — with his scoring acumen and his willingness to put his body in front of a driving offensive player — often looks like a lab-designed player specifically created for Big East basketball. And Butler, a program that has made not one but two NCAA Tournament Cinderella runs, might be the ideal spot for this kid to shine.
Simply put, “Butler got one,” Thomas said.
And soon, it’ll be Matta that has the front-row seat to the Finley Bizjack Show. Tickets might cost more than $4 by then, though.
“Finley possesses all the things you want in a lead guard. He has a high basketball IQ, can run a team, and has great court vision,” Matta said in a news release after signing Bizjack in November. “He’s a gym rat, and that shows with how he shoots the ball. I saw him take five charges in one of his AAU games. Butler fans are going to love him, and I can’t wait to coach him.”
On Twitter: @McFarland_Shawn
Find more high school sports coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.
Sign up for our FREE HS newsletter