Tag Archives: Kevin Billerman

Kelly and Ravenscroft head to the Glaxo Championship game

[private]Ravenscroft won their third consecutive game by disposing of Panther Creek 77-53.  The Ravens put on a shooting clinic for much of the game ending up 73.5% from the field and a whopping 77.8% from the three point stripe.

The Ravens lost their first two games of the season during the Chic-Fil-A Invitational before winning their final contest of the event.  Those losses did not settle with Coach Billerman and his

Kelly thunders to the hole against Panther Creek - copyright BDN Premium
Kelly thunders to the hole against Panther Creek - copyright BDN Premium

team and thus far they've played with a chip on their shoulder in the continuing Glaxo Invitational in Raleigh, North Carolina.

"This is the type of basketball I think we can play.  We started the game against their trapping defense hitting some wide open shots.  We held them to four offensive rebounds and if we can do that every day, we'll be hard to beat," said Billerman shortly after the contest.  The Ravenscroft Coach continued, "In my nine years it may have been the best game Ravenscroft has played."

Part of the resurgence can be attributed to their go-to player, Ryan Kelly. The Duke commitment scored a game high 30 points going 11 of 14 from the field to go with his 5 rebounds and two assists.

Kelly was 11 of 11 before missing a three point shot to break the streak.

"We got good shots early on and the whole team was knocking them down," said Kelly.  "We were pushing the ball real well today and shooting as good as we did from three is pretty amazing."

Luke Davis also asserted himself with 20 points, while Panther Creek was led by Auburn commitment Earnest Ross with 29 points.  "We are a good passing team when Luke has his energy.  A lot of people don't know that he has been really sick.  At Chic-Fil-A in South Carolina he wasn't himself but I thought you saw a pretty complete player today who was able to penetrate past their guards and allow others to score," said Billerman.

Ravenscroft now has a chance to win their bracket championship on Tuesday evening and carry that momentum into the rest of the season. "It means a lot to Ravenscroft.  Playing for a Glaxo Championship is something we'll talk about over the break and we'll give our hardest effort in order to do that."

Kelly later told BDN, "We wanted to come in here and show some people something.  It's important because a huge chunk of the City of Raleigh is coming out to watch these games and they want to see a championship game between two good teams and we are happy to be one of them."

The Ravens will play the winner of the Centennial-Knightdale game which will be played at 5:40 today.  The championship game will start at 7:20 on Tuesday.  In the other bracket, tonight's Christ School-Kinston winner plays in the nightcap versus the winner of Word of God or St. Raymonds.

For an in depth one on one interview with Ryan Kelly, join Blue Devil Nation Premium and get complete inside access.  There are already premium articles and interviews up with Plumlee and John Wall.  Members also have access to our message board where we will be blogging live from the event.  For some of the best recruiting and inside new available, join today and see what you are missing.[/private]

Q & A with Duke commitment Ryan Kelly

In our latest interview, Ryan Kelly covered many interesting subjects.  Among those subjects were, John Wall's recruitment, Cameron Indoor Stadium, his upcoming game versus Christ School and Mason Plumlee,  Coach K  and his progression as a player.

It was a big win, beating Greensboro Day who came into the game 10-0 ...

It was a big step for us as a team.  Our first seven games were ... I don;t want to say they were pre season but that was a big step in our schedule to come out with a win as we go into Christmas tournaments.

You were a bit off from the outside tonight, but you took it inside in the second half ...

Yes (acknowledged)

Is that something you did on your own?

You've got to find where you can score with the ball.  For me the shots weren't hitting early on outside and in the second half I took it inside and after some success there I moved outside a game.  The versatility of my game ... that's something I've worked on as I continue to be able to knock those shots down consistently I'll get better.

Coach Billerman said he talks to the Duke coaches once a week.  Have you been or do you stay in contact with the Duke staff? [private]

Yeah, I will talk to them after the games.  I'll let them know about my season and talk of how theirs is going.  They're doing pretty well ... it was a tough loss (Michigan).

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

Well, one is to win a state championship and we are going to try as hard as we can to win every game.  But we are going to try and win a state championship and hopefully in these Christmas tournaments, we'll come out with some championships there.  We need to keep out confidence up.

Talking about state champions, there is a team you might run into that you play on the 20th (December) in Christ School.  Of course, you will be going up against Mason Plumlee which will be a big thrill for Duke fans.  Are you looking forward to the match up?

Yeah.  I can't wait, they're considered the best team in 3-A.  Hopefully some will consider us to be right there too.  They are obviously a heck of a team and we need to show some people something.  We have the ability to do that, so I'm looking forward to it.  Obviously Mason is a great player and I look forward to matching up against him and his team.  So, I can't wait.

Is there a lot of pressure off of you now that you have committed to Duke?  Is it cool that you're a Blue Devil and are you glad the process is over?

Yeah, it's really cool.  The pressure is off and I don't have people wondering where I will be.  At the same time there is pressure to succeed.  I need to keep getting better to play at Duke as any high school senior needs to play over at Duke.

Has the staff told you to work on any part of your game?

Yeah ... continue to work on my defense.  Tonight I had a big man, but they want me to be able to guard smaller guys out front a guy smaller, a guard.  That's what Kyle Singler does well.   To continue to get stronger.  I need to obviously get stronger in the weight room, but to get stronger with rebounding.  I think it's important to keep getting better with what you are good at.  You can't just level off.

So, it's safe to say you feel comfortable in most every aspect of the game?

Yes sir.

You came out on defense and looked really good in doing so.  You play defense really well out front for your size.  I was surprised to see how you blanketed some of those guys out front.

I continue to work on it and lateral quickness is something that doesn't come very natural for me.  A lot of that comes in thee weight room and working on zig zag drills in practice and we work pretty hard on that.  We held them to 40 points and they're an 80 point per game team.  So, we did a pretty good job.

You've played with John Wall before in the AAU circuit and heads up during the season.   He's a kid Duke is recruiting real hard.  Do you ever talk to him or put a bug in his ear?

I haven't talked to him in a little while.  I was planning on going to see him, but I have talked to him in a little while.  Obviously. he's a heck of a player.  He made summer ball so much better for me.  He's a great guy and a good athlete and I wish the best for him where he goes.

It's safe to say that you would want to play with him?

Yeah, for sure.

I guess in the end he'll be a tough get ...

He's got a decision to make like I had to make and it's not easy.  He's taking his time which is really great for him.

Do you ever talk to some of the prospects who have committed?

I'm focusing a lot on what I'm doing here.  Obviously, I ha a lot of time to talk to Mason.  That was with USA Basketball.  I'm looking forward to playing against him.  They are undefeated to, so I will see how it is going for him.  I know they are all great guys and I'm looking forward to seeing him there.  I get over to Duke as much as I can.  It's ... the bright lights come on when you go to Cameron Indoor Stadium whether it's Duke or you are playing for somebody else.  You have top get as comfortable as you can there and going in as much as you can is the best way to do that.

What do you think about Coach K?

Aw, I can't wait.  He's a great coach, one of the best ever.

Do you want to play in the NBA?

Sure, it's my goal.  I think any basketball player should have that goal.

I appreciate your time and we'll see you agains as the season goes on.

Okay!  Thanks for coming.


Ryan Kelly and Ravenscroft too much for Greensboro Day

[private]Two of the State of North Carolina's top private schools met on the court Friday evening when Ravenscroft hosted traditional power Greensboro Day.  Ravenscroft entered the contest at 7-0 while Greensboro Day sported a 10-0 record and something had to give.

Greensboro Day came out of the gate playing like a well oiled machine, extending their defense and pushing the Raven guards out.   Javon Mitchell led them early on hitting key back to back buckets to keep his team ahead.

Meanwhile, Duke commitment Ryan Kelly kept his team in the game with 10 points and 7 boards in the first half.  Kelly struggled a bit with his outside shot, and played almost entirely on the perimeter early on.

You might say the two teams were feeling each other out and the Ravens were never quite settled in early.  Every time they'd mount a comeback, Day would hit a timely bucket.  Greensboro Day went on to take a 21-20 lead into the half, but Kelly did help bring his team back into the game just before intermission.

When the teams came back out for the second half, it was all Ravenscroft.  A three point shot gave them the lead.  But Greensboro Day  is a well coached bunch and it appeared as if they would trade baskets and were unwilling to go away.  That's before Kelly started to really  make his presence felt.

Kelly made a key steal and then the assist for a bucket.  The next time down the court he threw down a dunk giving his team a 34-30 lead.  The next thing you know it was 38-30 and Billerman screamed at his team to go into a spread offense with 54 seconds left in the third quarter as he realized the tide had turned.

Billerman had rested Kelly briefly during that time, but as the fourth quarter got underway, Kelly returned and the Ravens coasted.  A Kelly dunk gave them their largest lead of the game at 46-36 and the Ravens stretched that to a 56-42 margin when the final buzzer sounded.  In the end Ravenscroft came out the only undefeated team going to 8-0, but the feeling here is they haven't seen the last of Greensboro Day (10-1) this season.

"It was a good win.  I thought we played extremely good defense in the second half.  To hold them to 42 points for the game when they were averaging 80 showed the type of defense we can play.  In the second half we started to go into Ryan Kelly some and that certainly opened things up for our entire team," said former Duke Basketball player Kevin Billerman.

Billerman was without the services of his son Sean who plays guard, but they continued to groom Luke Davis.  "Sean dislocated his knee cap.  We went to Dr. Lyman Smith a former Duke football player who is an orthopedic surgeon.  Lyman felt like he was lucky he didn't tear his ACL.  We look forward to getting him back," said Billerman

When asked of the play of Kelly, he stated, "Ryan is a multi skilled 6-10 kid.  Somebody who probably 50% of the time brings the ball up the court for us.  He didn't make quite as many jump shots as he usually does, but he had what ... 4 blocks and 4 assists?  He's a multi talented, multi skilled player."

With his outside shot not as accurate as normal, Kelly asserted himself on the blocks in the second half.  Kelly showed off his versatility ending up with 29 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocked shots, 4 steals and 4 assists.  The only negative in his game were the 6 turnovers I had him with.  Still, he drew 10 fouls on the opponent and altered 4 shots on the evening.  In the end, Day had no answer for the Kelly.

"Tonight was a big step for our team.  That was a big game in our schedule and to come out with a win going into the Christmas tournament in Columbia," said Kelly when commenting on the game.

Ravenscroft now looks ahead to a match up with defending state champion Christ School of Arden.  The two teams will meet at the Chic-Fil-A Invitational on December 20th in Columbia, South Carolina.  Duke fans have awaited this game as well in that the two 2009 commitments, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly will oppose one another.  The game tips off at 8:00 EST, but it is on the same day Duke takes on Xavier at 2:00.

When asked of Christ School-Ravenscroft showdown Kelly stated, "I can't wait for our match up with Christ School.   They are considered the best team in the 3-A.  Obviously Mason (Plumlee) is a great player and I look forward to matching up and playing against him."

Blue Devil Nation Premium Subscribers can read the entire interview with Ryan Kelly and get more of Coach Billermans comments on the upcoming battle with Christ School and more.  Why not join today and catch up with recruiting and get behind the scenes with unique coverage.[/private]