Trayce Macon has piqued the interests of Boca Ciega fans. But there's room for improvement.
By JOHN C. COTEY, Times Staff Writer
Published December 2, 2005
CLEARWATER - Trayce Macon smiled midway through the question because he knew it was coming.
It came last year ... all summer ... early in the fall.
Over and over and over again.
So Trayce, they say if you can put it all together, keep your head in the game for 32 minutes and stay composed, you can be really good this season.
Like, really really really good.
"That's what I plan on doing," the Boca Ciega senior said. "I know this year I have to step up in the big games.
"Every game, really."
Last year, the lanky 6-foot-6 Macon was one of the county's surprise players, putting up solid numbers and making his presence known. Not every night - the rap against him was a penchant for sliding out of focus - but enough to make him a preseason all-county pick by local hoops observers entering the 2005-06 season.
Through two games, Macon is averaging 14 points but has a few key 3-pointers and in Wednesday's win over Clearwater a crucial block late.
As he demonstrated against the Tornadoes, he hasn't completely shaken his bad habits, launching a few ill-advised shots and letting a smaller player rip the ball from his hands during one important sequence.
"He's still a work in progress," Bogie coach Randy Shuman said. "Last year, he made a big leap. He's going to need to make another big leap this year. He shot 6-of-21 against Clearwater. I told him at practice, "You're better than that.' I know he's better than that. But he never left the court, and we need to get him a rest. I'm sure that had something to do with it."
Macon also is looking to improve on his leadership skills as the only senior expected to see significant playing time this season. He is a captain along with junior Lamorya Daniels and is trying to soften his rough edges.
An excitable whirling dervish on the court, Macon is the first to admit he can be overemotional and unduly hard on his teammates.
"I yell too much," he said, sheepishly.
"That's the big hurdle," Shuman added. "It's not what he's saying, but the way he's saying it."
Daniels, who is averaging 18 points, said the Pirates look up to Macon and hope he can carry them back to the region championship and beyond.
"He's more focused than he was last year," Daniels said. "He has to become the basketball player we want him to be. We need the key blocked shots. We need the big shots. He's probably the best player on the team and has to play like it."