Madison's Perry picks Hanover as his destination for basketball
Saturday, April 19, 2014 5:00 AM
When Madison's Landon Perry was picking out college destinations, he wanted to find a program that fit his style of play and would help him become a better player. As it turned out, he didn't have to look far.
“Hanover just seemed like a better fit for me. Coach Miller likes guys that can shoot the three and his style of offense just seemed to be a good fit. I saw them play a couple of times this season and both times I was impressed with what I saw.”
Madison guard Landon Perry, the first Cub to go to Hanover men’s basketball in 17 years
(Courier file photo)
"We think Landon is a guy who likes to play and has a competitive streak to him - both of which are real important."
Hanover basketball coach Jon Miller
Perry this week officially announced that he will attend Hanover College and play basketball there next season. It was the culmination of a long process for the Madison senior who had been looking for the right fit for months.
"I'm happy to finally get it done," said Perry, who plans to major in communications. "It's a big stress reliever."
Perry was the leading scorer on a 14-win Madison team this season and was a four-year starter for the Cubs. Although just 5-foot-9, Perry has always shown an ability to get off his own shot and has deadly outside range, two qualities that Hanover head coach Jon Miller loved.
"We think Landon is a guy who likes to play and has a competitive streak to him - both of which are real important," Miller said. "Landon can shoot the basketball. He can make them not only standing but also on move coming off screens as well."
Perry is just the second Madison Cub in the past 30 years to play basketball at Hanover, joining Mark Smith in 1997-98. He had narrowed his list to Hanover and Indiana-Southeast but in the end, Miller's reputation with guards was enough to sway Perry to the local college.
"Hanover just seemed like a better fit for me," Perry said. "Coach Miller likes guys that can shoot the three and his style of offense just seemed to be a good fit. I saw them play a couple of times this season and both times I was impressed with what I saw."
Madison coach Pat King said Miller's reputation with guards, plus the success that the program has had in recent years was perfect for Perry.
"When you're picking out a school you have to look at all the facets, college life, academics and then after that, basketball," King said. "I think he will fit in perfectly at Hanover. Talking to coach Miller, like all coaches, he wants to find more scoring and that's something that Landon can bring right away. He can score."
Although he has played primarily the off-guard position at Madison, Perry knows that he will be called upon to play more of the point in college. It's a challenge that's he's ready to accept.
"At my size I can get away with playing shooting guard in high school but in college I'll have to play more of the point," Perry said. "I need to work on my ball-handling especially because it won't take guys long to figure out that I'm a shooter."
"He really has not played a lot of point guard since his freshman year at Madison," Miller said. "In college I think it will be important for him to be versatile enough to both handle the ball and initiate offense against pressure and also be a shot maker."
At Hanover, Perry will back up three-year starter Tim Bass at the point. Like Perry, Bass is diminutive in stature at 5-foot-5. But unlike Perry, Bass has played point guard his entire life.
Miller said it isn't fair to compare the two players simply based on their height.
"Comparisons to Tim are really tough. Tim is an all-conference player with three years of college experience under his belt. Landon is still six months away from his first college practice," Miller said. "As 'undersized' guys, it is important for them to both be tough and play with a little chip on their shoulders. This next year will be a great opportunity for Landon and our other freshman players to see that stuff everyday from Tim and Kyle James too."
Perry said that watching Bass play showed him what an undersized player can do and that he always came away impressed.
"The way he got past bigger guys was impressive. And he used a great floater to get shots over taller guys," Perry said. "He always guarded taller players and was able to do so because of his quickness. They used him in the middle of the floor on the press and his quickness allowed him to be able to cover the ground."
King believes that Perry has the skills to succeed at the next level.
"He needs to work on his ball-handling but that's something I'd tell any player who is going off to play point guard at college," Perry said. "The one thing that will help him is that in college they have a shot clock, so he'll only really have to work on half-court offense.
"I think he'll do fine. He can score and I think there will be times this season where he might get 15 to 20 minutes and others when he's a typical freshman and gets four or five minutes and sits on the end of the bench," King said. "But I really think that by his sophomore or junior year you'll see him in the rotation as one of their key players."
Arguably the highlight of Perry's career - and every player on the team's - was Madison's shocking overtime win over Class 3A No. 1 Greensburg in January. It was the only loss the Pirates suffered this season en route to their second-straight state championship.
"It was frustrating but kind of cool at the same time," Perry said of watching Greensburg advance to the finals. "We were disappointed that we didn't get a chance to face them again in the regional."
Perry ended his Madison career with 999 points, tantalizingly close to the milestone every high school player aspires to achieve. But Perry has kept a sense of humor about the whole situation.
"It would have been nice but I figured I'll always be remembered as the guy that almost got there," said Perry, who missed 12 games in his career due to injury and one this year because of the weather. "Whether I stayed at 999 or got to 1,000, I'm still the 15th-highest scorer in Madison history and that's not bad."