Game Recap: Derby vs McPherson
BY:Shanku Nair

McPherson (1-0) hosted Derby for their season opener and it was a nail-biter. This was a highly competitive contest that went down to the wire. Both teams were exchanging leads throughout the game, but ultimately it was McPherson that got the final stop to win 57-56 to advance to 2-0 on the year. The following players made an impression: 

Derby

Jack Ulwelling | 2025 | Guard | 5’10

Ulwelling made a nice play to start the game, received the ball off a DHO, got downhill and made a great dump off to create an open look at the rim. Ulwelling also showed off his vision, making some advanced reads, in particular a wrap around pass from the baseline with great velocity and accuracy to set up a good look from deep. Ulwelling was also 2 for 3 from distance, shooting off the catch primarily. 

Kaden Franklin | 2024 | Big | 6’7

Franklin looked comfortable running pistol action, making good reads in space. He was rolling to the rim well and positioned himself in smart places to receive dump off and high-low entry passes. Franklin was dominant on the glass early on, using his size and length to grab boards in traffic to create second chance opportunities. Defensively, he stayed grounded to block shots with his reach without fouling. He also displayed some solid footwork when operating in the low-post. 

Mason Anderson | 2024 | Guard | 6’0

Anderson got into the action off a nice straight line drive he beat his defender with his foot speed for an easy look at the rim. Anderson was aggressive, attacking driving lanes off the catch and finished at the rim well, even stampeding the catch to really blow by his matchup. Anderson showed he can stretch the defense out with his perimeter shooting, hitting back to back spot-up 3 from the corner with a quick trigger. His speed was impactful in transition as he led fast breaks to make plays for himself and others. 

Dallas Metzger | 2024 | Wing | 6’4

Metzger hit a deep spot up 3 for his first points of the season. Metzger also used his strength effectively to create space with a bump allowing him to get open looks. Metzger is a deadly spot up shooter, has such a pure jumpshot, and requires a lot of defensive attention as he gets his shot off in tight windows. Metzger’s touch was evident in his floater/runner game and was also efficient from the stripe. 

McPherson 

Cory Muehler | 2024 | Guard | 6’0

Muehler hit the first 3 of the contest off movement as he got open at the top of the key. He started the game 2 for 2 from deep, hitting both from the top of the key. Muhler has very fluid, repeatable mechanics. His versatility was shown in his ability to shoot off the dribble as he punished poor defense off his ball screen. Muhler also showed he can put the ball on the floor to touch the paint and kick out to shooters or finish for himself with touch. Muehler had the play of the night with about 5 minutes to play in the 4th: used multiple shot fakes and hesitation moves to get his defender jumping before calmly draining a turnaround jumper in the mid range. 

Gabe Pyle | 2025 | Wing | 6’4

Gabe Pyle got into the action as he attacked a driving lane and hit a push shot over a bigger defender. A few possessions later, Pyle got into the lane with a nice step through move and finished with another push shot displaying good touch. He got his hands in passing lanes for deflections. He also had a nice weakside rotation to help on the big for a blocked shot. Had another block late in the 1st half displaying good patience. Early in the 3rd quarter, Pyle hit a spot up 3 showcasing a quick release on back to back offensive possessions. He read closeouts well, attacking them with a shot fake into a rhythm dribble and relocation. 

Ian Razak | 2025 | Big | 6’5

Razak did most of his damage in the interior. Razak has good physicality which he used to play with his back to the basket. He ran the floor well in transition to set up easy scoring opportunities for himself. He was also very active on the boards, using his frame and strength effectively to seal opposing players. Razak also added a few blocked shots rounding out his 2-way impact on the game.