By Brandon Speck
It will be a year before you hear John Wiley Works’ alliterative name. Alcorn Central’s red-bearded hooper is red-shirting at Northeast CC.
The box scores will miss him as he readies himself for a return.
Works closed his prep career by averaging 24.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game, one of the area’s most versatile threats. At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Works scored from different spots, but spent a lot of time down low on the boards, too.
In college, he’ll be a guard, but that won’t keep him away from the rim.
“I’d rather be outside on the wing anyway, so I can attack the goal,” Works said.
A natural driver, Alcorn Central coach Mitch Howell encouraged him to shoot more 3s, so teams would have to respect his outside shooting, too.
That effort was spurred by a Dec. 10 game against New Site’s zone. Works had a season-low 13 points. That helped his game.
“People were just playing off of me, especially against New Site,” Works said. “I didn’t do so well that game. Everything just started going after that.”
From the arc
He took 51 3-pointers for the season, 19 more than his junior year and shot 24 percent. He shot 60 percent overall.
A two-year starter, Works was a 3A/4A5A/6A all-star in Saturday’s North Mississippi All-Star Games in Booneville.
In the Red’s double overtime loss, he scored 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting, a 3-pointer included. He added three rebounds and a pair of assists and steals.
Works was bigger than everybody as an eighth grader, which put him in the post. As a freshman and sophomore, he worked on ball handling with then-coach Brandon Quinn.
In the future
He turned down an offer from Freed Hardeman, but still plans to play on past Northeast, now working on his outside shooting and footwork and says trying understand the speed of the college game.
“I decided to come here with Coach (Cord) Wright and get my game better for the college level,” Works said.