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Ludwick becomes a complete player

He had no inside game. No shake-and-bake moves, either.

A year ago, Cory Ludwick was good for one and only one thing: the 3-pointer.

As a Warriors freshman, he made 87 of them. Problem is, he hit two from inside the arc. He was the very definition of one-dimensional.

"I was pretty much the designated shooter," Ludwick said. "I didn't do much else. All you had to do was get up on me, and I couldn't shoot."

Fast-forward the tape. Ludwick, a sophomore shooting guard, now scores from all over the place. He had 41 3-pointers before Monday's game against Ocala Christian and more than that from 2-point range. He also is reaching the free-throw line.

Ludwick averages 26 points and six rebounds.

Getting to this point was difficult, not to mention time consuming. As a freshman, Ludwick was 5-foot-8, 160 pounds. He lacked quickness and strength.

Then he began lifting weights. As his strength increased, Ludwick dropped weight. And when the weight fell, his speed and mobility improved. He now is 5-10, 145.

"He worked very hard," said Brian Ludwick, Cory's father. "He's a lot stronger, he jumps a lot higher."

It shows. Ludwick has become one of the region's top scoring threats. He still is deadly from long range but consistently makes intermediate jumpers, can take his opponent to the basket and is capable of posting up in the paint.

"Last year, what you would have said about Cory is that in order to play for any other area team, he would have gotten limited minutes," Brian said. "Now, I think he'd be a starter on any team in the county and be a main contributor."

Ludwick scored 41 against Ocala St. John Lutheran in December, leads the area in scoring, shoots 85 percent from the line and is strong on the boards.

"He improved in every area," Warriors coach Jim Ervin said. "He's a valuable kid. He can play inside and out. It's difficult for a team to zero in on his perimeter shooting. He already has gotten looks from colleges as a sophomore. That says a lot about how good he is."

And even more about how far he has come. "Last year it was easier to guard me," Ludwick said. "This year it's not as simple. I don't think (opponents) expected it. If I keep working hard or work harder, I probably could do a lot more."


CORY LUDWICK AGE/GRADE: 16, sophomore.

POSITION: Shooting guard.


LAST BOOK READ: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.



FAVORITE HOOPS PLAYER: Tracy McGrady (Orlando Magic).