Wednesday, January 29, 2014

You Gotta Juant It: Four-Year Guard Ramos Makes Most OF Final Stretch

Brooklyn Law and Tech coach Kenny Pretlow once implored senior shooting guard Juan Ramos to attack the basket more.


Ramos is a viable 3-point ace, one of New York City’s top trigger men, but Pretlow has been waiting to see the 5-foot-10 guard become more aggressive creating his own shot, threading defenders off the dribble and pulling up and sticking the medium ranger a little more.

Consider the wait over.

Scoring willfully, Ramos has put the Jets on his coat hanger shoulder blades in the process.

 Ramos, now averaging 17.6 points, erupted for 29 points during a recent game against WHEELS.


The Brooklyn native wasn’t finished. He morphed into the mad bomber and scored 27 points against Far Rockaway, rolling off screens ready to launch.

 Then, with his stock heightening and foes applying intensified pressure, Ramos hung 31 on Erasmus.


“Being in position, where I know to be on the floor, getting to the right spots where I’m most confident, that’s been key,” said Ramos.


“I’m just trying to get a rhythm going for the playoffs and building my confidence up.”


Ramos has always prided himself on being the player capable of sparking a run or injecting life into the lineup with his shooting, especially if the Jets are mired in an offensive funk.


Having expanded his offensive repertoire well beyond his patented NBA territory 3-pointers, Ramos has found Pretlow on his back less and less during these final stages.


“He has eased the scoring burden of Matt (Scott) and even carried the team at times,” said Pretlow, a reputable NYC coaching legend who doubles as an assistant under Dwayne “Tiny” Morton at Lincoln.


“He is scoring on all levels. Three-pointers, mid-range, and in the post.”


Few could have envisioned this type of transformation from Ramos.

 As a freshman, it appeared as if Ramos had an electric shocker jolt his wrist if he dared attempt a shot inside the 3-point line.

Now he’s added on to his all-around game. His emergence has propelled a Jets squad that relishes its unsung and underrated status, a team pigeonholed as a bully which feasts on meager competition.

 In four years, Ramos has witnessed four different lineups, four different schemes, four vastly different level schedules, and myriad different personalities all managed under Pretlow.

Shedding the tag of one-dimensional shooter, Ramos' game has grown during the monumental and final moments of his four-year career.

 When Ramos arrived at Law and Tech as a spindly freshman, the program never played highly regarded-teams such as Wings or Thurgood Marshall.

Ramos may have waited four long years, but the basketball culture at Law and Tech has finally blossomed.

Partly at the offensive pace of prolific scoring guard Matt Scott, partly at Ramos’ ability to stick from NBA range, partly at the emergence of a paper-slim 5-foot-6 guard Mikko Johnson, Law and Tech is garnering city-wide visibility.

Scott’s playmaking (four triple doubles on the season) and the the rapid emergence of Johnson (he just turned 14, rendering him one of the best true freshmen in New York) as a scoring threat, has been only sidebar these past few games. 

What’s been the biggest difference from the beginning of the season until Ramos’ recent hot streak?


“I’m more focused,” said Ramos, who Law and Tech Athletic Director and assistant coach Michael Levy has pegged as “easily the toughest kid on our team.”


Ramos’ toughness and mental savvy is much-needed for the Jets, hell-bent on expunging the demon that is heated rival Bedford. 

Bedford has had Law and Tech’s number this season, with two tight wins in high-energy blood feuds, during which where every play is amplified.

A four-year veteran on a youth-laden team, Ramos’ shooting spree has been as timely as it has been necessary.


“I’m glad to see him step his game up for the stretch run,” said Pretlow.