Three-point line isn't challenge enough for Lakeville North's Macura

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 12, 2014 - 12:49 AM

The range of Lakeville North senior scoring machine JP Macura knows no limits.

hide

Lakeville North senior JP Macura, after not starting as a sophomore, now averages 32.2 points per game.

Photo: Photos by JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The running joke at Lakeville North is that JP Macura is in shooting range the moment he walks in the gymnasium. Put a basketball in Macura’s hands and he’ll test the theory.

“Sometimes he takes a shot and you think ‘What are you doing?’ He loves to be able to do just whatever he wants to do. There is an air of confidence about him,” Lakeville North boys’ basketball coach John Oxton said. “He’s just a loosey-goosey, whatever, do-your-thing type of person.”

Macura’s thing is making baskets. As a junior he broke the Panthers’ single-season scoring record with 765 points. He broke his own record as a senior (933 points and counting) and blew by the program’s previous career-scoring leader in only two years as a varsity starter.

Heading into Wednesday’s Class 4A quarterfinals against Buffalo, the Xavier-bound standout is two big games away from a 1,000-point season and one average game from fourth place on the Minnesota State High School League’s single-season scoring list.

Macura expects himself to score at least 25 a game to keep his team in contention, and more is always a possibility for the 6-5, 180-pound sharpshooter. He scored a career-high 55 earlier this season against Farmington and is coming off a 41-point performance in the Section 1 championship game against Rochester John Marshall. He averages 32.2 points per game.

“If I’m open, I’m going to shoot it,” said Macura, who shows no signs of being a selfish player, teammate or person. “I like scoring. It’s fun.”

His dad, Paul Macura, has a picture saved on his phone that best explains his son’s unique gift. It captures one of Macura’s three-pointers, launched from 5 feet beyond the arc in last year’s Class 4A quarterfinals against Park Center. The long ball capped a 19-point comeback to force overtime.

Macura is comfortable heaving shots from anywhere, and his field-goal percentage argues he’s good at it. He’s made 54.9 percent of his shots this season and has a career 51.3 shooting percentage. His defense needs to improve, he said, but an 81.2 free-throw percentage, four-assists-per-game average, six rebounds per game and just over two steals a game tell of a well-rounded athlete.

Thirty-one Division I programs were impressed, including the Gophers. The allure of smaller classes, a nationally rated recruiting class and past NCAA tournament success at Xavier won Macura’s heart.

The challenge credited for jump-starting Macura’s transition into a four-star Division I recruit stemmed from Tyus Jones, Apple Valley’s Duke recruit.

Macura’s sophomore season was spent on the varsity practice squad, where he often was called upon to emulate Jones. Macura knew Jones had few limits to his game and attempted to imitate that as much as possible.

“[Oxton] told me to do whatever I wanted and I just started shooting,” Macura remembered. “I realized I could start scoring all different ways.”

Two-plus years later, Macura is one of the state’s most prolific scorers and the top player to ever come out of Lakeville.

Oxton said he and Macura have been in on the secret that it’s been a “Big Four” of top Class of 2014 recruits — Jones, Reid Travis, Rashad Vaughn and Macura — once the Panthers’ star came onto the scene as a junior.

“His quick release and range make him tough to stop when he gets going,” said Jones, whose chance at another rematch against Macura disappeared when Apple Valley was upset in the Section 3 championship. “This week will be big for him. It’s his state tournament. He’ll put on a show like he always does.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Houston
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Colorado 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Carolina
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Anaheim 6:30 PM
Montreal
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Canisius
Temple 6:00 PM
Delaware
FIU 6:00 PM
Long Island
Lehigh 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Richmond
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
South Florida
Ga Southern 6:00 PM
Stetson
Yale 6:00 PM
Vermont
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Virginia
Wright State 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
Nicholls 6:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Morgan State 6:30 PM
Rider
Idaho State 6:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oakland City 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Eureka 7:00 PM
Bradley
Appalachian St 7:00 PM
Charlotte
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Duke
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Coastal Carolina 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Montana State 7:30 PM
South Dakota
LSU 8:00 PM
UAB
Ohio 8:05 PM
Evansville
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
Idaho
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 4:00 PM
Howard
Southern Miss 4:00 PM
Ole Miss
UMBC 4:00 PM
Rider
Miami-Florida 5:00 PM
UCLA
St Mary-KS 5:00 PM
South Dakota
William & Mary 5:00 PM
Wofford
Troy 5:30 PM
Evansville
Loyola Marymount 6:00 PM
USC
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Duquesne
Indiana-Southeast 6:00 PM
IUPUI
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Detroit
Tenn Temple 6:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
West Virginia St 6:00 PM
Radford
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Ball State 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Trine 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Tenn Tech 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Samford 7:00 PM
Tulane
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Ark-Little Rock 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
CS-Northridge 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Oklahoma St 8:00 PM
Weber State
Washington 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Cal Poly 8:00 PM
New Mexico
(10) Louisville 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close