XENIA — Matthew Caupp does the bulk of his work inside the paint.
So the Xenia High School 6 foot, 5 inch senior spent the off-season bulking up.
“I was lifting every single day for I think three months before the season,” Caupp said. “It all starts out in the weight room. My body was just prepared for the season. Mainly just putting in the work in the off-season really turned out to be the best thing.”
The best thing for Caupp and the Bucs.
After averaging 3.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per game last season, Caupp has supersized his stat line, averaging 10.8 points, 8.0 rebounds per game, and 2.2 blocks per game this season.
His emergence has given Xenia — 2-4 overall and in the Miami Valley League — a third legitimate scoring threat and a third big body in the paint to go with 6-5 Zack Gaither and 6-3 Isiah Hoyt.
“Matthew’s development has made us a lot better in many areas, not just scoring,” Coach Kent Anderson said. “If we can play all three bigs at the same time, one of them is going to get a mismatch. Not everybody has a 6-3 and two 6-5s.”
Caupp has become Xenia’s main rebounder, using his height and muscle to his advantage.
“I feel like rebounding makes up a lot of the game,” he said. “You really can win the game just by rebounding. Just being stronger. It’s just made a huge difference.”
Anderson called Caupp a “blue collar, lunch pail” type of guy, which Caupp embraces.
“I just kind of play my game,” Caupp said. “I’m not too fancy when it comes to moves and all that. When I work out in the off-season, I’m not practicing moves and all that. I’m working on my game.”
One thing Caupp focused on was improving his launch angle.
“My previous shot I started low,” he said. “It’s now high-arching so I can get above the guys that are way taller than me.”
Caupp is shooting 44.8 percent from the field this season, which is lower than last year when he shot 55 percent. But Caupp took just 59 shots in 20 games. This season he has already taken 67 shots and should surpass last year’s total of 33 made the next time Xenia plays — which is always a question due to COVID-19.
And remember, he changed his shot this season in an effort to improve his overall game.
“All the fundamentals,” Caupp said. “Fundamentals will take you farther.”
Said Anderson, “He just kind of found his little niche. He comes everyday to play. It’s been a great, great find for our team this year.”
Caupp could be a great find for a college team as well.
He just received an offer from Division-II Walsh University, which earned its first NCAA Tournament berth last season and has not had a losing season under Coach Jeff Young, who began his first full year coaching in the 2004-05 season.
The “bulk” of the offers are likely yet to come.