- Thomas Hamilton Jr.: I would be shocked if there was another freshman post player in the nation better than Thomas Hamilton. He has good footwork (using nice drop-steps to get himself closer to the basket), nice hands, and to top it off he shoots well out to the 3pt. line. He made two 3’s in the championship game. His dad is 7’2” so if he grows to be 7’0”, he’s got to be the favorite to be the top player in the nation his senior year.
- Anthony Johnson: Anthony struggled a bit his junior year due in part to his injury. His play during the Proviso West tournament showed why he was projected in the top 100 nationally his sophomore year. He will end up being good player for Purdue.
- Sam Thompson: Dan Poneman has been saying that Sam is the best player in junior class and after seeing him play in the championship game, I may have to start believing him. I always knew he was athletic, my concern has been that he would be another Brian Randle; extremely athletic but doesn’t know how to put the ball in the basket other than a dunk. In the last game he showed a decent outside shot, a nice drive-pull up shot, and a nice drive baseline for a reverse lay-up. If he can create a shot for himself on a consistent basis, the sky is the limit.
- Mike McCall: I’ve been hearing people talk about how much of a steal Eastern Illinois got with Tommy Woolridge (which they are absolutely correct in that statement) but what about the steal St. Louis got in Mike McCall? Mike is hard to guard because he can beat you on the dribble and he can shoot, not only off the catch, but also off the dribble.
- Alex Dragicevich: This guy doesn’t get talked about enough; he is really good. He needs to be a candidate for Mr. Basketball; not saying he should get it, just saying he should be in the mix. He is so strong with the ball. When he has the ball in his hands, something good usually happens. He either gets in the lane for a good shot, gets fouled or passes to an open player. Coach Weber is smart to put him at the point guard; a lot of other coaches would have put him at the 3 or 4 position.
- Jacob Williams: College coaches need to keep an eye him. He’s one of those players that could break out and catch everyone off guard. He’s long, athletic, and shoots the three well. He needs to get stronger with the ball. If he can work on his ball handling and can score off the bounce a little more, his stock will rise. I am not sure Jacob himself knows how good he could be.
- Keith Carter: I think Keith will be the most improved player over the next couple of years. He has got a lot of potential. He can blow by defenders on the dribble; he just needs to work on his decision making once he gets by them. I think he will end up being the best point guard in Illinois in his class.
- Jereme Richmond: What can I say about Jereme that has not already been said? Well, here it goes… I have never heard any talk about how smart of a basketball player Jereme is. Because people get so wrapped up in his attitude, they miss his good basketball I.Q. He knows the game of basketball. I think he will understand to motion offense better than any freshman Illinois has had in the last 6 years. I also like that he doesn’t force shots. I firmly believe he has better head on his shoulders than people give him credit for.
- Jabari Parker: I am 50/50 right now on whether I like Thomas Hamilton or Jabari Parker better. Jabari’s skills and high basketball IQ will exceed his athleticism. He plays more like a senior than he does a freshman. In his hoops report Joe Henricksen is dead on when he says “He’s old school in many ways – from the skills he possesses at a young age to the way he thinks about the game and carries himself on and off the floor”.
- Lawrence Alexander: When Peoria Manual gets talked about, the names I always hear are Andrew Jordan, Jeff Stokes, or Marvin Jordan but what about Lawrence Alexander? This 6’3” senior guard/forward is just as valuable as the other three and probably more athletic. He needs to work on his ball handling a little more but he is a decent mid-major player.
- Tracy Abrams: We still haven’t seen the finished product with him yet. He has improved his three point shot from last year but still needs to be consistent with it. He needs to finish better in the lane after beating his defender. He doesn’t have a problem getting by his defender, but he doesn’t capitalize from it by finishing. His decision- making will continue to get better. The best of Tracy Abrams is still yet to come.
- Adonis Filer: This 6’2” junior two guard from Mount Carmel had a nice tournament with point totals of 11, 29, 17, and 19. He should increase his stock among other two guards in the state of Illinois if he keeps playing like this. He is a good compliment to Tracy Abrams.
- Chassen Randle: The game I watched him play was probably the worst I have seen him play and I’ve seen him play at least a dozen times. He is still one my favorite players in the junior class. He is such a smart player. I don’t think I have seen him take a bad shot. He’s very patient and selective on his shots. He shoots the ball well from three and finishes well around the basket. I think some fans wanted him take over in the 4th quarter when Rock Island was behind, but that is not Chassen’s game; he is not a take over a game type player. Rock Island could have set some double or triple screens to get him open shot though.
- Aaron Simpson: 6’0” sophomore combo guard from North Chicago. I haven’t seen a sophomore guard score in bunches so much since Rich Mcbride was a sophomore. He’s a very good shooter from the 3pt line and can put it on the floor and get by defenders as well. Once in a while he can get out of control when attacking the basket. I think I agree with chicagohoops.com ranking him #1 in the sophomore class for right now.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Basketball is not what I do, it is who I am. When I was a senior in high school I made the decision to forego college so that I could commit every waking moment to my passion. I've tried to give my job a label, but there really is no one title that describes it. My old site focused on covering high school basketball in Illinois and reporting recruiting news, and DP B-ball was created to enable my staff and I to do much much more. This blog is a transition site until the real DPBball.com gets released, and my staff and I will be updating daily with tons of fun and exciting content about everything high school hoops. With highlight videos, interviews on camera and off, recruiting news from around the globe, compelling feature articles, and much more, DP B-ball is the place to be for anybody who shares my passion. It's YOU, the people of the basketball community, that make it possible for me to do what I love every day, and for that I am forever grateful and willing to do whatever I can to help you all just like you do for me. So email me anytime, and if you love hoops like I do, consider me your friend. Thanks, and enjoy!