A ton of things to discuss today across the state so let's get to it.
Lot's of talk surrounding the recent de-commitment of 2010 G Vander Blue of Madison Memorial. While Wisconsin is still very much in the picture, Blue's recruitment is going to explode both regionally and nationally. Marquette, Indiana, Minnesota, Arizona, LSU have all expressed interest and you can expect that list to grow substantially and Blue may very well be the top 2010 prospect available in the Midwest right now. He's explosive, can get to the rack, has range beyond the arc, and more importantly he has the desire and skills to make big plays when it matters most. He'll be one of the most watched recruits regionally and perhaps nationally this July. He's played with the Illinois Warriors, Milwaukee Spartans, and Madison Spartans this spring.
The 2009 NY2LA Sports Classic will take place November 27-28, 2009. Additional details will be provided in the coming months.
2010 G Evan Richard of Cuba City picked up an offer from Winona State this week. Richard is exploded in recent months and continues to evolve as one of the fastest rising prospects in the state of Wisconsin for the 2010 class. Richard competes with the Wisconsin Swing - Selk Grassroots travel program. They'll take the court next Friday May 29, 2009 inside the AL McGuire Center as part of the 2009 NY2LA Sports Invitational May 29-31, 2009 looking to defend their championship from last year!
2010 G Troy Huff of Brookfield Academy has turned in some strong play so far this spring and schools are taking notice. Missouri State and Drake have both expressed interest in Huff the past couple weeks. At 6'4" Huff has some nice size and he's been consistent with hitting his perimeter jumper but has also shown an improved ability to get to the rim including a monster dunk over a defender at the 2009 Sabes Invitational. With sharpshooters always at a premium in every class, Huff stands to get a lot of looks this July as he competes with the Playground Elite Grassroots travel organization.
Another 2010 G starting to pick up steam is Andy Fox of Arrowhead. Fox is one of the best kept secrets in the state but Northern Iowa and UW-Milwaukee have shown some interest and with a strong July Fox could pick up a lot of interest. He sees the floor well, can get to the rim, hits the trey ball, and has excellent leadership capabilities. Fox was sensational last fall during the NY2LASports.com Breakfast of Champions League as he competed against some of the best athletes and top prospects the state has to offer. Fox was consistently one of the top performers each week including a championship game performance where he almost single handedly put the team on his back as he hit for 6 trey balls in the 2nd half! After taking on a playmaking role for Arrowhead during the season, Fox broke out with a monster performance in the WIAA state tournament. Fox was brilliant at the 2009 Swish & Dish Spring Warm-Up including a 35+ point performance in one game where he was virtually unstoppable. Fox has solid grades, a nice floor game, and he is a must see prospect this summer for any low to mid major Division 1 program in need of a PG. He competes for the Wisconsin Swing - Shaw Grassroots travel team.
Speaking of underrated talents, look no further than 2010 F Chip Rank of Cedarburg who may very well be the toughest and most active 2010 prospect in the class. The 6'6' F is a two sport star (i.e. Football) and he was sensational at this year's Swish & Dish Spring Warm-Up where he helped lead the Swing past powerhouses like the Mac Irvin Fire and SYF Players. Rank is relentless on the glass, can score around the basket, has an improved mid range game and just makes teams better. Rank knows how to play and does whatever it takes to get his team the victory. Rank competes with the Wisconsin Swing-Selk Grassroots travel team.
Keep a look out for 2011 G Joel Lindberg of Superior. He's a skilled perimeter talent who can really go and has a solid floor game. He's going to form an excellent 1-2 punch for the Wisconsin Playmakers this summer alongside super talent 2011 SF Paul Jesperson of Merrill who's exploding regionally and nationally. Nothing like hitting the circuit in full stride as Lindberg will take the floor next weekend alongside Jesperson at the 2009 NY2LA Sports Invitational in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Gotta give big time props to 2011 F Darnell Harris of Milwaukee Hamilton who's really turned in some solid performances the past few weeks. The long lean skilled forward continues to showcase a solid mid range skill set with a perimeter stroke that extends beyond the arc with consistency. He's been a major factor in the DTA Devin Harris Superstars 16U squad turning in some solid performances so far this spring.
2011 F Christian Williams of Nicolet continues to evolve into a solid talent as the young big turned in a number of solid performances a couple of weeks ago at the 2009 Sabes Invitational with the Playground Elite and opened some eyes in the process. Williams is a big strong interior talent with a soft touch, the ability to finish around the rim, and decent rebounding instincts. As his conditioning and explosion continue to develop, you can expect his stock to soar as he has a chance to become a dominant interior big with hard work.
Staying with the Playground Elite, 2011 PG Darell Longstreet has been exceptional during the month of May and going back to late April. The skilled floor general has competed at the 17U level in a couple of tournaments and showcased excellent playmaking ability along with an ability to score the basketball. Schools from the Big Ten, Pac 10, Big East, and ACC have express interest in the fast rising floor general who is one of the premiere 2011 prospects in the state. Longstreet attends Kenosha Tremper High School.
Speaking of 2011, can't have any discussion without talking about the 2009 Swish & Dish Spring Warm-Up MVP F Quevyn Winters of Milwaukee Washington. Winters is one of the hottest 2011 prospects in the state right now as he is a skilled forward with excellent instincts, nice range, the ability to attack the rim and finish, solid rebounding instincts, and a big game mentality where he wants the ball when it matters most. Winters was sensational this past year for Washington and has continued that strong play with excellent performances this spring for the Milwaukee Spartans Grassroots travel program. Marquette and Iowa State a just a few of the schools showing interest in Winters right now.
Looking forward to seeing 2012 F Phillip Nolan of Milwaukee Vincent at the 2009 NY2LA Sports Invitational. The long lean left handed forward continues to evolve into one of the top prospects in the state of Wisconsin for that class. He's got a soft touch, a decent mid range game, nice size and length, and solid rebounding instincts. Nolan is one of the breakout performers in the 2012 class for the area this spring along with 2012 F Darrell Bowie of Dominican and 2012 F Otis Pirtle of Bradley Tech. Nolan competes with the Milwaukee Spartans on the Grassroots circuit while Bowie rocks with the DTA Running Rebels and Pirtle takes the court with the Playground Elite.
Speaking of 2012 prospects, gotta give mad props to G Zak Showalter of Germantown who continues his emergence as one of the top up and coming prospects in the state. Showalter has a big time perimeter stroke, a solid feel to the game, and has shown an improved ability to attack the rim in recent weeks. Expect him to take on a big time role for Germantown next season as he has already emerged as arguably the top perimeter shooter in the 2012 class for the state of Wisconsin and has put that on display time and time again with the Wisconsin Swing 15U squad this spring.
Going down a notch, looks like 2013 G Duane Wilson Jr. is getting close to taking the court again. The young middle school phenom is one of the top young prospects in the 2013 class (haters aside) and flat out strokes the jumper. Time and time again he's showcased those skills in major fashion and after being sidelines for the past few months the young sharpshooter appears ready to get back on the court. Now standing at 6'0", Wilson has excellent size and a floor game that includes a lethal perimeter stroke. He competes with the Playground Elite Grassroots travel program.
Expect to hear an awful lot about 2011 F Chris Kading of Depere. The young interior talent has turned in a number of solid performances this spring including one at the 2009 Swish & Dish Spring Warm-Up with the Wisconsin Blizzard Grassroots travel program. Kading has nice size and athleticism, the ability to finish around the rim, and solid rebounding instincts on both ends of the floor. As 2011 prospects go, Kading has some nice upside and he should stand to grab a ton of interest in the coming months while rocking the circuit with the Blizzard.
Sleeper Watch - Keep your eyes open for 2011 G's Haki Stampley and Kiwane Crowder of Milwaukee Hamilton. Both have turned in some excellent performances this past month and continue to emerge as talented prospects in the 2011 class. Stampley has excellent size and a big time perimeter stroke while Crowder has an excellent floor game, toughness, and range that extends beyond the arc.
The 2009 NY2LA Sports Invitational is right around the corner and this year's tournament will feature both a boys and girls side to it. Games will jump off at 6:00 p.m. on May 29, 2009 and the state of Wisconsin will be represented in major fashion again as the Wisconsin Playmakers, Wisconsin Blizzard, Madison Spartans, Wisconsin Swing, Randolph Boys Club, Fox Valley Storm, Wisconsin Force, DTA Running Rebels, DTA Devin Harris Superstars, Wisconsin Scholars, Playground Elite, Fox Valley Hurricanes, Wisconsin Playground Warriors, Appleton Attack, Ray Allen Select, Milwaukee Spartans, Wisconsin Storm, Wisconsin Bobcats, Wisconsin Wildcats, and NESYB are just a few of the many in state programs set to compete next weekend. The tournament is loaded and will feature teams from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin! Games will be played inside the AL McGuire Center, Milwaukee Pius XI Fieldhouse, M.S.O.E. Kern Center, and Homestead High School throughout the weekend with championship games for the girls wrapping up at Milwaukee Pius XI on Sunday May 31, 2009 and championship games wrapping up on the boys side at M.S.O.E. and Homestead on Sunday May 31, 2009.
The 2009 Generation Next All-Star Camp is coming up June 12-14, 2009. The camp is for rising 6th-9th grade prospects and will be held inside the AL McGuire Center on the campus of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition to myself, Clark Francis from the HoopScoop and Spencer Pulliam of PhenomNationHoops.com will be in attendance. The camp will feature skill work and full length game play with all games being filmed as well. Phenoms from Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, and Michigan are already confirmed to attend. Have a great weekend.