Today we continue our look at 2010 prospects still on the board with a glance at the Midwest region as a whole. While some of the top available prospects have verbally committed their intentions over the past 7-10 days (i.e. Dominique Ferguson, Cameron Wright, Chip Rank, etc.) there are still a number of excellent talents still on the board in the region and here's a quick look at some of the available 2010 Midwest talents that come to mind:
Note: Listed in alphabetical order (This is not an exclusive list)
6-6 SF Harrison Barnes - Ames (Iowa)
One of the premiere talents left on the board in the 2010 class, Barnes continues to be courted by virtually every high major program in the need for an explosive swing talent in the 2010 class. Barnes has nice size, good length, solid athleticism, and the ability dominate games at times with an inside outside skill package that causes havoc for opposing teams and players. His commitment could play a major role in how the dominoes fall for some of the remaining elite talents nationally depending on when it happens and where he decides to go.
5-10 PG Vinard Birch - Eastview (Minnesota)
When the 2009 NY2LA Sports Summer Jam was taking place this past July, the 43 Hoops Grassroots travel program continued to knock off opponents game after game and one of the primary reasons why was the strong play of this ultra quick and tough floor general from Minnesota. Equipped with a no fear mentality and a lethal ability to attack the rim and create, Birch created havoc game in and game out and was one of the top performers in the entire 17U division. Size not withstanding the young floor leader knows how to play and puts his team in a position to win games. He is one of the below the radar talents regionally who could be a solid catch for the right program.
6-3 SG Vander Blue - Madison Memorial (Wisconsin)
Arguably the most explosive perimeter scoring talent left on the board regionally and perhaps nationally, Blue was sensational in helping lead Memorial to a state ship earlier this year and followed that up with some solid performances this past spring. However, as good as Blue was then, it paled in comparison to his performances this past July at the NY2LA Sports Next Level Invitational and the NY2LA Sports Summer Jam. With the table set and coaches from across the country on hand Blue exploded game after game and confirmed his status as one of the top available talents left on the board in the 2010 class. With schools from the Big East, Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big 12, and Pac 10 in hot pursuit, Blue is a big time talent with big time options on his plate right now.
5-6 PG Maurice Cooper-Jones - Arthur Hill (Michigan)
While everyone tends to focus on size, sometimes there's just an ability to play the game of basketball that matters and this young ultra quick floor general from Michigan can definitely do that. Jones handles the rock, attacks the rim, strokes the jumper, sees the floor well, has excellent dribble penetration skills, and is a lethal change of pace guard who is a difficult cover on the defensive end. He proved that first hand with a number of solid performances for the REACH Legends 17U squad this past spring/summer. He continues to generate low to mid major interest and justifiably so, at the end of the day the ability to make an impact and play the game is what matters and Jones has all of that and more packed into an explosively quick frame.
6-11 C Chad Calcaterra - Cloquet (Minnesota)
With bigs at a premium in the 2010 class, this young Minnesota native continues to collect interest at the mid and high major levels. Blessed with a nice frame and good size, Calcaterra definitely looks the part as one of the top available bigs left on the board in the Midwest. With continued development on his explosion and skill package, Calcaterra in all likelihood has his best basketball in front of him. Schools from the Ivy League, Missouri Valley, etc. are banking on that notion and continue to pursue the big man on the recruiting trail.
6-5 SF Flavien Davis - Wisconsin Lutheran (Wisconsin)
After a subpar showing last spring/summer, Davis rebounded with a solid fall performance at the Breakfast of Champions League and followed that up with an excellent high school season and an even better state high school tournament performance that saw him dominate game after game in helping lead Wisconsin Lutheran to the Division 2 state ship. Davis then dropped a number of solid performances this past spring with perhaps his best coming at the end of May where he helped lead the 17U Wisconsin Scholars to the NY2LA Sports Invitational Championship. With coaches from coast to coast watching in July, Davis and the Scholars took on eventual champion Team Detroit at the 2009 NY2LA Sports Summer Jam and he was nothing short of sensational. He continues to show an improved perimeter stroke each time he takes the floor and with another strong fall/winter campaign Davis should continue to see his recruiting stock improve week after week.
6-4 PG Josh Gasser - Port Washington (Wisconsin)
The top PG prospect in the 2010 class for the state of Wisconsin is FINALLY getting the attention he deserves despite turning in excellent performances year in and year out both at the high school level and on the Grassroots travel circuit. The instinctive skilled perimeter talent can stroke the jumper, gets to the rack, hits the mid range, and is an excellent floor leader. Schools from the Big Ten, ACC, and Pac 10 are now in hot pursuit and for just reason because Gasser has shown at a regional and national level that he can compete with some of the best.
6-1 PG Xavier Jones - Gary West Side (Indiana)
When you ask for toughness and the ability to dribble penetrate and attack the rim, look no further than this Indiana floor general. X is pound for pound as physical and tough as they get at the PG position and his ability to get to the rack and create havoc with his dribble penetration is his calling card. Jones continued to show and improved perimeter stroke this spring/summer and with schools from coast to coast on the prowl for a solid playmaking PG, Jones could see a lot of attention in the coming weeks. Arguably one of the most underrated floor generals left on the board in the 2010 class, Jones can play with anyone and is virtually unstoppable when attacking the rim.
6-6 SF Justin Martin - Lawrence North (Indiana)
Similar to high school teammate Dominique Ferguson, Martin previously committed (i.e. Louisville) before re-opening his recruitment this past spring. Blessed with nice size, good length, decent athleticism and range that extends beyond the arc with consistency, Martin stands to continue to generate more and more interest as other 2010 wing talents fall off the board with verbal commitments in the coming weeks. The young swing talent from Indiana can score the basketball in a number of ways and that ability has caught the attention of schools in the Big East, SEC, Atlantic 10 and Big 10.
6-0 G Mike McCall - Chicago Foreman (Illinois)
One of the breakout performers of this past spring/summer, the skilled perimeter talent from Illinois turned in a number of solid performances that landed interest from a number of schools. McCall can score the basketball, has decent handles, and stands to be one of the most recruited Midwest guards in the 2010 class as things move forward. The perimeter talent has interest coming from the Pac 10, Big 12, Missouri Valley, and Big East amongst others.
6-1 PG Ray McCallum Jr. - Detroit Country Day (Michigan)
When it comes to floor leadership and PG's in the 2010 class "Suga Ray" is front and center with any discussion. The instinctive floor general just knows how to play and puts both himself and his teammates in a position to be successful whenever he takes the floor. Fresh off a sensational showing at the high school level with the always powerful Detroit Country Day, McCallum took to the court with Team Detroit this past spring/summer and was sensational time and time again. He helped lead the travel powerhouse to a number of tournament championships and firmly established himself as one of the premiere floor generals left on the board in the 2010 class. Ray handles it, sees the floor, can get to the rim, and has the ability to stroke the jumper but more importantly he makes the game look easy while always putting his team in a position to win. Those type of qualities translate to success at the high major level so it's no surprise that schools from coast to coast including, but not limited to, the likes of UCLA, Florida, etc. were front and center whenever he took the court this past July.
6-7 SF Doug McDermott - Ames (Iowa)
This sharpshooting wing talent put on a clinic at times this past spring/summer with a barrage of trey balls and simple X's and O's type basketball that evidences the fact that he's a coach's son. While the not the explosive athletic wing type some may desire, McDermott can fill it up with the best of them, has a nice frame, understands the game, and has the ability to make an impact whenever he's on the floor. With range that extends well beyond the arc consistently, a solid feel for the game, and some of his best basketball still in front of him, McDermott is the skilled type of wing talent that can make any coach happy given the right situation. When it comes to just playing the game and making positive things happen, the sharpshooting McDermott is up there with most 2010 prospects still on the board.
6-2 PG Steve McWhorter - Racine St. Catherines (Wisconsin)
Last fall the talented floor general from Racine stepped on the court at the NY2LA Sports Breakfast of Champions Fall League with no offers on the table and labeled a below the radar prospect. After turning in a sensational effort in the BOC, McWhorter did much of the same for Racine St. Cats and followed that up with some big time showings during the spring/summer. With a whirlwind of year having taken place, McWhorter heads into the fall as one of the hottest prospects in the state as the skilled, instinctive, floor general has collected a number of offers and has a number of schools paying close attention to him. McWhorter is one of the best stories of the past 12 months and the young man deserves all of his attention because he can really make it happen when he takes the floor.
6-10 F/C Adreian Payne - Jefferson High School (Ohio)
One of the most explosive athletes left on the board in the 2010 class, Payne exploded at the 2009 Swish & Dish Spring Warm-Up with an M.V.P. performance and carried that through the spring/summer as he helped lead the All Ohio Red 17U machine to a number of tournament championships this past Grassroots travel season. Payne has excellent size, nice length, explosive elevation and a very high ceiling that drips with double double high major impact potential. SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Atlantic 10, and Big East schools are all in the mix as Payne is one of the most coveted interior talents left on the board in the 2010 class.
6-5 G D.J. Peterson - Hopkins (Minnesota)
While a number of backcourt talents grabbed headlines regionally this past spring/summer, one such talent who flew a bit below the radar but took off in July was this long combo talent from Minnesota. The young talent has grabbed Big 12, Missouri Valley, etc. interest in recent months. Peterson handles the ball, can stroke the mid range jumper, hits the trey ball, has nice length, and solid instincts. With a solid ceiling to grow into, Peterson has some of his best years in front of him and continues to collect interest from mid and high major programs as a result.
6-0 PG Karl Madison - Lanphier H.S. (Illinois)
One of the forgotten talents in terms of the national writers but definitely not when it comes to mid and high major programs is this quick skilled floor general from Illinois. Madison turned in arguably his best performance of the spring/summer at the 2009 Sabes Invitational where he helped lead the St. Louis Eagles 17U to the championship and a Nike Peach Jam invitation in the process. Madison is quick, makes solid decisions, handles the ball, has nice dribble penetration skills, and is a quick skilled instinctive floor talent who continues to generate mid and high major interest both regionally and nationally. As a few of the bigger names come off the board, expect the pursuit of talents like Madison to heat up as he could be a steal in the right situation.
6-9 F Walter Pitchford - Forest Hills Central (Michigan)
When looking at breakout performers this past July, look no further than this long interior talent from Michigan. Not only did Pitchford put in major work at the 2009 NY2LA Sports Summer Jam, he did much of the same at the Reebok Summer Championships and definitely garnered interest from mid to high major coaches as a result. The long interior prospect showed excellent activity on both ends, solid rebounding potential, the ability to block shots, and solid finishing skills inside the paint. He moves fairly well, is willing to compete, and continued to display some of his best basketball when it mattered the most in key situations. From and upside perspective and looking at the interior prospects left on the board in the 2010 class, Pitchford has the potential to blossom into a solid interior prospect. One of the best kept secrets in the Midwest right now when it comes to pure ability to make plays in the paint and potential at the next level.
6-0 PG Trevor Releford - Bishop Miege (Kansas)
Long regarded as one of the top PG talents in the 2010 class, the multi-skilled floor general from America's heartland did not disappoint this past spring/summer as Releford continued to show the leadership, skills, and ability to control the pace that mid and high major Division 1 programs look for each year. Big 10, SEC, Big 12, and Pac 10 schools continue to show interest in the young talent who stands to grab a lot of headlines in the coming weeks as one of the top available PG prospects left on the board in the 2010 class.
5-11 PG Storm Sanders - Glenn Oak (Ohio)
While not talked about nationally, this young floor general from Ohio has some game and he showed that with a high level of consistency this past spring/summer with the King James Shooting Stars. The young skilled talent handles the ball well, sees the floor, can create, and has a solid perimeter stroke that can extend beyond the arc if needed. As prospects continue to commit and dominoes continue to fall so to speak, expect Sanders to continue to generate low and mid major interest in the coming weeks.
6-0 PG Reggie Smith - Thornton (Illinois)
One of the most explosive and athletic guards left on the board both regionally and nationally, Smith has a very high ceiling when it comes to analyzing prospects in the 2010 class. While he's quick, explosive, and can handle the basketball, his playmaking skills and perimeter stroke still have room to develop putting his best basketball in front of him with continued hard work. Smith continued to flash that potential time and time again this past spring/summer with the Mac Irvin Fire 17U and schools from the Big East, Big 10, Pac 10, and SEC continue to express interest as a result.
6-3 SG Cole Stefan - Minnetonka (Minnesota)
With perimeter shooting specialists at a premium year in and year out, this young talent from the land of a thousand lakes saw his recruiting stock soar this past spring/summer with a number of explosion shooting exhibitions on the Grassroots travel circuit for Net Gain Sports. Stefan can fill it up with the best of them and has schools from the Pac 10, SEC, Big 10, Missouri Valley, etc. knocking on his door right now. A two sport star (i.e. baseball), Stefan has an excellent ability to catch and shoot the basketball with NBA type range that was shown with consistency time and time again this past July.
6-3 SG Jacob Thomas - Columbia Heights Sr. (Minnesota)
Another of the top perimeter shooting talents left on the board in the 2010 class from the region is this young sharpshooting talent from Minnesota. Thomas has the ability to catch and shoot the basketball and combines that with solid athleticism to make for a very interesting prospect. With improve consistency and development of his skill package, Thomas could blossom potentially. Mid to high major schools continue to express interest in the young talent as a result.
6-8 PF Colin Voss - East Grand Rapids (Michigan)
Another of the below the radar talents regionally, Voss is a punishing blue collar interior talent who collects rebounds and finishes with consistency in the paint. A nuts and bolts type of interior talent, Voss is active and plays hard on both ends making him a valuable commodity at the next level for a school in need of such a guy. With low to mid Division 1 interest being shown in his direction, Voss is a bit of a sleeper who could be a great catch for the right program at the next level.
6-7 F TrayVonn Wright - Waterloo East (Iowa)
One of the longest talents left on the board in the 2010 class is this athletic forward from Iowa. After turning in a statement type spring with Jake Sullivan (formerly director of All Iowa Attack and now Kingdom Hoops - see article posted today). Wright took major strides forward the past 12 months and this past spring it was evident time and time again as he blocked shots, grabbed rebounds, finished inside 15 feet, and showed explosive elevation. With his best basketball likely in front of him, Wright stands to continue to collect interest from schools at the mid and high major levels in the coming months.
6-5 SG Trey Zeigler - Mt. Pleasant (Michigan)
Another of the top available wing guards left on the board in the 2010 class, Zeigler grabbed Co-MVP honors with teammate Ray McCallum Jr. at the 2009 NY2LA Sports Summer Jam with a number of solid efforts during the single elimination tournament play. Zeigler can get to the rim and his ability to score the basketball by doing so combined with a solid perimeter stroke and good size has schools from the Pac 10, Big 10, etc. all posturing to land the scoring talent from Michigan.