Anderson A Rising Star in Northern Michigan

The Central Michigan University basketball program has been represented by some great northern Michigan players over the years, including Dirk Dunbar, Dan Majerle and Sander Scott. The Chippewas are now hot on the trail of perhaps the next great player in the north country, Suttons Bay High School junior shooting guard Dwaun Anderson.

Dwaun Anderson isn't quite sure how high he can jump, but he does recall that he began dunking a basketball in the seventh grade.

The sleek 6-foot-3 left-handed shooting guard for Suttons Bay (Mich.) High School averaged nearly 20 points per game last season in leading the Norsemen to an 18-4 record. For his efforts, Anderson was a consensus 1st team Class C All-State selection.

"People always tell me I need to go to a bigger school, but my uncle (Suttons Bay JV coach Ron Anderson) told me if you're good enough, schools will find you," Anderson said.

Central Michigan noticed Anderson last June at its team camp and offered him a scholarship, becoming the first college program to offer the 2011 class recruit, fresh off his freshman year of high school. Recently, Anderson said he received an offer from the University of Utah, where assistant coach Jeff Smith, a Michigan native and former CMU assistant, is recruiting him for the Utes.

More college offers are sure to follow as Anderson gets noticed this summer on the AAU circuit. In addition to CMU and Utah, Anderson said he's currently being recruited by Michigan State, Michigan, Dayton, Duquesne and Oakland.

It was his play in a Michigan AAU tournament game earlier this month, playing up a division on the Parallel 45 17-under team against Team Detroit and standout senior wing Trey Zeigler, that Anderson emerged as one of the top prospects in Michigan.

Anderson went toe-to-toe with Zeigler, keeping the game close to the end, but ultimately, Team Detroit emerged the winner and Anderson emerged as one of the top players in Michigan's 2011 class.

"It was exciting to play against Trey, a dream come true," Anderson said. "I was nervous. I played my hardest."

It's no surprise to Parallel 45 coach and publisher Steve Bell that Anderson has emerged as one of the top 2011 recruits in the state of Michigan, if not the entire Midwest.

"Before the AAU season, I was already telling college coaches that Dwaun had a combination of things - with his size, athleticism, inside-outside scoring, versatility - that no other 2011 guard could match," Bell said. "After two months seeing him against the best players in the Midwest, I just say he's the most talented guard in that class."

Perhaps no college is recruiting Anderson harder that the Chippewas though. Anderson returned to CMU with his Suttons Bay teammates this past weekend (June 26-27) for the CMU team camp. The Norsemen finished 4-5 in the 44-team field, including another matchup with Zeigler, the son of CMU head coach Ernie Zeigler, who was playing with his Mount Pleasant High School teammates.

"It was a good camp and we played pretty well," Anderson said. "Mount Pleasant beat us, but it was great to play against Trey again. We shook hands after the game."

Anderson said he is leaving Saturday to play in two AAU tournaments with Team New Jersey in North Carolina and Florida. How well Anderson stacks up against some of the top players in the nation will soon be known.

"In the past year, Dwaun's improved dramatically," Bell said. "When I saw him at the Gaylord (Mich.) team camp last summer, he was hunting for those dunks, and got some big ones, but it was hard to tell just how much of an actual baskebtall player he was. His shooting has really improved, despite being unorthodox with his legs, he can bury a team from deep now as well as create his own shot or create for others off a bunch of dribble moves. Dwaun can make space."

Recruiting is sure to heat-up in July for Anderson as more college programs see him play. Anderson said he doesn't have a set timeline for making a college choice, but he does have two favorites: CMU and Michigan State.

"The recruiting process is exciting," Anderson said. "Michigan State would be my No. 1 if they offered. CMU was the first school that was interested in me. I know a lot of people in Mount Pleasant and CMU is close to home."

Anderson said another thing that appeals to him about playing for the Chippewas is if Trey Zeigler, rated among the top recruits in Michigan's 2010 class, decides to play for his dad at CMU.

"I thought about the prospect of playing with Trey," Anderson said. "If he does go to CMU, it would definitely influence my decision to play there too."

For now though, Anderson will focus on his game and the areas where he feels he needs improvement.

"I'm good taking the ball to the basket and I have good court vision," Anderson said, "but I need to improve my defense, I tend to reach a lot."

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