Class of 2009
Nik Garcia – F – Rising Stars Gold 17 – Shooters with size will always get looks, especially when they are as clutch as Garcia. All spring and summer Garcia has knocked down big shot after big shot as his stock continues to rise. The consistency for the rest of his game still needs improvement but his shot is top notch.
Mike Bruesewitz – F – 43 Hoops Chatman – The Wisconsin commit proved to be a typical Bo Ryan big as he moved well, shot well, and played with a physicality that threw off opposing players. He's got a chance to be really good in Wisconsin's system.
Chris Colvin – G – Mac Irvin Fire 17 – Playing with the Mac Irvin Fire 17's fresh off a solid week at Reebok Camp, Colvin blew by anyone trying to guard him. The 17 division MVP will be a hot commodity for high-majors looking for a playmaker who handles the ball as well as he does.
Matt Vogrich – G – Full Package – Vogrich was one of the hottest names in the country coming into the event after a scintillating performance at Adidas Take Five in Cincinnati, and he didn't disappoint. Already regarded as a fantastic shooter, Vogrich commanded respect in every facet of his offensive game as he drove on bigger more athletic defenders and used a variety of moves and even a couple of dunks to finish strong. I still don't know who he guards at the next level but his impressive offensive display has high academic high-majors drooling.
Jack Cooley – C – Rising Stars 17 – Cooley continues to impress me every time I see him. Against an athletic and physical 43 Hoops Chatman team the Notre Dame commit went for 20 points and used his quickness and athleticism around the hoop to finish. He still needs to put on weight as he is rail-thin, but he's got a shot at being pretty good.
Class of 2010
Ben Brust – G – Rising Stars Gold 16 – Brust played Matt Vogrich to a near draw in their matchup despite being younger. Playing much of the game in attack mode, Brust finished on floaters, perimeter shots, pull-ups and lay-ups in traffic. As he plays more point guard there is no doubt Brust's stock will continue to rise as teams love his toughness and perimeter skill.
Reggie Smith – G – Mac Irvin Fire 17 – Simply put, Reggie Smith assaults the rim. Normally dunks as hard as his are reserved for bigs but the 6'0 guard gets the gym buzzing with every lay-up line and baseline drive. Smith still needs to learn to slow down to make his speed game even harder to stop but his athleticism is world class.
Mike McCall – G – Chicago Elite – McCall continues to deliver the goods as his outside shot gets better and better. Always regarded as a capable driver McCall is now keeping defenders honest with a consistent long range jumper. If the point guard skills continue improving he has a chance to be a high-major player.
Lavonte Dority – G – Chicago Elite – Dority didn't have his finest game when I saw him but he still helped his team out and showed his great chemistry with high school teammate Mike McCall. While Dority can get by now by physically beating defenders he'll need to improve his explosiveness to really maximize his potential. Dority claims to have a scholarship offer from DePaul.
Phillip Jackson – F – Mac Irvin Fire 16 – Jackson looks better and better with every game. The soft touch, the hustle, and the athleticism were already there but now Phil has developed a nice turnaround and an intensity I had not seen. Jackson destroyed Paul Bunch in a head-to-head matchup that left some scouts buzzing.
Alex Rossi – G – Rising Stars Gold 16 – The sharpshooter showed patience and intelligence in finding ways to give himself floor space. Rossi uses varieties of pump fakes, head fakes and jab steps to keep defenders off of him long enough to drop a 20 footer in with ease. I still want to see him drive more and I question his foot speed to defend quicker guys but an elite level shooter will always have a place.
Class of 2011
Nana Egwu – C – Illinois Wolves 16 – Remember this name as time goes on. The lanky 6'9 center from Chicago St. Ignatius is long as heck and moves as well as anyone his size. Although still very raw offensively, Egwu has improved a lot (especially on the defensive end) since the last time I saw him play.
Sam Thompson – G – Mac Irvin Fire 16 – The attacking mentality and pure athleticism were always there but now Thompson's jump shot is starting to fall with more regularity and the results were scary. By keeping defenders honest with his jumper Thompson was able to drive and dunk on anyone and everyone on his way to winning the 16 Division MVP award. The future is very bright for Sam.
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