The rest of the nation might not know it but Patrick Beverley is kind of a big deal in Chicago. The 6-foot-2 combo guard out of Marshall High is averaging 12 more points than he did last year and when you go for 36 a game people tend to notice.
"The kid is probably shooting 75 percent from the field," Marshall coach Lamont Bryant said. "He's doing it from everywhere. The stuff you hear about him is true. It's coming out of everywhere. This kid is putting the ball in the basket. He's scoring big points on not mediocre teams; we're talking about ranked teams."
Never heard of him? Well, his Marshall team won the same event Derrick Rose and Sherron Collins played in last weekend. Plus, the college guys are really starting to warm up to him.
""He can score. He's a player. He plays hard," one high-major assistant said.
"He's a great scorer," another lead assistant chimed in. "He can really score it. He's long-armed and 6-foot-2 at best. He's got a lot of game and he can shoot it. I went in there this spring when Toledo was in there and Illinois was there. He was scoring at will. He makes hard shots. He'll drive it in there in traffic and he's got the one-handed floater; almost like a New York City kid. There's no doubt the kid's got some ability."
If he's so talented why hasn't the country heard of him you say? Well, good question. Last summer, Beverley got the idea to try out for "The Battlegrounds" series and that move kept him out of AAU action for the most part. If you didn't catch him early in the spring with Mean Streets you missed your chance.
Bryant said his star attended the adidas camp as a junior and put up strong assist numbers. The coach also said that his game has made strides since his junior season, especially in terms of leadership.
"He's taken over but people fail to realize that he put up big numbers last year," Bryant said. "Not the 40s but he had 5 30-point games last year. Believe it or not, we were beating teams like this last year but not teams of the caliber we're beating now like the Simeon's and the Carver's."
The thing about this 165-pounder is that he's tough to project position wise because he hasn't settled into a spot yet. "It's hard to say (what position he is)," Bryant said. "Even if he tones his scoring down a lot the one thing he can do on the college level is defend. It's ridiculous the way he plays defense. It's relentless. The kid doesn't get tired."
Head coaches Bruce Weber, Matt Painter and Jerry Wainright have spent time evaluating Beverley. His current list – which is void of offers – reads Missouri, Seton Hall, Illinois, Washington State, Virginia, DePaul and Purdue.
"Nobody has really offered because we haven't got into a long conversation," Bryant said. "I want things to die down. We've been taking this hand in hand. So much stuff has happened these last couple of weeks; I want him to stay focused. I'm sure everybody wants to offer because all the schools have scholarships available.
"The main thing is he's got choices."
In the fall, Beverley made the choice to go visit Toledo. Shortly thereafter he committed to the Rockets but has since rescinded that pledge.
"I think what happened was that he went down to Toledo and he got overwhelmed. They have a lot of Chicago kids down there and he got caught up. That wasn't the right thing for him to do."
The state of Illinois is loaded with seniors making a stand. From Jon Scheyer to Sherron Collins to Brian Carlwell, there are good players within the borders. Bryant takes up for his guy when he speaks to the kind of year he's having.
"The kid is the best kid in the state right now."
The next month and a half will go a long way toward proving or disproving that statement. However, at this point in the high school season, Beverley is amongst the most talked about players in his region and maybe it's time some national attention was directed his way.
After all, no matter how you look at it, 36 points a game in Chi-Town is enough to grab your attention or at least it should be.
Photos courtesy of www.IllHoops.com