Sometimes, players on the national travel circuit can be hidden at the 16-under level. Most elite rising juniors play up with the 17s, and that classification not surprisingly attracts most of the attention from college coaches and scouts.
But Brad Beal won't enjoy that luxury. Playing for the St. Louis Eagles' 16-under squad at last weekend's Boo Williams Invitational in Virginia, he almost single-handedly led his team to the championship game.
Beal is an explosive scorer who doesn't necessarily look explosive. He's a very calm and controlled 6-3 SG at St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade whose maturity on the court contradicts his age -- which is young even by 16-under standards.
Beal is effective scoring off the dribble but also smokes the net with long jump shots that have ideal backspin. Additionally, he plays intelligent defense and is an unselfish passer. In short, there probably aren't 25 better prospects in the Class of 2011.
For that reason, high-major programs aren't just showing interest -- they're making scholarship offers.
There obviously is no rush for Beal to make a decision, and his next step is to focus on his spring and summer. He plans to continue touring with the Eagles and attend USA Basketball in June. He hopes to earn an invite to the LeBron James Skills Academy -- and here's guessing he won't have a problem -- as well.
While most of the schools on his early list are located within the Midwest, Beal insisted that he's willing to leave the region if necessary.
"The location doesn't matter as much finding the right school, somewhere I can be a good teammate and work hard," Beal said.
Kansas certainly is among those programs that has caught his eye.
"I really like KU's style of play and how they get after it on defense," he said. "I went to the Mizzou game there this year."
Beal said that he has been in contact with assistant coach Kurt Townsend and the head man himself, Bill Self. He added that he doesn't have a current leader and wants to take his time navigating the recruiting process.