ANN ARBOR - The State of Michigan's 2010 class of 'juniors to be' appears to be loaded with talent.
A look around the state discovers players such as Mt. Pleasant guard Trey Zeigler, Eaton Rapids forward Alex Gauna, Belleville forward Mohamed Conde, Grand Ledge forward Jon Horford and Detroit Pershing guard Keith Appling.
But recently, a new name has joined the fray.
6-foot-11 Midland center Brandon Crane is making his presence felt in AAU competition. Crane, playing alongside Conde on the Ypsilanti based Common Bond squad is going to be a factor as he continues his development because he has two things going for him, size and athleticism.
Crane is defintely a work in progress. As he continues to grow, he is still learning how to control his body but shows serious potential. His contact shows that the big programs believe that he's going to be a factor as he continues to develop.
"I'm hearing from Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Notre Dame, Central Michigan and Georgetown," Crane told GSN after his team lost a tough double overtime contest to Camp Darryl Basketball Academy.
When asked how tall he is, the Chemics center joked, "almost seven foot" and held his forefinger and thumb together.
With Evan Anderson of Eau Claire (WI) North (and a teammate of Jamil Wilson on Wisconsin Playground Elite) off the board to Wisconsin, Crane is one of the few legitimate 7-footers and the fact that he is just a sophomore, gives programs time to emphasize what skills he needs to work on well before he gets into their collegiate programs.
Crane is a good passer from the post and sets well calling for the ball. He must continue to develop by working on finishing strong around the basket, getting off his shot quicker and learning to use post moves to create space.
Still, you can't teach 7-foot and Crane's ability to run the floor, block shots and catch the ball in transition, give him skills that college coaches can work with.
Watch for this rising center prospect to get more attention as he continues developing his game.
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