However, Ft. Sooy No Limit's Justin Cerasoli may just have been the biggest possible catch that got an early release. His combination of speed, height, athletic ability, and as he would say "hoopin" skills made for as exciting a guard prospect in the class of 2004 that I have seen.
After watching him in the 2003 Tournament of Champions, I sure hope Bethel makes me forget what I saw when Ft Sooy took on the Randolph Boys Club based in Wisconsin. I was dazzled with a guard that was 6-foot-5 (and still growing) doing all the things that you see in the NBA. Fast drives, spectacular assists, long shots and slam dunks worthy of the NBA All-Star contest. According to Cerasoli, versatility is his "G" or game.
"I am a versatile player. I would prefer to play the point guard position. I can handle. I can pass. I can shoot. I like the versatile PT."
In Ft Sooy's Friday game, Justin didn't need to score as his teammates had their game on. I had 4 points. Everyone on our team was scoring. Everyone was hoopin. I had an all-around game." Ft. Sooy beat the SC Hoopsters 78-67.
In the Saturday game against Randolph, Cerasoli finished with 15 points, 4 steals and 4 assists. I did not count the assist he gave when he through up an ally oop to his self on a break away slam dunk.
Cerasoli has it all indeed, except NC State's interest at this point. I asked Justin about how it ended with the Wolfpack.
"I was looking at NC State, but they got that other point guard from Georgetown. I think he just made the move over there, Tony Bethel. They were looking for one guard basically. After the point guard from the other school, they had their player, which is fine with me. I understand how the business of the game is and stuff like that. They have stopped recruiting me now."
While NC State has moved their attention to small forwards in the class of 2004, Justin is still receiving heavy interest from Memphis, Ohio State, Seton Hall, Villanova and Auburn.
According to Cerasoli, he averaged 16 points, 5 rebounds and 6 or 7 assists for West Senior High School (Aurora, Illinois). The Blackhawks were ranked #1 in the state but were upset by Downers Grove South 61-52 in the play-offs. Justin scored 17 points in the losing effort.