RECRUITING THE INSIDE
We've covered the perimeter and now it's time to pound the ball down low. This group of studs is getting big time looks from teams around the nation.
Arturo Dubois is a 6'7" 245 pound power forward at Rice High School and a teammate of Russell Robinson and Shagari Alleyne. His coming out party over the Christmas Tournament circuit was impressive as this big fellow racked up a string of double/ doubles. He is still learning the game but with his work ethic, the game will come to him under the tutelage of one of the best in the business, Mo Hicks. His present list of schools is an impressive mix of academic and athletic institutions. Rutgers is definitely on his list at this time.
Bergen Catholic's Adrian Joseph a 6'7" combo forward just exploded On the Beach. Alleged to need a fifth year academically, this southpaw import from the Caribbean had a few double/doubles down in Lewes, Delaware. He was the guy that got the points to win the Starksville game and he was also the guy that kept Catholic in a couple of other games. He can defend inside and outside and score from inside or out. He has great timing and gets off the floor quickly. He is a human rebound machine and has a nose for the ball. If rumors are correct, Rutgers is closely following his progress. More schools will get in line as his academic situation crystallizes. He is quickly becoming the go to player at Bergen Catholic.
Another guy that exploded On the Beach is 6'7" wiry small forward Alex Galindo from Puerto Rico by way of Miami. Galindo plays for former Scarlet Knight Assistant Coach and Head Coach at St. Benedict's, Danny Hurley. Have no fear, Danny will school him and Alex will learn. He can clean the boards as he proved time and time again over the last several games. In the championship he garnered 11 rebounds. This kid was an MVP and for a very good reason, he's a winner and does what the little things needed to put up the W's. He boxes out his man to negate him and often grabs the rebound and he is starting to learn to get down and dirty on defense. On offense he is can score and often gets open by moving without the ball looking for a seam to exploit in his opponents defense. This was Alex's coming out party and the line now forms to the right. Florida International may lead but several Big East schools are involved. He will most likely be a swing at the next level but may grow into a combo forward.
A familiar name on the recruiting circuit is the Grey Bees Stanley Branch. Stanley has been injured most of the year with a high ankle sprain according to his Coach, Dan Hurley. Oakland Tech's Leonard Powe schooled Branch, who was hobbling with his ankle injury, in an early tournament game On the Beach. Atlantic City's Stanley Branch started to recover and had a strong game in the finals against Archbishop Spaulding as the Bees won the Slam Dunk Beach Title, 49-48. That was St. Benedict's second national title in a little over a week. The Grey Bees had previously beaten Lexington Catholic to take the Great Florida Shootout. Stanley goes about 6'8" and may be a combination forward at the next level. . He is still not close to 100% but his game continues to improve. His inside game and skills are ahead of his perimeter skills at this point in time.
Stanley had a chance to tour the country this summer as a member of the Tim Thomas Playaz AAU squad. He is getting looks from the Big East and other major conferences. Rutgers, Nova, Uconn, Kentucky and Florida lead.
No Jersey team plays a tougher schedule than Blair Academy; their schedule is right on a par with St. Benedicts, St. Anthony's and St. Pats. When an athlete puts up numbers here, you know he's for real. Chris Alvarez a slightly built 6'8" junior is one of those guys. Last year he played at Archbishop Carroll in Miami, Florida, but lost most of the season to a broken leg. This guy is all about potential but since potential is nothing more than unfulfilled promise maybe it's not potential anymore. He's putting up double figures at the small forward position and rebounding like a demon. His two frontcourt mates, Luol Deng, headed to Duke, and Charlie Villaneueva , either going pro or to Illinois, continue to be surprised by this guy's ability. Next year he will be the go to guy up at Blair. Look for all the big schools to get involved with this relatively unknown stud.
Another student athlete that Rutgers is involved with in the Class of 2004 is Good Counsel, Maryland, power forward, James Gist. Gist can score and rebound but is just 6'8" and about 200 pounds. With a year or so in the weight room and some additional height you may end up with a 6'9" 245 prototype power banger. He is a real jumping jack and gets off the floor as quick as anyone in the class. He defends and is just scratching the surface on the offensive side.
Mike and the BigDog LLC.