Forecasting the incoming hoops Class of 2009

National Signing Day for basketball recruits is now underway. However, San Jose State has signed the players that will fill the incoming class for the 2009-2010 season. Inside Sparta takes a look at those players.

We're looking ahead, say eight or nine months from now, in order to forecast the assistance the group of freshman will be providing next season to the San Jose State men's basketball team. We make no claims that our forecasting talents measure up to those magical abilities of Miss Cleo but we will time travel forward anyway.

6-foot-4 Aalim Moor - Moor has willingly played the point guard role for St. Mary's High in Berkeley, submerging his offensive game in order to better serve his high school team, which has been a very successful one for the last four seasons. Look for him to keep playing such a role for San Jose State. His skills set won't necessarily be needed right away by the Spartans but it's comforting to know that a freshman point is on board, someone comfortable with handling the ball and bringing it upcourt against pressure.

6-foot-5 Anthony Dixon - The best athlete of the group -- which is saying something -- Dixon will initially play at the wing with being positioned at the two guard something to work towards. He appears best suited as a slasher to the hoop and his rebounding prowess is probably going to surprise some, especially at the offensive end. From photos, he has the frame to add 20 or so pounds of muscle and doing so will enhance his collegiate effectiveness. The wing spot is the most wide open one next season and we expect Dixon to earn at least decent playing time. He is from Hyde Park in the Chicago area.

Joseph Henson

6-foot-8 Joseph Henson - He played on a Pasadena High team lacking solid guard play and often rotated in and out with another D-1 prospect his size. In the game (and it was just one contest) we saw him play, the opposing defense packed into the paint and prevented any maneuver room when Henson received a pass. He looked to have a soft touch inside with his shot and also ran the floor very well for a big. Rebounding and defending will be critical performance areas for him collegiately -- again, in the game we saw he had nobody close to his size to defend and the missed shots of the opposing team often came off the rim wild and long, negating the opportunity for him to demonstrate rebounding ability. There's raw material to work with here but our sense is that he will need a season of readying to the rigors of D-1 basketball.

6-foor-4 Chris Jones - Being a fifth-year senior means that Jones already has an additional year of physical maturity on the others although he was ready to play collegiately last season. Our expectations are that Jones will earn the most playing time among the freshman primarily because of his defensive prowess. Justin Graham and Adrian Oliver will obviously own most of the playing time in the backcourt but Jones will see time there as well as at the wing. His shooting consistency and range have supposedly improved during his year at prep school and we're anxious to witness just such during the summer.

What's nice is that each of these kids has down-the-road starting potential but, as is typical, some will earn such a status and some won't.

Also, expect one more player -- a 'big' more than likely from the junior college ranks -- to be signed before the April recruiting period concludes.

Freshman Clint Amberry has decided to transfer and play at a lower level and sophomore Oliver Caballero is medically unable to compete any longer. Chris Jones was signed with the scholarship available via Amberry's departure and another 'big' is likely to be the replacement for Caballero.

We wish both Clint and Oliver the very best.




Kevin McCarthy is the Basketball Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Kevin with any questions, comments, or tips at kevin@insidesparta.com

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