The Shootist

Alex Rossi, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound, shooting guard, from Winnetka (Ill.) New Trier, is considered one of the top Midwest prospects in the Class of 2010. Rossi started for the Trevians as a freshman and saw his stock soar this past summer playing AAU for the Rising Stars.

"Alex Rossi is definitely one of the best shooters in the state of Illinois," said New Trier coach, Rick Malnati.

"We brought Alex up to the varsity last year as a freshman and he did a very good job for us. At the beginning of this season, the doctors found a bone-chip in his knee and Alex was supposed to be sidelined for a month but he was back in six days. That shows you the kind of toughness Alex Rossi possesses."

Rossi is starting to see the early recruiting letters flood his mailbox and he's been to several schools for unofficial visits. Which schools are at the top of his wish list?

"I've been officially offered by Northwestern," Rossi said. "I've been offered by a few other schools but I don't know if I'd say those are official or set in stone. Northwestern, Wisconsin, Illinois and Notre Dame are recruiting me the hardest right now.

"My favorites would be Wisconsin, UCLA, Illinois, Rice, De Paul and I like Virginia a lot. It's early and I'm sure things could change but these are the schools that I'm looking at the hardest right now."

Rossi is a sharp-shooter but his coach says now he's also a marked man.

"Alex can shoot the lights out of the gym but he's now been tagged," Coach Malnati said.

"What I mean by this is that Alex is now drawing a second defender when he has the ball. He has to learn how to create his shot a little better now and he's going to have to learn to create more off the dribble for his shot and find the open man as well."

Rossi says he's continuing to work on his game.

"With the bone-chip in my knee, I couldn't do a whole of dribble penetration but I'm getting better." He said.

"My game is shooting the ball. I love to shoot the ball. I love to hit the jumper off of screens. Reggie Miller and Rip Hamilton are the two players I love to watch.

"I'm working harder every day at my ball-handling skills and my passing skills. I want to be a complete player."

Badger fans, if you live in the Chicagoland area, you can catch Alex Rossi this Friday night at Northwestern University in Evanston as New Trier takes on rival Evanston. This is a huge game that should draw around 7,000 fans.

Rossi carries a 3.9 GPA in the classroom.

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