No change at top in 2010

By Joe Henricksen

The City/Suburban Hoops Report has raved about the top of the Class of 2010 for the last couple of years, even saying it’s the best we’ve seen at the top in over a decade. Really, since the Class of 1998 with Quentin Richardson, Corey Maggette, Frank Williams and Bobby Simmons at the top of that ridiculously loaded class, the Class of 2010 is the best we’ve had.

And there has been little movement at the top. Waukegan’s Jereme Richmond and Crane’s Crandall Head are clearly the top two college prospects. Yes, both need to remain focused and get a little hungrier. And Head certainly has work to do with his overall skill package. But their physical ability and potential are just enormous. Zion-Benton’s Lenzelle Smith just may be the most productive high school player right now in the class and is a terrific college prospect as well, but his ceiling is nowhere near that of Richmond and Head. Nonetheless, the trio of Richmond, Head and Smith is pretty special.

1. Jereme Richmond, 6-7, WF, Waukegan …. The best college prospect in the state regardless of class. There isn’t much he can’t do when he wants to do it.

2. Crandall Head, 6-3, 2G, Chicago (Crane) …. Up-and-down spring and summer for the player with arguably the highest ceiling in the class. Still, he has the size and is the type of athlete you see playing on Final Four teams.

3. Lenzelle Smith, 6-3, WF, Zion-Benton …. Arguably the most productive player in the Class of 2010. Plain and simple, you win with players like Lenzelle Smith.

4. Meyers Leonard, 6-10, PF, Robinson …. Name the last player in Illinois that has climbed as quickly as this big, mobile kid? The Illini commit went from an absolute unknown last winter to a high-major prospect by June.

5. Anthony Johnson, 6-3, PG/2G, Chicago (Whitney Young) …. Still trying to grow (both physically and mentally) into the player that he could be and gain consistency.

6. Phillip Jackson, 6-8, PF, Chicago (Providence St. Mel) …. Rising quickly. Runs the floor, active around the basket and has developed a much-improved touch.

7. Mike McCall, 6-0, 2G, Chicago (Foreman) …. Others are finally seeing he’s a more complete, all-around player than his much more hyped teammate. A versatile scorer who sees the floor extremely well.

8. Ben Brust, 6-2, 2G, Mundelein …. Athletic, can shoot it and has emerged as an all-around scorer. He is ahead of where Lake Forest’s Matt Vogrich was at the same stage of their career. Will he make as big of strides between now and next summer?

9. Alex Rossi, 6-4, 2G, Winnetka (New Trier) …. Has rebounded from nagging injuries. Fundamentally strong and can really shoot it. Just needs to add weight and strength.

10. Ahmad Starks, 5-8, PG, Chicago (Whitney Young) …. Forget about his size. He’s a winner and makes those around him better.

11. Jordan Threloff, 6-9, C, DeKalb …. An aboslute house down low with a wide, strong base. And he knows what he is–a true five-man.

12. Lavonte Dority, 5-11, PG, Chicago (Foreman) …. A power-packed point guard with strength. He still needs to grow in understanding the game and situations. He also needs to improve his shooting.

13. Reggie Smith, 5-11, 2G, Harvey (Thornton) …. Freak of an athlete but he remains more of a 5-11 three-man. Will his game evolve? If so he’s a clear-cut top 10 prospect.

14. Alex Dragicevich, 6-6, 2G/WF, Northbrook (Glenbrook North) …. Another player that needs to fill out, add weight and strength. But he’s got the length and shooting ability to excel on the perimeter.

15. Dwayne Evans, 6-5, WF, Naperville (Neuqua Valley) …. Still coming into his own. If he knocks down shots consistently he will be an absolute monster as he’s already capable of putting it on the floor, getting to the basket.

16. DeAndre McCamey, 6-1, PG, Westchester (St. Joseph) …. Lacks the overall explosiveness and must become a more consistent shooter.

17. Jarod Oldham, 6-3, 2G/WF, Decatur (Eisenhower) …. A little wild and erratic. His decision-making lacks. But the overall talent and scoring ability is there.

18. Fred Heldring, 6-9, PF, Winnetka (New Trier) …. Still in the learning mode. But he’s skilled, agile and runs the floor. Weight and strength must improve.

19. Isiah Jones, 6-2, PG/2G, Mounds Meridian …. Great body, strong and has a nice mid-range game to go with his ability to do some things off the bounce.

20. Chance Carter, 6-4, PF, Wilmette (Loyola Academy)…. Forget about hoops, he’s a national football recruit. But boy does he get things done and beat up on higher ranked players.

21. Brandon Spearman, 6-3, WF, Chicago (Simeon) …. Nationally he’s adored. Locally? Doesn’t crack the top 20. An unfinished product right now.

22. Karl Madison, 5-9, PG, Springfield (Lanphier) …. Size will be an issue but he’s quick and knows the role of the point guard.

23. Mario Redmond, 6-5, WF/PF, Crete-Monee …. Has the potential to skyrocket with his eye-popping athleticism and great length. However, his skill level is lacking right now.

24. Mike Gabriel, 6-7, PF, Chicago (Lincoln Park)…. Another player who is moving up fast and improving by the day.

25. Paul Bunch, 6-10, C, Chicago (North Lawndale) …. He’s all of 6-10 with a nice frame to add plenty of weight. But a lot not to like for a player his size.

26. Anthony Shoemaker, 6-4, WF, Joliet …. Best player at Joliet since Roger Powell and just coming into his own.

27. Ryan Frazier-Chambers, 6-1, PG, Evanston …. A little underrated by some. Should really blossom this season for the Wildkits.

28. Rayvonte Rice, 6-2, 2G/WF, Champaign (Centennial) …. A bowling ball in the open court. He’s physical, strong and improving his basketball instincts. But probably a better football prospect.

29. Patrick Miller, 5-11, PG, Chicago (Hales) …. This little-known guard opened the Hoops Report’s eyes this summer with his well-rounded game.

30. Jordon Harris, 6-0, PG/2G, Oswego (East) …. He’s awfully thin but can flat-out score.

31. Tevin Rumley, 6-3, Rock Falls

32. C.J. Fiedorwicz, 6-7, PF, Johnsburg

33. Duje Dukan, 6-6, WF, Deerfield

34. Wayne Simon, 5-10, PG, Westchester (St. Joseph)

35. Dave Dudzinski, 6-8, C, Maple Park (Kaneland)

36. Kenny Stevenson, 6-0, PG, South Holland (Seton Academy)

37. Rahjan Muhammad, 5-11, PG, Naperville (Neuqua Valley)

38. John Whitelaw, 6-1, PG, Hinsdale (Central)

39. Eric Gaines, 6-1, 2G, Country Club Hills (Hillcrest)

40. Aaron Davis, 6-0, 2G, Peoria (Richwoods)

To subscribe to or for more information on the City/Suburban Hoops Report, now in its 14th year of publication, email hoopsreport@yahoo.com or call (630)-408-6709

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