Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Jordan Watch

POINT #1 .... I have mentioned a few times I feel the most improved player in the senior class over the past two years, especially the last 18 months, has been Jeff Jordan of Loyola Academy. I remember two years ago when I felt Jordan was in that top 20-30 player range in the Class of 2007. Now? He's without question one of the top 15 seniors in the state and one I feel is often overlooked as a college prospect. There is more and more talk of Jordan walking-on at a high-major school. If Jordan ends of landing at a low to mid-major Division I school, that school will have itself a steal of recruit for it being this late in the recruiting game.

Jordan's strength remains his ability to get to the basket and finish. He has a good frame and athleticism and uses both well. His shooting and decision-making have improved, although they both could be more consistent. The combo guard, though, brings a lot to the table, including defensive intensity, a great demeanor and total unselfishness. I really love what Jordan brings to the court each night.

POINT #2 .... Well, the Hoops Report state tournament preview is out. The picks are in by both the Hoops Report and other "expert" high school basketball analysts around the state. The consensus -- surprise, surprise -- is Simeon to repeat. What is interesting is that eight of the nine experts polled also have Warren playing in the state championship game.

The Hoops Report picked these sectional winners: Glenbard East, Lockport, Decatur Eisenhower, East St. Louis, Warren, Jacobs, Lake Park, Rockford Boylan, Loyola Academy, Lincoln Park, Washington, Bloomington, Thornwood, Hillcrest, Simeon and St. Joseph. The four games in the Elite Eight: Decatur Eisenhower vs. Glenbard East; Warren vs. Lake Park; Loyola vs. Washington; Simeon vs. Thornwood.

POINT #3 .... I have always said national high school team basketball rankings really don't make much sense to me. When there are so few teams around the country playing one another, how in the world can you rank these teams? These rankings are for entertainment and intrigue purposes only. But what is even worse is any ranking of junior high prospects. Are you kidding me? Anyone who can actually rank junior high players when in no way they've all been seen and identified is foolish. A list of top 8th grade prospects? OK, maybe. But to actually rank these kids from one to whatever is really a joke, unfair to the development of a 13-year-old. It's not freakin' tennis where the top national 13-year-olds play one another in national tournaments. It's sad to see.

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