Friday, June 22, 2007

U of I Camp loaded with talent .... and observations

POINT #1 .... As mentioned in the post yesterday, the biggest story the Hoops Report came out of the Illinois Satellite Camp at Moody Bible Institute with was the continued rapid rise of St. Joseph junior-to-be Diamond Taylor. The Hoops Report has vaulted the silky smooth offensive weapon to the top of the Class of 2009, right there with Sterling's Joseph Bertrand. When it's all said and done, everyone will have Diamond Taylor at the top--or near the top--of this class in Illinois.

In addition to Taylor's emergence this spring and early summer, the Hoops Report is also convinced that Iman Shumpert of Oak Park is the No. 1 player in the senior class. Everyone has him among the top top three now, but he's always listed behind either Farragut's Mike Dunigan or Washington's DeAndre Ligggins -- or both. But projecting the three of them, I just really believe Shumpert is the most complete player of the three, has the most potential of the three and will undoubtedly have the best college career of the three.

POINT #2 .... All reports indicate Jereme Richmond, the 6-6 sophomore sensation who has already committed to Illinois, will be transferring to Waukegan next year. Richmond remains the top prospect in what appears to be a star-studded group of prospects in the Class of 2010. Solidifying himself right behind Richmond in the sophomore class is Whitney Young's Anthony Johnson. Wow, what a talent this 6-3 guard is. He's phenomenal in the open court, is a great finisher and a very capable shooter. There is no question Johnson is the No. 2 player in the class and will be a high-major prospect.

POINT #3 .... While I'm on the topic of super sophomores, the class continues to shine--even with all the build up around its potential since they all entered high school a year ago. While Richmond is the top prospect and Johnson is right behind him, there are several others that shined at the Illinois Team Camp. St. Joseph sophomore DeAndre McCamey is going to be a special point guard. While there will be endless comparisons to his brother Demetri McCamey, the former St. Joe's standout who is headed to Illinois, they really don't compare to one another at the same stage of their career. DeAndre is already a true point guard, while Demetri learned (and is still in the process of learning) the postion on the fly during his junior and senior years playing for St. Joe's and the Illinois Wolves.

There is not a whole lot of debate with Richmond at No. 1, Johnson at No. 2 and McCamey at No. 3 in the sophomore class. The player, though, that in my mind has pushed himself into the top five is New Trier's Alex Rossi. The 6-5 combo guard's basketball I.Q. is off the charts. He's so polished for a kid his age. I believe Rossi is the No. 4 sophomore in the loaded Class of 2010.

Another player who has improved is Thornton's Reggie Smith. When I first watched Smith I felt he was a little overhyped coming into high school. However, he has showed lately he's more than just a superior athlete. I questioned his overall basketball skill set, but he showed at the Illinois Satellite Camp at Moody Bible that he has improved his stroke from outside and is a capable scorer.

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