By now everyone knows who Josh Smith and Tony Wroten are but there are a handful of division-1 recruits who have already committed to stand-out programs in the country.
We now can rank the players according to their respective performances in summer leagues and in the big AAU tournaments that took place in the month of July. Most players are now working out individually to prepare for the season in the winter.
As always, let us know your opinion on the list in the comments.
These are who we believe to be the top 20 players in the state regardless of class or position.
1. Josh Smith (Sr.) Kentwood High School-PF/C--What has not been said about Josh Smith? We've scouted him and we know he is legit. He dominates every single game he is in. He is a double-double machine and owns the paint both offensively and defensively. People are assuming UW and UCLA are his top two schools, but he could surprise everyone, especially if he visits a school that fits him better than UW and UCLA. Highlights
2. Tony Wroten (Jr.) Garfield-PG--Without a doubt, Tony Wroten Jr. is the best passer at the High School level in the country. No one even comes close. He can get too flashy at times, but I think he'll learn that lesson once players start buckling down on him and actually play defense. If there was one weakness I could pinpoint, I would say it is shooting form. It is not as smooth or as consistent as it needs to be, but he has time to tweak it. Highlights
3. Gary Bell (Jr.) Kentridge-G--I thought Lorenzo Romar found a diamond in the rough when he offered a scholarship to Bell back in March. But Bell is no longer "hidden", after his performance on the national stage this past summer, college coaches besides Romar have taken notice of Bell. Mark Few has his eye on Bell, maybe he thinks Bell could be the next Derek Raivio? Interview
4. Aaron Bright (Sr.) Bellevue-PG--Bright has decided to commit to Stanford, which is great news for him and his future. Like Mitch Johnson, Bright has a chance to become an impact player the moment he steps onto campus in 2010. Skillwise, Bright only has one problem, shooting. He can either get really hot or really cold. His shooting mechanics are not the smoothest, his shot does not seem natural. However, when he is on fire it is one of the most beautiful things to watch, defenders are left with zero options when he is draining his shots.
5. Christian Behrens (Jr.) Tahoma-F--Few people know this name because of the school he attends along with the amount of success his team has had. However, Christian Behrens is a name you need to know. Along with Tony Wroten, Gary Bell, and Josh Smith, Behrens is a starter on Seattle Style Rotary. Behrens was a valuable contributer to the team this past summer and is known as one of the best defenders on a team that is full of freak athletes. UW, Gonzaga, California, and WSU are all recruiting Behrens, but he has another season to improve and this list could expand.
6. Patrick Simon (Sr.) Ephrata-SF--After being injured all of last year, Simon is back in action and was seen playing in Las Vegas this past July. Simon remains the sole recruit for WSU's Class of 2010. His outside shooting is his strongest skill. Here is a recent scouting report of him.
7. Joe Harris (Sr.) Chelan-SG--Harris recently committed to play ball for former WSU head coach, Tony Bennett, at the University of Virginia. Harris currenlty plays for Friends of Hoop along with John Gage and Aaron Bright. He dropped over 40 points in a state tournament game last year. He has a 6-6 frame with point guard skills and he has a solid pull up jumper combined with decent range.
8. John Gage (Sr.) Vashon Island-PF--Like Bright, Gage has also decided to commit to Stanford to play ball for Johnny Dawkins. Gage will be a valuable athlete whose 6-10 frame will be at the disposal for Dawkins to use. He is not particularly athletic or strong, however he plays a more a finesse perimeter game.
9. Brett Kingma (Jr.) Jackson-SG--Jackson is not your ideal place to play basketball, but Kingma has raised eyebrows in his performances for the Emerald City Pioneers. We saw Kingma play in early June and he looked good. He will need some help from his Jackson teammates if he wants a shot to play in the state tournament. I would like to see him be more aggressive in penetrating to the hole. Gonzaga has offered him a scholarship, Kingma looks like a Derek Raivio type of player for Coach Few. Seattle U and Coach Dollar are also vying for the services of this sharp shooter, apparently Kingma was being recruited by the Huskies when Dollar was still a coach at UW.
10. Anrio Adams (So.) Franklin-G--A very lanky athletic player. I talked to a player who described him as being a "natural" due to his great court sense. He sees the court well similar to Tony Wroten. He is a good ball handler and he has the explosiveness to get to the basket consistently. He is also developing a strong mid-range jumper.
11. Ryan Nicholas (Sr.) Gonzaga Prep-PF--Nicholas has been putting on a show on the AAU summer circuit. He is always a threat to dominate as a scorer because he has a lot of options offensively in the post. He is relatively unknown because of him being east of the mountains, however he has already verbally committed to play basketball at the University of Portland.
12. Cole Dickerson (Sr.) Federal Way-G/F--Although he plays around the rim a lot, he is undersized at 6-7. He is a Brandon Roy type of player, he'll do a lot of things well, but nothing spectacular. He is not super athletic, but succeeds by playing a fundamentally sound game. His shot is not consistent yet, meaning that he still has a long way to go before being considered a serious D-1 prospect.
13. Andre Winston Jr. (Sr.) Lakes-G--Winston has signed on to play at a D-1 school, James Madison. Some local colleges showed some interest, but James Madison was the first school to offer. Winston stars on the same Rotary team with Wroten., Smith, Behrens, and Bell. He is one of the quickest players in the state, he gets a lot of his points off of drives to the baskets and fast breaks. Right now he is a mediocre shooter, but that skill can be improved.
14. Lonnie Pearson (Sr.) Rainier Beach-SF--Pearson's stock has been rising ever since the end of last season. He was solid in the AAU circuit this summer and has drawn some D-1 college interest. Pearson was not a significant contributor last season for Beach---Echols, Stern, and Dotson were the main guys at the time. Pearson has a solid range on his jumpshot, but it is not as consistent as it needs to be yet. He is a smart player who lets the game come to him and he has a very high ceiling.
15. Tanner Riley (Sr.) Mount Si-F--When I first witnessed Mount Si. play I could not distinguish their "star" player, Tanner Riley. There were no distinguishably stand-out athletes or tall players on the team, so I could not pinpoint which player was Riley. But it only took me two minutes of watching Mount Si play to find out which player was Riley. He does not have any particular stand-out skills. He is strong and he can finish incredibly well. He averaged over 20 points per game last season and is on track to up his average from last season. He currently has an injured ankle, but he will be recovered by the time the season starts.
16. Gary Winston (Sr.) Walla Walla-PG--Winston is one of the top defenders in the state, he has committed to Idaho. Winston was juggling offers from Eastern Washington, University of Montana, and Portland St.
17. Jaamon Echols (Sr.) Rainier Beach-PG--Where is Echols? He was not playing for Beach's summer league team and he was not seen around the AAU circuit this summer. There is a rumor going around that Echols got kicked off the Northwest Panthers (can't confirm it), but for whatever reason, Echols needs to be ready by next November to play for the Rainier Beach Vikings. He really came out of nowhere and has become an entertaining player to watch. He has a very small frame at 5-10 and 155lbs. He'll need to bulk up this summer to receive some scholarship offers.
18. Simi Fajemisin (Sr.) Lynnwood-C--Undersized for the center position, but still extremely underrated at his position in the 2010 recruiting class. If he can work on his post skills and become a little stronger, he can make a big jump to a D-1 school on the west coast. Fajemisin's long arms and soft hands are his main assets, he has a high ceiling.
19. Jerron Smith (Jr.) Decatur-G--A freak athlete with some nice range on his jump shot. I have not heard a lot about possible college destinations. As the season goes on he is bound to get some offers from local D-1 schools e.g. Eastern Washington, Portland. This junior year is crucial for Smith, he is the main man at Decatur now with Marcus Tibbs departing.
20. Devante Williams (Jr.) O'Dea-SG--Williams is a 6-2 guard at the basketball powerhouse, O'Dea High School. He is an all-around player with a high ceiling with two seasons left to improve. He was able to become O'Dea's first option last season and passed up Dominic Ballard as the team's best player. He has an average jump shot, but his main strengths lie in his athleticism and strength.
Next 10 in:
J.T. Koonz-Federal Way, Ryan Rogers-Auburn Riverside, Deshea Bell-Kennedy, Dominic Ballard-Bothell, Connor Hamlett-Meadowdale, Hakeem Stewart-Rainier Beach, Glen Brooks- Garfield, Kaj Sherman, Stephen Madison-Prairie, Donald Gaddy-Bellarmine Prep
Who's missing? Someone too low? Someone too high? Let us know... no comments