By Joe Henricksen
There were other storylines coming out of the Public League-Catholic League tripleheader Sunday night at Chicago
State other than the marquee matchup of Whitney Young-Hales Franciscan. Individually, the two biggest
newsmakers in the eyes of the City/Suburban Hoops Report were Whitney Young junior guard Chris Colvin and St.
Rita junior guard Terry Johnson.
The Hoops Report has been a fan of Johnson since watching him as a sophomore at Seton Academy and then in
AAU play at Spiece in Fort Wayne last spring. But he's added a little strength to his slender frame and more
consistency with his jumper since then and is now a complete scorer. After watching him again Sunday at Chicago
State, there is no question he's one of the top 20 prospects in the Class of 2009 and will likely move into the top 15
when the new Hoops Report player rankings come out later this month. He's a perfect mid-major guard prospect
Johnson was awfully impressive in his team's loss to Von Steuben, scoring 18 in the first half and finishing with 34
on the night. He has always been terrific in the open court, getting to the basket and finishing in transition. He is a
very capable three-point shooter but has added a nice mid-range, pull-up game to his arsenal. If you're a college
basketball fan and remember several years back, Johnson's play and style reminds me of former Oklahoma
standout guard Hollis Price. Johnson is a fun one to watch.
Colvin among top four juniors
While Colvin didn't start for Whitney Young Sunday night, he showed he's among the top three or four prospects in
the Class of 2009. What sets him apart from some of the top guard prospects in the junior class is his toughness
and competitiveness. He's got that chip on his shoulder, that get-after-it fire, that little nasty streak in him that you
love to have. He's not going to back down.
Colvin thrives on his ability to break anyone down off the dribble with his speed, quickness and crossover. He
penetrates at will and disrupts things for opponents defensively. He has an uncanny ability to get to the basket and
finish. His shooting has come a long way but still needs some consistency, as well as his overall decision-making
and point guard responsibilities and maturity. He has made huge strides since a year ago when the Hoops Report
watched him at Chicago State.
As far as where he stands among his junior peers, it is certain he belongs among the top four. But there is such
little separation from the perimeter prospects in this class. Depending on who and when you talk to talent
observers and college coaches, the opinions differ--almost weekly. But combining the individual talent they
possess and how they project out to college prospects, the Hoops Report has Colvin in the top four with Peoria
Central's D.J. Richardson, St. Joseph's Diamond Taylor and Warren's Brandon Paul. And just behind that foursome
are Whitney Young's Marcus Jordan and Sterling's Joseph Bertrand, followed by Jordan Prosser of Eureka and
Michael Haynes of Washington.
Illinois and coach Bruce Weber can only wish there was room for more perimeter players, especially with the likes
of Illini commit Jereme Richmond, Whitney Young's Anthony Johnson and Rich South's Crandall Head all looming in
the Class of 2010. But Weber and the staff handled the abundance of guards in the Class of 2009 the right way.
Recognizing the talent level and knowing there was little separation between the top players, they showed the
interest in each, put the bait out there and waited for the bites among the junior guards. Richardson, Bertrand and
Paul were the first to bite.
It will be fun watching how this class, which has really made strides since a year ago at this time in living up to
some of their early hype, progresses between now and March.
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