By Joe Henricksen

Class of 2011 loaded, set to shine

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By Joe Henricksen

There has been so much talk about the Class of 2011 over the past eight or nine months as so many talented players in that class shined brightly as freshmen. Watching them a year ago it was hard to believe that they were just freshmen. The City/Suburban Hoops Report -- and many others -- have thrown superlatives around regarding this class. Now we really get to enjoy them and watch them progress. The sophomore class is a year older, better and, as a group, blossoming into stars. At least six of the top eight players already have high-major offers on the table.

The Hoops Report elevated Mt. Carmel's Tracy Abrams, who sparkled when the lights shined brightest last March, to the top of the list last June. The ultra-talented point guard remains at the top but has a few players right there with him. In fact, there is very little separation between the top four players in the class in terms of just who is the best of the bunch.

Here is a look at the City/Suburban Hoops Report's top college prospects in the Class of 2011.

1. Tracy Abrams, 6-1, PG, Chicago (Mt. Carmel)... A terrific athlete who has already proven to a big-time player and winner at a high level. He competes and has a toughness about him. When he decides to attack, not many players can match up with him. And for his age, his ability to finish around the basket puts him at another level. The jumper will have to get more consistent. Has a little Russell Westbrook in him.
2. Sam Thompson, 6-6, WF, Chicago (Whitney Young)... Long, lanky wing with just an enormous upside. His length, agility and versatility make him a very unique prospect. Still too skinny and needs to add some toughness to his game.
3. Wayne Blackshear, 6-4, 2G, Chicago (Curie)... Has length, strength and explosiveness. And he's only going to get stronger as his solid frame continues to fill out. Really excels on the break and along the baseline, where he utilizes his strong body and athleticism. Needs to become more consistent overall, particularly with his shooting.
4. Mike Shaw, 6-8, WF, Chicago (DeLaSalle)... Overall, just a terrific talent. While many paint him as a four-man, Shaw is best facing the basket with his excellent versatility. Solid handle for a 6-8 player. He can at times be too enamored with his outside shot and needs to develop more of a killer instinct as his intensity tends to drift at times.
5. Chasson Randle, 6-2, PG/2G, Rock Island... He continues to get better and better with his shooting, which makes him so dangerous offensively. Good quickness, instincts and solid feel for the game. Must continue to develop his point guard skills. Has all the tools to become a special four-year college player.
6. Dre Henley, 6-5, WF, Chicago (DeLaSalle)... Strong and athletic wing with ideal size to play the wing. Very good in the open court and finishing around the basket. His shooting continues to get better and better.
7. Ryan Boatright, 5-11, PG, Aurora (East) ... He can be wild. He can let his emotions get to him. But he can flat-out play basketball and put the ball in the hole. No one realizes just how athletic he is.
8. Donivine Stewart, 5-11, PG, Bartonville (Limestone)... Quick with the ball, crafty and has a high basketball I.Q. Rare combination of having a scorer's mentality while possessing point guard intangibles. Extremely adept at getting to the foul line. Has a confidence and swagger about him. But the limitations are there. He's not big and is average athletically.
9. Nnana Egwu, 6-9, C, Chicago (St. Ignatius)... The prototypical project. But, boy, has he come a long way. Big man with tremendous length who runs the floor exceptionally well. Improving at a rapid pace. Has the potential to be a real force defensively. Still growing into his body. Added strength will give him better balance and be more effective inside.
10. James Siakam, 6-7, PF, Carbondale (Brehm Prep)... A physical specimen with body mass and above-average athleticism. Will dunk just about everything. But he's still very raw. Struggles right now to create offense for himself and has a ways to go in developing reliable post moves and court awareness. Could he turn into a Joey Dorsey-type?
11. Jacob Williams, 6-5, WF, Chicago (St. Patrick)... Rising quickly despite not being a household name like the others in front of him. Another player with tremendous versatility as he will knock down the three, take you off the dribble and wow you with his offensive capabilities. Really has a chance to be a true national recruit.
12. Andrew Jordan, 6-5, WF, Peoria (Woodruff)... Needs to turn himself into more of niche player -- defensive lockdown defender, finisher around the basket, etc. Doesn't have a great grasp of the game. When everything is clicking he opens peoples eyes with his body, length, athleticism and vast potential.
13. George Marshall, 5-11, PG, Chicago (Brooks)... Pretty polished point guard who can get by defenders, into the paint and create.
14. Jamie Crockett, 6-4, WF, Crete-Monee... Freaky athlete who needs work on his overall skill level (ballhandling, shooting) but is an emphatic finisher.
15. Mycheal Henry, 6-5, WF, Chicago (Orr) ... The little-talked about Henry is a bundle of untapped talent bursting at the scenes and a big-time sleeper. Can the athletic Henry polish his skills and take it to the next level?
16. Hayden Hoerdemann, 6-2, 2G, Bloomington (Central Catholic)... Yes, he can absolutely fill it up. But he's more than a shooter. Old fashioned player who actually is pretty deadly out of the triple threat, where he utilizes jabs and pump fakes to attack opposition. An endless motor who loves to compete. May will himself to a higher level collegiately (a la Jay Burson or a Sean Harrington?).
17. Jay Parker, 5-8, PG, Harvey (Thornton)... Possesses incredible open floor speed with a great first step and a nightmare to defend. Has a nice little pull-up jumper but his shooting is a bit streaky. His lack of size will always be an issue.
18. Tywon Pinckney, 5-10, PG, Chicago (Simeon)... Under the radar right now but won't be for long. He's still learning how to be an efficient point guard.
19. DeShawn Greer, 6-4, WF, Chicago (Simeon)... While he packs a wide variety of skills (decent handle, soft touch, good athlete) he doesn't always seem comfortable. That may come with age and experience.
20. Keith Gray, 6-7, PF, Chicago (Brooks) ... Developing bouncy 4-man needs to make strides to reach the potential many feel he is capable of reaching.


(Note: Charles Joy of O'Fallon is considered one of the top players in the Class of 2011. The Hoops Report has not seen Joy play and is not ranked.)

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

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12 Comments

A NAME MISSING IS MACARI BROOKS FROM RICH SOUTH HIGH
SCHOOL IN RICHTON PARK!
HE WILL BE ON THIS LIST WHEN THE SEASON ENDS!
HE IS A MAN-CHILD, HE IS STRONG AND POWERFUL, HE IS
GO TO GUY AND HE AND KENDRICK MORSE AND COMPANY WILL
MAKE ALOT OF NOISE FOR THE RICH SOUTH STARS!

Also need to watch Derrick Marks from Palinfield Central

There are two great sophs at Joliet Catholic. A lock down defender and smart point guard in S. Tucker and scoring machine in W. Koral. They get no respect because of the school because we're known for football. Everyone will know them soon.

THERE IS A ANOTHER SOPH. AT MOUNT CARMEL BY THE NAME ADONIS FILER THAT PLAYS FOOTBALL TOO, U WILL HEAR ALOT ABOUT HIM IN BASKETBALL GREAT ATHELETE DOESN'T GET THE RECOGNITION BECAUSE OF FOOTBALL.

THAT WOULDN'T BE STEVE FILER'S YOUNGER BROTHER WOULD
IT? GREAT FAMILY, GREAT ATHLETES, BIG BRO IS AT
NOTRE DAME!

Another name missing is D'Lando Carter who started as a freshman for Danville High School as they upset Lincoln,Aurora West,East Moline and others and finished 4th in the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Very smooth and athletic point who should burst onto the scene this season

ALL YOU GUYS ARE SLEEPING ON LOCKPORT!!!!!..THEY HAVE 2 CLASS OF 2011 STARS THAT HAVE AMAZING POTENTAIL!! IM TELLING YOU!! ONE IS A POINT GAURD WITH GREAT SKILLS AND ABILITY FOR HIS SIZE AND A 6'4 GAURD WHO CAN JUMP OUT THE GYM!!!! GO CHECK OUT LOCKPORT

also, has some good fundemental guards and the parzych kid out of minooka or some other local school seems to be a top notch agressive player on the football field and basketball court. too early to tell on 2011 kids yet.

THE SOUTH SUBURBS WILL BE A PLACE TO WATCH GREAT
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL THIS UPCOMING SEASON!
ROCKY HILL AT CRETE, SCOT RITTER AT RICH SOUTH,
TERRONE PARHAM AT RICH CENTRAL, COACH WILLIAMS AT
BLOOM, JUST TO NAME A FEW AND OF COURSE H-F, TF NORTH,
TF SOUTH, RICH EAST, BOLINGBROOK, I KNOW THEY ARE A
LITTLE TO THE WEST, BUT THEY ARE PLAYING IN THE
BIG DIPPER TOURNEY THIS SEASON!
HILLCREST IS ALWAYS TOUGH, MAN I CAN'T WAIT!

TOP 15 PLAYERS IN GEORGIA FOR CLASS OF 2011

1 Julian Royal- Milton High School- 6'8 PF 2011
2 Daijon Parker- Milton High School- 6'3 SG 2011
3 Kevin Ware- Rockdale High School- 6'4 PG 2011
4 Cory Blackwell- Peachtree Ridge- 6'5 SF 2011
5 Nigel Snipes- Padaia High School- 6'6 SF 2011
6 E. Victor-Padaia High School- 6'7 SF 2011
7 Shannon Scott- Milton High School- 6'1 PG 2011
8 Malcolm Brogden- Woodward Academy- 6'4 SG 2011
9 Nick Jacobs- South Atlanta High School- 6'9 C 2011
10 Derrick Henry- Newton High School- 6'3 SG 2011
11 Ryan Riggins- Gwinnett Math And Science-6'10 C 2011
12 Karl Cocharan- Wheeler High School- 6'1 SG 2011
13 Jaquez Motley- Urban Christain- 6'1 PG 2011
14 Kymmon Woods- East Hall High School- 6'3 PG 2011
15 Rashad Bell- South Atlanta High School- 6'7 PF 2011

Hey you guys are sleeping Little Vilaage lawndale has the mad talent this year were going to win conference this year and go very far with our program,don't believe come check it out.

alot of peoples are sleeping on my son charles mcdonald jr a 5'10 true point guard good court vision from washington high school in atlanta,ga i been told by scouts that he may be the fastest guard in the state tremendous range and get the cup at ease very good leaping every coach in metro atlanta nows about him he's advance for his age if you dont believe ask some of the coaches about south atlanta, westlake coach nasmith you just have see for yourself "so get your pop corn ready its going a treat" he's the best kept secret in ga

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on October 21, 2008 10:28 PM.

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