By Joe Henricksen
• A player that continues to perform at a high level and excite many is Foreman star Mike McCall. The 6-0 combo guard, who plays with the Illinois Heat AAU team and who has put together a solid spring, is poised for a big July evaluation period. The City/Suburban Hoops Report caught up with McCall at the Windy City Classic on Saturday. He says the four schools who have shown the most interest in him are Texas A&M, Virginia, Dayton and Xavier. With Texas A&M assistant coach Alvin Williamson as the point man in the recruitment of McCall, the No. 6 player in the Hoops Report's Class of 2010 player rankings says the Aggies recently extended an offer.
• Speaking of Foreman, there should be a number of low-Division I schools scurrying to try and secure Foreman's third wheel -- senior guard Tommy Woolridge. This kid can flat-out score.
• With the Mac Irvin Fire 16s and 17s off this past weekend, De La Salle sophomore star Dre Henley ran with a local team, Full Court Express at the Windy City Classic. The versatile 6-5 wing again showed flashes of why he's the Hoops Report's No. 2 rated player in the Class of 2011. While there is great upside and potential with Henley, he also has provided more results than a lot of the other talented players in the sophomore class.
• The young Mac Irving Fire, however, were in action Saturday. And yes, the Hoops Report has uncharacteristically showered praises on 8th grade prospects recently. But again, it's so hard not to be impressed or ignore the talent and skill level of several of these players, including Simeon-bound Jabari Parker who was in action. There was one prominent AAU coach who noted a significant difference between the current sophomore class (Class of 2011) and the much-ballyhooed class of 2013 that features Parker, Alex Foster, Tommy Hamilton and several other promising players: the lack of raw athleticism in this 8th grade class in comparison to this year's sophomore group. It's a good point. The Class of 2011 is blessed with superior, eye-popping athletes, while this group of 8th graders -- at the same stage in their careers as those players two years older -- aren't as explosive athletically.
• College coaches at all levels will be front and center over the next 15 months watching the Peoria Irish 16-and-under AAU team. Their players may be missing a little of this or a little of that either in their game or physical attributes, but this team has many college college prospects. The headliner, of course, is Bloomington Central Catholic guard Hayden Hoerdemann, a Hoops Report favorite. He just brings it every day he steps on the floor. He's a high-energy guard who has the ability to knock down shots and is improving off the dribble.
• Speaking of knocking down shots, there may not be a better one in the state than Lincoln sophomore Jordan Nelson. The 5-11 combo guard is one of the purest shooters you will find. You simply can't leave him open anywhere with his picture perfect shot and quick release. His shot is J.J. Redick-ish.
• The unheralded but rising post prospect for the Peoria Irish, 6-7 Max Bielfeldt of Peoria Notre Dame, continues to get better and better. He's huge with a tremendous base, frame and strength, especially for his age. He has good hands and has developed some effective moves near the basket while also showing a soft touch. The knock will always be his lack of explosiveness and athleticism as he's purely a below-the-rim player. There are constant questions regarding what level he can play at. He's clearly a low-Division I prospect right now, but if he were to pop a couple of more inches and get to 6-8 or 6-9, look out.
• There are two players that are rising faster than anyone in the City/Suburban Hoops Report's Class of 2010 player rankings -- one who the Hoops Report has singled out for the past year and the other being a player that has just made tremendous strides in the last six months. The Hoops Report has raved about Hales Franciscan's Pat Miller, a terrific 5-11 scoring point guard, and has labeled him as one of the real sleepers in the Class of 2010. And it's time to give Kaneland's Dave Dudzinski his due. The 6-8 junior is an inside/outside threat with the great combination of coordination and height. He moves so well, gets up and down the floor and is gaining confidence. He does lack a great back-to-the-basket game and needs to add significant strength, but his size and mobility are awfully attractive. He's a legitimate Division I recruit.
• A pair of south suburban players continue to stand out this spring. Hillcrest's Eric Gaines, who plays with Orange Crush, continues to get better and better and has a big upside, while Tinley Park's Gerald "Jelly" Dorsey will be a prime Division II target if he doesn't attract low-Division I interest. Gaines has always had the length and athleticism. While he's improved his handle, the 6-3 wing still has a ways to go with his perimeter jumper. But the Hoops Report loves the potential of the No. 26 rated player in the Class of 2010. Dorsey is a jet. He's undersized at 5-7 but constantly puts pressure on opposing defenses and can score in bunches.
• You simply have to watch Richards junior Brandon Snowden enough to fully appreciate all that he brings to the table. Here is a player that is all about production. Every time the Hoops Report watches him he gets things done. He was terrific as a junior for coach John Chappetto at Richards. He may be undersized on the wing at 5-10 or 5-11, he may not be a drop-dead shooter, and he's not a point guard. But he is always around the ball, can defend three different positions, beats people off the dribble in the halfcourt, finishes, is an outstanding rebounder and is freakishly strong and power-packed for his size. Right now he would be an ideal Division II recruit.
• On the recruiting front, Division II Wisconsin-Parkside landed a gem in Homewood-Flossmoor's Jeremy Saffold. The 6-5 wing came on strong for H-F down the stretch and then was fantastic in both the Chicago Hoops Tip-Off Classic and at the Nike Spring Showdown in Merrillville in late April. Look for both Saffold and St. Charles East's 6-7 Kevin Senechalle to be great recruiting steals for coach Luke Reigel at Parkside ... Batavia senior David Bryant, a 6-4 shooting guard, will be headed to Lewis University to join Proviso West standout athletic guard Tremel Owens.
The Windy City Classic will continue Sunday with tournament play at UIC.
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