By Joe Henricksen
Many of the top players in the Class of 2010 have already committed to their college choice and will sign a national letter-of-intent in three months. But where are the remaining top prospects when it comes to making a decision? The City/Suburban Hoops Report talked with many of the individual players and those in their support system to try and gauge just where they are at in the recruiting process.
The following is a rundown of those players, all of which are ranked among the top 20 prospects in the Hoops Report's Class of 2010 class rankings.
PHILLIP JACKSON, 6-8, PF, Chicago (Providence St. Mel)
There were a few players that made the most of their opportunities in July and Jackson was one of them. He showed a willingness to defend, rebound, block shots and mix it up around the basket against some high-quality players, particularly in Las Vegas. He runs the floor extremely well for his size, is bouncy and active. Although still raw offensively and lacking ideal strength for his size, Jackson has the upside you seek in big men.
Hoops Report Analysis: Jackson can be an impact guy at the right level. Although bigger schools may come calling he may be better suited for the mid-major/mid-major plus level. If it stays at the mid-major level, it should come down to a Illinois State-Southern Illinois battle, two schools that have been in on Jackson very hard through the process. DePaul, Providence, Marquette and Iowa State.
MIKE McCALL, 6-1, PG/2G, Chicago (Foreman)
The Hoops Report has long been a big fan of McCall as he's been among the Hoops Report's top 10 prospects in the class for two years. He can shoot the basketball, can break people down and has terrific court vision. He also plays with a motor and will defend. What is keeping McCall from being a coveted high-major prospect is he's not a true point guard (more of a combo guard) at this time and he lacks the ideal size and great athleticism high-major schools look for in a 2-guard.
Hoops Report Analysis: Cal and Texas A & M continue to keep McCall on their radar but have yet to offer. The serious players include Indiana State, Illinois State, Saint Louis and Detroit right now. McCall, who just recently visited Illinois State, is an ideal player in the Missouri Valley, Conference USA, WAC or Atlantic 10. "I'm looking at the education of the school and the opportunity to play right away," says McCall of his future college destination. "Everything went real cool on my visit to Illinois State."
RAYVONTE RICE, 6-3, WF, Champaign (Centennial)
Now that Rice has given up football and is concentrating solely on basketball for 12 months, improvement and refining his skill level should come a little more quickly. Rice, who helped lead Centennial to a Class 3A state championship last March, is strong getting to the basket. He's among the top 20 prospects in the Hoops Report's Class of 2010 and fits the mid-major mold.
Hoops Report Analysis: Rice is nowhere near close to deciding as he is keeping his options open. There is a long list of schools in the mix, with Texas Christian the most recent school to offer. Nevada and assistant coach Dennis Gates have been all over Rice, with Kent State, Ohio, Detroit, Niagara, Drake, Saint Louis, Bradley, Illinois State and Loyola all involved.
JORDAN THRELOFF, 6-9, C, DeKalb
In the never-ending search for quality big men, Threloff is a commodity. The 6-9 Threloff is a true back-to-the-basket, on-the-block player who has shown an improved offensive game with a developing jump hook and face-up jumper. SMU and New Orleans were the latest to join a long list of suitors who have offered, which includes DePaul, Western Michigan, Illinois State, Northern Illinois, Drake, Bradley and Southern Illinois. Central Florida is also showing interest.
Hoops Report Analysis: Threloff lacks the lift and lateral quickness and speed to be a true high-major big man, but he would be an ideal recruit for any mid-major program. He wants to check out a few more schools in the coming month or two before making a commitment. He's a perfect fit at the mid-major level and is absolutely coveted by schools at that level as it's so difficult to land quality players with size.
DUJE DUKAN, 6-8, WF/PF, Deerfield
The single most overlooked player in the class of 2010 after a stellar summer showed how skilled he is and how much upside he possesses. He has size, can handle it, pass it and has a high-major skill quality: shooting the basketball. He plays with a Hedo Turkoglu style. Dukan is the one player the Hoops Report believes is being highly undervalued by college coaches. If he lands in a low-major plus/mid-major league it would be an absolute steal. Aside from the size and skill, the kid is a hard working gym rat. After a busy July Dukan didn't take much time off as he's currently in Croatia training with a Croatian National Team.
Hoops Report Analysis: Miami-Ohio, Wisconsin-Green Bay, William & Mary, George Washington, Loyola, Valparaiso and Evansville are all hoping Dukan continues to slip through the cracks. Those are the seven schools with either an offer on the table or with a heavy interest. There are a few high-majors keeping tabs on Dukan but have been far too slow to pull the trigger.
REGGIE SMITH, 5-11, 2G, Harvey (Thornton)
The pure athleticism of Smith is off the charts and is eye-popping. He plays hard, is tough, strong and will defend. He has his flaws in the skills department, but it's so difficult to ignore his strengths of being a high-major athlete and ability to get to the basket and finish. "I want to find the place that fits my style of play best," says Smith.
Hoops Report Analysis: Maybe more than any other prospect in the Class of 2010, the right fit, style and system may be most important for the Thornton star who is an undersized but athletic wing. Smith says there are five schools he hears the most from and is most interested in -- UCLA, USC, Marquette, DePaul and Indiana. Smith says he has no leader and that he "will take his visits and take it from there."
LAVONTE DORITY, 5-11, PG, Chicago (Foreman)
The strong, power-packed point guard was solid but not spectacular throughout the summer. Dority is strong with the ball and getting himself into the lane, while also showing an improved jumper. The question, however, remains just how his game will translate to the next level.
Hoops Report Analysis: The recruitment of Dority over the last couple of years has been all over the place and difficult to get a true read on. "I want to be comfortable with the coaching staff and the overall environment," says Dority of what he's looking for in a college program. "I want it to be a good all-around fit for me."
Dority says he is currently trying to set up an official visit to Baylor. In addition to Baylor, Dority and his AAU coach Steve Pratt say Indiana, Marquette, New Mexico and South Florida are right there at the moment, though this recruitment will be anything but predictable. "I am hearing the most from those five schools," Dority said. "And both Minnesota and Northwestern have shown some interest."
DWAYNE EVANS, 6-5, Naperville (Neuqua Valley)
After a strong finish in the high school season and a solid start in the spring AAU season, Evans did not play his best basketball during the July evaluation period. Although he has been a highly productive player who finds ways to get things done, he still has the dreaded 'tweener label attached to him.
Hoops Report Analysis: While Northwestern is still heavily involved and the biggest player in the Evans recruiting, the mid-major level would be ideal for Evans. If Evans to Northwestern doesn't get done, keep an eye on these schools as we inch closer to November and the signing period: Loyola, Drake, Toledo, Western Michigan and Fairfield.