By Michael O'Brien

Is the junior class underrated or just lousy?

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The national recruiting sites don't respect the local class of 2009. Dave Telep of Scout.com didn't rank a single Illinois player in his top 50 (released today). He's probably right. I fully expect Young's Marcus Jordan to eventually crack the national top 50, but no one in the class has proven they belong in the elite just yet, which is rare for the Chicago area...

A little bit of news popped up over the weekend...

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Former Marshall guard Patrick Beverley was named to the USA Under-19 team for the World Championships.
http://usabasketball.com/men_team.php?page=mu19wc

Illinois Prep Bulls-Eye is reporting that Loyola has offered Hales Franciscan senior Josh Crittle.
http://www.ilprepbullseye.com/page33.html

Daniel Poneman has the scoop on another possible transfer (Jordan Walker to Hales, not official yet)
http://www.illinoishsbasketball.com/

And Joe Henrickson checks in on East Aurora phenom Ryan Boatright (finally, someone has actually seen him play)
http://www.citysuburbanhoopsreport.blogspot.com/

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No, the junior class is not lousy.

What is lousy is Rivals and Scout and their lists. Let's remember that July is prime time for club ball. Sure, they played some weekend tournaments in April and May but July is when the big time tournaments are played. So why are they releasing lists of top juniors beforehand? This from the same people who this spring gave us the miracle of Iman Shumpert's ascension from unranked to 15th best player in the country. The year before that, was Patrick Beverly even ranked going into his senior year? Don't believe the hype...

Chicago already has a number of juniors to keep an eye on and there will be more once next season gets underway (an incomplete list):
Marshall: Darius Smith and Deon Stamps
Whitney Young: Chris Colvin, Frank Griffin, Antonio Johnson, Stan Brown
Washington: Michael Haynes
Lincoln Park: Cortney Bell
Simeon: Brandon Orange, Steve Walker
Foreman: Lavonte Dority
St. Joe's: Diamond Taylor, Louis Green

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This page contains a single entry by Michael O'Brien published on July 2, 2007 8:54 AM.

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