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April 20, 2008

Kingwood: Illinois commit Head impresses

HOUSTON-The Kingwood Classic has its share of impressive prospects, but none have been as impressing as future five-star 2010 prospect Crandall Head.

A high level athlete with a strong physique as well, Head often operates at a different level than other players on the court. His ability to get to the ball and operate in traffic standout along with the multiple ways he can score. Head played all three perimeter positions for the Mac Irving Fire, and he looked comfortable in every situation. Throw in his high basketball IQ, and it's almost scary to think about how good he and fellow Illinois commitment Jereme Richmond could be in the same backcourt.

As good as his brother Luther Head is, it's hard to imagine that as a sophomore he looked as good as Crandall looks at this point. When Rivals.com revisits the 2010 rankings, Head's name will be one of the first names discussed.

Head isn't the only outstanding underclassman on the Fire's roster. 6-foot-8 freshman Mike Shaw will also be a name that comes up very early when Rivals.com assembles a 2011 ranking. With a build beyond his age, Shaw displayed a versatile skill set from playing physical around the basket, handling the basketball to shooting the three.

More underclassmen

Team Jones has a couple 2010 perimeter prospects who are destined to ignite a recruiting war amongst Pac-10 schools. At 6-foot-7, Terrance Jones spent the majority of his time running the point for his squad. Point guard won't be his future position, but the skilled lefty is built for a point forward type of role at the high major level. And not only does he have a court vision and savvy with the basketball, Jones shoots it well from behind the arc.

His running mate Terrance Ross brings a high level of athleticism to the court as a 6-foot-5 wing. Looking like a natural scorer, Ross picked up his buckets during our viewing with both strong cuts and drives to the rim.

Both prospects said they are receiving heavy interest from the entire Pac-Ten while also mentioning Kansas. Ross has a favorite in UCLA while Jones has no leader at this point.

Jones and Ross aren't the only 2010 prospects here receiving heavy Pac-10 interest. In a tough loss to the Tennessee Tigers, Daniel Bejarano of Phoenix scorched the nets for nearly 30 points. Carrying his undermanned team, the 6-foot-5 Bejarona scored from behind the arc, off the bounce and used his athleticism to pick up buckets off the glass. UNLV, Nevada and the Pac-10 are tracking what might be the best prospect in the state of Arizona.

Baylor has a 2010 prospect dripping with potential headed to Waco in 2010 prospect Perry Jones. Looking every bit of 6-foot-10, Jones had flashes of brilliance on a couple high level turnaround jumpers to his right shoulder in the mid-post. Comfortable with the ball in his hands, Jones is strictly a finesse player at this point. Physical play around the basket is not his strong suit, but the potential is there for Jones to eventually be one of the better big men in his class.

Shooter alert

Both Vanderbilt commitment John Jenkins and Nik Garcia are shooting the ball at a high level. At 6-foot-4, Jenkins is getting stronger and beginning to get better off the bounce. But his forte at Vanderbilt will be knocking down shots coming off screens away from the ball in the mold of Shan Foster.

Garcia, who is putting up big scoring numbers for the Rising Stars, showed some creativity off the bounce Saturday to go along with his confident shooting stroke from the wing. Garcia listed interest from Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue, Michigan, Kentucky, Virginia, Marquette and offers from Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois, Illinois State and Valparaiso. Iowa, who he feels is close to offering, and Southern Illinois, who was the first to offer him, are at the top of his list.

More from the Brandon Bass squad

As one of the more exciting teams in the event, it is difficult to stay away from a Brandon Bass game, especially if they are playing the spirited Mac Irving Fire. In what turned out to be a two point win on a last second bucket by the Fire, Latavious Williams was once again sensational. Not only did he assault the rim with dunks as he did on Friday night, Williams also scored on several skilled plays inside the arc. And it is nice to see that his motor doesn't slowdown on the defensive end either.

Providing support inside for Williams was 6-foot-8 Chris Brand, who looked like a solid high major prospect.

On the perimeter Donald Williams had a superb game as he matched the production of Crandall Head. Williams' physical style of ball and reliable shooting resembles Maryland commitment Sean Mosley's game although Williams is more of a primary ball handler. Planning to sing during the spring period, Williams claims offers from Southern Miss and Chattanooga and is trying to play his way into offers from Florida State and Mississippi State amongst others.

More school news

Whispers are filling the gym that longtime DePaul commitment Cully Payne is wavering in his commitment to the Blue Demons. The physical and heady point guard would have a number of schools interest, but he adamantly stated that he is firmly committed to DePaul.

His Rising Star teammate Marcus Jordan, the son of Michael Jordan, was reluctant to share any recruiting news other than stating that "Illinois is a possibility because my brother is there."

E.J. Singler's game is progressing, but he is still undecided whether it will be football or basketball for him in college although he is leaning towards basketball. St. Louis and Pepperdine have offered the younger brother of Duke's Kyle Singler and California, Stanford, Washington State, Oregon and Oregon State are showing interest.


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