In our final look at the high school season for Wisconsin's five committed recruits, we'll review how each member of the 2011 class closed out their careers and check in once more with Sheboygan's own Sam Dekker.
Jarrod Uthoff is leading the pack for Wisconsin's next class of freshman after sweeping Iowa's Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year titles at the conclusion of his senior season. That is not to say that the other three seniors were not honored though.
Frank Kaminsky and George Marshall both came up short in their quest for state titles as members of tourney favorites Benet Academy and Brooks Prep. But both players received all-state honors in Illinois from the AP. Traevon Jackson had a similar experience in Ohio with Westerville South. On Sunday, Kaminsky will go head-to-head with Marshall and Uthoff in the NeXt All-American Classic that features some of the most talented college-bound players in the country.
Class of 2011
The postseason awards rolled in for Uthoff after another successful season. He won his second straight player of the year award in the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division before picking up the coveted Mr. Basketball honor. The lanky forward led the state in scoring at 26.2 points per game, adding 11.2 rebounds per contest for Cedar Rapids Jefferson (17-6). Bo Ryan recently spoke about the incoming 2011 class coming to town this summer, singling Uthoff out:
"Each guy brings something a little different –- quickness, strength, size. Uthoff is a tenacious rebounder. He’s not that big but he has a nose for the ball."
Jefferson's supporting cast deserted Uthoff in the J-Hawks loss to second-ranked Des Moines Hoover, failing to score a field goal until the fourth quarter. Uthoff scored 15 of the team's 16 points through three quarters, but could not prolong his season. He finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Next up for Uthoff is Friday's Eastern Iowa All-Star Game.
|3.09||Des Moines Hoover||39-45||L||20||10|
Jackson led the way for yet another amazing season with Westerville South, which finished a stellar 24-2. The Wildcats won its first two playoff games, and got a little scoring and a little play making from Jackson to win a district championship earlier this month.
Jackson then willed his team to victory against a bigger Lakota East squad. The 6'2" senior guard leveraged his thick frame and physical play into 15 free throw attempts, scoring seven of his 24 points in a crucial fourth quarter stretch to clinch the game. The end of the road for the Wildcats, who basically start five guards, came when the Columbus Northland dynasty severely out-rebounded them. Jackson chipped in 14 points. For his efforts, Jackson repeated as a repeat pick for Second Team All-State and First Team All-Metro in the Columbus-area after averaging over 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals per game.
Brooks Prep (29-4) posted its best season in school history and advanced all the way to the state semifinals in Peoria before falling to Chasson Randle and Rock Island, 55-36. Backcourt mates Marshall and Mike Powell struggled through one of their worst shooting performances of the year, hitting just 2-of-26 shots together. The Eagles won the third place game the next day behind a combined 39 points from Marshall (19, 3 threes) and Powell (20).
Marshall was named Second Team All-State (Class 3A) after averaging 16.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 16 games this season. He was a driving force behind Brooks' run "down state." Marshall scored a game-high 18 points (12 in the second half) and the Eagle big men Shutdown Louisville-bound Wayne Blackshear in a win over Morgan Park.
|3.08||Thornton Fractional North||72-56||W||18||-||-||-|
|3.11||Chi. Morgan Park||60-46||W||18||-||-||-|
March started off splendidly for Kaminsky and Benet Academy when they coasted past Plainfield East to start the playoffs. The Redwings were up 31-9 at the half thanks to Kaminsky's own personal 10-point barrage in the half's final three minutes. Kaminsky then scored the game-winner in a double-overtime thriller against Naperville North.
Unfortunately, the Redwings merely earned the displeasure of facing East Aurora in essentially a road gamer. Life's unfair, I know. In the end, co-Mr. Basketball Ryan Boatright scored 29 points on his home floor to send Benet (29-1) home with its first -- and last -- loss of the season. Nevertheless, Kaminsky was a prominent member of ESPN Chicago's all-area team at the conclusion of his career. He will also join Marshall in the Chicago United Hoops Classic in April.
Class of 2012
The Sheboygan Lutheran Crusaders (18-7) were stopped two games shy of the state tournament this year when they ran into the runaway train that was No. 1 Randolph on March 10, despite Dekker's 21 points. Prior to bowing out, Dekker overcame the zone and double-teams from Elkhart Lake to score a game-high 29 points in a 22-point blowout to reach the sectional semifinals.
Impressively, Dekker was a second team All-State selection by the AP as a junior despite playing the lowest division of Wisconsin prep hoops. He was the only unanimous Division 5 pick by the WBCA after finishing as the second-highest scorer (28.9 ppg) in Wisconsin this past season. Dekker also added per-game averages of 10.5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2.4 steals, while hitting on nearly 50% of his 3-pointers.
If you have watched any of Wisconsin's recruits play in person, drop me a note via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @hoopsmarinara.
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