Busy high school weekend ends with UW offering a scholarship
CHICAGO -- Five games. 44 hours. That was my weekend.
At the end of it all I had seen 15 high school basketball players ranked somewhere in their respective classes by ChicagoHoops.com. One of those players has already signed his letter of intent with Wisconsin, while another received an offer Sunday after watching the Badgers beat Northwestern at the Kohl Center.
Bo Ryan offered DeLaSalle (Chicago) junior forward Michael Shaw a scholarship Sunday, according to Illinois Prep Bulls-eye. I watched Shaw help his team beat Simeon Career Academy (the alma mater of Derrick Rose) Saturday in the City-Suburban Showdown at UIC Pavilion in Chicago. UW assistant coach Howard Moore was also in attendance as six of the top teams in the Chicago area played a triple-header.
Shaw scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the 64-46 win over a good Simeon team. The 6-7 forward is a big-bodied power forward who has a decent jump shot and a good touch down low. He is very athletic, as evident by three monterous dunks Saturday.
Shaw also has offers from Illinois, Louisville, Texas and Southern Illinois. Illini head coach Bruce Weber was also in attendance Saturday.
Numerous scouts and coaches took in the City-Suburban Showdown, which featured a plethora of the nation's top high school basketball players. The event was headlined by No. 1 Waukegan High School, which features McDonald's All-American Jereme Richmond who will attend Illinois next season. Richmond was far-and-away the best player I saw all weekend long. He scored 16 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and blocked seven shots as his No. 1 ranked team blasted No. 4 Whitney Young (Chicago) 59-42. The 6-7 forward can do just about anything. He can shoot, drive and finish with ease. But what impressed me most was his passing and ability to run the point when needed. If that wasn't enough, his windmill dunk in the first quarter brought the house down.
In a triple-header loaded with Division-I talent, Shaw was the second-most impressive player at UIC Pavilion, but he wasn't the second-most impressive player I saw all weekend. As I posted Saturday morning, I had a chance to see UW commit Duje Dukan and his Deerfield team play for a conference title against Glenbrook North Friday night. Overall, I saw five players ranked in the Top 12 of ChicagoHoop.com's 2010 player rankings. Four of those players, including Richmond -- obviously ranked No. 1 -- are ranked ahead of Dukan. But after seeing all of them play in person this weekend -- including Glenbrook North's Alex Dragicevich who is ranked No. 4 and will attend Notre Dame -- Dukan was far and away the second-best player behind Richmond.
Both players happen to play in the Central Suburban League and they will square off in a conference title game Wednesday night at Deerfield. Consider it a sneak-peak to a rivalry that will move on to the Big Ten next season.
For more on why Dukan is so underrated check out my story from Saturday.