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Monday, April 26, 2010

Recruit Review: April '10

With Mundelein's Ben Brust almost certainly out of the picture, Wisconsin's 2010 class size might be set at three players. That leaves another scholarship to possibly add to the 2011 class, which has two important pieces already starting another summer travel season. Here's how each Badger recruit finished up the high school portion of the year ...


:: Though Duje Dukan could conceivably arrive in Madison as the lowest-rated prospect in Wisconsin's 2010 class, he is undoubtedly the incoming freshman about whom Badger fans are most excited. Dukan averaged 22.9 pts and 9.3 rebs this season to lead Deerfield (Ill.) High School to a share of the Central Suburban League title.

Deerfield's Dukan led the Warriors (25-4) on an remarkable 18-game winning streak that peaked when Dukan scored 19 straight second-half points to beat Riverside-Brookfield on Valentine's Day. The very next game, Glenbrook North basically had to throw the Jordan Rules at Dukan to halt the streak. Fresh off scoring 32 points against Conant, Dukan next capped a furious rally with a game-tying 3-pointer to send the Waukegan game to overtime, but Illinios recruit Jereme Richmond's squad prevailed, 93-87.

There was more. Deerfield's second round state tournament opponent, Libertyville, got "Dukan-ed" when the senior scored the final 12 points of the opening quarter. He finished with 28 of Deerfield's 56 points in an easy win. However, Schaumburg ended Dukan's senior season unexpectedly in the sectional semis despite his 22-point, 12-rebound effort.

In addition to earning Second Team All-State laurels, Dukan was invited to the Nike Hoop Summit on April 10 as a part of the World Select team. Though he struggled in the team's loss [box score], Dukan was honored to participate [practice video]:

"Any time you are mentioned as one of the better players in the world, in your age group, it's just incredible. Being able to represent Croatia is very special. As a whole, being able to compete with the top players in America will help prepare me for the Big Ten."
:: Port Washington's Josh Gasser piled up plenty of honors of his own at the conclusion of his prep career. The 6'4" combo guard just missed his third straight season averaging a double-double, posting career high averages in scoring (23.9) and assists (4.8) to go along with 9.8 rebs and 2.7 stls per game. Following in the footsteps of Ben Averkamp, Kwamain Mitchell and Tim Jarmusz, Gasser was named Wisconsin's 2010 Gatorade Player of the Year for his contributions on and off the court.

The Pirates (19-5) went 6-2 in February to clinch a share of the mighty North Shore Conference crown, as Gasser continued to make a killing from the charity stripe. The team won its final regular season game with Gasser on the sidelines nursing an ankle injury and set out to return to the state tournament. After a bye, Gasser returned to score 33 points as Port advanced to the regional finals, but his state title dream ended with 26-point showing in a tough loss to Whitefish Bay.

:: The jump in Evan Anderson's production never really materialized under the new coaching regime at Eau Claire North, but Anderson did set a personal best in averaging 10 ppg (up from 8 ppg last season). Anderson, who was Honorable Mention All-State, has become a capable passer out of double-teams but needs to work on keeping the ball high and away from smaller guards.

His Huskies began February with a loss before winning eight in a row, including two games to win their WIAA tournament regional as the #5 seed. North (18-7) bowed out to top-seeded Antigo as Anderson was held to two points.

Anderson headlines the recently announced North roster for the WBCA All-Star game to be held June 19 at the UW Fieldhouse, where he will go head-to-head with state champion seven-footer Ben Mills of Arrowhead.


:: February and March were not kind to Bolingbrook. The Raiders started off well, winning two games to extend its streak to four wins in a row. Junior forward Devon Hodges used a big second quarter to power the 'Brook into a tie for the conference lead on Feb. 5, but the team would get no closer to the Southwest Suburban Conference title.

The following game Hodges put together a monster game with 25 pts, 9 rebs and 2 blks. But Bolingbrook was unable to take advantage and was upset by Kankakee. The loss started a season-ending six-game losing streak from that point on culminated in a crushing defeat in the Class 4A regional semifinal. Hodges did lead the team in scoring that game with 10 points, adding a couple rebounds.

Bolingbrook posted a 13-13 record this year. Hodges was named Third Team All-Area by the Chicago Sun-Times and head coach Rob Brust called him "a walking double-double." Hodges will play some AAU tournaments with the Full Package Elite 17U team this summer.

:: After regaining his health at the end of January, George Marshall helped Brooks Prep to six straight blowout wins spanning the city playoffs and the start of the state tournament, including revenge against Carver. But Marshall managed only two free throws as the Eagles (24-8) fell to Crete-Monee to end the high school season.

Once the travel team season began, Marshall started making headlines along with his new teammates on the Mac Irvin Fire. The Fire list Marshall at 6'2" and 190 lbs. but that's probably a result of the standard "program height" boost.

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