By Antonio Curro
The high school season is ready to get into full swing and with that being said I thought it best to start off here at SLAM with a quick look into the future and some of the prospects on the rise who have the potential to grab headlines for years to come. SLAM’s Aggrey Sam has given his take on the best high schoolers in the country, and now I’m taking a look at the future of the game and 10 up-and-coming prospects from the Midwest who stand to have a major impact on the Grassroots circuit and beyond.
Harrison Barnes — Class of 2010 — 6-6 — SF — Ames (IA)
This silky smooth talent exploded this past summer on the Grassroots travel circuit with the All Iowa Attack program. An exceptionally skilled swing, Barnes is a lethal on the offensive end with his ability to score in bunches from the mid range area and outside the arc. He’s currently regarded as a Top 10 national prospect on virtually every board in America and could be regarded as the best player to every come out of the state of Iowa when it’s all said and done.
Jared Sullinger — Class of 2010 — 6-7 — F/C — Northland (OH)
Arguably the most physical prospect in the Class of 2010, Sullinger is a skilled interior talent who brings power, instincts, and skills to the table night in and night out. Regarded by some as the top 2010 prospect in the country, Sullinger brings consistent double double production game after game while completely dominating opposing teams in the paint. He’s verbally committed to Ohio State.
DeShaun Thomas — Class of 2010 — 6-7 F — Bishop Luers (IN)
He’s been one of the faces for the 2010 class for the past few years, and for good reason. Thomas is a strong powerful explosive skilled talent that can dominate the court any time he wants to. His versatility, skills, and athleticism make him virtually unstoppable when he gets it going. He’s verbally committed to Ohio State.
Ray McCallum Jr. — Class of 2010 — 6-1 PG — Detroit Country Day (MI)
The former Indiana prep standout takes his game to the state of Michigan this year, and what an exceptionally skilled game it is. “Sugar Ray” has the skills, instincts, and savvy to put in major work whenever he takes the floor. His game is smooth and effortless and he’s bound to make a lot of noise on the prep circuit in the state of Michigan over the next couple of years.
Mike Shaw — Class of 2011 — 6-8 F — De La Salle (IL)
Shaw has all the physical tools and skills to be that dude when it’s all said and done. He has the ability to score around the basket and he can also step out and stroke the trey ball as well in the mold of current Detroit Pistons star Rasheed Wallace. Shaw drips with talent and potential whenever he takes the floor and is part of a loaded 2011 class in the Midwest.
Marvin Singleton — Class of 2011 — 6-5 F — Hopkins (MN)
One of the best blends of power and athleticism in the 2011 class, Singleton attacks the rim extremely well and can stroke the perimeter shot as well if left open. Add to the mix an ability to elevate in transition and physically dominate on both ends and Singleton stands to become one of the most talked about 2011 prospects in the country if he continues to develop. He rocks the court at the prep level for the always powerful Hopkins program.
Wayne Blackshear (pictured) — Class of 2011 — 6-5 G — Curie Metropolitan (IL)
A silky smooth perimeter prospect, Blackshear is sensational in transition and has the skills from the mid range area and beyond the arc to dominate in half court sets as well. One of the premiere 2011 prospects in the entire country, Blackshear is an explosive talent who will be one of the most talked about talents in the country for the 2011 class.
Marquis Teague — Class of 2011 — 6-2 PG — Pike (IN)
Already one of the most talked about PG’s in the country, Teague has excellent physical tools to go along with big time instincts and an excellent skill set for a young floor general. One of the prized prospects in the 2011 class, Teague is regarded by most as a top 10 national prospect in the Class of 2011 and with good reason because he can really go.
Jean Pierre Tokoto — Class of 2012 — 6-5 F — Menomonee Falls (WI)
One of the premiere young forwards in the country, Tokoto is a freakish athletic forward with the ability to completely dominate on both ends of the floor. An exceptional rebounding talent due in part to his size and explosive hops, Tokoto’s ability to elevate and finish with both hands makes him virtually unstoppable in transition. Scary potential and upside.
Perry Ellis — Class of 2012 — 6-7 F — Wichita Heights (KS)
Arguably the #1 freshman in the country, Ellis is an explosive, multi-skilled talent with the ability to completely dominate the game on offensive end. Add to the mix exceptional grades and you have one of the premiere future prospects in the land. The sky is the limit for Ellis.
Antonio Curro is SLAM’s new Midwest Punks Editor, as well as the National Recruiting Editor for NY2LASports.com.