Best of Summer
A look at the top junior college prospects for 2012.
Most of the top junior college players across the country have arrived on campus to prepare for the upcoming season. I had the opportunity to take a look at the top 2012 junior college prospects from coast to coast this summer. Here’s a look at 15 players who had an excellent summer that you need to keep an eye on next season.
Pickett (pictured) is an athletic point guard with a great frame. He has a quick first step and elevates when attacking the rim. He also has a nice stroke from the perimeter. Pickett is a good passer and rebounds the ball extremely well for his size. He is tough to defend coming off of ball screens. He averaged 18 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals per game as a freshman. Pickett is receiving interest from Fresno State, Iona, Illinois, Marquette, San Diego State, Montana, Long Beach State, Seattle U and Idaho.
Timothy Johnson | 6-0/PG | LA Trade Tech (CA)
Johnson is one of the best defenders I came across this summer. He is very active on the ball and just as good at getting in the passing lanes off the ball. He sees the floor well and is excellent at getting the ball where it needs to go in transition. Johnson has the ability to attack the basket and finish above the rim. He gets off the floor quickly and can also knock down the open jumper.
Kevin Harden | 6-2/PG/SG | Santa Fe CC (FL)
Harden is an ultra-quick combo guard who can score at will. He is difficult to defend due to his ability to shoot the ball off the catch or off the dribble. Harden is capable of running the point, but is best suited at shooting guard. Harden is arguably one of the best shooters in the junior college ranks. He has drawn interest from Oklahoma State, West Virginia and many other mid to high-major programs.
Musa Abdul-Aleem | 6-4/SG | Georgia Perimeter College
Abdul-Aleem is a physical, left-handed wing who bullies his way to the rim and has range that extends beyond the three. Abdul-Aleem was one of the best perimeter defenders that I saw this summer. He is very vocal on the court and plays with a passion for the game. He recently took a visit to Memphis and has plenty of other high-major suitors coming after him.
Rod Rucker | 6-5/SF | NW Florida State College
Rucker was a 1st Team All-Conference selection last season as a freshman. He will shift to small forward this season under new head coach Steve Forbes. Rucker pounds the glass on both ends of the floor and is very good defensively. He will create matchup problems for defenders with his versatility on offense. Rucker likes to mix it up around the basket and has the ability to knock down jumpers from multiple spots on the floor.
Devon Branch | 6-5/SF | Cloud County CC (KS)
Branch plays extremely hard and excels in an up-tempo setting. He is long and athletic and very good off the bounce. He is explosive around the rim and has excellent body control. He is a high-energy defender who is active on and off the ball.
D’Montre Edwards | 6-6/SF | Brevard CC (FL)
Edwards has a smooth game and can score in a variety of ways. He has a solid mid-range game and can get to the rim and finish. Edwards is also a good defender who has a high basketball IQ. After a very good summer, Edwards has picked up interest from many mid to high-major programs.
DuVaughn Maxwell | 6-6/SF | Western Nebraska CC
Maxwell is a transfer from High Point University. He is very good off the dribble and gets off the floor quickly when he gets in the paint. His long frame and ability to get in the passing lanes make him an excellent defender. He has a very good mid-range/face-up game.
Chris Cantino | 6-7/SF | Palm Beach State College (FL)
Cantino is very physical and always seems to end up around the ball. He has a good frame and can extend opposing teams defensively with his ability to shoot the ball beyond 17 feet. He pounds the glass on both ends and is able to face up and score in the post. Look for his stock to rise consistently throughout the season.
Cleanthony Early | 6-8/SF | Sullivan CC (NY)
Early had a breakout summer after a very good freshman season at Sullivan CC. Early was named NJCAA D3 National Player of the Year as a freshman, but proved he can compete with the best junior college players in the country this summer. Early is smooth with the ball and attacks the rim with a vengeance. While he is extremely skilled on the offensive end, he may be an even better defender. His length and timing allow him to block or alter shots at will. He is being recruited by Iowa State, Alabama, Washington State, San Diego State, Iona, Pitt, Marquette, Wichita State, Baylor and West Virginia among others.
Matt Korcheck | 6-9/PF/C | Cochise College (AZ)
Korcheck is a skilled, athletic big man who has a great understanding of the game. He has soft hands and a great touch around the basket. Korcheck can step out and knock down an open jumper from 15 feet. He is very good with his back to the basket and can face up and attack from the high post. Korcheck picked up interest from Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Washington State, Oklahoma and several others after a great summer.
Anthony Criswell | 6-9/PF| Independence CC (KS)
Criswell, a transfer from UAB, controls the paint with his physical play. He is a workhorse who battles around the basket and attacks the offensive glass. He has solid back to the basket moves and knows how to use his frame to score the ball through contact.
Remi Dibo | 6-9/PF | Casper College (WY)
Dibo, a native of France, is a skilled four-man who can post up or face up from 15 feet and get by slower defenders. Dibo will create matchup problems all season long with his ability to face the basket in the post and stretch the defense with his jumper. Dibo is hearing from Auburn, Virginia Tech, Baylor, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and Washington State.
DeAndre Medlock | 6-11/PF | Fresno City College (CA)
Medlock started his college career at UC-Davis and has resurfaced at Fresno City. He sprints the floor in transition and consistently beats slower defenders to the rim. Medlock is a good defender. He already has an offer from UMass and heavy interest from many other mid to high-majors.
Waverly Austin | 6-11/C | Palm Beach State College (FL)
Austin is a true center who is at his best when catching the ball in good position on the block. He has a nice jump hook that is tough to stop when he sets up with his back to the basket. Austin gets up and down very well in transition. He has offers from Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Washington State and many others. Austin also has received recent interest from Florida, Washington and several other high-major programs.
Brad Winton is a former college/pro coach. He runs JucoRecruiting.com as well as a scouting service that provides recruiting information to colleges and universities. Follow him on Twitter @jucorecruiting. Email Brad at email@example.com.