Future BracketBusters stars
Adjehi Baru is just one player who could help his mid-major team in the near future
With BracketBusters tipping off this weekend, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the incoming recruits who could impact this event next year. Here are 14 players entering mid-major conferences who could help their teams make the NCAA tournament and even be the next Cinderella squad.
Class Of 2011 Bracket Busters
|Adjehi Baru, C (Richmond, Va./The Steward School)
Ht.: 6-9 | Wt.: 225 | College: Charleston
The ESPNU 100 prospect has all the makings of an impact player as a freshman with his rebounding and shot-blocking. He plays the game with a high motor that doesn't stop. He will protect the rim, lower Charleston's defensive field goal percentage and start the fast break with his shot-blocking. Offensively, he will be a big-time threat in the paint.
|Anton Grady, PF (Cleveland, Ohio/Central Catholic)
Ht.: 6-7 | Wt.: 205 | College: Cleveland State
He is a long, athletic and skilled power forward who is skilled enough to possibly develop into a small forward in the future. Grady is a great get for Cleveland State because he has the ability to be an impact player and perennial all-conference player down the road. He is a streaky shooter with range to 19 feet who likes to play on the perimeter offensively, but he needs to develop a post-up game in order to contribute in the paint. Defensively, he is a good shot-blocker who is effective at taking away the paint. If he can improve his consistency, he can become one of the better players in the Horizon League.
|John Brown, SF (Oldsmar, Fla./Oldsmar Christian)
Ht.: 6-7 | Wt.: 190 | College: High Point
The other teams in the Big South are worried about Brown joining High Point. We've seen Brown, and those concerns are justified because he is a high-major player, plain and simple. Coach Scott Cherry is welcoming an athletic specimen with a serious motor. Brown plays the game at and around the rim while mixing in some perimeter skills and graceful athleticism. High Point is glad to have him him and there's a starting spot waiting.
|Isaiah Williams, SF (Newark, N.J./The Robinson School)
Ht.: 6-7 | Wt.: 190 | College: Iona
Williams is a diamond in the rough who is ideally suited for Tim Cluess' run-and-gun system at Iona. His size, length and versatile playmaking skills allow him to play three different positions and make him equally effective both leading the break or filling lanes in transition.
|Kris Brewer, SG (Memphis, Tenn./Brehm Prep)
Ht.: 6-3 | Wt.: 185 | College: Kent State
Brewer has excellent size, strength and the scoring ability to be an impact player on the perimeter for coach Geno Ford. He can get to the rim on the break and has an excellent midrange game, including the skill to knock down open 3s. Brewer has toughness, can play and defend both guard positions and plays with a little edge to him -- which will fit nicely with the Golden Flashes' style of play.
|Michael Caffey, PG (Corona, Calif./Centennial)
Ht.: 5-11 | Wt.: 155 | College: Long Beach State
Long Beach State has its point guard of the future in Caffey. Once All-Big West performer Caspar Ware exhausts his eligibility during the 2011-12 season, Caffey will take over the reigns. He has outstanding speed and quickness and is always in attack mode. His jump shot is improving from beyond the arc, as is his decision-making. Essentially, he is a high-major point guard prospect who will be playing in the Big West.
|Zay Jackson, PG (Hammond, La./St. Thomas Aquinas)
Ht.: 6-0 | Wt.: 165 | College: Murray State
Jackson could be the most athletic freshman entering the OVC next season. He is the state of Louisiana's high jump and triple jump champion, and because of his ability to guard the ball 94 feet, he has a chance to be a major impact.
|Juan'ya Green, SG (Elkins Park, Pa./Archbishop Carroll)
Ht.: 6-3 | Wt.: 200 | College: Niagara
Niagara has its go-to guy because Green has a great feel for the game and does what it takes to help his team win. He is an athletic perimeter player who can light up the scoreboard in many ways. Due to his outstanding passing ability, instincts for the game and ball skills he should be able to move to the point guard position in time. He is being mentioned as a possible player of the year in Philadelphia.
|Danny Cheek, SG (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona Del Mar)
Ht.: 6-4 | Wt.: 190 | College: Northern Arizona
Northern Arizona has added some much-needed athleticism with the addition of Cheek. The wiry wing-type is exceptional attacking in transition and his perimeter skills are improving, especially his midrange jump shot. He has the ideal length and bounce to be a lockdown defender while guarding the 2 or the 3.
|Nate Anderson, PF (Asheville, Ohio/Teays Valley)
Ht.: 6-8 | Wt.: 210 | College: UNC-Wilmington
He is a high-post player who is a very good face-up shooter to 20 feet. Anderson can be excellent in a pick-and-pop, high-post system because he has a big enough body to set solid picks on the perimeter and is a good open jump shooter off the catch. He can also score some on the low block, but definitely prefers facing the basket to score. Defensively, he uses his big body to clog the paint.
|Adam Smith, SG (Jonesboro, Ga./Fayette County)
Ht.: 6-2 | Wt.: 165 | College: UNC-Wilmington
Coach Buzz Peterson will need help next season. The Seahawks signed an eight-man recruiting class and the coach will need contributions from his recruits. Smith is likely to emerge as the most potent offensive threat of the bunch. Armed with a 50-point game this season, he's averaging 26 points a contest. One rival CAA assistant coach subscribes to the theory that Smith is ready: "He's a guy that because they lose firepower can come in and score 10-12 points as a freshman."
|Stevie Taylor, PG (Gahanna, Ohio/Lincoln)
Ht.: 5-9 | Wt.: 150 | College: Ohio
Taylor will team with point guard DJ Cooper to give the Bobcats a lethal backcourt, because both can be effective on or off the ball. Taylor can score with his deep shooting range and run the team. He is terrific at reading and making decisions on ball screens and can make a play for himself or a teammate with the clock winding down. Taylor plays with swagger, is always in full attack mode and is capable of big scoring numbers.
|Imoh Silas, PF (Plymouth, N.H./Holderness)
Ht.: 6-8 | Wt.: 210 | College: Siena
Siena stole this high-level big man who should be able to make immediate contributions next season with his shot-blocking and rebounding prowess. His offense is still a work in progress, but with steady development he projects to be only a season or two away from being a consistent low-post scoring threat.
|Jake White, PF (Chaska, Minn./Chaska)
Ht.: 6-8 | Wt.: 215 | College: Wichita State
Wichita State may have stolen one from the state of Minnesota. White is a skilled 4-man who refuses to be outworked and excels with his fundamentals in the low block. He is effective trailing on the break or in pick-and-pop situations because he can stretch the defense with his shooting range.
Dave Telep, Paul Biancardi, Reggie Rankin, John Stovall, Adam Finkelstein, Mike LaPlante and Joel Francisco contributed to this piece.
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