In keeping with a few summer basketball recruiting updates, today we’ll look at another target on Western Kentucky’s list for the 2011 class in California swingman Juan Anderson.
The 6-6, 200-pound Anderson averaged 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game last season for Castro Valley High School in Castro Valley, Calif. and currently his AAU ball with the Oakland Rebels and coach Raymond Young.
It might seem like quite the reach from the bay area to South Central Kentucky, but according to Young, the tie in this situation is that he and current WKU assistant Ray Harper are good friends. That friendship, and Anderson’s ability as a player, have led to an offer from WKU.
So what type of player is Anderson?
“He’s a very versatile player who (currently) plays anywhere from the one through the four,” Young told the Daily News earlier this week. “He can play either guard spot or on the wing, and for AAU basketball even the four.
“The strong points in his games right now are driving to the basket, rebounding and finishing at the rim. One thing with him right now though is that he’s starting to wear down after a lot of these games that we’ve played this summer, so he really will have to get into the weight room and get stronger. He’ll have to work on his shot a little more as well, but he is a pretty strong jump shooter and really a great defender.”
Currently not given a star-rating by Rivals.com, Anderson grades out an 86 in ESPN.com’s recruiting rankings – which, according to the Worldwide Leader, is given to a player that ‘should be a solid contributor and a two- to three-year starter at a mid-major program.’
While his ESPN grade seems to lump him in the mid-major level, Anderson’s offer sheet isn’t completely limited to that level.
According to InsideHilltopperSports.com, Anderson currently holds offers from Arizona State and Cal, as well as Creighton, Murray State, San Francisco, SMU, UC Davis, UC-Santa Barbara and Utah State. IHS.com also lists Arizona, Portland, San Diego, UCLA and Washington State as places that have interest.
Perhaps the biggest question from WKU’s perspective with Anderson will be whether or not the athletic swingman will be willing to leave the west coast and head east.
Something Anderson says he has no problem with whatsoever.
“Location really isn’t a factor for me,” Anderson said. “(Leaving the west coast to play) really does interest me a lot, I’m definitely open to it.”
Anderson told me he plans on waiting until the summer season of AAU basketball has completed before he gets down to narrowing in on a list and his overall favorites – and says he’s excited to learn more about some of the schools that aren’t exactly in his own back yard.
“I’m just taking it all in right now,” he said. “I’m waiting until after the last (AAU tournament) to really start narrowing down a list.
“I haven’t done my research on WKU yet but I’m really looking forward to checking them out and seeing what they’re all about.”