Huge Summer, Big BBall Dreams for Detroit's Ray Croon |
There is no clear cut number one player in the class of 2014 in Michigan Basketball. Justin Tillman (Detroit Pershing), Jaylen Johnson (Ypsilanti), and Edmond Sumner (Detroit Country Day) are all solid, but no one player has significantly stood out over the other. And with the departure of Yante Maten (Bloomfield Hills), and AJ Turner (Warrer De La Salle) to out of state schools, that has provided players like Ray Croon the opportunity to rise in the rankings.
Croon, (6-5, 170-pounds) is a standout guard out of Redford Thurston, averaging 24 ppg., and 11 reb., as a junior last season. Capable of playing both guard positions, Croon can be a mismatch on both sides of the court versus smaller guards with his size, and is a also potent scorer.
"I'm pretty sure I can lead the state in scoring this year", Croon said. "I had about eight games where I had 25 points, and I didn't even play the second half. My first game of last season I had seven dunks and 41 points in three quarters," he added.
Some might say that Croon has not faced top tier talent at Thurston, but that has not stopped Division 1 schools from recruiting him. He has continued his outburst of points on the AAU circuit, with a 42 point game at the Peach State Showcase in South Carolina.
"Our scheduling at Thurston doesn't allow us to get that exposure like we deserve," said Croon. "But we still win our district every year, and it's a really good program."
July's live period on the AAU circuit is when college coaches are allowed to see possible recruits playing in person. For players like Croon trying to gain more exposure and receive scholarships, it's important that they play their best basketball at every AAU events. The Family, one of the most prominent AAU basketball organizations in Michigan, was Croon's former team, but now he is playing for Team Detroit.
Former Family teammates Yante Maten and Romeo's Drew Cushingberry have also joined Croon at Team Detroit. They leave Wednesday for the "NY2LA" tournament in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
"I've been doing really good in AAU, even though I've hopped from team to team," said Croon. "I was with R.E.A.C.H., but Team Detroit is a team where we have all come together and have become really good."
Youngstown State, and Detroit Mercy have both extended offers to Croon, and he was also informed by his AAU coach that two more schools offered late Monday night.
"Southern Missouri, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Oakland have all shown interest in me, but I plan on blowing up in July," Croon said. "I'm trying to go to the Big Ten, so hopefully something like that will come my way. I don't want to go too far from home, but I know competition will be a big factor for me when I choose a school."
The upcoming doesn't start until December, but Croon says he has been working non-stop on getting better and proving doubters wrong. The Eagles finished 19-6 last season, and Croon and his teammates want to improve on that record.
"I stay in the gym, and I have a personal trainer now," said Croon. "This is also the first time I've been hitting the weights, and I've increased my vertical jump to 35 inches. I also plan on being a Mr.Basketball candidate this year too," he said.Tweet