Class Of 2015 Player Watch: Jalen Brunson

By Roy & Harv Schmidt

January 1, 2012

10:30 A.M. CST

What we are about to say is not meant as a slight toward any of the other outstanding guards in Illinois from the class of 2015.  However, at the present time we firmly believe that 5'11 point guard Jalen Brunson from Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL is the best back court prospect in the class.

Our assessment of Brunson comes after watching him at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic, where he was instrumental in leading his team to the championship game of the tournament.  Brunson was most solid in Stevenson's 66-63 quarterfinal win over Prospect, finishing with 14 points and 4 assists.

What makes Brunson so valuable is that he is capable of playing either guard spot equally well.  He is a smooth-shooting lefty with 3-point range.  In addition, Brunson is adept at being able to push the ball up the floor, can score off the dribble and has a great overall demeanor.

The one thing that may set Brunson apart from the other 2015 guards in Illinois is the intangibles that he brings to the table.  Being the son of an NBA player (former Chicago Bull Rick Brunson), Jalen has a strong work ethic and an extremely high basketball I.Q.  He plays with the utmost confidence and with a greater level of maturity than what we see from many high school seniors.  And he has the ability to make all of his teammates better.

Brunson and 6'1 2012 off-guard Michael Fleming (an outstanding perimeter shooter with unlimited range) are the nucleus of a team that is undoubtedly one of the best in Chicago's north suburbs.  In fact, if both Brunson and Fleming continue playing at the level they have throughout the season thus far, Stevenson is a team capable of going a long way in the Class 4A state tournament come March. Brunson will spend the sping and summer of 2012 playing on the traveling team circuit for Dickey Simpkins' Team NLP program, which does an outstanding job of developing young talent.


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