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St. Viator's Ore Arogundade (left) scored 45 points in a game against Mundelein in February to highlight his junior season. | Chandler West~For Sun-Times Media
Mike Mullins, coach of the AAU’s Illinois Wolves, isn’t pulling any punches when he describes Malek Harris’ abilities.
‘‘We’re using Malek to play everywhere on the floor, and the last guy we had that did that was Evan Turner,’’ Mullins said.
Harris, a 6-7 junior from Sandburg, has seen his recruiting explode this spring. He isn’t ranked in the national top 100 by any of the major recruiting services, but Mullins expects him to catapult into the top 50 when the next rankings are released in June.
‘‘He has made some great improvements in his perimeter skills, his ballhandling and his passing,’’ Mullins said. ‘‘That has been a big revelation for the schools recruiting him.’’
Iowa was an early player for Harris, and he visited DePaul, Louisville and Indiana last fall. He has offers from Creighton, DePaul, Illinois State, Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, Oregon State and St. Louis. Butler, Miami, Illinois, Purdue, Missouri, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech are showing interest.
Harris is widely praised for his motor, is always playing hard and has a nose for the ball. If he can fully develop into a shooting guard, expect more high-major national programs to come calling.
St. Viator junior Ore Arogundade is another star on the Wolves’ 17U team. He had a tremendous high school season, highlighted by a 45-point game against Mundelein in February.
Mullins had cut Arogundade from the Wolves heading into freshman year.
‘‘He really took that to heart and has gotten better every year,’’ Mullins said. ‘‘A lot of kids run from adversity. He came back and succeeded.’’
Arogundade has a lively presence on social media and is one of the more interesting personalities in the 2014 class.
‘‘He’s a very social kid, and he’s completely unspoiled, which is a nice character trait to have in high school or travel basketball,’’ Mullins said. ‘‘He is very appreciative of everything he gets and has worked really hard.’’
St. Joseph sophomore point guard Glynn Watson, Demetri McCamey’s younger brother, was moved up to the Wolves’ 17U team for this weekend’s tournament in Dallas. Watson was one of the star attractions on the 16U team this spring.
‘‘He’s the best point guard we’ve had in a long, long time,’’ Mullins said. ‘‘And every point guard we have had has started in college as a freshman — that is, in the history of the Wolves.’’
The entire Big Ten is recruiting Watson, who was 5-8 last year and has grown to 5-11. Purdue offered a scholarship last year and has been on him the hardest.
‘‘He’s as good as any point guard that we’ve played against this year or seen play at any age group,’’ Mullins said. ‘‘Being Demetri’s little brother, I’m sure he will get bigger and stronger. That’s what everyone is waiting to see.’’
The Wolves program has two freshmen worth keeping an eye on: Hinsdale South’s 6-9 Barrett Benson and De La Salle’s 6-5 Skyler Nash. Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan have expressed some interest in both players.
Nash has been moved up to the Wolves’ 16U team. Benson is also expected to play up this summer, but he’s currently recovering from a sprained ankle.
Summer in Europe
Young junior Jahlil Okafor, the Sun-Times Player of the Year, will compete in the 2013 U19 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, this summer. Training camp begins in late June, with the first game on June 27 against Ivory Coast.