Boys Basketball: Malek Harris, Marlon Jones making names for themselvesCarl Sandburg's Malek Harris scores against Joliet West's Marlon Johnson Monday in Orland Park. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 9, 2012 10:26AM
Sandburg’s Malek Harris and Orr’s Marlon Jones were both outstanding and opened eyes this past weekend at the Swish ‘N Dish Tournament in Milwaukee, both showed improved skills, physical maturity and vast potential as players and prospects.
Although Harris, a 6-7 sophomore started every game for Sandburg coach Todd Allen this past season, there wasn’t a lot of attention thrown toward the Eagles. He averaged 10 points and eight rebounds, while showing great versatility. He had the ability to play all five positions.
“With his size, ball-handling ability and great basketball I.Q., I think he has the potential to be one of the better players in the Class of 2014,” said Allen. “He has a chance to be a very special player.”
The coach is right. Harris is clearly among the top 15 prospects in the sophomore class heading into this offseason. While still raw and coming into his own, he not only passes the look test with flying colors, he brings so much to the table. Harris rebounded at a high level this past weekend. He produced, both on the block and even created a little for himself in the halfcourt while playing for the Illinois Wolves.
Then there is Jones, the absolute unknown from Chicago who sat out this past season at Orr after transferring in from Crane. Jones was a monster at times this past weekend with the Chicago Magic, rebounding, swatting shots, running the floor and showing an offensive game.
In one sterling performance, Jones fluidly hit a pair of 15-foot turnaround jumpers, a 15-foot face-up jumper from the elbow, looked good at the line, put down two dunks and impacted the game with his athleticism and length defensively and on the boards.
Jones is a difference-maker and a super prospect. He’s long, active, agile and athletic. But his skill level for a 6-8 post player was what was so startling, which will ultimately keep the big fella’s stock climbing.
Like Harris, Jones is also among the top 15 prospects (and likely higher with a little more face time) in a quickly-developing Class of 2014. And like Harris, with his size, athleticism, length and emerging skills, the rise should continue with further work and development.