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How can the stars shine brightest?

Mark Melvin of Cutting Edge has contributed this article to Chicago Hoops.

Mark Melvin
January 22, 2003

When it comes to Richard McBride, Shaun Livingston, De’Aaron Williams and Brian Randle, four of the brightest young basketball stars in Illinois, the answers are as varying as the skills each of these top talents possess.

Let’s begin with 6-2 Richard McBride, rated as my #2 player in the state for the Class of 2003. Richard is a great shooter, and terrific scorer who likes to dive into the lane for his pullup jumper. For Mcbride to shine this season he will need help from his teammates.

Too many times this year he has had to hoist up 25+ shots just to give his team a chance to win. This is doing two things, 1). Making Richard seem to those who haven’t seen him that he is playing in a selfish manner. 2). It could make him selfish if this causes Richard to develop bad habits.

For Richard McBride to truely shine, the team may have to suffer a few losses so the rest of the team can develop.

Shaun Livingston is one of the Top 10 prospects in the country for the Class of 2004. To be one of the brightest stars on the court he only needs to have the ball in his hands. It sounds simple until you realize that at 6-6 he is one of the tallest players on his high school team. The temptation for his coach is to use him at small forward. Playing Shaun at small forward strengthens Peoria Central at one spot. However, if he plays point guard he strengthens the team at every position by making everyone more effective with his playmaking ability.

Next we turn our attention to DeAaron Williams. Williams is a 6-4 sg/sf from Limestone High School. The key for DeAaron is setting up his terrific slashing ability with his outside shot.

DeAaron has the ability to shoot the 3, but just doesn’t do it enough. Once he realizes that, it will make the slashing and rebounding parts of his game even better. Once he puts it all together, the sky’s the limit for this multi-talented player.

Lastly, we come to Brian Randle. At 6-7, Randle may arguably have the most long term potential of this group. The thing that will allow Brian to shine this year can be summed up in one word. Attitude.

Some refer to this as a mean streak, others would say he needs to develop a swagger, and still others might say he needs to play with the proper mindset. Whatever you want to call it. The right attitude combined with some work on his perimeter game, maturity and work in the weightroom are the only things that may seperate Brian from a possible NBA future.

Richard McBride, 6-2 sg from Springfield Lanphier has signed with the University of Illinois.

Brian Randle 6-7 sr. combo forward from Peoria Notre Dame has signed with the University of Illinois.

DeAaron Williams 6-4 sg/sf is a jr. at Bartonsville Limestone High School.

Shaun Livingston 6-6 jr. pg from Peoria Central High School.