Eastern Commerce High School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada has a been a guard heaven over the last 10 years for recruiters. Four of the schools' players have gone on to play Division I ball and now head coach Roy Rana believes he has four more that will move on to play college ball.
Rana knows a little something about guards moving on to the next level. He's been able to see a number of his former players move on to the next level.
Jermaine Anderson is a junior at Fordham and starting at the point for the Rams. Kingsley Costain is a key reserve for Paul Westphal at Pepperdine as a red shirt freshman. Tristan Blackwood has started every game as a true freshman for Central Connecticut State. Former Eastern Commerce point guard Colin Charles played at St. John's in the late 1990s.
In the program right now are four guards that Rana believes can play just as well as his former guys. Seniors Ronnie Williams (6-0, 185), Tyrone Mattison (6-0, 195), junior Learie Duncan (6-2, 175) and freshman phenom Junior Cadougan (5-11, 165) are all on recruiting radars.
Williams is averaging 17 points and six assists while Mattison is putting in 13 points and six assists a contest, too. The duo have been the object of several college recruiter's attention in the new year. Bradley, Bowling Green, New Mexico, Purdue and Auburn are all inquiring, according to Rana.
"I think word spread again since we've been playing well and the early signing period has passed," Rana said. "Maybe some teams forgot about them but when word got out that they've had success this year, the teams are coming back. The phone is ringing consistent basis because they are two of the best guards in the country."
Behind Williams and Mattison is Duncan, a versatile junior. If there were a fantasy basketball league, Duncan is your late round sleeper pick. For the season, the 6-foot-2 guard is averaging a modest 12 points, eight rebounds, seven steals and five assists for the 22-4 Eastern Commerce squad. In one game this season, Duncan was a steal away of a quadruple double.
Illinois, St. Bonaventure, Central Connecticut State and Binghampton have all called about Duncan this season.
"He's an incredible athlete that's very fast from end to end," Rana said. "He has a great vertical jump and he's a great defender. He can impact the game in so many ways because he doesn't need to score."
As good as the aforementioned trio is, the best player may not even be on the varsity club. Cadougan, only a freshman, is averaging 30 points and 10 assists per game for the junior varsity squad.
"Guys like him just don't come around very often," Rana said. "He has big time written all over him."
Some believe Cadougan is the best player to come out of Canada since Jamaal Magliore.
"He's one of the best I've ever seen. He just makes everyone around him better and yet he can score with the best of them even being triple teamed. His base is phenomenal. He's just special because he can dominate any time he wants to.
"His feel for the game is unbelievable," Rana said. "A lot of kids get too much hype too early but he's worthy of it. His problem is though is that at times he tries to take the game over too much. But that's only because his teammates aren't up to speed with him yet."
Michigan, Michigan State and Syracuse are already sending mail. Perhaps after Cadougan's run with the Canadian Junior National team this summer, that list will include even more high majors.
Eastern Commerce will be playing at the West Virginia Mountain State Classic at WVU. Mt. Zion (N.C.), National Christian Academy (D.C.) and Dunbar (Ohio) are some of the other teams in action.