Friday, January 11, 2013
No. 1 sophomore Stone talks offer list
By Reggie Rankin
MILWAUKEE -- Sophomore center Diamond Stone (Milwaukee/Dominican), the No. 1-ranked prospect in the ESPN 25, and his father, Bob, sat down Thursday evening to discuss how Stone's game is progressing and where they are in the recruiting process.
Not surprisingly for the top player nationally in his class, Stone has an elite offer list a mile long but has a plan and is executing it to perfection.
No. 1 sophomore Diamond Stone has offers from teams in the Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and ACC.
Stone listed offers from in-state Marquette and Wisconsin in addition to DePaul, Arizona, Texas A&M, Minnesota, Indiana, UConn, LSU, Georgetown, Maryland, Illinois, USC, UCLA, Tulsa, Florida and Tennessee.
"I am also receiving strong interest from Kentucky, North Carolina and Duke," Stone said.
"We will narrow the list down after his junior season to about five schools or so, and the decision will break down this way: 60 percent Diamond and 40 percent me and his mother," his father said. "We have to make sure he goes where he is a great fit."
Stone is a pleasant young man who is extremely approachable despite standing a hulking 6-foot-10 and 255 pounds. He is a normal teenager who just happens to have a very bright future in basketball with continued hard work and commitment to the game, which he is more than capable of.
Stone is a walking double-double and is currently averaging around 17 points and 12.1 rebounds per game.
"I am a better offensive rebounder," he said. "I like to get tip-ins and put-backs."
Stone is a big-bodied center who can score with his back to the basket. He has a variety of post moves that he can execute with either hand. If he catches the ball with a foot in the paint, it's over for the defender. When you have low-post position with the hands, footwork and touch that Stone possesses, the defense is simply at his mercy when he is aggressive and in full attack mode.
"I have a variety of post moves. My favorite move is the quick baseline spin," Stone said, smiling as he described how he executes his go-to move.
"I have to work on my perimeter defense so I can guard power forwards and centers that play on the perimeter or if I get into a situation where I have to switch onto a guard," he added. "I have really improved my low-post defense."
Stone has thought about what he is looking for in a school and is already thinking about what he might want to major in.
"I want to go to a high-level school where post play and getting the ball inside is important. Play for a coach that is fair and where the team is unselfish and has good chemistry," Stone said. "I am thinking about majoring in communications right now."
Wherever Stone decides to take his talents, there will no doubt be a number of plays in the game plan to get the ball inside. He is just too skilled and productive as a low-post scorer and his upside is tremendous.
Stone will definitely be fun to watch develop over the next couple years -- unless you're the player attempting to defend him.