Marin Kukoc, son of Toni, commits to Penn
"Penn has added to its recruiting class for the 2010-11 season in a big way.
Yesterday, 6-foot-6 wingman Marin Kukoc, the son of former Chicago Bulls’ standout Toni Kukoc, announced his commitment to Penn."
It's official: my favorite player to watch in the entire league is Marin Kukoc. Marin followed up last week's 28 point output with yet another 28 point showing in Week 2 as his Nuggets squad (Highland Park Varsity) topped the Rockets 64-52. As the undisputed top player and senior leader on a solid Highland Park squad he has the ability, and more importantly the green-light, to make magic happen every time he touches the ball. Whenever he catches the ball on the perimeter now, I'm expecting something exciting to happen. He is 6'6, long and athletic, and he genuinely has the skills and ability to play all 5 positions, an impressive and valuable tool that very few other players possess, one of those few being his father Toni who, during his playing days, essentially pioneered and patented the role of versatile-player-who-plays-a-variety-of-positions-and-is-impossible-to-guard.
Though I'm still not completely sold on Marin as a defender (he is not quick enough to guard smaller guards and not strong enough to guard big wings), he makes it clear every time he steps on the floor that he is a brilliant offensive talent. I'm telling you, there are very, very few prospects that I have evaluated who have the defensive abilities to have success trying to guard Marin. He has a beautiful outside stroke- the kind of stroke that makes you think its going to get nothing but net every time it leaves his hands, nice mid range pull up moves, good ball handling and court vision, top notch athleticism and length that allows him to sky-walk to catch alley-oops, and the ability to use his length and athleticism to get to the hoop with only one or two well calculated dribbles. The quality that I observed that I feel sets him apart most, though, is his confidence, leadership, and optimistic demeanor. Not only is it always obvious that he is having a lot of fun whenever he's on the floor (at least when he's on offense), but it's clear that his teammates have a great deal of trust in him and feed off of his confidence and passion. You don't see many non-point guards that can dictate the pace of a game in the way that Kukoc can.
Now understand, I am not over-hyping him or trying to make him out to be a national stud or the player in the state by any means- he has some holes in his game and he needs to put on a lot of muscle to be affective in college, but I am saying that it's ridiculous how little recognition he gets in basketball circles, as people rarely bring him up as a "ranked" player in Illinois and his status as a potent scorerhas scarcely been recognized, if it's recognized at all, by people outside of the North Suburbs. It doesn't make much sense to me that such a talented player at a recognizable school would be so under appreciated, but I think I have an intuition as to one possible explanation. I don't want this to come off as if I am stating a fact,as this is just speculation, but I have a feeling that if his name was Johnson instead of Kukoc he would be much more highly touted and widely recognized, as then people would've been forced to talk about his talent rather than his bloodline. Again, that theory is just a guess, and I could be way off. If he continues to improve at the rate he is and adds a good deal of muscle weight there is no doubt to me that he's at least a solid division one recruit, though I need to evaluate the details of his game more to determine what level of D1 ball he can play. Even if he doesn't get any stronger but is willing to redshirt his freshman year while he bulks up, there is no reason why a high academic D1 school in need of an offensive weapon shouldn't throw an offer his way