If you follow college basketball recruiting, then you surely know about the legends of the “Summer Wonders.” These are the kids who you didnt know existed, but then they go off during the AAU and summer camp circuits, play well and come back a star. Usually the kid comes from some place far off, you have never heard anything about him and all of a sudden his name seems to be surgically tied to the word “upside.” But rarely does the newest “hot” player come from right under your nose. Such is the case with the newest sensation on the horizon, Madisonville, Kentucky’s Jon Hood. Hood is a 6’6″ wingman who was generally regarded as a promising talent from the state, but had attracted almost no attention from his two in-state schools. But now, like a bolt of lightning Hood is THE name on many top coaches’ lips. He has recieved personal visits for workouts from Billy D and Billy Clyde, taken an official visit to Ole Miss and is likely to be wooed in the very near future by the Dukies in Durham. Thus the question becomes…..why the hype?
The simple answer to that question is that Hood possesses a good jumper, combined with stellar athleticism and a high basketball IQ that makes him have the potential to be a perfect college basketball player. This summer coaches fell in love with Hood’s scoring ability and realized that he possessed an overall package that is somewhat rare. While he can most certainly shoot, he possesses a point guard’s mentality in an athletic wing’s frame. He rarely makes a bad decision, can stop on a dime and drain a three and will occasionally throw down a dunk if you arent careful. His ranking has risen up to as high as #39 in America, but he remains the type of player who is very “eye of the beholder” type. The guys that like him a great deal (Travis Ford, Andy Kennedy, Billy Donovan) are really into him. However others (like maybe Billy Clyde) seem a bit skeptical. What is clear though is that Madisonville High School games will be crowded events this season.
With Hood not expected to make a decision until next year, the rush to offer him may not be overwhelming. But many expect Duke, Florida and UNC to be visitors to Hood’s games and if he improves, he could find himself one of the hottest players in America. I have only seen Hood play once and left seeing potential, but not necessarily greatness. However that was before his summer blowing up the rankings and moving into the recruiting consciousness. I will be interested to see if what has happened with Hood is all improvement or all hype. But either way, get to know Jon Hood…..the coaches of the best teams in America certainly do.