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Fresh Faces: Willie Cauley, Spearville (Class of 2012)

Posted on 22. Dec, 2009 by KCPREPHOOPS in High School

In early 2009, about as many people had heard of sophomore WIllie Cauley as had heard of his hometown, Spearville, Kansas. This despite his father being a collegiate star at Pittsburgh, and even though his natural athletic gifts and seven foot wingspan seem quite obvious. Perhaps his relative anonymity can be explained by the fact that Cauley comes from western Kansas or maybe it is because he hails from the same state as Perry Ellis, one of the top players nationally in the same class. Or, just maybe, it's hard to evaluate a 6'10" 15 year-old without seeing him against top-shelf competition.

In June, the would-be blue chip prospect got his chance when he joined Matt Suther's MOKAN Elite 15s team and made an immediate impact at a high level. "I don't think we would have won the LA {Double Pump} tourney without him," says Coach Suther. In the championship game alone, he probably had seven blocked shots and 20 rebounds." In fact, those of us who saw him at the Hoops City Classic and then again in Los Angeles recognized real progress in his game in just a matter of weeks. Clearly he is not currently as prolific a scorer as Ellis or Gavin Thurman (another top player from Wichita), but as he grows into his body and learns more about the post skill-set, he can be a scorer at the next level. And, he already runs the floor extremely well, with good feet and hands. "Yeh, I have a lot to learn offensively and I need to play hard all the time," admits Cauley. Coaches who have now seen him play tell us that if he works on his physique, he has a

 

chance to be a big impact player at the next level.

 

In any case, the star of Spearville High School, enrollment 100, should be on many more recruiting radar screens. Although NY2LA has placed him in their top rankings, Scout.com has no mention and Rivals.com has only a listing with no photo or rating. Even astute basketball fans in close-by Kansas City have very little knowledge of his basketball talents. "I haven't seen him play and really don't know much about him" has been a common refrain among AAU and high school coaches here. But Coach Suther sees a star emerging. "Once he gets the confidence that he can take over games, he has a chance to play at a very high level." And programs have started to notice. Schools such as Arizona, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Purdue have recently ratcheted up the attention for Cauley. "I have heard from at least ten schools in the last six weeks," says Suther. "Willie has so much upside and the fact that he is incredibly coachable makes him all the more valuable." Kansas State offered the big man in recent weeks.. In addition to averaging 22 points, 17 rebounds and 7 blocks for the Spearville Lancers thus far in 2009-10, Cauley makes a lot of time for pursuits outside of hoops. "I really like hanging with my friends and listening to music," Cauley says. And being around him, you get the sense that his quiet, calming presence allows him to play without much bothering him on the court. "My teammates have been really supportive and excited for me," he quickly points out. In our recent rankings of Kansas City area players, we placed Cauley ahead of Perry Ellis and heard a lot of negative feedback from fans and some coaches. Based on his upside and ability to make an impact at the collegiate level, we continue to believe he has the potential to be a big-time player (as does Ellis), and we like his size as the real differentiator. It's still early in the basketball life of Willie Cauley, but his raw talent, desire and coachability tell us he should be considered one of the top centers in the 2012 class. In early 2009, about as many people had heard of sophomore WIllie Cauley as had heard of his hometown, Spearville, KS. This despite his father being a collegiate star at Pittsburgh and even though his natural athletic gifts and seven foot wingspan seem quite obvious. Perhaps his relative anonymity can be explained by the fact that Cauley comes from western Kansas or maybe it is because he hails from the same state as Perry Ellis, one of the top five players nationally in the same class. Or, just maybe, it's hard to evaluate a 6'10" 15 year-old without seeing him against top-shelf competition. In June, the would-be blue chip prospect got his chance when he joined Matt Suther's MOKAN Elite 15s team and made an immediate impact at a high level. "I don't think we would have won the LA {Double Pump} tourney without him," says Coach Suther. In the championship game alone, he probably had seven blocked shots and 20 rebounds." And in fact, those of us who saw him at the Hoops City Classic and then again in Los Angeles recognized real progress in his game in just a matter of weeks. Clearly he is not currently as prolific a scorer as Ellis or Gavin Thurman (another top player from Wichita), but as he grows into his body and learns more about the post skill-set, he can be a scorer at the next level. And, he already runs the floor extremely well, with good feet and hands. "Yeh, I have a lot to learn offensively and I need to play hard all the time," admits Cauley. Coaches who have now seen him play tell us that if he works on his physique, he has a chance to be a big impact player at the next level. In any case, the star of Spearville High School, enrollment 100, should be on many more recruiting radar screens. Although NY2LA has placed him in their top rankings, Scout.com has no mention and Rivals.com has only a listing with no photo or rating. Even astute basketball fans in close-by Kansas City have very little knowledge of his basketball talents. "I haven't seen him play and really don't know much about him" has been a common refrain among AAU and high school coaches here. But Coach Suther sees a star emerging. "Once he gets the confidence that he can take over games, he has a chance to play at a very high level." And programs have started to notice. Schools such as Arizona, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Purdue have recently ratcheted up the attention for Cauley. "I have heard from at least ten schools in the last six weeks," says Suther. "Willie has so much upside and the fact that he is incredibly coachable makes him all the more valuable." Kansas State offered the big man in recent weeks.. In addition to averaging 22 points, 17 rebounds and 7 blocks for the Spearville Lancers thus far in 2009-10, Cauley makes a lot of time for pursuits outside of hoops. "I really like hanging with my friends and listening to music," Cauley says. And being around him, you get the sense that his quiet, calming presence allows him to play without much bothering him on the court. "My teammates have been really supportive and excited for me," he quickly points out. In our recent rankings of Kansas City area players, we placed Cauley ahead of Perry Ellis and heard a lot of negative feedback from fans and some coaches. Based on his upside and ability to make an impact at the collegiate level, we continue to believe he has the potential to be a big-time player (as does Ellis), and we like his size as the real differentiator. It's still early in the basketball life of Willie Cauley, but his raw talent, desire and coachability tell us he could become one of the top centers in the 2012 class.

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4 Responses to “Fresh Faces: Willie Cauley, Spearville (Class of 2012)”

  1. Cody Lunow 10. Feb, 2010

    I went to school with Willie last year (08-09 school year). And I have not seen him play since then. I believe the star of the Spearville Lancers is Carson Konrade #42. That is just my opinion.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Tweets that mention Prospect Profile: Willie Cauley, Spearville (Class of 2012) | Flagrant Fouls -- Topsy.com 22. Dec, 2009

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nolan Shulman, KC High School Hoops. KC High School Hoops said: Thanks @nolanshulman for posting the Willie Cauley profile - http://bit.ly/6wveGr - I really think he has big time prospects [...]

    Reply to this comment
  3. Nolan Shulman 22. Dec, 2009

    Can’t wait to see Willie in person this summer. If you say he’s better than Perry, than he must be one hell of a player. Can you get me a copy of MOKAN’s upcoming AAU schedule when they have it completed?

    Reply to this comment
    • KCPREPHOOPS 22. Dec, 2009

      I will have Matt Suther get in-touch with you and share their schedule - Not sure when they finalize that kind of thing. I’m also trying to get schedules for KC Pump N Run and Vic Williams’ Cowboys

      Reply to this comment

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