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Boys Basketball Player Rankings: Muskego's Makinen enjoys stellar spring with Playground Warriors

By Mark Miller, 05/11/17, 6:45PM CDT

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Like a lot of young big players, Nobal Days' most effective days on the basketball court appear to be ahead of him as he continues to grow and add weight and strength to his long frame.

The 6-foot-9, 200-pound forward from Racine Park is ranked among the top 75 players in the United States in the 2019 class thanks in large part to his height, impressive skill set and potential.

Though he averaged just 7.4 points per game as a sophomore at Park, Days nonetheless has earned his spot on top of the updated 2019 WisSports.net Player Rankings released today.

No other player in Wisconsin in the current sophomore class can come close to matching the scholarship offers Days already owns from DePaul, Illinois, Kansas State, Marquette, Tulane, UNLV and Wisconsin.

And while Days' offensive production was nothing special last winter, he did manage to grab 10.2 rebounds and hand out 2.3 assists per game for coach Jim Betker and the Panthers, who finished 9-11 overall and 6-8 in the Southeast Conference.

This spring, coaches from most of the collegiate schools who had previously extended scholarship offers followed Days and his teammates on the Playground Elite EYBL squad on the club circuit. His strong play in the prestigious EYBL netted recent offers from Kansas State and Tulane.

Days figures to garner more offers once the summer evaluation period for college coaches gets underway in July. 

Nationally in 2019, Days is ranked No. 46 in the 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 55 by Rivals.com and No. 44 by Scout.com.

Any 6-foot-9 player ranked that highly on a national level figures to grab interest from collegiate programs in the summer prior to his junior year of high school.

Marquette and Wisconsin appear to be recruiting Days the hardest at this point with Days attending games last winter for both schools. 

A second-team all-conference pick as a sophomore, Days and his older brother, Kaj, now a freshman at NCAA Division II Illinois-Springfield, helped Park to the Southeast Conference title and a 22-3 record in 2015-16.

Meanwhile, a handful of additional class of 2019 prospects in the state have earned their way onto the recruiting radar for NCAA Division I schools, including No. 2-ranked Marcus Domask, a versatile 6-foot-5 wing prospect from Waupun who owns a scholarship offer from Green Bay coach Linc Darner.

Domask can score in a variety of ways due to his physical strength and skill, but appears best suited for the two-guard position in college. 

A good but not great perimeter shooter, Domask plans to spend plenty of time working on his perimeter game prior to the start of the 2017-18 high school season. He competes for his father and coach, Dan Domask, at Waupun and with the talented Ray Allen Select club program.

No. 3-ranked Gage Malensek (6-0) of Brookfield Central helped the Iowa Barnstormers 16U squad win the Platinum Division title in the Bill Hensley Memorial Run N Slam event at the Spiece Fieldhouse in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on May 5-7.

The Player of the Year in the Greater Metro Conference as a sophomore, Malensek does not own a Division I offer to date, but his steady play, high basketball IQ and ability to lead a team figure to catch the attention of collegiate coaches in the near future. 

No. 4-ranked Deontay Long (6-5) of Milwaukee Washington helped the Purgolders to a 22-5 record and a spot in the WIAA Division 2 State Tournament last winter by averaging 19.6 points and 6.0 rebounds and earning first-team all-league honors in the Milwaukee City Conference.

A physical wing who can attack the basket and earn trips to the foul line, Long is competing in the spring/summer with the Milwaukee Spartans/Rebels Elite program. In five games at a recent weekend in the Adidas Gauntlet series, Long averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds a game.

Martin Luther High School in Greendale is the home to four players in the Top 50 -- No. 5 Xzavier Jones (6-4), No. 8 Trequan Carrington (5-9), No. 14 Jeramie King (6-5) and No. 41 Ace Evans (6-2). 

Jones has attracted recruiting interest from Marquette and Wisconsin while King has been sidelined for more than six months with an injury, but is expected back on the court in the near future.  

No. 6 Larry Canady (6-2) is a teammate of Days' at Park and is a standout player for a very good Butler Elite club team. He can score in a lot of different ways and has good size and strength.

No. 7 Bennett Loersch (6-10) of Luther High School in Onalaska is one of the more intriguing player in the 2019 class, due mainly to his advanced skill set and height.

Though on the thin side, Loersch is a smooth shooter, can run the floor and is not afraid to mix things up in the paint, despite lacking true physical strength.

A member of the Wisconsin Playmakers 16U program coached by UW-La Crosse's Ken Koelbl, Loersch figures to make big strides over the next 12 months and has definitely caught the attention of Division I scouts.

Carrington has been the most consistent player for the Playground Elite EYBL squad, and he earned first-team all-league honors last season in a Metro Classic Conference that features eight players in the Top 50 for 2019.

No. 9 A.J. Makinen (6-0) of Muskego has proven to be a lights-out shooter for the Wisconsin Playground Warriors 16U program that competes in the Under Armour Association. The combination guard is a two-year varsity performer for a very good Muskego program. 

To additional players who figure to get plenty of recruiting attention this summer include No. 10 Cole Nau (6-2) of Brookfield Central and No. 11 Quin Cafferty (6-6) of Racine St. Catherine's.

Nau is an outstanding defender with a high basketball IQ while Cafferty is a physical frontcourt prospect who can finish well inside with excellent footwork.

Though the 2019 class appears to lack depth in terms of potential Division I players, it likely will prove to be a stellar class for Division II and III programs.

To see the list of the Top 50 in 2019, click here.

To see the list of Others to Watch in 2019, click here.