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Prep basketball: Banks, Boser head into big weekend of college recruiting

The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis. — Aaron Rose The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis.

July 09-- Jul. 9--The pressure is on for rising seniors Dalton Banks and Caden Boser as they head into a big weekend of college basketball recruiting.

Eau Claire's two best prospects are travelling to AAU basketball tournaments for one of their last chances to impress college coaches before the summer ends and coaches turn their focus toward their upcoming seasons.

Banks, the Eau Claire North star, will be heading to Birmingham, Ala., for the Adidas' 2019 Summer Championships. His D1 Minnesota AAU program is 22-0 and considered amongst the country's very best programs.

This weekend is particularly important for Banks, who said he thinks he is on the cusp of a high-major offer. It's no secret, too. Some of the lower level schools that offered him earlier in his recruiting process have begun to realize he's probably too good for them.

"Like Green Bay, they offered me probably a year and a half ago and the talk between us has diminished," Banks said. "I don't know the last time that I spoke to them. ... It's probably that they know I'm going to a higher school than that."

D1 Minnesota coach Al Harris said he's seen significant improvement from Banks this season.

"There has been some maturity in his basketball game," Harris said. "Both physically and mentally. He's definitely taken on another level of leadership on our team, especially on the defensive end."

Banks has become a more well-rounded player, according to Harris. Last year, he said Banks was "a pretty good scorer," but this year, Banks has learned how to move without the ball and his scoring efficiency has gone up.

"He's a mid-(major)-plus player," Harris said. "It's just about fit for him. If a program needs an explosive lead guard that can score the basketball, but is a point guard first, who is also a very, very elite defender and a great rebounder for his size, Dalton is that type of kid.

"I don't know that every fit is the right fit for Dalton, but I do believe he could play at a high-major program in our country and do very well."

Even if a high-major does comes calling, Banks said he isn't set on going to the most prestigious program that offers him. He wants to go to a school where he can play right away. He wants a school that is going to help him develop into the best basketball player he can become so that he can eventually become a professional either in the NBA or overseas.

"I don't want to read into high-majors being so much better than mid-majors," he said. "Because you're going to have an opportunity and you just need to make the most of it."

Banks currently holds offers from South Dakota, Green Bay, Milwaukee, North Dakota State, Southern Illinois and Montana. He also said he has received interest from Northern Iowa, Butler, Drake, Colorado State, Utah State, Nebraska and Vanderbilt.

He said he'll see how this weekend goes then re-evaluate his situation before committing.

"I'm going to play out the last (recruiting) live period and see where I'm at," he said. "I'm hoping to make a decision probably in October-ish."

For Memorial's Boser, this weekend will be spent in Milwaukee, playing at the NY2LA tournament with his Wisconsin Swing club.

The Swing are not one of the country's premiere AAU programs, but Boser thinks it's a better fit for him. It allows him to star on the team, getting more shots and really showing off his talents.

There are, however, drawbacks. Without as much talent around Boser, it's a little harder for him to get noticed. With fewer opportunities to impress scouts, each tournament becomes precious.

"I didn't do my best, but I did alright," Boser said of his performance during his last major recruiting event. "Coaches were talking to me after."

This summer has seen Boser develop as more of a playmaker for the Swing. He's learned to play off the bounce and control the game with the ball in his hands, according to Eau Claire Memorial basketball coach Chad Brieske.

"One of the big things from talking to other college coaches that have been watching Caden, they've liked how he can compete and how he started fast breaks and stuff like that," Brieske said. "Things that don't really show up in the stat sheet."

Boser currently holds an offer from Milwaukee. It's an offer he got last summer when Memorial visited the Milwaukee campus last summer.

"They offered him that day, the first time they saw him play," Brieske said. "Sometimes when you get a place like that that loves you and really wants you, that's a great place to be at."

If Boser plays well over the next few months, he thinks he should be able to pick up a few more offers. He said he has interest from Northern Colorado, Princeton, Denver, Valparaiso and UIC.

As for committing, he's in no rush.

"Once I know 100% that I want to go somewhere, that's when I'll commit," he said. "I can't say when."

The penultimate NCAA evaluation period runs from Thursday to Sunday, with the final period set for July 23-28. The first recruiting period of the 2019-20 calendar kicks off on Sept. 9.

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