The early signing period for high school basketball players begins tomorrow and runs through Nov. 21, but don't look for any of the area's top boys players to make early commitments.
There are less than a dozen area players who are projected as Division I recruits, but according to their coaches, none plans to sign early.
Street and Smith's magazine lists Devin Gray (St. Frances), Terrance Alexander (Dunbar), Stevie Thomas (Walbrook) and John Salley (Southern-Baltimore) as the area's top seniors.
The area's top recruit is Gray, an All-Metro first-team pick last year.
Gray, 6 feet 5, has narrowed his list to Minnesota, Maryland, Providence, Richmond and Towson State, although his coach, William Wells, says that more schools could be added to the list. "I can't even begin to count how many have contacted him," Wells said.
Wells said Gray won't sign early so that he will have the opportunity for more visits. He visited Minnesota in October and has made informal visits to all of the area Division I schools.
"He has to make his visits," Wells said. "A kid could be uncomfortable with a school, even though the school is well known, if he doesn't know what it's like. He has to make sure he can fit into the environment."
Another highly touted big man is Walbrook's 6-7 Thomas. Thomas, a second-team All-Metro pick last year, earned most valuable player honors at the Metro summer camp in California, Pa.
According to his coach, Gus Herrington, Thomas is looking at Northeastern, St. Bonaventure, Towson State, Richmond and St. Peter's (N.J.).
Alexander, a 6-3 guard and first-team All-Metro pick last year, has a number of schools on his list, including Towson State, Northeastern and Miami (Fla.).
Southern is where the college recruiters hope to do some one-stop shopping for a big man and a point guard. Salley, 6-7, is an outstanding passer and rebounder. David Cason, a 5-10 point guard, was a second-team All-Metro pick last year.
George Washington, Towson State, St. Peter's, Clemson and Northeastern have expressed a lot of interest in Salley. Northeastern, Towson State and Notre Dame have expressed a lot of interest in Cason, and Maryland has expressed some.
Todd Kerr, a point guard from Park, could be this year's sleeper. He already has talked with several schools, including Loyola, Yale, Lehigh, Washington College and Concordia. Kerr's stock is expected to rise this season, and more Division I schools should be added to his list.
"I don't think it's in his best interest to sign early," said Park coach Web Johnson, a former assistant at Johns Hopkins and Washington College. "He's going to have a number of schools to choose from because right now he's an unknown quantity."
Mount St. Joseph's Darrin Jones also could fall into the unknown quantity category. Although he earned all-Catholic League honors last season, Jones, a 6-1 swingman, has not received much recognition.
Mount St. Mary's, Loyola, Dartmouth and Penn are schools mentioned by Gaels coach Pat Maggio. Jones has a 3.5 grade-point average.
Craig Tyson, The Sun's 1989 basketball Player of the Year, has left North Carolina State and is enrolled at Hagerstown Junior College, where the 6-foot-4 swingman is a member of the basketball team, according to Meredith Smith -- who coached Tyson at Southern.
Tyson attended N.C. State last spring after he used the fall 1989 semester to take some remedial courses at the Community College of Baltimore.
Tyson was expected to join the N.C. State basketball team this season, but left after the spring semester after the basketball program began to crumble amid allegations of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules infractions. Coach Jim Valvano eventually resigned under pressure.
"He got caught up in all that was going on," Smith said. "There were supposed to be some [academic] programs that would give him individual attention, but when things went down, they didn't have some of the programs they said they did."
Streaks, milestones, etc.: Calvert Hall junior soccer player J.J. Kramer, who helped the Cardinals win the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference title with a 2-1 victory over Loyola Sunday, is a member of the national under-17 soccer team. . . . Parkville's junior varsity football team defeated Towson, 38-8, Nov. 2 to win the Baltimore County Class 3A title. Parkville (8-0) did not allow a point until the Towson game. . . . Loch Raven's Class 2A boys state cross country title Saturday at Hereford marked the 10th year in a row the Raiders have finished among the top three teams. Loch Raven's Brian Horn won the 2A race, for his second state title in three years. The team title was Loch Raven's fourth overall. The Raiders also won in 1976, 1981 and 1983.
Overtime: Arundel needs one varsity and one junior varsity wrestling team to complete the field for the Arundel Holiday Tournament Dec. 28-29. Call Bernie Walter or Buddy Hepfer at 674-6500.