Last season was a coming-out-party for one of the state's top emerging talents. Maryvale High School's 6-foot-6 senior forward Jorge Cano had a big junior season for a struggling Maryvale basketball program. While the team suffered their share of losses throughout the season, the play of Cano was a major bright spot for head coach Sebastion Payton.
A long-time native of the state of Arizona, Payton has seen his share of top-rated talent come through the state over the past 20 years, and he believes Cano gives his team its best chance to win ball games.
"Jorge (pronounced George) is a talent," said Payton. "He can do a lot of things that most players cannot. He keeps getting better and I look forward to him having a big senior season."
Cano averaged a team-high 19.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per/game last season as a junior - impressive numbers. He also racked up 2.5 blocks per/game - utilizing his extreme length to block and alter shots, while also guarding the opposing team's best player in each game.
Cano saw his first real competition this summer on the club circuit while competing with the Arizona Magic Elite, and teaming up with such top-rated talent as Sunnyslope's Michael Humphrey and Westview's Andre Adams on the team. Cano more than held his own - stepping his play up and proving that he has no fear against the top talent in the West. In fact, Cano grew up a great deal physically and mentally during the club season, and now has emerged into one of the top prospects in the 2014 class.
Cano has serious length on his rangy body that suggests he is still growing a great deal. He has excellent versatility and is capable of guarding several positions on the floor. He is an active rebounder and shotblocker and is a good defender with good lateral quickness. Cano is a good ball handler and likes to handle the ball in the open floor. He is capable of scoring around the basket and also from the perimeter, where he has some range on his shot.
As he matures even more, you cannot help but try to imagine how Cano will look as a finished product, since his long arms look like that of a player much taller. Cano could grow to become 6-8 in height before he stops growing.
Currently, Cano is hearing from such college programs as Portland State, UC-Riverside, Eastern Washington, and Cal State Bakersfield, although he does not yet have any offers, and looks to be headed to make his college decision later rather than sooner.
By next spring, Cano should look much differently and play much more assertive as he continues to mature. These two factors should result in much higher college recruitment for him over time.
Look for Cano to post big numbers in numerous statistical categories this high school season, and lead his Maryvale group to their best season in many years. I believe Cano is one of the state's top sleeper prospects.