Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2019 PROSPECTS WHO SOLIDIFIED THEIR STATUS AS CAGERS TO BE RECKON WITH THE REMINDER OF THE SEASON

“These guys starting to create some buzz.”

• Dajuan Gordon 6-4 G/F MM Curie “Wiry versatile talent, starting to resemble a 2-way gem. His stock is about to climb.”

• Chris Roberts 6-0 G ---- Lincoln Park“Had an exhilarating night to remember when he recorded 43 points vs Whitney Young in a double overtime victory. He’s the rubber band man slashing at the rim.

• Rashaun Agee 6-7 SF MM Chicago Bogan “Was splendid at Proviso; hit the glass with authority, showed signs of finishing plays at the rim. His talent is starting to turn over to a point where he can be A10 Recruit or higher eventually.”

• Tujautae Williams 6-6 G/F MM Chicago Orr“This Lincoln Park transfer has an enormous upside, you can see his game evolving nightly. Just ruled eligible a few weeks ago, the Fenwick game he gave viewers a glimpse of what his future may hold.”

• Chase Robinson 6-2 G MM Oak Park“Strong athletic combo guard, good speed and quickness, starting to spray jumpers down consistently on the perimeter. Confidence starting to soar.”

• Demetrius Douglass 6-1 PG ---- North Lawndale“Putting in work quietly, averaging double figures in scoring & assist. An exciting player to watch, we will see him vs Lincoln Park this week.”

• Marquise Walker 6-0 PG MM Chicago Curie“The St. Joe’s transfer still has the flair & razzle dazzle aura in his game but he’s playing more controlled and disciplined. He has a fresh start under his belt.”

• Anthony Roberts 6-5 F MM Oak Park“Huge upside, we saw his potential on display at Pontiac. He plays bigger than his listed size. His wing span is close to 6-8, good athlete & defender, starting to look explosive around the rim. A player to watch.”

ENTERTAINING TEAMS TO WATCH DURING THE 2ND HALF OF THE SEASON

“These squads get up and down, they entertain with an aerial attack and a punctuating force defensively that creates numerous block shots during a course of a game.”

Chicago Simeon 
Niles North 
Curie 
West Aurora

Chicago Orr 
Lincoln Park 
Oak Park 
Chicago Leo

OUR FAB 7 TO FOLLOW

• Simeon – won the Pontiac Tournament by an impressive margin.

• Curie – lost in the title at Pontiac to the state’s top team.

• Orr – won Proviso, but had its moments. The Fenwick game is a reminder.

• Niles North – won the Wheeling Tournament but their play is exciting but erratic at times.

• Oak-Park – excellent showing at Pontiac without junior guard Dashon Enoch (out with concussion protocol).

• Whitney Young – has sputtered some of late but we trust and believe in their system.

• Morgan Park – Ayo not healthy right now, senior forward-Tamell Pearson hasn’t played all season due to an injury but is expected back soon. Meanwhile, Nick seems to be on an emotional spin of late.

HOLIDAY FINDINGS


Covering events over the break around these parts left many of us mindful of what we suspected at the onset of our 2017-2018 hoops season. Some of these events occurred during wintery weather conditions! Nothing else needs to be said.

TOP UN-SIGNED SENIORS IN THE AREA
NAME / HT / POS / LEVEL / HIGH-SCHOOL

Drew Peterson 6-8 F MM Libertyville
“The slender fella had his squad in the mix at the Wheeling Tournament pushing them to the final game which they lost to Niles North. Peterson actually gained more followers with his play at this particular event. Hopefully he’ll continue to build some steam from this.”

Xavier Pinson 6-3 PG MM Simeon
“Capable of breath-taking moments, good athlete, superb ballhandler, excels as a mid-range marksman. Playing a role for the state’s top team. Dayton and New Mexico have shown interest, this kid is going to be a terrific college player.”

Terrence Shannon 6-6 G/F MM Lincoln Park
“The versatile lefty has major game; his stock is going to climb by seasons end. He has already demonstrated leadership qualities with his young team, he can score in a variety of ways. Probably registers three dunks a game, he’s fun to watch, he’s a dangerous 3-point threat. And yes, he’s going to qualify.”

Chase Adams 5-7 PG MM Orr
“Sparkled at Proviso, guiding his team to the Tourney title. A pure quarterback on the floor, sets the tables for others, while the little fella is skilled & can score in bunches if needed. UIC has offered in the last week and a half and he certainly can help their program with his steady floor play. He has a penchant for big game settings.”

Jalen Shaw 6-10 C MM-LM+ Elgin-Larkin
“Didn’t have the kind of performance we anticipated from him at Proviso, but he has a wealth of potential. A terrific passer presently and his future is awfully bright, he just needs more time with his development.”

Isaiah Fuller 6-2 PG MM-LM+ Oak-Park
“Fast athletic scoring guard; starting to come into his own as a leader. He should be receiving more division one interest. Played well at Pontiac.”

Dannie Smith 6-5 WF LM+ Orr
“Struggled vs a squad like Fenwick where they forced him to think the game and make decisions on the fly. We like his physical makeup but he still needs a great amount of polish.”

Cardell McGee 6-2 PG LM+ Lanphier
“He’s flirting around with academic woes. Averages 19 a game & a cluster of turnovers, which is an area of his game he has to sharpen, he tends to try to do too much. Dayton saw him at Pekin.”

Quinlan Bennett 6-3 G LM+ Proviso East
“Watched him play at Proviso West Xmas Tourney, he looked hurt. Still managed to show flashes of what his game could eventually surface to, he is silk smooth though.”

Zion Young 6-2 G/F LM+LM Simeon
“He’s playing a pivotal role with the state’s best team. Very good athlete, we still trying to figure out his game.”

Morgan Taylor 6-2 G LM+LM Marist
“High scoring guard, had a marvelous showing at the Centralia Holiday Event.”

David Swedura 6-0 PG LM Prospect
“He lid up Waukegan for 41 in the 3rd place game at the Wheeling Classic. Right now, he’s slated to walk on at SIU next season. A sleeper type.”

Monday, December 25, 2017

THE TOP HOLIDAY TOURNAMENTS TO WATCH

PONTIAC HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
December 28th, 2017

1st Round Pairings
West Aurora vs Warren 9:00am
3 Curie vs Niles West 10:30am
5 Oak-Park vs Lockport 1:00pm
5 Bloomington vs Joliet West 2:30pm
Benet vs Peoria Manual 4:00pm
2 Danville vs Plainfield North 6:00pm
1 Simeon vs Pontiac 7:30pm
St. Charles North vs Bloom 9:00pm

Jottings: 
Our view of the field seems slightly down from a year ago, but the Pontiac event represents our state’s top Xmas venue. The Tournament will mark the debut of Pontiac’s first-year Coach Durrell Robinson a Danville native. We seeded our thoughts on the Top 5.

Players to follow: 
Talen Horton-Tucker – Simeon, Messiah Jones – Simeon, Xavier Pinson – Simeon, Ahmad Bynum – Simeon, Zion Young – Simeon, Chris Payton – Bloomington, Chris Pugh – Bloomington, Kendle Moore – Danville, Maurice Commander – Curie, DaJuan Gordon – Curie, Tyree Martin – Curie, Jaden Gasby – Curie, Camron Donatian – West Aurora, Isaiah Fuller – Oak Pk, Dashon Enoch – Oak Pk, Chase Robinson – Oak Pk, Anthony Roberts – Oak Pk, Kyle King – St. Charles North, Brandon Ellis – Warren, Colin Crothers – Benet, Keshawn Williams – Bloom, Donovan Newby – Bloom, Tommy Ferriter – Lockport.

PROVISO WEST XMAS TOURNEY
December 27th, 2017

1st Round Pairings
Whitney Young vs Longwood 8:30am
Downer’s Grove North vs St. Joseph 11:00am
Proviso East vs Bogan 5:30pm
Uplift vs Providence St. Mel 9:30am
Fenwick vs Proviso West 12:30pm
New Trier vs Hillcrest 4:00pm
Elgin-Larkin vs Kenwood 2:00pm
Orr vs Morton 7:00pm

Notes: A quality venue, doesn’t have a wealth of individual star attraction the individual star attraction that Pontiac has, but does bolster some very good programs: Young, Orr, Bogan, Fenwick, St. Joseph, Proviso East, Elgin-Larkin, Kenwood; while Uplift has an opportunity to redeem itself from a slow start. Break-out player might be East’s senior guard-Quinlan Bennett. Orr’s Chase Adams will dazzle audiences, while Larkin’s Jalen Shaw will display what his bright future could look like in a few years. Markese Jacobs of Uplift carries the weight of a 6,000-pound elephant. He’s got to get himself into a groove where he can just play and get rid of all the other on-court theatrics. Lately his on-court demeanor does not display the type of leadership this undermanned team needs right now. Fenwick’s D.J. Stewart will garner some close viewing. Chicago Bogan could be a dark horse with their contingent scrappy players. Chicago Orr 

HINSDALE CENTRAL
December 27th, 2017 

1st Round Pairings
DePaul Prep vs Crete-Monee 9:30am
Homewood-Flossmoor vs Stevenson 11:00am
St. Rita vs Westinghouse 12:30pm
Maine South vs Richards 2:00pm
Glenbrook North vs Rockford Auburn 3:45pm
Bolingbrook vs Up-Englewood 5:15pm
Hinsdale Central vs St. Charles East 7:00pm
Marian Catholic vs Lincoln Park 8:30pm

Notes: DePaul Prep should not look past Crete-Monee, they’re 1st round opponent. Crete has an exciting left-hander Tyrese Hunt and fellow senior guard Josh Evans, these guys can play. The cream of the crop suppose to be Bolingbrook, but H.F. or Marian Catholic should up-stage last year’s Tournament Champion. Lincoln Park will be the most entertaining team in the field. The Lions bolster an athletic squad that are young and inexperienced, but fun to watch.

2017 WHEELING HARDWOOD CLASSIC 
December 28-30th, 2017

1st Round Matchups
This will be a hot North-Suburban destination, we are anticipating a really good vibe after the 1st set of games. Expect large crowds with an elegant flair. Quite a few notable players with a considerable amount of buzz will fill this event. Look for some really good match-ups in the quarters and semifinals.  This is the place to be later in the week. Top players to follow: Damaria Franklin – Niles North, Drew Peterson – Libertyville, Jerry Hernandez – St. Viator, Trey Calvin – St. Viator, Peter Lambesis – St. Viator, Bryant Brown – Waukegan, Anthony Sayles – Notre Dame, Troy D’Amico – Notre Dame, Dusan Mahorcic – Notre Dame. 

Niles North vs Vernon Hills 9:00am
Buffalo Grove vs Dundee-Crown 10:30am
Prospect vs Maine West 12:15pm
Geneva vs Niles Notre Dame 2:00pm
St. Viator vs Glenbrook South 3:45pm
Waukegan vs Deerfield 5:30pm
Wheeling vs Fremd 7:15pm
Grayslake Central vs Libertyville 8:45pm


YORK’S JACK TOSH HOLIDAY CLASSIC
December 26th, 2017

1st Round Pairings
Schaumburg vs St. Ignatius 9:00am
Wheaton North vs Downers Grove South 10:30am
Metea Valley vs Glenbard East Noon
Hinsdale South vs Rolling Meadows 1:30pm
McHenry vs Conant 3:30pm
Riverside-Brookfield vs St. Patrick 5:00pm
Stagg vs Minooka 6:30pm
T.F. South vs York 8:00pm
Oswego vs St. Laurence 8:30am
Lyons vs Palatine 10:00am
Andrew vs Lake Forest 11:30am
Waubonsie Valley vs Brother Rice 1:00pm
Nazareth vs Batavia 3:00pm
Highland Pk vs Carl Sandburg 4:30pm
Providence Catholic vs Timothy Christian 6:00pm
Elk Grove vs Naperville North 7:30pm

North: A cluster-frick of teams, Schaumburg’s frosh Chris Hodges will be on-hand, Brother Rice sleeper Junior Marquise Kennedy will draw a wave of viewers.

STATE FARM HOLIDAY 
December 27th, 2017
 
In Bloomington-Illinois Wesleyan Shark Center
Wheaton-Warrenville South vs Plainfield South 9:30am
Thornwood vs Mahomet-Seymour 8:00pm
Rock-Island vs Rockford Lutheran 5:00pm
Normal vs Springfield High 6:30pm
North-Lawndale vs Zion Benton 1:30pm
Chatham Glenwood vs Metamora 10:30am
Joliet Central vs Normal U-High Noon
North Chicago vs Rockton-Hononegah 3:00pm

Notes: A Tournament that seems to be sagging this time around. Zion-Benton, Metamora, and Joliet Central Should provide some excitement. Freshman Amar Augillard (Zion) has been impressive thus far. North-Lawndale could surprise!

CENTRALIA HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT 
December 28-30th, 2017

1st Round Matchups
Mundelein vs Mount Vernon 8:30am
Germantown, TN vs Alton 10:00am
Confluence vs Cahokia 12:30pm
Belleville West vs Collierville, TN 2:00pm
Champaign Central vs Lausanne 3:30pm
Evanston vs O’Fallon 6:15pm
Centralia vs Salem 7:45pm
Marist vs Arlington, TN 9:15pm

Notable players area to see: Tim Finke – Central, E.J. Liddle – West, Amir Spann – Mt. Vernon, Morgan Taylor – Marist, Khaillied Terry – Central, Lance Jones – Evanston, Jahiem Holden – Evanston, Matthew Hall – Evanston, Connor Enright – Mundelein, Malachi Smith – Belleville West, Kevin Caldwell – Alton. 

McDIPPER HOLIDAY CLASSIC
At Rich South
December 26-30th, 2017

This event will draw some of the hippest fashionable south suburban dudes you can find. They haven’t wondered in the gym all season, but they will come at you with a lot of hip yada yada so you have to have your social cues sharp. The speakers will be booming with tracks from migos-travis scott-hustle gang..
Clark/Johnson winner vs Gary Bowman 8:30am
Chicago Leo vs Michigan City, IN 10:00am
Rich Central vs Hammond High 1:00pm
Rich East vs Farragut 2:30pm
Rich South vs Marshall 4:00pm
Romeoville vs Chicago Ag. Science 5:30pm
Morgan Park vs Butler Charter 7:00pm
Thornton vs Hope Academy 8:30pm


PRAIRIE FARMS HOLIDAY CLASSIC
At Collinsville H.S.
December 28-30th, 2017

1st Round Matchups
Same vibe! The East boogie cats will come over in full force supporting their flyers. Junior standout 6-6 Terrence Hargrove and Old Dominion recruit, Joe Reece will have fans on the edge of their seats with their high wire act. We’ve always enjoyed this venue, now the twins from MacArthur-Armon & Amir Brummett will have spectators scratching their heads at some of their antics, they are talented pair. 
Springfield Southeast vs Granite City 9:00am
Decatur Eisenhower vs Oakville, MO 10:30am
Lincoln vs Hazelwood East 1:00pm
Quincy vs Belleville East 2:30pm
East St. Louis vs Urbana 4:00pm
Collinsville vs Riverview Gardens 6:30pm
Edwardsville vs Althoff 8:00pm
Decatur MacArthur vs Rockford East 9:30pm