Tuesday, June 19, 2018

HERE’S A GLIMPSE AT THE TOP 6 PROSPECTS AT EACH POSITION IN THE 2020 CLASS

“This class has some talented cagers, guys we plan to follow closely the next five weeks. Geneva’s 6-7 wing Nate Santos made such a splash during the April evaluation period, I’m curious as to how he will respond when the closely viewed July period takes its course. Back-court players Keshawn Williams (Bloom) and Marcus Watson possess special talents; their challenges will come with transitioning over to the PG slot where both could develop into stand-outs. The pair reminds us of some dudes we used to produce regularly in Chicago years ago, after D.J. Steward and Adam Miller the class offers several under-the-radar types like Micah Schnyder (Chgo Christian) and Connor Kochera (Viator) while the Quad Cities area can brag about the development of Geneseo heart-throb Isiah Rivera, a six-foot 4 all-around performer whose floor game continues to draw rave reviews. Aurora Christian 6-6 wing Will Wolfe was impressive in the Spring. He possesses excellent length on the perimeter. Without many potential post players in our state at his moment, we do have a promising core of forwards with length and a good up-side. In our North-side circle, we are excited about the potential of Lincoln Park’s next stud Romelle Howard as he matures on & off the floor, he could possibly draw array of high-major interest soon. Colin Crothers, Nate Seputis, and Seryee Lewis could emerge as significant Mid-major recruits. Two dude’s who might be lauded as stand-outs one day could very well be 6-10 Martice Mitchell (Bloom) and 6-7 Joliet Central wing forward Kee Hargrove. We just got a close-up viewing of Mitchell at Loyola’s Team Camp. He was knocking down 3s while handling himself comfortably on the perimeter. He’s improved since the school season ended.

POINT GUARDS
NAME HT RANK LEVEL SCHOOL/CLUB

Keshawn Williams 6-3 7 HM Bloom/Y&R
Marcus Watson 5-9 9 MM+ Morgan Pk/Mac Irvin
Reggie Strong 5-11 13 MM Farragut/Y&R
Dante Maddox Jr. 6-2 14 MM Bloom/Mac Irvin
Ahron Ullis 6-2 22 MM Marian Catholic/Mean Streets
Josh Holmes 6-1 24 MM Jones College Prep/Y&R

SHOOTING GUARDS
NAME HT RANK LEVEL SCHOOL/CLUB

D.J. Stewart 6-3 1 HM Young/Mean Streets
Adam Miller 6-3 2 HM Morgan Park/Mac Irvin Fire
Tyler Beard 6-3 3 MM+ Whitney Young/Mean Streets
Isiah Rivera 6-4 6 MM+ Geneseo/Quad Cities Elite
Connor Kochera 6-4 29 MM St. Viator/Fundamental U
Micah Schnyder 6-4 25 MM Chgo Christian/Mac Irvin Fire

WING FORWARDS
NAME HT RANK LEVEL SCHOOL/CLUB

Nate Santos 6-7 11 MM+ Geneva/Chicago Elite
Lamontay Daughtery 6-5 4 MM+-MM Duquoin/Bradley Beal
Damonte Taylor 6-5 12 MM+-MM Zion-Benton/
Jimarius Sneed 6-5 23 MM+-MM Crane/Team Rose
Will Wolfe 6-6 18 MM+-MM Aurora Christian/Ill. Wolves
Destin Whitaker 6-6 16 MM+-MM Romeoville/Mean Streets

“This group seems to be inter-changeable, presently not many traditional post players. (Back to the basket types with a go to move).”

POWER FORWARDS
NAME HT RANK LEVEL SCHOOL/CLUB

Romelle Howard 6-8 7 MM+ Lincoln Park/Chgo Elite
Colin Crothers 6-7 17 MM Benet Academy/Mean Streets
Nate Seputis 6-9 20 MM Lincoln-Way East/RWA
Kendale Anderson 6-5 29 MM Chicago Leo/Y&R
Seryee Lewis 6-7 30 MM Chicago Kenwood/Y&R
Connor Linke 6-8 39 MM St. Charles North/Ill. Wolves
Martice Mitchell 6-10 35 MM Bloom/Mac Irvin Fire
Frank Jakubicek 6-7 51 ---- Cary Grove/Ill. Wolves
Tremear Fraley 6-8 50 MM Chicago Bogan/RWA
Brandon Lieb 6-9 65 ---- Deerfield/Ill. Wolves- “we need to see more of him”


On Wednesday June 13th Loyola-Chicago held its annual team camp at its north-side campus, the Ramblers coming off some significant steam from a remarkable Final Four run. Porter Moser & his staff assembled some pretty good teams and a fine cast of prospects they could size-up comfortably in cozy one day window.

The morning slate offered many us an opportunity to view the likes of Lemont’s slender six-foot seven Senior Nate Ferguson, who we cast at the I.S.L., ranked 21 over-all in the 2019 Class. Ferguson, capped-off the afternoon session with four 3-pointers wrapping up a fine day; Romeoville 2020 prospect Destin Whitaker (16) displayed some offensive ability. Niles Notre Dame trio of Anthony Sales, Troy Pilon, and guard Joey Tianen showed they have a bright future. Sayles is an elite prospect, recognized as a highly touted Top 10 player in our 2021 group. While Tianen (31), we think is vastly under-rated; Loyola Academy had the 2020 twins Bennett & Jordan Kwiecinski on set, we got a good look at their abilities, while highly regarded 2019 six-foot four swing-man Connor Barrett is still shelved with an injury, he’s expected back for the Morris shoot-out (June 27th & 28th). Ray J. Dennis and his Oswego East crew invaded the north-side campus with an exciting appeal. Dennis, flashed a slithery floor game to go along with some respectable out-side shooting. He validated why we consider him the top PG in the 2019 Class. 6-6 Senior Kamron Battle was intriguing & 2020 forward Sam Shultz (58) showed signs of someone with Division One potential.

Oak Park went un-defeated in their games, bolstering a talented core of Seniors in Anthony Roberts (18) Chase Robinson (43) Dashon Enoch (51) Charlie Hoehne (59) while adding promising 2021 prospect Isiah Barnes whose shown flashes of being a high-level recruit. The 6-4 wing has a top 20 ranking in the 2021 Class. Expectations will be heighten for the 2018-19 Huskies.

Chicago Leo was on-hand showcasing the talents of Fred Cleveland and Junior strong forward Kendale Anderson. Senior Dachaun Anderson was sattled by an injury and did not dress. Detroit-Loyola made the track from Michigan and had the presence of Myron Gardner alone. The six-foot six athletic beast demonstrated too many of us on-lookers why he’s such a coveted recruit. Gardner was able to slice & dice his way around defenders, throwing-down monstrous slams. “The kid has some mitts on him”, we see why the Ramblers are giddy about the prospect of landing him! Marian Catholic showed-up with intriguing cast of talented players; 6-5 Senior Chris White looked good, the lanky versatile cager displayed some athleticism and defensive ability, while coming off a stellar showing at the Rice University Elite Camp. 2020 prospect Ahron Ullis (22) sizzled, fellow 2020 prospect Elijah Jones gave us a glimpse at what his potential could be. Evanston, Whitney Young, Simeon, Bloom, Farragut, Lincoln Park, Curie, and DePaul Prep all rolled-in for the late after-noon session, so automatically you know a climate change was inevitable.

South-Suburban Bloom has a talent core of under-classmen, starting with a promising trio of back-court players: Keshawn Williams, Dante Maddox Jr., and Donovan Newby. Williams is an electric talent & has chance to be special player at the next level while Maddox and Newby possess Division One Mid-major potential. Junior forward Martice Mitchell is starting to develop into pivotal presence on the floor at 6-9. The sleeper on the squad happens to be Kevin Vance, a six-foot six explosive Senior with a huge up-side. Mid-majors will zoom in on this Senior swiftly and he’s a good student. Next season Bloom could be a poised & ready for the prime-time.

If Evanston lands a big man, look out. Their team has a steady guard corps of Lance Jones (thus far he’s been plagued by up & down outings), Jaheim Holden, Jaylin Gibson, and Isaiah Holden. Blake Peters continues to impress each time we view him; he and Gibson has opportunity to capture something really special before they’re high-school career ends. St. Viator performed well as usual, the Hernandez/Calvin & Kochera Co. seem to have that twinkle in their eye & as well as the certain strategic blend. Farragut’s back-court tandem of Senior Aaron Strong & Junior Reggie Strong went about productive business as usual. Simeon has taken a different shape this month auditioning a banner class of incoming Freshman as well as a returning crew of highly regarded under-classmen. 2020 prospects Bryce Hall, and sincere Callwood has been impressive all Spring, both we are now recognizing to be vastly over-looked. Second year talented guard Ahamed Bynum (4) is going to be one of the area’s elite, while 2022 Dandie’s A.J. Casey & Jaylen Drane continue to sparkle, the rapidly improving 6-7 Senior forward Jeremiah Stamps and fellow 2019 mate, sharp-shooter Antonio Reeves round-up a solid core. Stellar play-maker Kejuan Clements wasn’t even on-hand. Curie’s Dejune Gordon did not disappoint anyone either at this event. The six-foot four wing might be the best player in the Public League. Loyola had a well-orchestrated event… Kudos!

UIC’s event on campus the previous week-end was solid also. DE LaSalle brandished a cast of under-classmen we will follow through-out the Summer. Steve McClain and his staff always do a fine job with their team camp. It was also good to catch-up with Assistant Coaches Tony Harvey & Dee Brown. T. Harvey was always a favorite and one of the more colorful coaches in the industry. We are happy he’s here in the Windy City. Stay tuned for more results…

ROUTED

We are elated to report that former Peoria Central sharp shooter and Indiana standout A.J. Guyton was hired as an Assistant Coach at Loyola-Maryland. He will join forces with first year Head Coach Tavaras Hardy, who hails from Joliet and played collegiately at Northwestern. A.J. spent last season at Northwestern familiarizing himself with the day-to-day operational ritual of College hoops. He’s going to thrive well on the East-Coast while beating the recruiting trail in the highly competitive Patriot League.

Valparaiso Head Coach Matt Lottich just recently hired longtime pal Todd Townsend who took a break from coaching last season, while his previous stint was at UW Milwaukee. In addition to Townsend coming over, Rob Holloway will join Lottich’s staff as well. Holloway has spent the last two seasons at Eastern Illinois where he was often viewed as a rising Assistant. This tandem should form a potent presence around here in the heartland.

We’re starting to see some resemblance to change perhaps a re-birth of a new era in potency; witnessing a significant upgrade in our talent level around these parts. A surging 2020 Class has us hopeful, followed by our promising 2021 cast, and based on what we’ve already viewed in the 2022 Class head-lined by 6-4 phenom Amari Bailey (we are currently wishful he doesn’t break for some out-of-town prep situation), add to the mix 6-2 sharp shooter Kameron Kraft, six-foot seven A.J. Casey, heady play-maker Jaylen Drane, 6-3 athlete Xavier Amos, and steady general Jalen Brown, this gives us something special to follow, considering this particular 2022 group has our area in position to bolster three consecutive classes where we likely could have an abundance of high major recruits. “Now, the young talent need to be turned-over and developed.”

Thursday, June 7, 2018

IDENTIFYING THE TOP 6 PROSPECTS AT EACH POSITION IN THE 2019 CLASS

POINT-GUARDS
Markese Jacobs Uplift 4
Raymond Dennis Oswego 11
Marquise Kennedy Bro-Rice 12
Tray Calvin St. Viator 13
Kejuan Clements Simeon 14
Terrion Murdix S.E. 26
Jeremiah Washington Bogan 24

SHOOTING GUARDS
Lance Jones Evanston 7
Deonte Billups Moline 8
Jerry Hernandez St. Viator 17
Antonio Reeves Simeon 15
Joseph Yesufu Bolingbrook 30
Tyler Cochran Bolingbrook 31

WING FORWARDS
Terrence Hargrove E.St.L. 5
 Dejuan Gordon Curie 6
Tom Welch Naper Nor. 9
Perry Cowen DePaul 10
Taujauae Williams Orr 19
 Jeremiah Oden St. Rita 25

INTERIOR FORWARDS
E.J. Liddle Bellev. W. 1
Chris Payton Bloomington 3
Anthony Roberts Oak Park 18
Rashawn Agee Bogan 23
Dachaun Anderson Leo 34
Keeshawn Chambers Thornton 35

CENTERS
Francis Okoro Normal W. 2
Ciaran Brayboy New Trier 25
Taeyon Neal Prov. St. Mel 29
Alex Timmerman Crystal Lake Central 37
Cameron Bartman St. Rita 89 – “his game is improving and so will his ranking soon”
London Denman T.F. South 86

NOTE: Prosser’s promising 6-10 big-man Treyon Johnson is a 2018 prospect, not 2019 as we’ve listed in recent postings. 











A VIEW UP-TOP

At the 16th Annual Riverside Brookfield summer shoot-out over the weekend, where 40 teams strapped-em-up for the opening June High-School session; St. Viator outlasted everyone in the field walloping Whitney Young in the final behind the trio of Jerry Hernandez, Trey Calvin, and impressive 2020 prospect Connor Kochera.

After 18 seasons as Head-Coach at Marist, Gene Nolan will leave the South-Side School for greener pastures. Naperville North will be his next destination. We can’t blame him either; Nolan is considered one of the area’s Top Coaches.

Former Public League guard Emmanuel Dildy is on the move again, he just replaced Armon Gates at Northwestern a few weeks ago. Dildy, has had stops at Eastern Illinois, Loyola-Chicago, Mizzou, and just recently Valpo. Kudos to him!

Morgan Park stand-out and Illinois signee, Ayo Dosunmu made the final cut for the U18 Men’s National Team. The USA team will strut their-stuff June 10-16th at the FIBA Championships St. Catharine’s, Ontario. “Our Chicago area Hoop Circle is pulling for Ayo to shine on the big stage.”

DePaul scored a huge coup recently, while also drawing admirers from their rival peers, when they landed a verbal from 2019 Top 35 nationally ranked forward Romeo Weems out of New Haven, MI. This serves notice the Blue Demons are destined to re-tool their roster & culture in the immediate future. North-Carolina A&T fifth-year post-grad, Femi Olujobi was just added to the 2018-19 squad. At six-foot nine, he will come along with new additions, Flynn Cameron (Australia) 6-3 PG from Hillcrest Christian College, George Maslennikov 6-9 forward out of Holy Spirit-Atlanta, Georgia, and 6-3 shooter John Diener from nearby Cedarburg, WI. “The Blue-Demons could have one more nugget to pull off in the 2018 Class.”

The recently crowned darlings of the city, Loyola added a significant addition to their roster, by signing Long-Island prepster Tykei Greene. The six-foot four scoring guard hails from Queens, NY.

Now the Huskies at Northern Illinois had a busy spring signing a quartet of prospects, starting with former Marian Catholic/Bloom stand-out Austin Richie, who wrapped-up his prep career at Don Bosco last season. He will provide some out-side shooting & future leadership capabilities, more importantly he’s a high-character person and recognizable feature from the area. Also coming aboard is Alize Travis out Los Angeles (Victorville) is a speedy 6-1 point-guard, then six-foot eight forward Justin Lee from Atlanta who used to suit-up for the Georgia Stars, will be part of the mix. The Huskies last signee resides from the Bronx, NY. By-the-way of Laramie Community College, Daire Mateen, an exciting six-foot one combo guard. “It’s going to be a new vibe around Dekalb, the campus life there could be a hip scene.”

Thursday, May 10, 2018

TOP 35 2021 PROSPECTS

“A highly anticipated cast of potential high-major recruits.”

NAME HT POS RANK HIGH-SCHOOL/CLUB TEAM
Brandon Weston 6-4 WG 1 Lake Forest Academy/PSA
Max Christie 6-4 G 2 Rolling Meadows/Illinois Wolves
Ahmad Bynum 5-9 G 4 Chicago Simeon/Mac Irvin Fire
Kimarhi Wilson 6-0 PG 5 Carmel/Y&R
Chris Hodges 6-7 F 6 Schaumburg/Illinois Wolves
Anthony Sayles 6-0 PG 7 Niles Notre Dame/Illinois Wolves
Jaylin Gibson 6-3 WG 9 Evanston/Spiece Indy Heat
Tevin Smith 6-3 WG 10 Danville/Mean Streets
Amar Aguillar 6-5 WF 15 Zion-Benton/Mac Irvin Fire
Jallen Butler 6-6 F 12 Niles North/Chicago Elite
Ismail Habib 5-9 PG 18 Lincoln Park/Chicago Elite
Isaiah Donnell 6-1 PG 8 Peoria Richwoods/Bradley Beal
Scotty Ebube 6-8 WF 11 Mundelein/Kessel Heat
Troy Pilon 6-5 PF 22 Niles Notre Dame/Mean Streets
Khaillieo Terry 6-5 F 3 Champaign Central/Indy Heat Spiece
Blake Peters 6-3 WG 13 Evanston/Mean Streets
Darrion Jones 6-0 PG 29 Chicago Bogan/Chicago Huskies
Kevin Miller 5-8 PG 24 Morgan Park/Mac Irvin Fire
Nick Petty 5-11 G 28 Peoria Manual/---
Julio Montes 5-9 PG 26 Lincoln Park/Chicago Elite
Isaiah Holden 5-7 PG 27 Evanston/Y&R
Isiah Barnes 6-5 WF 16 Romeoville/Illinois Wolves
Norvell Meadows 5-8 G 18 Chicago Prosser/Chicago Grainers
Brandon Hall 6-2 G 30 Thornton/Mean Streets
Elijah Bull 5-7 G 25 Evanston/Y&R
Marquis Irvin 5-9 G 17 Hillcrest/Team Rose
Kenton Wright 5-8 PG 34 Hillcrest/Mean Streets
Kyonte Thomas 5-9 PG 23 Bolingbrook/Team Rose
Grant Newell 6-5.5 WF 19 Whitney Young/Mean Streets
Kai Evans 6-1 WG 35 Montini H.S./Team Rose
Connor Enright 5-11 PG 32 Mundelein/Illinois Wolves
Bryce Hopkins 6-4 G/F 20 Fenwick/Illinois Wolves
Jolo Arrovan 5-8 PG 33 Andrews/Next Level 24
Nathanael Hoskins 6-2 G 21 Danville/Mean Streets
Derek Courtney 5-8 PG 36 Lincoln Park/Lock-Down