Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Night News – August 31, 2015

Monday Night News – August 31, 2015

Simeon’s six foot four southpaw Zach Norvell unveiled some offensive arsenal late summer that propelled his recruitment to new heights.  Norvell often brandished along the circuit that he’s comfortable with the ball in his hands and he’s more than capable of providing buckets.  Zach is a player we’ve always viewed as a potential 2 way threat who can be used in multiple variations offensively, particularly posting up smaller opponents he can pose some match-up challenges while bringing a sense of toughness to the floor especially defensively.  He’s being recruited by the likes of Georgetown, Florida State, Oregon, Illinois and Gonzaga.

Unheralded 2017 recruit Josiah Wallace, a six foot three silky-smooth guard out of Marshall (IL) has been making his rounds on the campus tours.  In the Chicagoland area during the month of August he surfaced at DePaul and Northern Illinois where he took part in their team’s elite camp Aug. 9th.  Wallace has Purdue penciled in as his next stop.  You can see him at the Spot-Lite Event on Sept 13th.

Silver-quick Lemont H.S. 2017 PG,  PJ Pipes has gotten a little Bay area fever & the 6-2 diamond in the rough prospect made the track to Stanford’s elite camp then took in the climate at Cal-Berkeley, now he has Santa Clara fully interested in his services.  PJ can be viewed on-the-scene at the Spot-Lite bash in Plainfield, Sept. 12th.

Little known Illinois prospect, Mount Carmel (IL) six foot seven junior Justin Carpenter visited Evansville recently and has a scheduled date with Purdue coming up soon.  You can see Justin at the Spot-Lite event in Plainfield.

The passing of former Philadelphia 76er Darryl Dawkins took my memory back to the days when he and Bill Willoughby applied for hardship and went directly to the NBA out of high school, they were the trendsetters.  Dawkins was a vicious dunker and was affectionately labeled as the “Chocolate Thunder” and he referred to himself as a player from the “Planet of Love Tron”.  He was funny and goofy at times and shattered quite a few backboards during his era.  He was a drafted as a 5th overall pick in the 1975 draft out of Orlando, FL and he played with some very talented and colorful players such Julius Erving, George McGinnis, Bobby Jones, Doug Collins, Caldwell Jones, Henry Bibby, Lloyd B. Free, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, Steve Mix and Terry Furlow.  He will be missed.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Updates: 08/30/2015

Contrary to what many opinions viewed, the Southern-Illinois-Carbondale program has added some ammunition to a sagging offense that contributed heavily to the team’s disappointing 2014-15 season. Coach Barry Hinson and his staff are ecstatic over the arrival of the quintet head-lined by Leo Vincent a six foot one combo guard out pf Harcum (PA) junior college. Vincent bagged out a 16.5 markers per outing on a 26-4 team and earned Juco All-American honors. 5-10 PG Michael Rodriguez out of Boston, Mass averaged close to 19 points a game at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa, he is expected to spearhead the offense, six foot six left-handed athletic wing Jeremy Postell from New Mexico Junior College will add defense & versatility to the rotation. Postell averaged 7 pts, but he played on a squad with four division one recruits that averaged in the double digits nightly. 6-9 four man Rudy Stradnieks a skilled performer that hails from Lee Academy in Maine, the Ukrainian has impressed everyone during early season workouts, he came in great shape after work-outs with the Ukraine national team. Sean Lloyd a multi-talented wing, 6-4 from Philadelphia (PA), the nephew of famed high-scoring Drake University star Lewis Lloyd. “Black Magic” as they often called him, was MVP of a competitive Missouri Valley Conference in 1980-1981, the Valley was full of pro prospects in that era Sean an incoming freshman will add scoring & toughness to a team that was obviously missing that ingredient. The departure of last season’s freshmen Jordan Caroline and Deon Lavender doesn’t sting after-all. Our Salukis just might surprise some folks in the MVC this season.

UIC men’s basketball head honcho Steve McClain threw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday night (Aug 28th) in the Sox-Mariners yearn fest, McClain had his Bill Lee (former Boston Red Sox bullpen ace) impersonation as he hurled from the mound. DePaul’s Dave Leito awaits.

Loyola-Chicago hired assistant coach Bennie Seltzer a respected veteran, bench-coach and recruiter. He brings experience to a young staff.

Sometimes malcontent forward Jerry Miles considered to be a top 10 prospect in a subpar 2016 class is out for eight more weeks with a broken toe. The East Moline talented lefty suited up for Net Gain Hoops during the spring then landed on Wichita, KS based club program Prey-N-Play for the summer period he was certainly missing in action and had a relatively quiet summer he’s still being sought after by Loyola-Chicago, IL State, Creighton and Chicago State may be in the picture.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

10 FOR 10

10 FOR 10
This will be our last addition of this segment.

  1. Mike Smith SR 5-9 MM PG Fenwick/D’Rose – A quintessential student athlete, 30 ACT score, 4 year starter. Often regarded as the second or perhaps third best point guard in the 2016 class. In lieu of that status, Ice Mike probably might be more equipped and seasonally ready to quarterback a team at the next level than the PG’s rated ahead of him now. He’s illustrated patience & intelligence for the game his first 3 years of varsity play. The biggest question-mark he faced repeatedly all summer was his average athleticism and concerns over his size and defensive effort. He could quell those doubters by playing with a chip on his shoulder this upcoming season, he’s always displayed the ability to be a respectable scorer. He has offers from Dartmouth, Drake, LeHigh, Loyola-Chicago, UIC, Wis-Green-Bay, Tenn St.
  2. Micah Bradford SR 6-1 MM PG Bradley Bourbonnais/Example Sports – Highly recognized as one of the elite play-makers in the 2016 group, Micah has the ability to be a game changer with his speed & quickness, in addition he’s capable of putting his stamp and imprint on the defensive end by applying pressure on opposing ball-handlers 94 feet. Slick innovator capable of creating offense for others as well as himself and he can nail jumpers with 3 range. Has some classroom work to shore-up, but he could be a diamond in the rough, lacing his game in conferences such as the WAC, Conference USA, Horizon League. Offers from: Bradley, UIC, Chicago State, Valpo, Wright State has shown strong interest.
  3. Darias Oliver SR 6-5 MM WF Chicago Leo/Mean Streets – After a relatively quiet junior campaign where he netted close to 20 points per outing and provided a hefty combination of rebounding & shot-blocking, Darias still didn’t receive the recognition he deserved. He’s certainly one of the top scorers in the 2016 class, 2nd leading scorer in the Catholic League and based on his statistics, he’s a deserving top 10-15 prospect in the class. Sneaky athlete, really excels in transition with finishing plays at the rim. St. Louis, Wis-Green-Bay, Rice. Under-recruited now, but he will be a gem for someone.
  4. Zion Morgan SR 6-1 MM G Chicago Kenwood/All-In Athletics – He’s gotten more comfortable handling the rock over the summer, we still view him more as a combo than a true point. Has the potential to be a solid 2 way player who would probably flourish immediately in a system type setting. Zion has to improve his offensive ability or he will be lumped into a label as a utility performer. High character kid – the likes of Valparaiso, Western Michigan have offered; St. Louis interested. I’m surprised Northern Iowa isn’t pursuing him.
  5. Lorenzo Edwards SR 6-7 MM SF Lake Forest/Mean Streets – This late bloomer has a huge upside and likely could top out as one of the top 15 players in the class. Lorenzo battled & competed all spring/summer versus taller opponents in the Nike EBYL play. He established himself as front-court prospect with a feathery touch, good hands and an uncanny ability to provide shot-blocking and rebounding consistently. Has a 21 ACT and 3.6 GPA – Recruitment has the likes of offers from Loyola-Chicago, Tenn St, with strong interest coming from UIC & St. Louis.
  6. TaJuan Agee SR 6-7 MM-LM+ SF Chicago Hyde Park/Illinois Spartans – Lanky performer, relatively unknown outside of the Chicago Public League Red-Central Division. His identity was unraveled by mid-July with some sparkling outings which were clearly regulated to the back gyms in Milwaukee and other venues. Agee, showed the ability to play effectively inside, then he’d take defenders outside & drain jumpers with accuracy from 3 pt land. He can handle the ball respectably, above average athlete with an impressive wingspan of 7-1 ¼ which makes him a feared swatter. His promising status has drawn offers from Chicago State, Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly Pan-America) and strong interest from Wis-Milwaukee, UIC, SIU-E, NIU, Florida Gulf-Coast. Has a 17 ACT score & reportedly will qualify academically.
  7. Jeameril Wilson JR 6-6 MM+-MM WF Niles Notre Dame/? – A rapidly emerging prospect, he looks primed for a breakout season; he has enormous physical tools and a knack for making plays at both ends of the floor. Jeameril has the potential to be a versatile scorer as well as a defender who capably could guard a 1-4, this kid’s future looks awfully bright, the southpaw carries over a B average in the classroom, once he improves his perimeter shooting, he could soar to upper tier of the rankings in the 2017 class.
  8. Rafael Cruz JR 6-2 MM PG Von Steuben/Chicago Demons – “An ultra-smooth-performer, plays with grace and intelligence.” Operates effectively handling-it and distributing, a splendid outside shooter with long range ability, vastly under-rated, Cruz is one of the top Latino players in the state and he’s considered to be by many the no. 1 prospect in the CPS Red North Division. Chicago State absolutely loves his potential value and what his profile would mean to their program’s building blocks. Excellent student, ranks high academically in his class.
  9. Damarius Jacobs JR 6-3 MM+-MM G Chicago Uplift/All-In Athletics – “Doesn’t cart around the billing that some of the other notable 2017 dudes brandish, but he’s got mad game.” Damarius gave a quick glance of what the future may hold for him when he tallied a quick flurry of buckets in Uplifts 2A State Championship victory versus Rockridge. He’s shrewd & confident and gaining a reputation as a scorer, he can get you some baskets, in addition Damarius is a pretty good decision maker. He likely could be the best player ever out of Uplift H.S. He and Cruz are the top 2 players in the conference.
  10. Elijah Ward JR 6-4 MM G/F Joliet West/All-In Athletics – This talented versatile performer with an almost-college-cut physique has a golden chance of being an immediate impact player if he continues to focus on his books and improving the glaring weaknesses in his play and effort is one of them. Top flight athlete, has missed several notable elite camps in the area such as: Northern Illinois, DePaul, UIC. “We need to investigate what gyms he’s posted-up in.” Karrington Ward’s lil brother!

Extra Shots

Extra Shots

Charlie Moore, Morgan Park’s highly decorated senior guard, notably acclaimed by many to be the no. 1 senior in the state, has narrowed his list of 4 schools he will officially visit in the upcoming weeks.  “This south-side heart-throb at times resembles a modern-day replica of Mateen Cleaves (former Mich St stand-out) especially branded by the winning formula Moore brings to a program.  Lil Charlie has a tough slate ahead where he will crunch 4 consecutive weeks together opening with California-Berkeley (Sept. 11th & 12th), Pittsburgh (Sept. 18-20), Illinois (Sept. 25-27) and Memphis (Oct. 2-4). 

I’m predicting he ain’t making all of them.”  A couple of those conferences Moore may opt to perform in might pose some challenges from the start.  Guys of his stature must be armed with far more than skills & quickness to survive successfully in certain conferences.  They have to be a wizard with the ball, nasty & tenacious from the moment they hit the hardwood in a competitive environment.  Darius Smith (Marshall) a one-time U. Conn recruit got that memo late when he arrived in Storrs, Conn.  I’m not saying he can’t succeed at any of those schools!

Kudos to Lebron James, the charity work he’s providing for youth in his home-town of Akron, OH is extraordinary.  James is embarking on a legacy off the court as well.  He and his foundation is committed to helping thousands of young children growing-up with the deck stacked against them in his area.  Lebron is a real crime fighter a hero in his community.  “I wonder if the folks in Robbins, IL feel that way about DWade.”

Anthony Cameron a 6-9, 270 pound junior left Tilden H.S., a public school once touted for producing superior athletes, but now basking in obscurity along the neighboring lines of Englewood & the back of the yards communities.  The slowly developing big man is still somewhat of a project, but his future as an aspiring Div I recruit might have picked-up some momentum when he enrolled in Hyde Park Academy just recently, there he can polish up his skills.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Moment of Truth

The Moment of Truth

We got a huge chuckle (all in fun) when Northwestern coach and Glenbrook North alum Chris Collins threw out the ceremonial first pitch recently before the Cubs-Giant game at Wrigley field.  I often razz him about his Theo Epstein (Cubs GM) like optimism regarding the Wildcat’s recent resurgence as well as his sunny prospective on the program’s future.  In lieu of the Wildcat’s climb, DePaul, Northern Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Loyola-Chicago, Western Illinois, UIC and Chicago State will give us locals an exciting brand of hoops to follow this upcoming season.  Chicago area fan base has snoozing on the progress of programs like Eastern, Western and Chicago State.  Stay tuned . . .

I find-it-mind boggling as well as risky when area high-school teams participate in 6-8 week fall leagues, regularly playing all day on Sundays sometimes Saturdays.  The alarming fact to the matter is most of the coaches’ risk jeopardizing their upcoming season for a six-eight week commitment to a fall league.  “These types of lengthy venues are one injury away from folding.”  Recently a panel of local observers were asking what purpose does it serve?  Not much . . . what weekly camaraderie among league players & coaches?  Or perhaps a viewing vehicle to see what disenchanted player/family will be available for a transfer wire.  We all know these fall events aren’t about team building, because most times when you see these same programs that take part in the fall affairs their teams usually lack synergy & not an ounce of continuity when you see them perform early in November/December!  “Let’s keep-it-one-hundred, it’s not like the Chicago area as well as our surrounding boundaries are spitting out division one caliber prospects at a high-rate, like the area was once regarded for.”  There are no Jahlil Okafors or Jabari Parkers come through the ranks any time soon.  Let’s face-it Chicago public league is a depleted source right now.  What I’m suggesting is scrap leagues in late September & the month of October get our players acclimated early academically, then get them filtered through some kind of cross country program or a 4-5 week conditioning piece.  This would take some unwanted stress off-the kids as well as the family regarding what gym or game time he’s running to in September/October.  This would allow our kids time to rest on certain weekends and focus on being a student or just a traditional regular little Johnny.  Meanwhile respective coaches can polish their craft by spending weekends going to various coaching clinics which can be sought in a 35-50 mile ratios.  There are no excuses for not being prepared once the season starts, that’s why our neighboring state Indiana is so far ahead of us from a high-school coaching & development stand-point.

Doesn’t really matter who breaks a story first?  Just asking!

2017 guard Alonzo Verge Jr. one of the most exciting players we’ve had in our area in recent years (home grown) will suit-up at Proviso West this season.  It’s a shame things weren’t ironed out at Wilowbrook H.S. where he performed last season.  Hopefully this decision to attend Proviso West will help him continue his surge as one of the area’s most exhilarating talents.

Chicago was once a hot bed for talent, year in & out the city produced bona-fide high major players/athletes.  This ground breaking trend has come to a screeching halt.  After listening to some miscellaneous dudes at the UIC team camp, the banter just validated my thoughts all along.  The city has fallen on some lean times, a lot can be contributed to our club team culture, not just the whole freight falls in the arms of our newly abundance of inexperienced high-school coaches even some of our 5th & 6th year coaches haven’t proven they are equipped or qualified at developing players on the court or in the classroom and it clearly shows, we are witnessing the decline each season.  You see we have no more veteran technicians such as Robert Collins, Bob Hambric, Luther Bedford, Chuck Frazier, George Stanton, Sonny Cox, Herb Brown, Charles Stimpson, Lee Umbles, Larry Hawkins, Dan Davis, Jim Foreman, Earl Eldridge – blah, blah, blah . . .  It’s going to take a heroic crime fighter to clean-up all the debris eroding the Chicagoland area.  There is an astonishing amount of travel coaches/club/AAU culprits that have no business manning the side-lines at any summer tournament or venue most of them are clueless (not all) when it comes to mentorship coaching, development, recruitment or potential level of a player.  These are some significant requirements majority are lacking.  Most of them think taking a player all over the country during the spring & summer automatically penchant them to be on first name basis with Tom Izzo or Krzyzenski, let alone most of them can’t even bring home a title.  What they don’t realize is that they are hurting the game that they don’t respect anyway, not only hindering the growth of players, “some of these jokers find-it-amusing.”  They act as if they’re coaching in an intramural rec league.  After viewing our deteriorating scene for a few years now it’s time to exhibit some talking points of changing the way we conduct business in our grass-roots basketball landscape.

I’m often hesitant to touch this sensitive topic, University of Illinois being our state’s flagship school has taken some serious hits of late, the Darius Paul saga was so disturbing, here he is in France injured not slated to suit-up and he’s out plastered at 5 AM on a destructive rampage reportedly.  I feel bad for coach John Groce and his staff these guys are some hard working grinding guys who only want to be successful and the cards have not fell in their favor since they landed on campus in March 2012 they’ve often performed with weapons not equipped to rumble every night in a highly contested Big 10 battle.  The picture in Champaign is gloomy but I’m hoping these guys can persevere and get through this in a positive finish.  The program has sagged since Bill Self bolted off to Lawrence.

And – NO – I’m not mad at anybody and have no personal gripes with anyone in particular.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

10 FOR 10

10 FOR 10

Kendall Moore SO 6-1 MM+-MM PG Danville/George Hill All-Stars –
“Doesn’t cart around the notoriety of some other overly publicized dudes in the class, but what he does possess is mad game. We consider him the 2nd or 3rd best player in the class. He is a tough explosive athlete who’s dynamite in transition, has a knack for making big shots, now he is an ace defender, terrific on the ball and he plays the heck out of the passing lanes. He could use some work on his perimeter shooting but that will come because he’s a shot maker. Slenderly build now and a treat to watch.”

Denis Albegovic JR 6-3 MM+-MM WG Downer’s Grove South/Mac Irvin Fire –
“This kid is the closest prospect I’ve seen in recent years comparable to some of the dead-eye marksmen we used to see produced with regularity in Illinois.” He has the confidence of a burglar, not fearful to take big shots & he’s accurate outside threat, reminds me of Ryan Hogan (Deerfield), Brian Wardle (Hinsdale Central), Colin Falls (Loyola), Matt Lottich (New Trier), Brett Melton (Mahomet-Seymour), Neil Plank (Mount Zion). He fits the description obvious, the areas he needs to improve is his strength & ball-handling no question defense will be work in progress.

Rodney Herenton SR 6-1 LM+-LM G Stevenson/Wis-Playground –
“Just viewed him at the DePaul Elite Camp, walked away with positive thoughts. Ivy League in pursuit, the kid has a 4.3 GPA, 29 ACT score that says a lot for his character. System type performer has a strong body capable of being a threat on the perimeter. He will bring strong leadership & experience to the Stevenson program. Remember he was a starting guard on Whitney Young’s 4A state title as a sophomore.”

Jason Jones SR 5-10 LM PG Rock-Island/Quad Cities – 
Brings winning intangibles to any team/program. He was the lead orchestrator for one of our state’s top travel teams, very sure handed doesn’t turn-it-over at a high rate. Jason has pretty good speed & quickness while being a respectable outside shooter; good student, we see quite few players of his caliber surface in the summit league.

Dulan Scott SR 6-4 MM-LM+ G/F Chicago Farragut/Chicago Admirals – 
Vastly underrated right now, he’s likely to be a hot commodity during the spring signing period. The Farragut coaching staff rants & raves about his potential. Dulan is a straight A student with a 22 ACT score. Athletically he has a strong body, can really get to the rim and score. His perimeter shooting has started to come along. We envision him eventually becoming a true 2G. This kid is a very good rebounder & defender more importantly he plays hard. University Illinois at Chicago and Eastern Illinois should go after him.

Xavier Bishop SR 5-7 MM PG Springfield Lanphier/D’Rose –
 Clever left-hander has some “tiny Nate Archibald to his game.” The “X-Factor” can take you outside and drain jumpers with three point range. He still hasn’t quelled enough doubters regarding his play-making capabilities, but over the summer while dividing his circuit time between the St. Louis Eagles and D’Rose he did a nice job finding his spots offensively and hitting the open man when necessary. He had some early offers on the table, his status still up in the air.

James Jones SR 6-3 MM WG Chicago Bogan/Mean Streets – 
We don’t know what leagues he’s been hoop’n in in late July, but the sometimes high-flyer had been “missing in action”. Jones wasn’t with the Mean Streets squad in Milwaukee or Vegas, but come to find out he had a hand injury. Streaky outside shooter, could use some polish with his ball-handling abilities. Illinois State, Indiana State, UIC, Loyola-Chicago are in the picture while Minnesota has shown some interest. Has to improve his ACT score.

George Willborn SR 6-3 MM-LM+ WG DeLaSalle/D’Rose – 
A silk-smooth performer, at times he looks bored, “maybe the game just comes easy to him.” Willborn’s summer was plagued by inconsistency, partially his fault and the other half goes to the outfit he toured with. Many observers who followed the D’Rose squad didn’t feel he was placed in a situation to flourish. He’s such a skilled player, he would probably prosper more in a structured setting. Ohio Valley should pursue as well as Bethune Cookman!

Maurice Edwards JR 6-1 MM G Alton/S.W. Jets – 
Combo type has mid-high-level talent, it’s just that he suffers from the syndrome that most of our downstate players attract, a lack of playing hard all the time. Physically chiseled, equipped with some open-court acceleration & athleticism. His mid-range jumper is potent when utilized. Mo Edwards tends to drift, but when he’s locked in you can see the potential that he possesses, the kid could be a terrific talent.

Trevian Bell JR 6-5 MM WF Joliet West/IL Wolves – 
You can see this kids confidence building as he transitions to the perimeter. He’s shown this summer he can consistently nail 12-15 footers, in fact he possesses good open-court quickness & surprisingly he’s a good passer. Bell has come a long way since the Simeon thrashing back in December at Pontiac where he looked tentative, his game has made leaps & bounds since that debacle. He’s considered a top 25 prospect in the 2017 class. Missouri Valley, A10, Horizon league, Conference USA should pursue him.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Sunday, August 9th, 2015

It’s crystal clear that two of our Chicago area division one programs will no longer accept playing in obscurity. After viewing both programs the last two weekends it’s quite apparent that UIC and DePaul will both be able to identify the players they need to formulate a winning brand of hoops. UIC’s camp featured players from all over the state and the surrounding area outside of Illinois. It was an impressive crop of talented prospects on hand which made for a fun filled day for the Flames staff.

“All remarks are based on the day’s outing/event, individuals that captured some attention.”

  • Anthony Lynch 6-1 PG-2018-South Elgin – He’s smart; has length & going to be a good player. 
  • Ayo Dosunmu 6-2 G-2018-Morgan Park – Showed a floor game with ability to score.
  • Ben Coupet 6-7 WF-2016-Simeon – He teases you with his length & versatility.
  • Brandon Hurt 6-0 G-2018-Marian Catholic – Plays with a wealth of confidence.
  • Bryce Barnes 5-11 PG-2016-Bogan – Looked as if he was regaining his form & confidence after a shaky summer.
  • Christian Peevy 6-5 F-2016-Mount Carmel – Good length; had some moments; could be a solid D2 recruit.
  • Coreyun Rushin 6-5 F-2017-Westinghouse – Heck of a wingspan; attacks the rim with either hand; perimeter skills will come one day.
  • Corielle Robinson 6-4 G/F-2016-Phillips – Untapped talent; showed he can get baskets in a variety of ways.
  • Damarius Jacobs 6-3 G-2017-Uplift – Confident scorer; future stand-out.
  • Darius Branch 5-6 PG-2016-Leo H.S. – He was shrewd, confident & made shots.
  • Elijah Joiner 6-3 PG-2017-Curie – You can see the fruits of his labor; was just ok at the event.
  • George Willborn 6-3 WG-2016-DeLaSalle – Looked poised & assure of himself; very skilled.
  • Jonah Jackson 6-3 WG-2017-Merrillville, IN – Scorers mentality; long distance bomber.
  • Josh Thomas 6-3 G/F-2016-Simeon – Was always in attack mode; shot often & tried to do way too much.
  • Kameron Clements 5-11 G-2019-Simeon – Looked like a highly regarded prospect at times.
  • Lucas Williamson 6-4 WF-2017-Whitney Young – Looked smooth, he scored easily & was impressive.
  • Marvin Bateman 6-4 WG-2017-Belleville Althoff – Thin throw-back type, outside marksman, a specialist.
  • Micah Bradford6-1 PG-2016-Bradley Bourbonnais – Slick ball-handler; just tried to fit in with his team.
  • Nick Robinson 6-5 WF-2016-Kenwood – Kinda was loose/havin fun; didn’t look serious but we know he has game.
  • Octavius Parker 6-2 G-2017-Niles North – Did not look as crisp as we saw him at DePaul.
  • Perry Cowan 6-1 G-2019-DePaul Prep – He caught my eye in the first game.
  • Samson Oladimejic 6-4 WG-2016-Fremd – Had good motor; displayed some offensive skill; caught my eye had never seen him before.
  • Romon Douglass-Watkins 6-5 WF-2017-Manual – Excellent frame; showed all-around floor game.
  • P.J. Pipes 6-1 PG-2017-Lemont – I’ve always liked his quickness, he didn’t disappoint Sunday.
  • Tai Bibbs 6-1 PG-2017-West Chicago – Gracefully smooth operator; knows how to play was one of the more impressive kids at the event, he has surpassed some players at his position in the 2017 class, a treat to watch.
  • Talen Horton-Tucker 6-3 G/F-2018-Simeon – He can flat-out play which he demonstrated often.
  • Tarkus Ferguson 6-4 WG-2016-Belleville Althoff – Arguably the best player at the event a throw-back type offensive game he brings with him every outing better player than some notable Chicago area kids.
  • Terrell Phipps 6-7 SF-2016-Al Raby – A prospering stretch 4. Hoisted an array of jumpers he made a few.
  • TeeAaron Powell 6-8 C-2018-Marian Catholic – Promising, the big fella needs work played well and competed.
  • Trevian Bell 6-5 WF-2017-Joliet West – Steadily improving his play on the perimeter a top 25-30 talent.
  • Tyler Chism 6-3 WG-2017-Proviso East – I’m a big fan of him; explosive offensive threat.
  • Teyvion Kirk 6-2 PG-2017-Joliet West – This kid has passion & showed it in his play.
  • Tyler Dancy 6-6 F/C-2017-Bellevelle West – Posted-up well demanding the ball, very good foot work.
  • Zach Hollywood 6-8 F-2016-Bradley Bourbonnais – Played well on the perimeter definitely a face-up threat.
  • Colton Kolowski 6-4 G-2016-Del Ray College Prep – Strong with the ball made good decisions.
  • Gaven Pinkley 6-7 F-2018-Hillsboro H.S./MO – Probably the top underclassman at the event. 

Northern Illinois University continues their push for long-term program success, they just added a commitment from one of the top front-court prospects in the 2016 class landing Sterling’s six foot eight Noah McCarty a top 25 guy in the class. In June they quietly wrapped-up a verbal from six foot guard Eugene German out of Gary, IN. 21st Century Charter School. German led the state of Indiana in scoring as a junior. Huskie Country will be entertained by his ball-handling wizardry and scoring feats. It looks like Coach Monty & staff solidified themselves for a few years at the guard position. Rockford Auburn incoming freshman Laytwan Porter should contribute immediately.

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Word format brochure is also available, please download the Brochure in Word here!


Saturday, September 12th, 2015
Game Time Starts at 3:00 pm

Sunday, September 13th, 2015
Starts at 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Plainfield Central H. S
611 West Fort Beggs Dr.
Plainfield, IL

ILLINOIS SPOT-LITE SHOOT-OUT’S Are arguably one of the more quality run events during the Fall period.  Coaches, scouting services & media heads have the luxury of observing prospects within a short period of time (Shoot-out times are 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.).  

The Spot-Lite event has been vastly recognized for identifying lesser known
players, as well as up-coming talent. 
With our experience in planning and organizing the Spot-Lite Events, each participant will be placed in a setting where he could showcase his strengths.
This will not be an event featured around “hot-on-line-buzz” or hype surrounding one particular player or players.  There will be a championship game for open participants & high school  
Team rosters will be made up by geographic region.

We look forward to working hard and hand with the Plainfield High School Staff, as well as the community to make this event entertaining.

Last Year’s Event Featured Some Good High-School Teams:

East Aurora    Metamora
Chicago Leo    Chicago Julian
Plainfield Central    Glenbard East
Chicago Orr    De La Salle
East St. Louis    Niles Notre Dame
Oak-Park    Simeon
Springfield S.E.    Chicago Bogan

This year we will target high-school teams with a pool play formula where teams will play 3 games then head into a play-off format and then a championship game.

Schools We’ve Target for Invite’s:
Metamora    Chicago Bogan
St. Joseph    Chicago Dunbar
Niles Notre Dame    Thornridge
Glenbard East    Lincoln Park
Willowbrook    De La Salle
Neuqua Valley    Loyola Academy
Evanston Twp.    Plainfield Central
Lake Park    Springfield Lanphier
East Aurora    Decatur MacArthur
Von Stueben    Springfield S.E.
St. Ignatius    North Scott H.S. (Iowa)
East St. Louis    Chicago Farragut
Oak-Park River-Forest    Dekalb

Attendees who will evaluate:
Illinois Spot-Lite
Prep Bull’s Eye
Real Hoops Coaches Consulting Group
College Coaches:  Div. II & III Small College
Junior Colleges
Prep-School Representatives
Prep Hoops
Hoops Report

Isaiah Roby, Xavier Bishop, Micah Bradford, Jason Jones, Zion Morgan, Noah McCarty, Ethan Meeker, Mike Pollack, Tyler Houston, Isaac Glassman, Drew Evans, Keaton Rombach, Daniel Hoekstra, Anthony D’Avanzo, Brice Robinson, Mike Smith, D’Aaron Owens, Jordan Baum, Malique Ross, Keymonta Johnson, Kevin Kreiger, Isaac Nelson, Brendon Gooch, George Wilbourn, Elyiah Goss, Jalen Adams, Darius Oliver, Rapolas Ivanaukas, Darias Oliver, Jerry Miles, Lorenzo Edwards, Nick Robinson, Brendon Gooch, Tarkus Ferguson, A.J. Beckett, Dulan Scott, Marcus Latham, Zach Hollywood, Myles Howard, Brandon Suggs, Tawone Keith, Jake Baughman, Devyn Ross, Ammar Becar, Daniel Ogele, Peter Bust, Brewhawn Wilkerson, Darius Branch, Jake Rhodes, Terrell Phipps, Antonio Williams , Evan Hines, Deshon Sims, Marcus Cole, Paris Parham, Charles Harlan, Vinny Tarello, Tim Zahm, Nate Kennell, Josh Thomas

Damarius Jacobs, Tyler Chisom, Mahir Williams, Rafael Cruz, Logan Windeier, Brandon Lawani, Michael Downing, Denis Albegovic, Devon Whitelow, Doug Wallen, Will Clausel, Jamel Alausa, Tai Bibbs, Justin Carpenter, Alonzo Verge Jr., Josiah Wallace, Teyvion Kirk, P.J. Pipes, Maurice Edwards, Yaakeema Rose, Edwyn Brown, Ramar Hill, Trevor Moore, Iman Reynolds, Demarquis Henry, Marvin Bateman, Oiver Stephens, Simeon Hinton, Elijah Ward, Terrel, Greer, Chris Hammel, Rod Henry, Dwayne Rose, Rashard Williams, Justin Smith, Javon Pickett, Collin Stallworth, Nana Akenton, Jeameril Wilson, Elijah Willaims, Tabyous Casterberry, Manny Patterson, Malik Binns, T.J. Smith, Coreyoun Rushin, Mitch Lewis, Austin Richie, Romon Douglass, Lavon Thomas, Stephon Harris, Cameron Krutwig, Jeremiah Tilmon, Tyler Dancy, Sam Orlich, Shomari Tillett, Joe Sieger, Adrian Paige, Rico Sylvester, Alec Brent

Kendell Moore, Drew Petterson, Peter Kutsor, Kevin Caldwell, Camron Donalan, Michael Adams, Raekwon Drake, Marquan Williams, Kaleb Thornton, Messiah Jones, Christian Payne, Caleb Strohmeier, Michael Callentine, Damarcus Gilmore, Joffari Brown, Chase Adams, Marquis Brown, Bakari Simmons, Ayo Dosunmu, Darius Beane, Brandon Hurt, Isaiah Bowers, Amir Brummet, Cardell McGee, Kani Acree, Andre White

**Player participation fee is $45.00.  Upon arrival you will receive a jersey, roster and game match-ups. 
In order to save a slot - Return with payment no later than
September 9rd, 2015 to:
Illinois Spot-Lite
P.O. Box 216, Oak Forest, IL 60452

NAME: ______________________________

GRADE:_______    HEIGHT:_____________

HOME PHONE #________________________

Should you have any questions or need further information contact:  Larry Butler, Shoot-Out Director at 708 574-2457.
“Games will consist of two 16 minute halves.”


Please contact Larry Butler for details.

Other 2018’s on the Radar

Other 2018’s on the Radar

  • Drew Peterson    6-4    WG    Libertyville/Kessel Heat – “Impressive July landed him in the must view listing.  He finishes well in traffic and knows how to play.”
  • Messiah Jones    6-4    F    Chicago Simeon/Mean Streets – “A high-jumping athlete who brings an electric element to the floor every-outing.  Anything within distance of the rim, he’s attempting to flush.  Right now he’s a fixture as a utility performer, he’s got to work on his skills, but he worthy of the price of admission.
  • Bakari Simmons    6-4    WG    Chicago Simeon/Mac Irvin Fire – “Silk smooth lefty skilled with a nice stroke, makes good decisions, had a really solid July after a subpar school season.  Don’t be surprised if he was one of the top 5 players in the class when everything shakes out.”
  • Joffari Brown    6-4    G/F    St. Joseph/Mac Irvin Fire – “Do it all type, has a knack for making clutch plays & shots.”
  • Trevon Martin    6-7    SF    Chicago Curie/D’Rose – “Has a wealth of potential; starting to add strength to his frame.”
  • Chase Adams    5-3    PG    Marian Catholic/Mac Irvin Fire – “Not a speedster which is surprising, but knows how to play.  We not into the hype right now!”
  • Brandon Hurt    6-0    G    Marian Catholic/Example Sports – Strong body & very confident scorer & performer.”
  • Marquan Williams    5-8    PG    Chicago Perspective-MSA/Mean Streets – “Tough minded scorer, needs polish.”
  • Damarcus Gilmore    5-5    F    Chicago Harlan/Mac Irvin Fire – “Excellent length, has a nice feel & competes hard.”
  • Andre White Jr.    5-8    PG    Loyola Academy/ ?  - “Very confident poised play-maker, one to watch.”
  • Marquis Walker    5-9    PG    St. Joseph-? / ? – “Much made about his scoring feats; time will tell.”
  • Tyree Martin    6-7    F    Chicago Curie/D’Rose – “Not much of a scorer yet, but competes.”
  • Bailey Dee    5-10    G    Champaign Central/IL Irish – “Floor game stood-out at the DePaul Elite Camp.”
  • Kani Acree    6-4    SF    Carbondale/St. Louis Eagles – “Undersized now, but he’s a spirited competitor who had a really good summer with the eagles 15-U team.”
  • Ayo Dosunmu    5-11    PG    Westinghouse ?/Mac Irvin Fire – “Rumors swirling about a likely transfer to Simeon.  We saw him enough, we aren’t caught-up in the hype, has grown some; has plenty of work to do on the floor.
  • Anthony Lynch    6-1    PG    South Elgin/IL Wolves – “Smooth floor general, perimeter shooting coming along.”
  • Cameron Donatian    6-1    G    West Aurora/IL Rise – “Had some big moments for his school team season; quiet summer thus far.”
  • Justin Boyd    6-2    G    Whitney Young/Mean Streets – “Poised player with long distance range; now he needs to keep confidence in tack.”
  • Amir Brummet    5-11    G    Decatur MacArthur – “Highly touted in his area, but we have yet to see much production, besides launching outside shots.”

Top 2018 Prospects

Top 2018 Prospects

This class I’ve become more familiar with, coming out of July, I have a fairly good grasp on who the prime-timers could be as the group struts into their sophomore settings.
  1. Tim Finke    6-5    G/F    Champaign Centennial/IL Irish – “There’s no arguing, he’s the No. 1 player in the class.”  Skilled & polished, knows how to play, has the all-around offensive package to be a high-scoring threat before his high-school career ends.  “One aspect I really like about him is he competes in big game settings.
  2. Raekwon Drake    6-5    F    Chicago Orr/Mean Streets – This chiseled-cut young lad plays extremely hard, he already impacts games on both ends, just a tremendous athlete who will need to continue developing other areas of his game.  Gained major experience as a freshman on the varsity last season.  A modern day Johns Selvie (formerly of King).

  3. Kendall Moore    6-0    PG    Danville/George Hill All-Stars – Very few observers north of I-74 knew he put together a stellar freshman campaign.  Kendall possess strong leadership qualities, statistically very few in the class could match his numbers, he averaged in the high 20’s for his club-team this summer, he’s a good finisher and dangerous perimeter threat.  A10 & Missouri Valley have started to take notice.
  4. Landers “Sanchez” Nolley    6-4    WG     Chicago Curie/ ?  - A transplant from the Atlanta, GA area.  Bouncy athlete has already demonstrated enough arsenal in June to show he is certainly one of the elite players in the rising 2018 class.
  5. Darius Beane    6-3    WG    Carbondale/St. Louis Eagles – Wiry scorer, knows how to play, fearless competitor, was one of the Eagle’s top 15-U players until he moved-up to the 16’s late in the summer and then showed why he is considered one of our state’s top young players.
  6. Marquis “Kezo” Brown    6-1    G    Chicago Simeon/Mac Irvin Fire – “Not a big-time prospect yet as some have labeled him!”  Limited skills has hampered his success during these early stages.  He has to learn situations at both ends of the floor something he didn’t display at the 15-U level!
  7. Kevin Caldwell    5-10    PG    Alton/SW Jets – Exciting player to watch lil fella, got mad squabbles, he’s a clever play-maker who can score & dish, he’s actually a pretty good outside shooter.  Plays with more maturity and experience than some of the other point-guards in the class.
  8. Kaleb Thornton    5-9    PG    Nazareth/Mean Streets – One of the top 2 or 3 point-guards in the class, very innovative performer, unselfish & attacks the lanes well.  He will be well coached at his school setting, Nazareth hasn’t had a guard of his caliber in years.
  9. Talen Horton-Tucker    6-2    G/F    Chicago Simeon/Mac Irvin Fire – Burly & gritty performer, plays with a purpose, the left hander knows how to get buckets.  At times he tries to do too much, but we like his aggressiveness.  Obviously, he’s got some work to do physically, but he’s a player to keep an eye on.
  10. Cardell McGee    6-3    WF    Springfield Lanphier/S. Louis Eagles – “A slasher who can score efficiently at the rim, impressed at DePaul’s elite camp (8-1-15); shoots it better than we thought.”

10 FOR 10

10 FOR 10

During the end of July as well as the month of August we will feature a short capsule of 10 prospects and their recent summer performances & happenings surrounding.
  1. Jarrin Randle    SR    5-11    MM-LM+    G    Morgan Park/Mac Irvin Fire – Has improved his all-around play which was on full display during the NY 2 LA Summer Jam where he elevated his status.  Randle has always been a feared outside marksman, now you can clearly see he’s worked on his ball skills.  He can break-down a defender and get to the rim with either hand now.  Had a subpar showing though during the Big Foot event in Vegas.  Eastern Illinois seems to be in hot pursuit as is Northern Illinois, Northern Kentucky, Bethune Cookman while Loyola-Chicago recently showed soft interest.
  2. Tarkus Ferguson    SR    6-4    MM    WG    Belleville Althoff S.W. Jets – The brother has game/talent, you can see his confidence soaring since the high-school campaign ended.  Marvelous athlete, has those long arms which enable him to guard multiple positions.  Tarkus use to glide often in his play, now he plays fairly hard all the time.  He’s a threat as a perimeter shooter – Indiana State, Illinois State, Western Kentucky, SIU, Tennessee St. have all offered, Bradley could be a major player as well.
  3. Drew Evans    SR    6-5    LM+-LM    G/F    Thornwood/Chgo Lock-Down – Superb athlete, has the potential to become a dual threat as a scorer and a lockdown defender.  Evans played a small role in Thornwood’s successful run last season where they dropped a close game to St. Rita during the regionals.  We were impressed in his open-court prowess at the NY 2 LA demonstrating the ability to perform well in a half-court setting.  He consistently knocked-down mid-range jumpers and handled the rock effectively.  A late bloomer, OVC, MAC and Summit League should keep tabs on his development.
  4. Charlie Moore    SR    6-0    HM-MM+    G    Morgan Park/Mac Irvin Fire – A maximum leader, this kid will end his Morgan Park career as one of the most decorated public leaguer’s in recent memory, especially at the point-guard position.  Jabari Parker of Simeon had a portfolio of 4 state titles.  Moore has already captured two 3A State Titles and one 3rd place finish.  A tough competitor, who flourished in the Nike EBYL league, then capped off his summer circuit with a reaffirming outing at the Nike Global Challenge held in Chicago.  He is now viewed as the top player based on performance in the 2016 class.  Iowa, Illinois, Loyola-Chicago, and now University of California seems to be in hot pursuit for his services.
  5. Evan Gilyard    JR    5-9    MM+-MM    PG    Chicago Simeon/Mean Streets – The slick lil lefty sizzled in Vegas, carrying over some steam from the NY 2 LA bash in Milwaukee last week where Evan had a few ground-breaking performances which accelerated his status as one of the top 4 play-makers in the 2017 crop.  He had a hot summer.
  6. Collin Stallworth    JR    6-5    MM+-MM    WF    Rochester/IL Jets – Impressive looking underclassman; he has a physical athletic frame equipped with the ability to score in a variety of ways.  Once he improves his perimeter shooting his recruiting value may soar.  Collin handles the ball fairly well and possess the penchant to be a top notch defender, also rebounds the ball well.  A10 & Missouri Valley have zeroed in.
  7. Kaleb Thornton    SO    5-9    MM+-MM    PG    Nazareth/Mean Streets – “An innovator with mad game”; shrewd with tight ball handling skills; very capable of creating offense for others, he hits the open-man while making smart reads; has excellent game changing speed & quickness; his jumper could be tuned-up but we won’t overly-examine his game.  He’s a throw-back type to the traditional Chicago playmakers we use to unravel in 70’s & 80’s.
  8. Brandon Suggs    SR    6-8    LM+-LM    F/C    Winnebago/D’Rose – This small town kid had a pretty good July, reaffirming his status as a legitimate division one recruit.  A poor spring showing had critics questioning what level he would be best suited for.  He was a valuable part to a D’Rose squad with his ability to run the floor, finishing at the rim and was a reliable rebounder and protected the rim nicely.  Now he has to get in the gym fine-tune his offensive skills, once he adds some strength his value may rise.  OVC & Summit league should pursue.
  9. Ethan Meeker    SR    6-2    LM    PG    Galesburg/Quad City Elite – Arguably played for the No. 1 travel team in our state this summer obviously the Quad City group doesn’t play the schedule of the likes of what the Mac Irvin Fire venture into, but their success ratio at tournaments were enormously high.  Meeker provided a nice weapon coming off the bench, spreading the floor with his outside shooting and his surprisingly stout defense.  He held his own with his backup point-guard duties.  He may opt to walk-on at some Big 10 or Missouri Valley situation.
  10.  Elyjah Goss    SR    6-7    MM-LM+    SF    Plainfield East/IL Celtics – This kid is an untapped talent, he’s a very good athlete with improving skills, there aren’t many players in the state with his physical stature. Learning the intricate basics of the game would help him tremendously, just figuring out how play, once that happens, his confidence would take a major leap, consequently he’s an ideal candidate to be a red-shirt.

2016 Early Verbals

2016 Early Verbals

Rapolas Ivanaukas
Northwestern University
Isaiah Roby
Dixon H.S.
University Nebraska
Barret Benson
Hinsdale South
Northwestern University
Devin Gage
Chicago Curie
DePaul University
C.J. Duff
Carmel H.S.
Western Illinois University
Matty Smith
South Elgin
Central Michigan University
Nate Kennell
Bradley University
Brendon Gooch
Belleville Altholff
Southern Illinois

Simeon’s Zach Norvell poured in 53 points in a lopsided victory last weekend out in Vegas igniting the Mac Irvin Fire’s squad towards the championship game at the Big Foot event where they were hand-cuffed by the Georgia Stars.  Charlie Moore illustrated why he is one of the nation’s elite guards, Norvell and Kenwood’s Nick Robinson had a respectable showing throughout the tournament.



DePaul’s Elite Camp was a top-notch event held on their campus Saturday, August 1st.  Their complete coaching staff & support unit were visibly channeled in which validated what they are all about in building for long term success with the program.  Kudos to assistant Bryan Tibaldi who came from Missouri and previously spent some time in the Chicago Bull’s organization, he did a lot of heavy lifting organizing the event.  The Blue Demons had a surplus of dynamite talent from areas such as Cleveland, Michigan, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Iowa & Wisconsin, reaffirming they will be major suitors for talented prospects all over the country.  That was the blue print for the program during the glory years.  “Not accepting local shenanigans when it comes to recruiting! Any longer”

Chatham-Glenwood graduate Peyton Allen left Texas A&M, the six foot four shooter decided Wichita State would be his next stop.  This has the makings of another suspect decision.  Allen had considered Iowa, Drake & Butler as his final choices.  It must be tough for a shooter to find a right fit!

Niles Notre Dame 2017 forward Jeameril Wilson looks primed for a break-out season, the six foot six forward had an impressive showing at the DePaul’s Elite Camp.  He could end up catching-up with wing players Justin Smith & Javon Pickett before it’s all done.  He’s a versatile performer who has a penchant for making plays.  Also a very good athlete.