Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Special Mention Top Performances

Special Mention Top Performances at the 22nd Annual Spot-Lite Fall Event:

Cameron Gross 6-4 JR Oak-Park, Bryce Barnes 5-9 SR Bogan, Jaylan Catledge 6-3 JR Richards, Noah Persich 5-9 JR Metamora, Michael Adams 6-4 SR Metamora, Rafael Cruz 6-2 JR Von, Marquise Chairs 5-8 SR East St. Louis, P.J. Pipes 6-1 JR Lemont, Logan Windeier 6-8 JR Manteno, Jamal Nixon 6-4 JR Fenwick, Josiah Wallace 6-3 JR Marshall (IL), Brandon McCombs 6-7 JR Jacksonville, Daylan Williams 6-5 SO Danville, Conner Fuller 6-4 SR Oak-Park, Dwayne McClendon 6-5 JR Hammond High, Kamron Reaves 6-1 JR Champaign Central

Early October 2015 Report

The Jeremiah Tilmon’s recruitment will be intriguing to follow, things look to be flowing smoothly now. The Tilmon clan should be ecstatic about East St. Louis alum Phil Gilbert being at the helm, he has the ability to quarterback all the ins & outs of the process if needed. The 5 who seem to be in strong are: Illinois, Missouri, Purdue, Indiana and North-Carolina.

Illinois State continues to stockpile talent outside of the area, they landed a verbal last week from six foot eight inch Andre Washington out of Dallas, TX, Arlington H.S. Washington thrives as a high-level rebounder, he’s a good athlete who runs the floor exceptionally well. He averaged 22 points per game and 9 boards last season as a junior. This summer he starred on the Adidas circuit with Marcus Smart sponsored club out of Texas. The Redbirds are awaiting a decision from 6-2 point-guard Madison Williams who visited campus over the weekend. He’s a high academic kid out of Augusta, GA. Both players are considered to be highly acclaimed from their respective areas. Both acquisitions would bolster a roster that already possess the most talent of any instate program we have in Illinois.

The trending buzz over in our neighboring state of Iowa had the Hawkeyes landing a verbal from 4 star recruit Tyler Cook. The six foot nine bruiser out of Chaminade H.S. in the St. Louis area. Iowa’s well respected assistant Sherman Dillard utilized some old ties to pull-off the coup with Cook and his family, congrats to Fran and their program. They have one of the better coaching staffs in the Big 10.

Former Loyola Academy grad now assistant coach at Holy Cross Joe Kennedy made his recruiting rounds in the Chicago area in recent days. The former Northwestern & Oregon State assistant made stops at Lake Forest/Loyola Academy/Fenwick/Niles Notre Dame could be next on his trail.

University Illinois at Chicago head coach Steve McClain and his enthusiastic/energetic staff continue to build momentum with some of the finer prospects in the state. This past weekend they had Belleville Althoff’s wiry wing Tarkus Ferguson on official visit along with high-jumping T.F. South forward Brandon Johnson, both considered to be top 10-15 prospects in the 2016 class. The Flames are also heavily involved in Bourbonnais jet quick play-maker Micah Bradford, certainly one of our upper-echelon performers in the 2016 cast.

Eastern Illinois quietly have made inroads in the Chicago area recently, assistant J.R. Reynolds was in viewing De LaSalle’s six foot three silk-smooth George Willbourn Jr. and Bogan’s underrated point-guard Bryce Barnes. The pair Reynolds absolutely loved. I like when Eastern navigates his way up in the Chicago area.

Bethune Cookman assistant Chris Cornelius a Joliet native as well as a former assistant coach at Wisconsin-Green-Bay will come thru the Chicagoland area next week, strolling over to see Willbourn, Barnes, Johnson – Thornwood’s 6-3 Drew Evans; Peoria Central’s DeShawn Jackson and Winnebago’s 6-8 Brandon Suggs. “Corn’s an innovator, he will snag an unheralded prospect out of here. You can bank that one!”

Top 20 2018 Prospects

Top 20 2018 Prospects

It seems we all like to chime in on the conversation regarding this particular group, obviously it’s too early to peg where this class collectively will shake out in comparison to some of the previous ones. “I actually recognize few things at this stage the group has some quality guards, and the top 2 prospects reside in the central part of our state, quite a similar sequence with the 2017 crop with Tilmon & Goodwin (Southern area) at the top.”
  1. Time Finke 6-5 G/F Champaign Centennial – “There’s not much of a debate here . . .” He has size and he’s skilled with sneaky athleticism and he’s versatile. No. 1 now but things could change before 2018 arrives.
  2. Kendall Moore 6-0 PG Danville – “Has mad-game, possess leadership qualities – his floor game impressive, he can score. One to watch in this group.”
  3. Raekwon Drake 6-5 F Chicago Orr – “I like the quiet intensity he brings to the floor, this chiseled-cut North-Sider plays extremely hard, his skills will continue to improve.”
  4. Darius Beane 6-3 G Carbondale – “Fearless competitor, knows how to play-already a capable scorer.” I see him moving up the charts.
  5. Marquis “Kezo” Brown 6-1 G Chicago Simeon – “Strong body left-hander – still raw in many areas. He seems to wanna be an elite prospect, let’s see how hard he works for it.”
  6. Cardell McGhee 6-3 G/F Springfield Lanphier – “Potent slasher with a rapidly improving floor game; shoots-it-on-the-perimeter effectively.”
  7. Xavier Castaneda 5-11 PG Chicago Young – “A terrific young play-maker, poised at times, plays with a wealth of maturity, was injured all summer, so he’s starting to round into true form.”
  8. Marquan “Bay-Bay” Williams 5-8 PG Perspective – “I was impressed with his leadership qualities, he’s always been a capable scorer. Now fine-tuning some parts of his game, mostly not trying to do too much.”
  9. Ayo Dosunmu 6-1 PG Morgan Park – “This promising prospect whom has grown some since last season, he will transition in well with seniors Charlie Moore and Jarrin Randle helping pave the way.”
  10. Sanchez Nolley 6-4 WG Chicago Curie – All signals point to him being a bouncy athlete with the “can’t miss tag” to be a standout. “The only thing, he’s unproven.”
  11. Talen Horton-Tucker 6-2 G/F Chicago Simeon – “Gritty performer, knows how to generate buckets and he can shoot, starting to lose some baby fat.”
  12. Kevin Caldwell 5-10 PG Alton – “”Lil fellow got mad squabbles, he’s clever and entertaining, has perimeter shooting to go with a strong floor game.” Currently a stellar football player.
  13. Jake Kosakowski 6-5 F Chicago Young – “The Brother Rice transfer dropped close to thirty something points in a fall league contest at Curie H.S. on (Sat, Sept 26th). He’s got some offensive tools.”
  14. Daylan Williams 6-5 WF Danville – “This tireless chisel-cut scorer can flat-out play, he’s a scorer, once he learns to compete at the defensive side-look-out!” He runs the floor well.
  15. Drew Pearson 6-4 WG Libertyville – “Excellent understanding of how to play, he’s a skilled scorer, finishes well in transition.” Will play with the Wolves next season.
  16. Bailey Dee 5-10 PG Champaign Central – “Silk-Smooth, distributes the rock in the right areas; good mid-range shooter.”
  17. Brandon Hunt 6-0 G Marian Catholic – “Strong body with the ability to score, plays with a wealth of confidence.”
  18. Joffari Brown 6-4 G/F St. Joseph – “Wears a hard hat when he suits-up; he provides so many intangibles for his team. Has a tendency to try and do too much at times.”
  19. Messiah Jones 6-4 F Chicago Simeon – “Big-time leaper, plays with reckless abandonment; skills are improving – attempts to dunk anything near the rim.”
  20. Chase Adams 6-4 PG Marian Catholic – “Incoming highly touted, certainly has the pizazz, carts a wealth of confidence & knows how to play. For a small guy, I’d like to see his speed & quickness increase. A growth spurt awaits.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

5 Mid-Low Major Recruits who could Potentially Land Outside the State

5 Mid-Low Major Recruits who could 
Potentially Land Outside the State

(Unheralded Gems)

  1. Drew Evans 6-7 G LM+-LM Thornwood – A wiry 2 way athlete with a huge upside; could have helped himself more, but decided to be on the gridiron for his senior year.
  2. Samson Oladimeji 6-4 G/F LM Fremd – Excellent size & length on the perimeter, first viewed him at the UIC elite camp; came-up sick in recent weeks, so I wasn’t able to view him lately. He left a lasting impression the last time out
  3. Deshawn Jackson 6-2 G LM+-LM Peoria High – Looking for a versatile skilled back-court player, look no farther, he’s vastly underrated, makes plays & heady. Western IL, Bethune Cookman, Eastern IL, SUI-E should pursue.
  4. Anthony D’Avanzo 6-7 F LM+-LM Niles Notre Dame – A mobile front-courter with sneaky athleticism and an offensive game that is starting to take shape. He likely could end up at U. Cal Davis.
  5. Marcus Latham 6-1 G LM+-LM Alton – This left hander can really dial-it-up offensively whether attacking or knocking-down perimeter shots. He’s more of a scorer than a playmaker right now. Eastern IL, Western IL, Bethune Cookman, Chicago St & Jacksonville St should pursue.

2016 Early Verbals

2016 Early Verbals
C.J. Duff
Western Illinois University
Isaiah Roby
Dixon H.S.
University Nebraska
Rapolas Ivanaukas
Barrington/Brewster Academy
Northwestern University
Devin Gage
Chicago Curie
DePaul University
Matty Smith
Central Michigan University
Barrett Benson
Hinsdale South
Northwestern University
Brendon Gooch
Belleville Althoff
Southern Illinois University
Nate Kennell
Bradley University
Noah McCarty
Northern Illinois University
Elijah Goss
Plainfield East
Jarrin Randle
Chicago Morgan Park
Western Michigan University
Zach Hollywood
James Madison University 

Mid September 2015 Report

Mid September 2015 Report

There is a dark cloud over Chicago that is getting increasingly difficult to ignore.  As the summer comes to a close murders are up 21% in the city from last season.  The school system is mired in a monumental budget crises, there could be 1,500 staff Layoffs, while city estimates a $1.1 billion budget deficit for the next school year.  The mayor is seeking a massive property tax hike to make a $500 million pension payment due to the city’s firefighters and police.  But it’s hard to ignore the grim mayhem weekly in the city streets, violence seems to erupt regularly, “this time someone we knew oh-so close was a victim”, Bogan 2015 graduate Deionte (Tae) Harris was gunned-down Sunday morning (Sept. 20) in an ever dangerous Auburn-Gresham community in the city.  In just another senseless shooting in a neighborhood tainted by a gang war supposedly divided between two separate factions.  Harris was a current member of the Olive Harvey Community College squad.  He was a reserve point-guard on Bogan’s city championship team.  “Tae who he was affectionately known was a popular figure around the Chicago hoop scene.”  Harris’ slaying was sadly another tale of a seemingly endless violence that’s become part of our city’s backdrop.  “You know depravity has hit a new low when dismembered body parts of a toddler was recently discovered in a city park lagoon.”  Police don’t have a clue whom the child might be.  We are not happy about the dark cloud that hovers over our city.  “Tae a great kid will be missed, but never forgotten.”

Mike Deane and James Madison quietly swept through the Kankakee area and nabbed Bradley-Bourbonnais six foot nine inch forward Zach Hollywood, a top 25-30 prospect in the 2016 class, the slender face-up shooter with a smooth game has often been projected to be one of the players in a thin 2016 group that will blossom in the right-setting collegiately.  “I like when programs like James Madison, Old Dominion, Texas-El-Paso, Rice, Washington St, SMU, Central Florida, Bethune can wiz in here and identify untapped talent and sign a kid without over examining him.”  Hollywood is a perfect example.

Last week University of Illinois received some news they’d greatly been awaiting, a commitment from anyone of the 4-star point-guards they have been courting.  A missing piece in a potential potent line-up the last couple of seasons, taking nothing away from Simeon alum and current Illini guard Jaylon Tate.  Te’jon Lucas from Milwaukee Washington H.S. is listed as a 5 foot 11 playmaker.  Lucas had offers from Memphis, Old Dominion, Purdue.  Historians mention Lucas could be the first Wisconsin product to suit-up in an Illini uniform next season in 89 years.

Simeon’s highly senior guard Zach Norvell will be shelved for another three-four weeks with a leg injury.  Oregon, Georgetown, Gonzaga may be where he’s angling.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Top 10 Performers at the Event

The Top 10 Performers at the Event

  1. Micah Bradford    6-0    SR    PG    MM    Bradley Bourbonnais – “He showed why he will be one of the top unsigned seniors in the state come spring.  He dazzled the audience.”
  2. Nare Kennell    6-5    SR    WG    MM    Metamora – “Shot the piss-out-of-it in big games, the Bradley recruit led his team to the title.”
  3. George Willbourn    6-3    SR    WG    MM    De LaSalle – “Did everything for his team, but drive the team bus, he averaged close to 25 each outing.”
  4. James Jones    6-3    SR    WG    MM    Chicago Bogan – “Against East St. Louis he demonstrated why he is often considered one of the top 10 players in the 2016 class.”
  5. Tajuan Agee    6-7    SR    WF    MM    Chicago Hyde Park – “The lanky late bloomer showed versatility & the ability to score outside or inside, he’s vastly underrated, his value will increase as the season approaches.”
  6. Caleb Coleman    6-6    JR    F    MM    Hammond High (IN) – “A highly regarded athlete in Indiana.  He is one entertaining performer with a bright future.”
  7. Marcus Latham    6-2    SR    PG    MM-LM+    Alton H.S. – “One of the more unknown commodities in the 2016 class, the lefty torched the open division field.  He’s a pure scorer OVC, Summit, MAC Conferences should take a look immediately.”
  8. Matthew Brown Jr.    6-0    FR    G    ?    St. Joseph-Kenosha (WI) – “This 14 year-old phenom was spectacular, he can score in a variety of ways, he looks to be a special talent.  He was blowing by defenders.”
  9. Darrius Martin    6-6    JR    WF    MM    Bettendorf (IA) – “A one-time Moline H.S. prized prospect; Martin is a finisher he played well in some marquee match-ups, shot the ball well, handled it and had about 8 dunks at the event.  A Missouri Valley recruit.
  10. Deshawn Jackson    6-3    SR    G    LM+    Peoria High – “An unknown prospect who we first saw in early March, Jackson is a solid-all-around prospect, finishes with both hands at the rim, very good on the ball defender.  A combo now but his future could be at PG and he’s a respectable outside shooter.  Murray St, Eastern IL, Western IL have started to take notice.
Lemont’s terrific junior guard P.J. Pipes out dueled Alton’s Marcus Latham in one game where he went for 27 points, Latham blistered the nets for 24 points.  Pipes was just off a visit from Northern Illinois on Saturday.  Unknown 6-2 guard Demitric Young a junior from Sterling H.S. had 23 in a game versus Latham’s group also.  One of the bright surprises of the open division was the play of Peoria Central combo guard Deshaun Jackson a wiry performer who plays at a good pace & has a solid understanding of the game.  He was a top 10 nominee.  Zion-Benton’s six foot three junior guard Rod Henry was impressive in his only game, he came for one but had a school commitment at Orr H.S.  Former Moline player who now suits-up at Bettendorf High-School in Iowa Darrius Martin a six foot six versatile wing was really good.  Skilled, capable of being utilized in multiple roles at both ends.  Martin can score as well as finish plays at the rim.  Brandon McCombs, Jacksonville 6-7 front-courter played well, he rebounded, ran the floor and finished plays at the rim.  I hadn’t seen him before, but he’s now on the board in a talented 2017 class.  Brandon looks like a low division one recruit.  Sophomore Daylan Williams from Danville a chiseled 6-5 well rounded scoring threat, this kid is certainly a top 10-15 player in the 2018 class.  We will view him again soon.  I hear he’s a gym rat.  Josiah Wallace from Marshall (IL) one of my favorites in the 2017 class was off the mark in one of the games with his shooting particularly when he was matched-up against Micah Bradford, but he was stellar in his other three ball games.  Proviso West junior gunner Emanual Cross shot a lot of balls and looked like he was enjoying himself, he’s a kid I need to see again.  We were impressed with Marquan “Bay Bay” Williams’ leadership skills and his ability to make shots.  He was hurt after the second game.

Special Mention Top Performances:  Cameron Gross 6-4 JR Oak-Park, Brice Barnes 5-9 SR Bogan, Jaylan Catledge 6-3 JR Richards, Noah Persich 5-9 JR Metamora, Michael Adams 6-4 SR Metamora, Rafael Cruz 6-2 JR Von, Marquise Chairs 5-8 SR East St. Louis, P.J. Pipes 6-1 JR Lemont, Logan Windeier 6-8 JR Manteno, Jamal Nixon 6-4 JR Fenwick, Josiah Wallace 6-3 JR Marshall (IL), Brandon McCombs 6-7 JR Jacksonville, Daylan Williams 6-5 SO Danville, Conner Fuller 6-4 SR Oak-Park, Dwayne McClendon 6-5 JR Hammond High.

We would like to recognize some guys who helped make this event successful.  They are the real crime fighters of grass-roots basketball and they demonstrate it on a regular basis with their passion for helping student athletes in their respective areas.  Jeff Duncan, Steve Lamberti, Marlon London, Corey Taylor, Dexter, Max, Verdell Jones.

Open Division Showcase -Continued

The open division showcase was head-lined by some dazzling performances, right at the top of it all was Bradley Bourbonnais ultra smooth point-guard Micah Bradford, labeled by many as one of the top attractions at our 22nd Annual Showcase and he proved it immediately draining 26 points with 4 treys against a talented group of juniors who challenged him defensively.  Josiah Wallace, Darrius Martin & Co. then he went 20 pts in his last outing.

Six foot eight junior Logan Windeier was impressive, he continues to show signs of being a legitimate division one mid-major recruit, the smooth left-hander is considered be in the top 8 slot with strong forwards in the 2017 class, he can play on the perimeter or interior effectively and recorded 21 points in one contest.

Bishop Mac’s Jalen Chavers sparkled; Zac Hollywood was his usual self, steady and crisp the 6-9 slenderly build forward has James Madison in Virginia as one of his top choices; 6-8 freshman T.J. Wicks looks like a diaper dandy, he hails from Kankakee H.S.

Example Sports CEO Barry Bradford has done a tremendous job of solidifying/securing the top players in the Kankakee & South of the I-57 Corridors.

With the B group comprised of kids from Central Illinois, Champaign Central’s smooth sophomore guard Bailey Dee, he performed with so much poise & experience, he’s going to be a dandy.  6-5 junior Zac Griffith was an intriguing prospect, he goes to Fisher H.S., we need to see him again.

Champaign Centrals’ Calogeno Dawson a 5-5 mighty-might stunned viewers with his play, he ran the team while making good decisions.  He consistently knocked-down his mid-range jumper.
“The lil fellow has mad squabbles.”  Fellow Central mate Kamron Reaves was solid, the six foot one rapidly improving junior is a good mid-range shooter, plays under-control and has nice speed & quickness.  We need to see more of him.  Now Doug Wallen is a 6-5 junior south-paw from St. Thomas More  H.S. out of Champaign who we feel might be one of the sleepers in the deep 2017 class has a knack for scoring particularly 15 ft & in.  He’s a modern-day-reincarnation of Baltimore Bullet’s Jack Marin a 6-7 small forward from Duke who played in the NBA late sixties and early-mid 1970’s, Marian finished his career with 12,451 points (14.8 –career average), he now practices sports law in the Richmond, VA area (Yes, I saw him play a lot). Wallen, possess some of the same resemblances as a young player and he’s a bright student.

Will Clausel out of Newark a tough minded 6-4 utility player showed the ability to knock-down shots & provide clutch plays, he’s likely a division two recruit, certainly a scholarship athlete.

Dante Hemsouvanh a 5-9 guard from Champaign Central caught my eye with his quickness and strong ball-handling as well as his court awareness.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

More 2015 Showcase

More 2015 Showcase

North-Side Lincoln Park will always hold a special place in my heart, they have a new direction in the arrival of enthusiastic head-coach Pat Gordon who was a one-time assistant at the Lincoln Park where he witnessed the glory days when they regularly produced Division One talent.

The Lions were competitive at the 2 day event, mustering up 5 games, winning two, while dropping a couple of close ones.  The team featured a cast of Ibrahim Dosunmu a 6-6 senior and a small college gem, junior silky-smooth Alec Brent, super quick junior point-guard Marco Lewis 6-4, junior scorer Bryce McGill and promising sophomore guard Julius Francellino and the powerful lefty Jalen Louie now a senior, this line-up gives Gordon something to build on.  Von Steuben another Red North Division foe performed well on Saturday, the Panthers only played 3 games but in all honesty the group was likely looking ahead to their Whitney Young fall opener in the more camaraderie environment.

Von Steuben got heated over some officiating issues particularly in their close game versus De LaSalle when they lost a double digit lead in the second half.  Junior guard Rafael Cruz was dynamite, he nabbed 11 pts vs Metamora, 25 in a victory over Lake Park 37-28 and finished with 11 markers in a loss to De LaSalle 50-49.  I’m hoping for nothing but wonderful things for Von’s longtime coach/GM Vince Carter who I consider my friend and one of the finer ambassadors we have for our game at the grass-roots level.  When Carter hurled some ref issues at me after the game “I’m like oh geez”, but it just goes to show no one is exempt from emotionally harboring ill feelings with officials at times.  5-10 junior guard Tyrus Jenkins played well as did fellow junior Edward Nwakego a 6 footer, part of the trio of scorers in their talented back-court.

Lake Park a perennial contender in the DuPage Conference, many local hoop diehards don’t realize the Lancer’s were a minute away from beating Geneva to advance downstate 4A.  Coach Josh Virostko consistently has his troops battle tested late in the season, that’s a mark of a good coach.  It ain’t-like-he-has-division one dudes every autumn.  His kids play hard and get better as the season progresses, we are always excited to get Josh’s Lake Park squad, he’s the 2nd call we make as we start to prepare for this event.

I’m proud to say Coach Josh Virostko is alum of the storied Illinois Warrior program many people aren’t aware of his profile, he’s from Paris (IL) was a 4 year starter for his high-school team, performed in the back-court with Morgan Park’s Nick Irvin for the Warriors powerful summer of 1996 squad that featured the likes of Melvin Ely(6-9 Fresno State), Marcus Griffin(6-9 Illinois), Sergio McClain(6-4 Illinois), Rich Beyers(6-8 Illinois/IL State), La Darryl Billingsley(6-6 Tulane), Lonnie Holland(6-5 Southern U.), Mark Veshaw(6-8 Wisconsin), Jason Jenkins(6-6 Valpo), Kevin Jones(5-9 Nebraska-Omaha), and Springfield native 6-4 Steve Dixson (one of my all-time favorites and one of the most exciting finisher we’ve seen in recent memory in Illinois).  Virostko went on to play college ball at Lewis University where he was a 3 year starter, “blah, blah, blah”.

Kenny Bogus a 6-4 senior swingman and 6-3 Bailey Vance bring senior leadership to a tough team.  Wendell Jeffries’s East Aurora team made their fourth consecutive appearance to our fall event.  His kids play hard and are well coached and I’ve valued my relationship with him, he’s managed to stay relevant since the post Ryan Boatright era.  Jeffries boasts a line-up of a trio of jet quick guards Michael Stewart a 5-11-JR, Immanuel Palmer 5-11-SR and Maurice Nichols a promising 6-1 slashing scorer he’s a junior while freshman Treavon Brown looks like he will be the next stud in the proud tradition of the East Aurora program.

The Plainfield Central team are in the reinventing stages with their program, Steve Lamberti every few years has a hidden gem that surfaces such as a Derrick Marks (2011 grad played at Boise State).  Junior guard Sedrick Brooks always looks solid as does senior Eric Davis and 6-4 veteran Justin Windt.  We are very appreciative of our friends at Plainfield Central.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

2015 showcase Continued

2015 showcase Continued

Capping off-the-rest of the high-school division results, there were some teams as well as individual performances that left a mark on observers during our 2 day event, Hammond High out of Indiana guided by Larry Moore Jr, a former All-Catholic league stand-out at St. Francis DeSales had his team in the thick of things despite of a slow start dropping his first 2 games to Fenwick 22-18 and Hyde Park 45-35 but redeemed themselves nicely to finish 2nd in the pool and advance to the semis before bowing out to De LaSalle.  Hammond High showed-up with some players led by the athletic tandem of highly regarded 6-6 junior Caleb Coleman a high-flying leaper who can ignite an audience with his high-wire-act (4 dunks vs. Richards on Sunday) and 6-5 junior Dwayne McClendon, in addition to six foot seven senior John Wilson.  Coleman had a stellar performance versus Richards H.S. where he registered 20 points and several highlight reel dunks.  McClendon is a deadeye perimeter shooter, while the rapid rising Wilson will need a junior college after the season.  Oak-Lawn’s Richard’s High-School came in relatively unknown but left Plainfield with a respectable identity.  Former H.F. grad Javon Mamon led his unheralded group that lost to Hammond 52-46 in the highly contested playoff game.  6-3 junior swingman Jaylan Catledge was superb in 4 games, he recorded 14, 17, 18, 17.  The silent assassin averaged 17.8 as a sophomore, Div I, mid-majors are starting to take notice of his athletic feats.  Mamon, one of our bright young coaches we have in the area will have this program at the top of the South-Suburban Red division in a short period, watch for freshman point-guard Sean Willis.  Bogan who has been one of the cities elite programs the last 6 or 7 years brandished their noted trademark, tough hardnosed team play.  East St. Louis had them on their heels early in the heated battle Saturday night, but Bogan prevailed forcing the flyers into numerous miscues, the Bengals finished them off 52-40.  The only game Bogan lost was a quarter-final match-up to eventual tourney champion Metamora 53-35.  Some of us suspect the Bengals had a prior engagement at the Whitney Young fall league, so bouncing out of the Plainfield area was a priority, but we’ve always appreciated Arthur Goodwin’s & his crew’s support.  James Jones, Bogans six foot three guard was terrific, he had his arsenal on full display in the East St. Louis contest demonstrating why he is one of the top ten players in the 2016 class.  His jumper was deadly off-the-bounce, something he worked hard on over the summer as well as his ball-handling.  Bryce Barnes was brilliant, quarter-backing his team, and he looked awfully confident.  I hope he finds the right fit at the next level.  East St. Louis made the track in with newly appointed head-coach Phil Gilbert a one-time Flyer star who graduated in 2000 with famed team-mate Darius Miles.  Gilbert had a dynamite career with the Bradley Braves.  The local son will push the program to thrive for excellence, I see him being nothing but successful at his alma-mater.  The Flyers have an abundance of gifted athletes led by point-guard Marquise Chairs and senior swingman Antonio Johnson.  Highly acclaimed big-man Jeremiah Tilmon, the no. 1 2017 prospect in the state didn’t make the trip.  He was on an unofficial visit in Illini Country, no qualms regarding that.  These guys have a world of talent in which they displayed, it’s just a matter of sharing the ball and eliminating mistakes.  Gilbert had them playing hard, they lost by one to De LaSalle 47-46 in the quarters.  Hyde Park migrated to Plainfield with a talented laden line-up and was impressive all weekend, but suffered a heart-breaking loss to Metamora 53-52 in the semis in which they spent an awful amount of time sulking about officiating.  Coach Samuels and his staff do a good job but have to dig a little deeper with building a culture that exhibits discipline and heady play while establishing a foundation for winning, but also developing their players and eliminating the stigma of being snake-bitten in big games.  Thunderbirds have a future stud in late bloomer Tajuan Agee a 6-7 senior who is multi-talented and showed it with 15 points and stellar floor-play versus Hammond High in pool play.  Fenwick made their appearance at the event opening some eyes in Saturday’s action.  Jamal Nixon and Ivy League recruit Mike Ballard were superb, but 6-7 forward/center Charlie Boyle was a surprise, he was mobile, ran the floor, finished plays at the rim, made some face-up baskets and showed some athleticism.  “Mike Smith was a no show.”  Nixon appeared both days, the six foot four junior guard played well each outing (He’s a great kid).  Farragut came out and joined us after playing in the storied Nike Back to School bash that Forrest Harris operates, they’d already played 2 games prior to their arrival.  Even though they were fatigued, they came out and supported us.  Dulan Scott a six foot two senior guard and 6-8 senior Tawon Keith played fairly well in spurts.  We will have to evaluate them at another time.  Even coaches Nelson & E were tired!  “Now six foot two junior guard Darnell Jones caught my eye in a contest that the Admirals lost to Oak-Park at the buzzer 50-48.”  Jones is skilled and knows how to play and has a strong body.  We will view this group again soon.  Oak-Park-River-Forest was the surprise team in my eyes, Cameron Gross is vastly underrated in a deep talented 2017 class, he has a powerful built at 6-4 and he’s a versatile athlete that can play inside or outside.  Conner Fuller hit a buzzer beater against Farragut, he’s a 6-2 combo guard that’s being courted by Roosevelt College as well as a few other division threes.  6-2 DeAndre Enoch was also a player to watch, he has good length and some nice skills.  Oak-Park was playing without several of their players who suits-up for football they will be a surprise team this season.   

Tomorrow we will continue the top team performances in the high-school division and then proceed to the top performances in the open individual play headlined by Micah Bradford and Darius Martin and young 14 year old phenom Matthew Brown Jr.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Illinois Spot-Lite’s 22nd Annual Fall Showcase

Illinois Spot-Lite’s 22nd Annual Fall Showcase

Championship Game

Metamora  53  -  De LaSalle  48

In a competitive spirited final, Metamora Red-Birds from Central Illinois out-lasted Catholic league under-dog De LaSalle in the inaugural 16 team school division title held at Plainfield Central High.  The Metamora squad avenged a Saturday lost to the Meteor’s when they got trampled 68-55.  Metamora was led by Bradley recruit Nate Kennell who showed he’s more than just a long-distance marksman.  He handled the ball effectively while driving by defenders, distributing to open-mates when the defense converged on him, he also rebounded well.  Kennell finished with 20 points in the final, Noah Perisch a junior transfer from Peoria Heights was impressive as well running the show for the Red-Birds.  De LaSalle’s George Willborn, a six foot three unsigned senior was terrific the entire event averaging close to 25 points in six games during the event, he tallied 21 in the final.  Senior Cristian Hayes chipped in with 15 markers.  Metamora played without highly touted transfer Dallas Morgan a 6-1 guard from Dunlap who averaged seventeen points an outing last season, he’s going through some red-tape issues with the IHSA.  The Red-Birds defeated Hyde Park by 55-53 in the semi-finals, a nail biting marred by sketching officiating both ways.  Metamora beat Bogan in the quarters 53-36. Kennell recorded 32 points.  De LaSalle advanced by knocking-off Hammond High (IN) 50-34 in the semis and dropping East St. Louis in a one point contest 47-46 in the quarters.  Congratulations to both teams for their sportsmanship and competitive play in light of some poor officiating the sensitivity of some of the refs in the western suburban area is something that needs to be addressed at another time.

More results and event updates to follow tomorrow!

Thursday, September 10, 2015



GM 1 11:30- POOL 1 1st VS POOL 2 2nd     CT 2
GM 2 11:30- POOL 1 2nd VS POOL 2 1st     CT 3
GM 3 12:30- POOL 3 1st VS POOL 4 2nd     CT 2
GM 4 12:30- POOL 3 2nd VS POOL 4 1st     CT 3
GM 5 1:30- GM1 VS GM 3    CT 2
GM 6 1:30- GM 2 VS GM 4    CT 3

16 Minute Halves

Clock Stops in the Last Minute 1st Half
Last 2 Minutes in 2nd Half Clock Stops
Clock Will Run with Large Margins - 15 & Above





Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Click HERE to download the brochure or the following is the same information in a different format.


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

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

Last Year’s Event Featured Some Good High-School Teams:
East Aurora
Chicago Leo
Chicago Julian
Plainfield Central
Glenbard East
Chicago Orr
De La Salle
East St. Louis
Niles Notre Dame
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:
Chicago Bogan
St. Joseph
Chicago Dunbar
Niles Notre Dame
Glenbard East
Lincoln Park
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

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
Teams. 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.

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.”




22nd Annual Illinois Fall Showcase

22nd Annual Illinois Fall Showcase
(Event Pointers)
“The Spot-Lite Event was ground-breaking event for fall hoop activities back in the early 90’s.”

We will tip off Saturday, September 12th with the high-school team format taking center stage at 3:30pm.  The school division will feature high-school programs from the southern & central part of the state, also joining the competitive field will be teams from our neighboring states Indiana and possibly Iowa.  The tournament alignment will resume play on Sunday morning with some key match-ups taking place as the team vie for the Spot-Lite Fall Championship.

Notable Teams Committed:  Metamora, Von Steuben, Lake Park, Fenwick, Farragut, Plainfield Central, East Aurora, De LaSalle, Lincoln Park, Thornridge, Springfield Lanphier, North Scott (Iowa), Hammond High (IN), Indianapolis Lawrence North, Decatur MacArthur, East St. Louis, Plainfield South, Hales Franciscan, Hyde Park, Richards, Willowbrook.

Sunday’s early matinee will feature blue chip prospects from across the state, most will strut in with their collection of press-clippings saddled in their backpacks.  We have a surplus of 2016 prospects arriving who will be out to prove they have been vastly under-evaluated with their recruitment.  Our 2017 and 2018 classes will be well represented by some notable young up & coming players.  Then there will be some 15-20 prospects who will be under the radar and this event will be their coming-out-party where they can make a splash and create some buzz/coverage for themselves.

The cozy Plainfield Central facility which houses 5 courts with spectator seating surrounding them.

On the premises:  Illinois Spot-Lite Scouting, ESPN-Chicago, Bulls Eye Prep, Illinois Prep Hoops, The Prep Round Ball Report, Suburban Hoops Report, Ballislife.com, buzzerbeating.com, Media News.

Division II, Division III and small colleges as well as junior colleges will be on-hand.

“This event will be a conducive to evaluating players.  It will be a quality event.  If you are a player and have college aspirations, you need to sign-up immediately!”

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Thursday/Friday Evening News – Sept. 3-4, 2015

Elyjah Goss a Plainfield East six foot seven forward gave Jason Gardner and the IUPUI program a verbal on Wed, 9/2/2015.  Goss labeled an untapped talent right now, but has a wealth of potential, he’s a superb athlete with improving skills.  He will be a major plus for their program as Gardner continues to build the blocks for a successful long-term run in his hometown of Indianapolis.

Lightening quick playmaker Martez Cameron latched-on late at Morgan State, the former De LaSalle stand-out spent his junior campaign at a prep-school in Florida.  Cameron should contribute immediately to Todd Bozeman’s Baltimore area program.

Despite of a drowsy spring/summer St. Joe’s Nick Rakocevic still has some household schools highly interested in his services:  Wisconsin, UCLA, Creighton and USC.  Nick is still considered a top 5 prospect in the 2016 class, right now he’s probably plagued by some immaturity issues.  “He will grow from a little turmoil this summer and mature from it.”

Talented 6-5 guard/forward Kevin Kreiger rolled the dice in July and came-up big, landing interest from schools like Cal Poly, UIC, Evansville, Princeton, South Dakota, Youngston State, Toledo, all cultivated from a sparkling showing in Las Vegas.  The Plainfield North sleeper elected to leave a safe secure setting with the “Taw Program” for greener pastures with the Mac Irvin Fire where he was able to enhance his profile.  Here at the Spot-Lite we have always been intrigued by Kreiger’s potential, so it wasn’t a surprise when we heard about his feats.  He’s a good athlete & capable perimeter shooter, but still needs to be more reliable on the outside.

Northern Illinois landed a commitment from 6-3 sharp shooter Nick Wagner out of Wisconsin today, 9/6/2015 which occurred on his official visit.  I really like how the Huskies have expanded their recruiting base, capitalizing on a 150 mile radius (Iowa & Quad Cities area, Indiana, Wisconsin, Rockford and the suburban areas of Chicago, then sprinkle in a city kid or two).  The Huskies successful years that was the demographic formula towards their winning culture/environment.  The fan base in Huskie land as well as the Chicago area masses will begin to see the residuals from Coach Mark Montgomery and his staff this season.

Metamora was elated regarding the arrival of six foot one Dallas Morgan from Dunlap where the senior averaged 16.9 markers per outing as a junior.  He and Nate Kennel and Co. can be seen at the Spot-Lite Fall Event, Sept. 12th & 13th in Plainfield.

Morgan Park’s 5-11 guard Jarrin Randle gave a verbal to Western Michigan during his visit over the weekend.  He could really develop into a special contributor for Steve Hawkins Bronco program, he’s a vastly improved player.