A Cast of Unheralded Juniors – 2017
“We’ve created a list of guys who have moonlighted in the shadows of others most of the season, but likely when things shake-out they will be pursued and coveted by the likes of mid-majors.”
Mark Taylor 6-6 SF MM Chicago Francis Parker – The kid erases double digit shot attempts nightly. He just finished a week where he recorded 26 points and 11 rebounds & 6 blocks versus North-Shore Country Day. He went up against De LaSalle where he tallied 22 points, very good athlete, and his offensive game is rounding into form. Ivy League and Patriot League starting to take notice.
Cameron Gross 6-4 G/F MM Oak-Park – Recently all-tournament at Rockton Hononegah MLK Classic, averages 18 points and 8 rebounds, shoots close to 60% from the field. Team leader in all those categories, was all-tournament at Pontiac; “a punishing athletic scorer”.
Noah Perisich 6-0 PG MM-LM+ Metamora – One of the true game setters we have regardless of class, sets the table for a 16-1 squad. Noah is strong with the ball, makes good decisions. Deadly mid-range shooter, he has excellent quickness and he’s a stout defender. A substantially good spring could land him a division one offer. “A system type player!”
Marvin Bateman 6-5 WG MM Belleville Althoff – The Althoff squad has a date with Chicago Kenwood next weekend at the O’Fallon Shoot-Out. Bateman is one of the state’s top marksmen. “When the slender shooter releases an attempt you can almost say money.” Every good team covets a specialist such as Bateman, sure he needs to get stronger and exhibit some ball handling ability, but he’s a pivotal component for the state’s No. 2 team in 3A.
Logan Windeier 6-9 F MM Manteno – “The big fella has some talent, just coming off from being shelved with hip injury most of the season. Windeier will draw college coaches in droves come spring, he can score inside or outside.” And yes, we will over-examine if he’s tough enough. (Strangling, over-examining/over-the-top highly stressed college coaches.) We love where his future could cart him.
Rashaad Johnson 5-11 G ? Oak-Lawn – Vastly unknown outside the south suburban red division. He’s a slick 3 year letterman, averages 16.2 per outing – cashes in at the charity stripe at 86% clip; second in the conference in three point shooting. “This kid is a gamer, time will tell where he best fits in terms of level.
Jaylan Catledge 6-3 G/F MM Richards – Also suits-up in the South-Suburban Red League, can be a daunting talent some nights. Went for 25 points & 13 rebounds versus Eisenhower a week ago. We will view him Tuesday night against Bloom.
Tyler Chism 6-3 G MM Proviso East – Starting to mount himself into rhythm after a slow start. He’s been socked by some poor foul shooting nights, but he can be an electric talent at times. He’s terrific with the ball, capable of scoring in a variety of ways and we view him as a can’t miss mid-major recruit in 2017 class as long as his academics stay on par.
Brandon McCombs 6-7 F MM-LM+ Jacksonville – A gangly scorer, has surprising athleticism, battles on the block, faces-up from 12-15 ft. well. We first saw him in September at the Illinois Spot-Lite Exposure Event where he was outstanding. He went on to put together a dynamite season thus far; Brandon was named to the all-tournament team at Centralia. Friday night he will be tested in a big game setting versus Springfield Southeast at home.
Terry Smith Jr. 6-5 SF MM-LM+ Chicago Curie – Potential match-up nightmare, a powerful athlete, undersized baseliner. Reminds me of some past brute strong interior guys we used to produce in the area. Terry attacks the glass with authority, offensively he uses both hands at the window, more notably he tries to flush everything in reach. Limited now on the perimeter; good student, guys like Smith used to land at UIC, Loyola, Bradley, Ill-State; now days he might be a target for Valpo & Northern Ill, Chicago State.
The 2016 class already labeled as one of Illinois weaker crops in recent years took a hit this season when two Central Illinois hardwood throbs were bounced from their respective teams. 6-5 swingman Jerry Myles out of East Moline was regarded by many of us as a top 5 prospect in the class, now slender six foot eight high-plains drifter between Champaign Central & Centennial programs A.J. Beckett was viewed as top 25-30 prospect. “My late dear friend Wayne McClain once told me, with some work Beckett could one day be laboring as an NBA player!” And Wayne knew talent! Both of those guys have carved-out the journeyman tag, attending various high-schools and it’s been difficult for the two of them to stay on course academically. Hopefully we will find them in the junior college ranks in the next year or two. Interesting dynamics in the middle of our state, hustling & survival tactics happens in all pockets of our area.