Sunday, January 26, 2020


• Antoine Bloxton 6-3 G MM Chicago Bogan
“Has to keep his focus remaining of the season.”

• Romelle Howard 6-8 F/C MM Lincoln Park
“Having a huge season, you can see his game evolving.”

• Damontae Taylor 6-5 WF MM Zion-Benton
“Very talented, just has to stay focus in the classroom.”

• Tremear Fraley 6-8 C LM+- Chicago Bogan
“Just staying on task on and off the court.”

• Sincere Callwood 6-6 PF LM+- Chicago Simeon
“Good lookin’ prospect, better days ahead.”

• Lavell Lundy 7-1 C ---- Chicago Wells
“A towering promising prospect, still in the development stages.”

• Maurice Clay 6-3 F ---- Hyde Park Academy
“Currently playing out of position, best days await.”

• Donovan Taylor 6-4 WF LM+ Chicago Fenger
“Lefty needs polish and discipline in moving forward. Has shown the ability to make shots.”



• Aquan Smart 6-4 G MM Niles North
“Dazzling audiences each outing with his scoring ability. One of our top performers in the Northern Suburbs.”

• Christian Shumate 6-5 F MM Bloom
“This high-riser has settled into the Trojans line-up, coming over from Plainfield East and now considered as one of the key players for his team. His performance was electrifying at the side’s collide venue last night registering 17 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks, & 4 vicious dunks in traffic.”

• Brandon Weston 6-5 WG MM Morgan Park
“He was playing at a high-clip early in the season, but his team’s recent tailspin hasn’t affected his approach nor much of his production. Respected outside shooter.”

• Jeremiah Williams 6-3 G MM Chicago Simeon
“Has that twinkle in his eye again after a slow start, making the adjustments to his new mates after coming over from St. Laurence. J. Williams is a flat-out hooper, Southern Illinois & Valpo closing in hard.”

• Jayson Kent 6-7 G/F MM Oak Forest
“Has recorded some big games of late, his size on the perimeter makes him a tough cover. He’s always been a reliable threat from the outside. Bradley University has begun to make a strong push, Northern Illinois has always been in his cards. Loyola-Maryland showing interest as well lately.”

• Tyler Beard 6-1 G MM Whitney/Young
“Enjoying a fine season where he’s been playing efficiently at both ends of the floor. He does compete at a high level.”

• Elijah Pickens 5-11 G LM+-LM Chicago Curie
“Has climbed the recruiting charts swiftly since Xmas, his high energy of play has fueled steam into one of the state’s top teams. Strong ball-handler and a tough on the ball defender. This kid can score slashing or making shots.”

• Micah Schnyder 6-4 G LM+-LM Yorkville Christian
“Slender prospect with slick ball-handling abilities will have his hands full on Sunday vs Lane Tech. Schnyder averages close to 25 a night and averages nearly eight dishes a game. Northern Illinois, Loyola-Maryland, and Central Conn have shown significant interest of late.”

NOTE: Jamere Hill 6-3 PG Joliet West – committed to University Toledo not long ago. His camp obviously failed to do their homework.”




• Bryce Hopkins 6-6 G HM 2 Fenwick
“Louisville recruit pumped in 37 points and 14 rebounds in a marquee match-up versus Mr. Christie Saturday night. He was daunting.”

• Max Christie 6-6 PG HM 1 Rolling Meadows
“Consensus top 20 nationally ranked prospect. Played with poise & precision in the side’s collide shoot-out vs Hopkins. Northwestern’s Chris Collins & staff was positioned up close.”

• Chris Hodges 6-8 PF HM 3 Schaumburg
“Wisconsin recruit has been a force in the paint all season and has lived-up to his lofty status. He’s going to be a really good College player.”

• Louis Lesmond 6-5 WG HM 4 Niles Notre Dame
“You can see some of his physical gifts. He hasn’t put the whole package together yet. Mentally understanding/learning how to insert himself during big games. Very talented though.”

• John Poulakidas 6-5 G/F HM 5 Neuqua Valley
“Left-hander put in one of top individual performances we’ve seen all year when he riddled Bolingbrook for 49 points in a road victory. J.P. should have had 60, he missed 6 free-throws and sat out most of two overtime periods with leg cramps. Notre Dame, Rutgers, Stanford, & Northwestern, where are you?”

• Isaiah Barnes 6-6 WG HM 6 Oak Park
“Sleek performer dropped 27 points at the Spot-Liter’s MLK Classic in a win versus Lincoln Way East. Good look’n prospect. Pac 12 needs to recruit this kid.”

• Troy D’Amico 6-7 F HM-MM+ 7 Niles Notre Dame
“Vastly undervalued, very versatile can play inside or outside exceptionally well. Good perimeter shooter & passer. Has those long arms which really makes him an effective rebounder & defender. Moving up the charts.”

• Tevin Smith 6-5 G MM+ 8 Danville
“Starting to really regain his form from an injury he suffered last spring. Smith has recorded some high-scoring outings several times this season. Recruitment picking-up.”

• Ahmad Bynum 6-2 G MM+ 9 Chicago Simeon
“Black-cat” did not serve much notice during the heavily viewed ‘sides collide shoot-out’. Just didn’t have any rhythm and wasn’t in much flow of the game. Re-set button needed!”

• Grant Newell 6-7 F MM+ 10 Whitney Young
“Top notch prospect currently plays in the shadows of other highly acclaimed teammates, so his number doesn’t always resonate with what his game entitles to. Look for a huge senior season.”

Note: Rockford Auburn’s Josh Ausler highly viewed in many hoop circles as a Top 5 high major prospect in 2021 Class has failed to do his academic work, so his tale is to be shared at a later time/year.


No. 10 Lincoln Park – 56 No. 13 Joliet West – 55
LP managed to escape Joliet Central in the top card of the evening, the Lions withstood a three-pointer at the buzzer by senior Tre’Vonta Hall to send the game into overtime, then the Lions had to hold their breath in OT when Jamere Hill’s three-pointer was on mark, but a shade long. Hill, who recently gave a verbal to Toledo, was marvelous down the stretch scoring 13 of his game high 22 points. Lincoln Park (16-3) still without a head coach Pat Gordon due to suspension, still has the ship rolling, received a stellar performance from 6-foot 8 Big Man Romelle Howard who was the difference with 15 points and 15 rebounds while patrolling the paint. Ismail Habib tallied 15, while Julio Montes had 11. Great game for viewers!

Oak Park – 73 Lincoln Way East – 69
Pretty rare for a West Suburban and South Suburban team to stroll into a South Side Public League gymnasium for physical scrappy square off. Junior Isaiah Barnes and Josh Smith combined for 49 points to propel the Huskies past Lincoln Way East in an entertaining affair that was close the entire game. East actually held a one-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter, but with under a minute left to play, Oak Park forced a turnover with score 67-63, that pretty secured the win for the Huskies. Lincoln Way East received 22 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, & 3 steals from junior guard Jhei-R Jones. Oak Park’s talented wing Isaiah Barnes finished with 27 points and rising prospect Josh Smith recorded 22 markers.

Chicago Crane – 62 Plainfield Central – 55
Crane, a West Side White Division Program, opened the game with a sizzling stretch where they drained 9 threes and ran out to a 41-13 lead, but then that pace eventually subsided to a 45-28 half-time score. Crane shot a scorching 11 for 13 from the three-point arc in the first half. The second half was totally a different vibe, Crane’s shooter was now covered closely, went 1 for 5 due to some adjustments from Central Coach Gregg Bayer who kept his squad in striking distance with heads up scrappy play and was able to close the gap to 57-54 with 1.30 left, but couldn’t finish several contested driving lay-ups. Crane sealed the game by knocking down foul shots. Senior Robert Hobbs led the Cougars with 18 points and 10 rebounds, 6-4 junior shooter Marcus Gaston tailed 16 points, forward Jimarius Sneed chipped in with 11. Central, who did not play bad at all throughout the contest, had to fight up-hill from such a huge early deficit because Crane was hitting on all cylinders. Central was led by senior guard Tavari Johnson 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals. Fellow senior guard Brandon Shoemaker finished with 16 & Javari Johnson at 11 points.

Chicago Phillips – 72 Hyde Park – 68 OVT
This battle was marked as two historical neighborhoods, Bronzeville versus Jackson Park colliding on MLK Day, my only hope was the tussle would not turn chippy. The Wildcats came into the game without a loss to Chicago area team all year. The contest was tight throughout with several lead changes, but with Phillips ahead 58-57 with the ball and 50.1 second remaining, Philips’s Coach Lawrence Briggs had the dubious distinction of receiving a technical, Hyde Park split the two free throws to tie the game, which went into overtime. The Thunderbirds missed 5 foul shots in OT which pretty much doomed their fate. Philips freshman guard Jaheim Savage was impressive he recorded 27 points and 10 rebounds, he’s definitely a top 10 first year player and one to watch. Un-signed senior 6-3 Keyon Joiner demonstrated he’s a marvelous passer who sees the floor extremely well netted 14 points & 7 assists, Davion Jordan added 14 points as well. Junior Jalen Houston finished with 13 points, freshman guard Raeshom Harris hit three 3s in the overtime period which kept the Thunderbirds close, led them in scoring with 19 points.

Hammond High (Ind) – 84 Peoria High – 59
The Wildcats trounced Peoria in our only disappointing/blow-out of the day, they veered into town not ready to play, which was so disheartening. Seemingly though this was pegged to be a barnburner, a great match up on paper. You would think that Lions would be prepared and ready to play in Chicago. It was obvious from the on-set that they weren’t ready, mostly due to the exhilarating performance of 6-foot 7 junior forward Darrell Reed who threw down 3 devastating flushes in the mist of traffic. This game was a wash by half-time with Hammond jumping out to a 42-23 cushions. The lone bright spot for Peoria was the determined play of 6-4 junior Dionsyious Hogan, he went for 21 points & 6 boards. Wildcats Coach Larry Moore Jr. had his team re-tooled and ready, they looked well in tuned from when we watched them in early December in a home-opener against Hyde Park where they dropped a close one. Moore’s group has vastly developed some identity since that debacle. Reed finished with 19 points, followed by senior guard Tim Wilder’s 18 points, junior Harold Woods added 14 points and senior Jamar Styles grabbed 8 rebounds & 11 points.

Chicago South Shore – 61 Walter Payton – 52

Two academic schools squaring off to open-up the venue, South Shore came into the game winners of the last 9 games and jelling at the right time. Coach Troy Farrow has done admirable job re-vitalizing the culture of his Program despite of being faced with numerous challenges daily. Now on the other side first year Coach Phil Gary Jr. is re-shaping his Program with resemblance of a youth movement, headed by talented freshman Luke Newhall, but presently senior Jabari Chiphe (23 points) is the leader and main go to guy. South Shore sophomore point guard Nathaniel Lee had a game high 25 points while hitting 5 three pointers. The game was close for a while, then the Tars went on a 25-9 run to take a 48-32 lead and the rest was history. Senior Small College gem Andre Stewart had 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks, sophomore wing Chris McDonald finished with 10 markers as well. Payton received 10 points from junior Eamon Glasscott.



Sunday, January 5, 2020


• Aquan Smart 6-4 G MM+-MM Niles North
“Top un-signed player, de-committed from East Tennessee State (likely so-tell me more) the slender slithery scorer is starting to embark on a path where some nights he will go for over 40. Interest is heating up.”

• Brandon Weston 6-5 G/F MM+-MM Morgan Park
“Not a hot flying athlete but he’s a sleek & cagey performer; jumper looks crisp with accuracy, most times he unleashes it. Arguably, has the best up-side of all his talented teammates.”

• Christian Shumate 6-5 F MM Bloom
“Athletic Plainfield East cast-off has been un-conscious in big games thus far. His play was un-foreseen initially coming over. High-level athleticism with a hooper’s mentality, which makes him a feared shot swatter as well as threat on the offensive window where tip-dunking is at a normalcy. OVC Conference perfect for his abilities.”

• Jayson Kent 6-7 G/F MM Oak Forest
“Coming off MVP honors at the Maine East Holiday Classic. Starting to ramp-up interest from schools out West as well as the East Coast. The ever sprouting/growing Kent looks like a player on the verge of bursting into a significant contributor in the next year or two on the Collegiate level.”

• Jeremiah Williams 6-4 G MM Chicago Simeon
“The St. Laurence transfer sputtered some in Pontiac while still finding his footing in the Simeon system. Still doesn’t look comfortable with his present mates. The strength in this hooper’s game is his overall ability to create opportunities in the open floor for others and himself. We haven’t seen much of it yet, but Missouri Valley schools are hot on his trails.”

• Jamere Hill 6-2 PG LM+LM Joliet West
“Good quickness where he’s shrewd at angles. Hill was heavily evaluated at Pontiac where he showed flashes of being a top-notch lead guard, and other times he deferred. Has the capabilities of scoring and knocking down foul shots late. The jury still pondering his true level.”

• Saiveon Williams 6-6 F LM+LM Chicago Curie
“Coming from the south, he still getting acclimated to the city brand of ball. In addition, rounding himself into playing shape. Good rebounder, shot blocker, has demonstrated a hooper’s mentality when it comes to competing in a high-level environment. Best basketball awaits.”

• Antoine Bloxton 6-3 G MM Chicago Bogan
“Slender fella can get buckets in a hurry, as he displayed when he recorded 33 points in a championship game at Proviso West. Juco route will likely be his initial journey. If he gets out of there unscathed, the sky is the limit.”

• Tyler Beard 6-1 G LM+-LM Whitney Young
“Solid player with some explosiveness and the ability to be a defensive stopper. Notably accepting his role as a valuable support/system player, will help him grow into the player he can become.”

• Micah Schnyder 6-4 PG LM+-LM Yorkville Christian
“Plays in the system that allows him to display his true gifts. Currently averages 26 points per outing & 9 assists. He’s sparkled in several games this season and is drawing interest from Northern Illinois and countless others including East Coast schools.”

• Dom Martinelli 6-4 G/F LM+LM Glenbrook South
“All-tournament at the swanky Wheeling Holiday Classic. Off the chart profile as a student athlete where he regularly posts double digit figures in points & rebounding. Dom is considered a stat stuffer who has over 30 on his ACT score. He has interest from schools from all over the map, we will be paying him a visit soon.”


  • PONTIAC – Curie’s two-year dominance at Pontiac has solidified their squad as one of the top 2 or 3 programs in the city. Many of us locals have been impressed with their continued growth throughout the last 5 years. The Condors got by No.1 Bloom 72-67 in the title game capturing back to back titles. Southeast Missouri recruit Ramean Hinton finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and five steals in the final, landing him MVP/sportsmanship honors. Joliet West loss to Curie 68-58 in the semi-finals, but indicated a statement to hoop followers around the state that come March they will be a serious threat at challenging for a sectional title. January 20th will be a big test for the 12-2 Tigers when they face off against highly regarded Lincoln Park in the Spot-Liter’s MLK Classic. 
  • HINSDALE CENTRAL – Homewood-Flossmoor captured the title, knocking off DePaul Prep in overtime 53-48. Tournament MVP RJ Ogom was a force. DePaul’s junior leader/point guard Ty Johnson continues to draw rave reviews with his productive floor game. He’s listed as one of the top playmakers in the 2021 Class. 
  • YORK – Bolingbrook won the prestigious Jack Tosh Holiday Classic getting pass the host team. Elon recruit Darius Burford was the tournament MVP, averaging nearly 23 markers in five games. York’s Nate Shockey (North Dakota signee) was stellar throughout the event averaging 23. The state’s No.2 prospect, junior Max Christie of Rolling Meadows, had a terrific showing as did Wisconsin recruit Junior forward Chris Hodges (Schaumburg). 
  • PROVISO WEST – Bogan regularly recognized as one of the elite programs in the Chicago area, has already notched victories over Morgan Park & Simeon, won the West tournament for the second consecutive year. Senior Antoine Bloxton scored 33 points in the Bengals route of Morton 71-52. Bogan received strong performances from senior swingman Kyndall Davis (Long Island recruit) and junior playmaker Darrion “DJ” Jones. Most of the tournament conversation centered around Proviso charted the “jaw dropping” performance of the state’s No.3 prospect, Fenwick junior Bryce Hopkins. He averaged 29 per outing, Bryce is becoming a special talent. 
  • WHEELING – Niles Notre Dame was the marquee squad at this ritzy venue. Evanston transfer Louis Lesmond has established himself as a top 5 prospect in the 2021 class. The six-foot five snipper had several exhilarating moments where he electrified the sometimes-snooty audience. Notre Dame should be regarded as one of our area’s top teams, most folks do not know they bounced Bogan at the D Rose Classic with its lone defeat a few weeks ago. The North Shore program will be dangerous and difficult to derail come March, especially behind the play of juniors Troy D’Amico and Anthony Sayles, while senior forward Jason Bergstrom (Illinois-Springfield recruit) gives them the necessary leadership and outside shooting they need. Glenbrook South standout Dom Martinelli sparkled and was named to the All-tourney team, along with Niles North high scoring guard Aquan Smart, the top un-signed senior in the state.
  • CENTRALIA – Evanston ventured down to Southern Illinois and forged together just enough unity to run out of there with astonishing championship victory over the host team. The Wildcats are off to 14-0 start, fueled by the play of juniors Jaylin Gibson, Blake Peters, and slippery general Isaiah Holden.
  • JACOBS – The Hinkle Holiday Classic held out in northwest suburban Algonquin watched Waubonsie Valley win the title behind senior forward Marcus Skeete’s 41 points and the play of junior standout Ben Schwieger to get by Cary Grove 78-65. Cary’s Beau Frericks (Lewis University) had 24 points and Belmont recruit Frank Jakubicek tallied 16. Payton’s un-signed senior forward Jabari Chiphe impressed landing All-tourney honors. 
  • BIG DIPPER – Tai Streets has his Thornton program off to a hot start. The Wildcats had some traction heading into the Holidays, brandishing victories over Bloom and Bolingbrook before running the tide on opponents at Rich South where they seem to steam roll everyone by a twenty-point margin. Junior guard Brandon Hall is emerging as a budding stand-out.
  • COLLINSVILLE – Mundelein made the trek to the metro east area of our state and ran into tournament MVP RaySean Taylor. The six-foot one Collinsville’s guard is a legitimate assassin as he illustrated during much of the event. This Southern Illinois Edwardsville recruit is worth the price of admission and is primed to garner first team all-state votes in a couple of months. 


Entering year two with a vision that will incorporate our brand in growth towards adding the necessary ingredients to propel our MLK event to be recognized as one of the premier Classics in the Midwest.


11:00am – Walter Payton vs South Shore
12:30pm – Peoria High vs Hammond High (Ind)
2:00pm – Plainfield Central vs Chicago Crane
3:30pm – Lincoln Way East vs Oak Park
5:00pm – Joliet West vs Lincoln Park