Wednesday, April 15, 2020


This next layer of guys we are identifying did gain some experience on the varsity and played well in spurts.

• Ronald Chambers 5-10 G/F North Lawndale – “Strong body slasher.”

• Jake Hamilton 6-2 G/F Sacred Heart Griffin – “2nd Team All-Conference.”

• Jalen Griffith 5-9 PG Chicago Simeon – “A speedster.”

• Xavier Sulaiman 6-2 G Marist

• Darrion Baker 6-6 F St. Rita

• Lidell Miller 6-5 PF Morgan Park – “A physical bruiser.”

• Davius Loury 6-7 G/F Chicago Simeon

• Bryce Tillery 5-7 PG Hillcrest – “Nifty with some wiggle to his game.”

• Raeshon Harris 6-2 G Hyde Park – “Will likely transfer to Bloom.”

• K.J. Cobb 6-2 G Hillcrest

• Santana Miller 6-1 G Hyde Park – “Promising.”


We’re hopeful for a banner class with this group. After the virus shut downplay, we have nothing but time for optimism. These are the guys on our grid so far:

• Javonte Taylor 6-7 WF 1 Morgan Park
“Slender lad is arguably the No.1 player in the Class, J.J. has some offensive ability, just needs to add some pounders to his frame. A budding standout… If Nick Irvin departs, which is rumored, anticipate this kid to be on the move.”

• Dalen Davis 5-11 PG 2 Whitney Young
“Had an eye-popping outing in Young’s huge Sectional Semi-final win over Simeon. His floor game has started to flourish to where he was performing with wealth of confidence. Capable of taking & making big shots. Has that old Chicago throwback hooper mentality.”

• Jeremy Fears Jr. 5-10 G 3 Joliet West
“Played huge minutes for one of the state’s top teams. Exhibited moxie & unforeseen ability to lead, which is surprising for a young player today. In the upcoming year we will see more of his offensive skills. Impressive first year.”

• Macaleb Rich 6-5 WF 4 East St. Louis
“Explosive wing with superb athleticism, displayed the ability to shoot the ball on the perimeter some. Started a significant amount of games on the varsity this past season. Regarded as the top young prospects in the Metro East Area.”

• Asa Thomas 6-4 G 5 Lake Forest
“Unassuming lookn’ baller until he goes out and sprays defenders for long range threes. A gym rat who’s a two-sport standout and excels in golf. Awfully mature for first year letterman, he possesses that calming presence on the floor. Double digit scorer who led the freshmen class in points recorded. One of the best young prospects in the North Shore.”

• Marcus Pigram 6-1 G 6 Whitney Young
“A wiry smooth player who values education. Enjoyed a terrific season on the sophomore level where he gave defenders fits and observers a full viewing of his versatility & ability to score. A nice prospect.”

• Donaven Younger 6-7 WF 7 Bolingbrook
“Rangy prospect with good length, expends most of his time now on the perimeter where he’s a feared threat at the 3-point arc. Potential is enormous, the seed that’s barely been watered is the willingness to rebound and play defense.”

• Cameron Willford 5-10 PG 8 Lincoln Park
“We were extremely impressed with his poise and the ability to lead/manage. Silky-smooth floor game, potential to be a double-digit scorer & distributer. Doesn’t get rattled or sped up. We are high on his potential.”

• Damarion Wyatt 5-11 G 9 North Lawndale
“Exciting young player with an arsenal of offensive tools. Highly regarded hooper on the Chicago West Side, potential to be a high scorer. A throwback resembling some of the past West Side back court players.”

• Darrin “Dai Dia Ames 6-0 G 10 Morgan Park
“Lefty with a big heart, he’s in line to be the next back court standout at Morgan Park. Played significant amount of time on the varsity where his numbers were marginal. Was lethal on the sophomore circuit.”

• Khalil Ross 6-5 F 11 Lincoln Way East
“Sleek southpaw with a hooper’s mentality; slasher/good athlete with the ability to rebound & block shots. Offensive-minded threat. Observers in the South Suburbs are high on this youngster, including his Coach.”

• Jackson Kotecki 6-6 F 12 St. Ignatius
“Promising prospect with a very good skill-set & has a solid feel for the game. Was a contributor on the varsity as his team made a surprising late season run.”

• Tevonta Jackson 6-1 PG 13 Springfield Lanphier
“Silver quick general sees the floor extremely well, had a really good season on the varsity where he had an opportunity to gain some valuable minutes & experience. Held his own in some big game settings. First saw him at the Pangos in October where he played well.”

• Mekhi Cooper 5-9 G 14 Bolingbrook
“Rotated between the sophomore and varsity team most of the season. Served as a spark in several games down the stretch. This kid shoots the long ball with accuracy.”

• Ethan Kizer 6-5 F 15 Metamora
“Highly touted in Central Illinois; this slender prospect gets wave reviews from hoop observers in that area. Ethan has shown an array of all-around offensive ability, he just needs to get stronger. He was hurt when we viewed his team early in the season so he’s definitely on our watch list once play resumes.”

• Aries Hull 6-7 F 16 Home School (Flossmoor)
“Performed really well when we spotted him at the Pangos. We considered him to be one of the better local players we saw there. He had a nice floor game, looked really smooth, made some shots & plays, and gave us a glimpse of what his talents could look like in a year or two. The last dims we had on him was home school.”

• Ty Pente 6-4 WG 17 St. Joseph-Ogden
“This youngster gets a lot of pub from his area. He’s gained a reputation for being an extraordinary leaper. We need to see more of him and his game.”


Presently this is what we have on our grid thus far.


• Chris Hodges 6-8 HM PF 3 Schaumburg
“Competitive ball player, Wisconsin recruit has had a banner season, All-State caliber. Fits the Badger profile with his work ethic and ability to compete at high-level. He is a monster at times along the backlines. Perimeter skills starting to show signs of improvement.”

• Troy D’Amico 6-7 MM+-MM F 7 Niles Notre Dame
“Has a unique skill set that gives him the luxury of playing out on the perimeter some. Was impressive all season, a marvel of consistency. This kid has the ability to drag defenders out on the perimeter where he consistently knocks down shots. Does possess some range. Clever passer finds the open-man, not overly athletic but compensates with hardnose/toughness, high b-ball I.Q. will be heavily sought after.”

• Grant Newell 6-7 MM+-MM F 9 Whitney Young
“Promising prospect showed many of us intuitive observers a glimpse of what his future could look like. Played inside all season but has versatility to his game where he can defend multiple positions. Had moments where he displayed his athleticism during the course of games. His future is on the perimeter.”

• Scotty Ebube 6-8 MM PF 16 Mundelein
“Big fella has excellent composure; he handles himself remarkably well on the hardwood. Scotty is an effective offensive threat on the inside or out, he his an efficient passer who finds the open man. Averaged 15 points & double-digit rebounds for one of the North Suburbs best teams. His team was still playing before play was halted.”

• Quani Rudd 6-7 MM F 29 Mount Vernon
“One of the state’s top high-flying athletes. The folks down in Southern Illinois have been treated to aerial show nightly from this electrifying leaper. His recent feats have drawn attention of numerous mid-majors, especially the likes of Southern Illinois, Eastern Illinois, and Murray State. Skills still in the refining stages.”

• Walt Mattingly 6-8 MM F 32 Deerfield
“Slender fella certainly is a promising prospect. Has a good motor, runs the floor like a deer, does compete at a high level. Offensive game starting to emerge. The Club season was slated to be his Carnegie Hall where he can audition his game for College Coaches. His school season did not fare well for his abilities.”

• Julian Campbell 6-7 MM-LM+ PF/C 35 Palatine
“A wide body frame that could drop a few pounders and will as he conditions at a more frequent rate. ‘Big Fella’ has talent and can score on the block & rebound in which he has exhibit in some big game settings. He has a ton of D1 interest.”

• Brian Matthews 6-9 MM-LM+ C 45 DePaul Prep
“Promising prospect competes at a high level, doesn’t back down from any scrapes or challenges. His best basketball awaits, he started to show signs of growth late in the season. A player to watch when play resumes.”

• Phillip Holmes Jr. 6-7 LM+ PF 46 Chicago Simeon
“An emerging prospect, he’s starting to display the necessary skills to play at the Division 1 level. His improved footwork has allowed him to be much more of an offensive threat along the base line. Another player to watch when play resumes.”

• K.J. DeBrick 6-7 LM+ PF 48 Springfield Lanphier
“Potential double-double guy, his play was starting to round into form before the COVID-19 shutdown action. He’s a strong rebounder and a feared shot blocker. His offensive low post game is in the growing stages, nevertheless he’s capable though of facing the rim knocking down 12-15 footers.”


College basketball Coaches are coping and adjusting to life that doesn’t require a frantic 24-hour spin cycle over the course of their week, not to mention the spring recruiting period. In this unprecedented era where Zoom and Google Hangouts have become a way of life for Coaches, we are faced with some uncharted territory as things move forward. Throw in the honors of now shuffling through the dubious task of going over the transfer portal, especially targeting a player you unable to bring on campus right now. What a headache!

Former Hinsdale South forward Zion Griffin landed in the transfer portal, that appears to be the new hip thing today. Griffin spent his last 2 years at Iowa State where he played limited minutes, he gets a new start at UIC where he recently gave a pledge to play. Best of luck for this left hander.

Thursday, April 2, 2020


Probably Small College Gems.


• Carter Dawson 6-5 G/F LM 67 Pontiac

“We saw him at the Holiday Tournament, and he was impressive. We wouldn’t be surprised if he landed at a D1 situation as a walk on. He’s got good length and intriguing floor game.”

• Joe Green 6-1 G LM-SC 68 Marion Catholic

“Exhibits quick leaping ability which allows him to be an effective rebounder in traffic. Can electrify audiences with his athleticism. A mid-range threat.”

• Sangolay Nijie 6-5 F LM-SC 69 Whitney Young

“Undersized interior player with energetic motor, runs the floor extremely well and plays a huge role as a rim protector defensively.”

• Sami Osmani 6-4 G LM-SC 71 Oak Lawn

“Deceptive athlete, good jump shooter. Plays within his limitations. Shares with his teammates.”

• Justin Cross 6-7 F LM-SC 72 Oak Park

“The gangly south paw was on the rise until an injury early January ended his season. He developed into a reliable rebounder & defender, specialist type. Headed to a Prep School.”

• Alex Wood 6-0 PG LM-SC 73 Normal U High

“Speedy/nifty back courter knows how to manage a game as well as his team. Plays with poise and he’s sure handed.”

• Manny Rodriguez 5-10 G LM-SC 74 Morton

“Heady tough kid who can shoot the cover off the ball was consistent all season. Played well during the Sectional Playoffs.”

• Marcus Skeet 6-4 G/F LM-SC 75 Waubonsie Valley

“Strong body swingman did his best to carry the team late due to losing top junior prospect Ben Schwieger. They were upset by West Aurora in the Sectional Playoffs early.”

• Johnny Close 6-4 WG LM-SC 76 Rockford Boylan

“Respectable outside shooter enjoyed the fine season. A system player.”

• Paul Zillinskas 6-4 F LM-SC 77 Riverside-Brookfield

“Kind of forgotten prospect has a European flavor to his game. Has all around skill set, we’ve often viewed him as a system player.”

• Brandon Lieb 6-11 C LM-SC 78 Deerfield

“Skyscraper with promise. His school team did not utilize his skills accordingly. Was able to impact some games with his shot blocking & rebounding.”


It turns out this could be a banner year for recruiting grounds in our area. We’ve pretty much come to the moment of truth…


• Ramean Hinton 6-4 F MM 13 Chicago Curie

“Initially signed with SEMO, sources have indicated this may be the first course of his journey. May lack test score. All-out performer was first team All-City & All Stater, averaged 17 points & 8 rebounds.”

• Antoine Bloxton 6-2 G MM 19 Chicago Bogan

“Slender hooper was 1st team All City, heavily sought-after JC recruit.”

• Aaron Tims 6-6 F MM 32 Hinsdale South-Vincennes

“Was impressive late in the season. This high-flying dunker is a rapidly emerging player. In fact, Vincennes scooped in and nabbed him last weekend.”

• Damontae Taylor 6-5 WF MM 33 Zion-Benton

“Capabilities of being an electrifying athlete, has wiggle & other offensive assets.”

• Romelle Howard 6-8 F/C LM+ 35 Lincoln Park

“A two-year stint in the right system will certainly heighten his development/growth. A back to the basket guy who has missed a significant amount of court time the last couple of seasons due to academic casualties. Has an effective jump hook, he’s a good rebounder.”

• Lavell McIntosh 6-4 F LM 38 Kankakee

“Two-sport standout had some highlight reel exploits the last couple of seasons. Was one of the leaders of a talented team who was still in play before pandemic. With continued development he could be a Mid-Major find.”

• Armon Williams 6-8 F LM 43 East St. Louis

“Future seems destined for the wing. Posted modest numbers with 10 points & 8 rebounds for a team that was embarking on a run at consecutive 3A State Titles. Several high major Jucos in the hunt including Vincennes.”

• Robert Hobbs 6-4 G/F LM 51 Chicago Crane

“Talented player has the versatility to operate effectively inside or out. Hobbs has the necessary skills to develop into a mid-major recruit once he polishes his craft.”

• Donovan Taylor 6-4 WG LM 55 Chicago Fenger

“Lefty has the ability to be a shot-maker in which he displayed late in Conference play as well as the 1A Sectionals. Promising prospect still shows some rough edges. Needs a good situation.”

• Kendale Anderson 6-7 PF LM 56 Chicago Leo

“Powerful rebounder and inside threat, still developing his offensive game. Two years of Juco could provide a clear picture of where his game could be.”

• Fin Walsh 6-2 PG LM 61 St. Laurence

“A confident player not fearful of the moment. Has some swag to his game that allows him to illustrate his repertoire offensive maneuvers.”

• Keyon Joiner 6-3 G/F LM 64 Chicago Phillips

“4-year varsity performer made All City fourth team. Keyon has a College ready body and skills good enough to land him in the back court. Versatile swingman clone. After a year or two of Juco, mid-major is possible.”

• Pierre Sneed 6-5 F LM 65 Chicago Crane

“Excellent finisher at the rim, has those huge mitts; played the latter half of the season on one leg. Was still effective at times, you could see he was laboring. His best hoops await, eventually we envision a possible Ohio Valley recruit.”

• Jaylin McCants 6-6 PF LM 66 Galesburg

“A stud, landed on the All State Team, one of the top players in the Quad Cities area. We saw blemishes of his body of work during the June summer period at Morris and the Ridgeway Shootout. He had a fine season. Likely a low D1 or high level D2 recruit.”

• Christopher Smith 6-8 F --- 70 Rich East

“Didn’t get a chance to see him enough of his skills in action. He’s headed to Barton Community College.”

• Josh Hamilton 6-7 F LM 79 Rich East

“Wiry prospect with a wealth of potential, has already committed to Danville Community College.”


Identifying a short listing of players who are talented and right there on the brink of a Division One look. Likely destined for a D2 experience, which would be much more of a fulfilling journey with foreseeable/immediate success.


• Billy Durkin 6-2 PG LM 40 Hinsdale South

“Didn’t realize he committed to Lewis University a few months ago. They obtained a fine player who is steady and makes good reads. He and Cary Grove’s talented Beau Frerricks will co-exist well enough to form a threatening back court duo at Lewis University.”

• Bryson Tatum 6-4 G LM 47 Urbana

“Two-sport performer got off to a rousing start enough to draw the attention of some Division One schools early. Played a pivotal role in Urbana’s upset victory over Peoria Notre Dame in early December.”

• Jabari Chiphe 6-4 F LM 50 Walter Payton

“Can sky, still learning how to utilize his athleticism in all facets of his game, particularly on the defensive end. Jabari has developed into a respectable outside shooter. High academic/character kid.”

• Josiah Palmer 6-1 G LM 53 Homewood-Flossmoor

“Had a stellar season, shot the ball extremely well, one of the area’s top marksmen. His game will continue to emerge once he gains some strength. Palmer could become a dynamite Division Two recruit.”

• Josh Holmes 6-2 G LM 54 De La Salle

“Had a relatively quiet season where his numbers were modest, he registered a double-digit scoring average. He’s got game and penchant for making plays. Academic kid with a bright future.”

• Marshun Williams 6-5 F LM 57 Chicago Lindblom

“Lefthander is a smooth cager, he was selected third team All City. Averaged 16.8 and 7 rebounds. Insiders say he’s headed to Roosevelt University.”

• Yemi Elutilo 6-4 F LM 59 Marian Catholic

“Slender prospect had a terrific season; his team was still in the hunt before the Coronavirus put the season on hiatus. Yemi was instrumental in his team’s success, playing pivotal role as a high energy rebounder & defender. He is a respected outside marksman. Had an offer from Lewis University early on. One of our favorites.”

• Sam Shultz 6-6 F LM 60 Oswego East

“Spent a great portion of the season hampered by an injury so we really didn’t get a chance to see his game at full strength. He can shoot!”

• Pierre Calhoun 6-3 WF LM 63 Chicago Clark

“An athletic explosive player who’s starting to reach the running stages of his development. Can make shots, tends to be a bit of a streaky. IUPUI was in on him early, since cooled. Probably a year or so away from Div. I.”


Due to the global pandemic, we will continue to share information about these four-year guys.

Presumably the guys listed below will be academically qualifiers. It’s inevitable fact that many of these much bally hooed prospects will eventually land in the transfer portal. Most of them just don’t have the necessary vices around them to construct an understanding of a fit. A decision that impacts an opportunity for immediate success, in addition, most don’t value the education experience anyway.


• Brandon Weston 6-5 F MM+ 6 Morgan Park

“Re-classified once viewed as one of our top prized young players in 2021 Class. Averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds, & 3 assists. Has a game that’s only going to improve.”

• Jeremiah Williams 6-4 G MM 16 Chicago Simeon

“Sleet performer thrives in the open court; lusting for high-major suitors. Temple just offered a day ago. TCU still in the picture. Wis.-Milw. has been involved since last season. SIU continues to look like the front runner.”

• Jayson Kent 6-7 G/F MM 17 Oak Forest/Bradley U

“Swingman wrapped up his high school career with 23-point output in a 3A Sectional Semi-Final loss to a talented Kankakee Team. Late in the night gave a verbal to the Braves Coach Wardle, should have an excellent career there.”

• Christian Shumate 6-5 F MM 25 Bloom

“Straight-line hooper, terrific athlete, capable of elevating his play in a big game setting. Skill set starting to show signs of growth. Northern Kentucky, Grand Canyon, Tulsa, SEMO could be a major player late with new Head Coach Brad Korn leading the charge.”

• Salveon Williams 6-6 F MM 30 Chicago Curie

“Spent one season at Curie, even though he recorded modest numbers, 11 points 10 rebounds & 4 blocks, his arrival was impactful. Insiders have indicated Western Illinois may be heavily involved, if so that’s a potential healthy/thriving relationship.”

• Micah Schnyder 6-4 PG LM+LM 31 Yorkville Christian

“A flat-out hooper has a smooth floor game with excellent court vision & play-making ability. Averages 26 per outing & 8 assists. Dropped 24 on Fenger in a loss before Covid-19 changed the entire landscape. Fairfield, Central Conn, Western Ill., could be a serious player late.”

• Jackson Connor 6-6 F LM+ 34 Marion (IL)

“3A Second Team All-Stater, averaged 24 points, 8 rebounds, & 5 assists a night. Finished the season with a strong showing in a Sectional Semi-Final loss to East St. Louis, he recorded 22 points. This sleet forward has offers from Eastern Illinois & University of Idaho. UIC, SIU-E, & SEMO have shown significant interest.”

• Elijah Pickens 5-11 G LM+LM 37 Chicago Curie

“A tough-minded Chicago guard, not a lead exclusively just yet. Plays with a flair and an assurance of someone emerging as a full fledge diamond in the rough. Reliable mid-range shooter averaged 10 points, 7 assists, & 4 rebounds. Very good defender. Sources have indicated Western Illinois is involved.”

• Jayden Johnson 6-5 F LM 39 Batavia

“One of the areas top shooters, received an offer from UIC before Coach McClain was released. He could likely land in the Patriot League.”

• Devin Davis 6-0 G LM 41 Westinghouse

“Averaged 21 points, 4 assists, & 4 rebounds. His game can be lethal at times in the open court. It’s imperative to his development that he gets in a setting where he can get the necessary coaching.”


George Raveling’s voice resonates with me daily and I can hear him say: “When faced with a crisis such as today, it reveals your true personal makeup and how you choose to respond and counter those challenges...”

Former Wisconsin-Milwaukee Head Coach Rob Jeter takes over at Western Illinois replacing the well-liked Billy Wright. It’s such a difficult task to construct & sustain a certain amount of success at the mid-major level. That’s why guys who win, keep-it-mov’n! Jeter, a Chicago native, brings a wealth of experience and success to Macomb. He’s knowledgeable enough to where he can accelerate the Program to the top of the Conference in a hurry. Jeter has a career mark of 184-170 (520 winning). Anticipate Macomb being a newfound popular destination.

University Illinois at Chicago named La Salle Peru native Luke Yaklich as its new coach, replacing Steve McClain who had five years at Helm. Yaklich spent last season as an assistant at Texas before landing Longhorn Country, he was on the staff at Michigan prior to that, he had an undistinguished four-year stay at Illinois State where he worked under his College buddy Dan Muller who happens to hold the dubious distinction as the most unpopular College Coach in Illinois. Now, Yaklich can move pass all the framing/fluff and demonstrate from the onset that the front man in the band has necessary principles and sources to lead a Program that was on the brink of surpassing the five hundred mark and being looked upon as one of the top teams in the upper half of the Horizon League. Stay tuned!

Yaklich hired former Freeport IL & Butler University standout Willie Veasley as his Assistant. The local guy has to get off and running as much as he can inhouse, he’s got some hurdles to climb.

Plano native and former Southern Illinois player & Assistant Coach, Brad Korn was recently named Head Coach at South East Missouri State, he replaces Rick Ray. We expect Brad to do a heck of a job at this Ohio Valley stop.

Long-time friend Rodney Watson has retired after a successful run at Southern Indiana where he compiled 251-82 (.754). Watson became the all-time winningest Coach in school history. The Southern Illinois native had a run of 7 NCAA II Tournament appearances, and a Semi-Final showing in 2019. He will be missed!