Sunday, August 9, 2020



“There are a ton of dudes out here hoopn’ in various tournaments during the pandemic. The true tale of the matter is, with so much senseless violence in the Chicago area, it seems much safer for these young players to be in a gym, sadly to say. We will list some guys who have performed whether well the last several weekends. Some names not mentioned regularly at the Spot-Liter.”


· Lance Rodgers 6-9 2022 PF Simeon Illinois Stars

“Has that hooper frame, rebounder/shot-blocker plays within limitations, mechanics look solid. His play is starting to resemble a low-major D1 recruit.”

· Alex Gutierrez 6-1 2022 G DePaul Prep Chicago Demons

“We saw this competitive combo guard at the Old Gold Classic Championship game where he sparkled as an offensive threat. Fearless D2 small College prospect.”

· Davius Loury 6-7 2023 WF Simeon Mac Irvin Fire

“We saw him giving it to some cats at the Old Gold Classic, elite prospect has an array of moves attacking & he’s a good shooter. Lookn’ like a high-major recruit.”

· James “J.B.” Brown 6-8 2024 F St. Rita Mac Irvin Fire

“Has the resemblance of the No.1 player in the 2024 Class. Young fella has star quality in his game. We saw him at West Dundee Tourney, and he is one prospect to follow in the Catholic League where he will be a star. He hails from Oswego, IL.”

· D.J.Bates 6-1 2022 G De La Salle R.I.S.E.

“Enjoying a really good summer, dropped 40 recently on a good team Wisconsin Wrap in Northbrook. He also played well in Minneapolis this weekend. Has an offer from Detroit.”

· Ethan Brown 6-1 2021 PG Belleville East Illinois Jets

“Superb shooter while ball-handling is tight, he’s a solid distributor & really good leader, attacks the rim well as a finisher. Ethan has come into his own this summer. Level un-determined yet.”

· Avyion Morris 5-7 2022 PG Simeon Illinois Stars

“Traditional hard-nose CPS PG. Impactful player, top 20-25 in the Class. Possesses a repertoire of floaters & pullups, good shooter & leader. Needs to get his ball handling crisp where he’s sure-handed.”

· Keynan Davis 6-5 2022 WG Hamphire/Romeoville Windy City All Stars

“This prospect has grown since the season’s end, his outing at the Dundee event pretty much re-affirmed our thoughts about what kind of talent and skill he possesses. Top 10-12 in his Class.”

· Ahmere Carson 6-0 2023 PG Morgan Park Bulldogs Elite

“Tough penetrating guard who can score at the rim, he has lid-up defenders all summer creating a lot of buzz for himself & his game.”

· Xavier Sulaiman 6-3 2023 WG Chicago Marist Illinois Wolves

“This kid has mostly shined during some workouts & open runs. He’s suited up with some Ma & Pa squads here & there and impressed. Has nice mid-range game where he’s bouncy, plays the passing lanes well as a defender, terrific finisher in open floor (dunks).

· Henry Krzyzewski 6-10 2021 C Metea Valley RWA

“Carts a 3.9 GPA, big academic advocate, rebounder/defender, lookn’ for a particular setting. Has drawn some attention lately.”

· Darrin “DaDa” Ames 6-0 2023 G Bloom Mac Irvin Fire

“Young fella is a sharp-shooter, he has scorched defenders most of the summer. He’s widely considered a top 5 prospect in the Class. He spent last season at Morgan Park where he gained some valuable experience on the varsity as a part timer.”

· Zach Cleveland 6-6 2022 F Bloomington-Normal Illinois Irish

“Athletic 4-man coming off a really good sophomore season, he’s not a household name yet on the circuit but last season, he bagged 15 points & 10 boards. Top 25 prospect in the Class.”

· N.J. Bensen 6-7 2022 F Mount Vernon Illinois Jets

“Considered one of the promising young prospects in Southern Illinois. Very good athlete, offensive game in the developing stages. Enjoying a fine summer.”

· Jamauri Winfrey 6-4 2022 PF Peoria Richwoods Illinois Jets

“A strong body undersized 4-man once considered a top 5 prospect in the Class, but time has taken its course within his growth/game. Still a very productive player in the paint and looking more and more like a low-major find. Having a good summer.”

· Trillo Thompson 6-5 2022 F North Lawndale Wolf Pack

“Big shot-maker, a rising prospect can play in a big moment which he displayed out at Dundee over the weekend and exhibits that city toughness. A fine prospect to watch.”


“Plenty of significant movement during the pandemic crisis.”

            NAME                     HT           YR           POS         RANK      FORMER SCHOOL                NEW DESTINATION

·                     Isaiah Barnes   6-7       SR        WG      6          Oak Park                      Chicago Simeon

·                     Josh Smith       6-4       SR        WG      21        Oak Park                      Culver City (CA)

·                     Walt Mattingly 6-8      SR        F          32        Deerfield                     Lake Forest

·                     Jalen Houston  6-0       SR        G          23        Hyde Park Academy    Bogan

·                     Jeffrey Oakley 6-5       SR        WF       39        Prespective                 Chicago Corliss

·                     Trey Pettigrew 6-2      JR         G          9          Fenwick                       Hillcrest (AZ)

·                     Jaylin Gibson   6-2       SR        G          30         Evanston  Legacy-The School of Sports and Science

·                     Nigel Hylton    6-8       Jr         WF       1          Lake Forest Academy Toronto Thornlea Prep

·                     Ismail Habib    6-1       SR        G          20        Lincoln Park            Thornwood/St. Laurence

·                     Braxton Stacker 6-4    JR         PG        20        Belleville East           Cardinal Ritter (STL,MO)

·                     Lane McVicar  6-4       JR         WG      30        South Elgin                  DeKalb H.S.

·                     A.J. Storr          6-4       SR        WG      35        Kankakee                     Bishop Gorman (NV)

·                     Keynan Davis  6-6       JR         WG      11        Hamphire                    Romeoville

·                     Christian Jones 6-4      JR         G          27        Granite City                 East St. Louis

·                     Darrin “DaDa”Ames 6-0 SO    G          6          Morgan Park               Bloom

·                     Darius Robinson 5-11  JR         G          41        Rich South                   Thornton

·                     Mikell Jones    6-4       JR         PG        14        Chicago Farragut        Chicago Clark

·                     Mikawon Jones 6-3     JR         PG        19        Chicago Farragut        Chicago Clark

·                     Shawn Riley    6-6       SR        F          56        O’Fallon                       Louisiana

NOTE: It was once reported that Rich East rising senior Gary Clay, a six-foot three guard would transfer to Hyde Park Academy. All indicators have him staying in the burbs.



Bryan Mullins and his Southern Illinois Program scored a coup recently when they landed a pledge from Niles Notre Dame’s highly regarded versatile forward, Troy D’Amico. This kid is considered one of our finer prospects in the 2021 Class. At 6-7 he’s recognized at the Spot-Liter as the second best forward in the group. Assistant Coach Jevon Mamon deserves a lot of recognition and credit for his tireless effort during this unprecedented time while working the big-fella.

Mundelein 6-8 pivot-man, Scottie Ebube has given verbal to the Salukis as well. He will be a major addition to their recruiting Class. He’s a skilled big-fella.

The head huncho in the family tree is not going to be out-done, Porter Moser came up with a pair of dandies landing commitments from talented six-foot six wing Ben Schwieger and crafty DePaul point guard Ty Johnson, considered the 3rd or 4th best playmaker in the Class. A position that has a wealth of talent on the depth charts, these two gems totally fit the system as well as the culture that the Ramblers have embodied within their Program as they continue to keep their momentum moving upward. These are two good pickups.

Six foot-eight slender forward Walt Mattingly will leave Deerfield High School and play his senior season at neighboring Lake Forest, joining forces with talented 6-4 sophomore Asa Thomas and rising 2022 prospect, Danny Wolf. Mattingly’s change of scenery should heighten his play after subpar showing his junior season. To his defense, it wasn’t all his fault!

Over heralded junior guard Trey Pettigrew will not return to Fenwick next season. Pettigrew was considered a top 10 prospect in the 2022 class and was rumored to be heading to Bolingbrook, instead he’ll take his game out West to Hillcrest in Arizona. Distance might serve him well in terms of maturity.”

Kankakee’s A.J. Storr, a 6-4 wing considered a top 35 prospect in the Class of 2021, has transferred to Bishop Gorman (NV). He reportedly will seek to be reclassified to 2022 recruit. He has some low major interest at the present. Storr leaves on the brink of Kankakee’s finest season in 20 plus years and expectations were awfully high for this upcoming 2021 season. With the pandemic, we don’t know what is going to happen from week to week.

Now comes word the No.1 prospect in the 2023 Class Javonte “JJ” Taylor may consider departing Morgan Park for Sierra Canyon (CA). With all the violence in Chicago these days, we must not second guess any family’s decisions to move their kids. “JJ” is a highly touted young player with enormous potential and his all-around abilities at 6-7 left many of us comparing him to some of our former city standouts. He actually performed well over the last weekend at the Old Gold Classic held at the Pullman Center. “Our mission should be keeping him home and safe.”

Reportedly Evanston’s senior guard Jaylin Gibson, a three-year starter will hoop his senior season at Legacy the school of sports & science located in Houston (TX). The six-foot two combo has had a lofty 3-year winning percentage at the North Suburban School. The Wildkits will miss his leadership.

2022 prospect, Braxton Stacker a 6-4 shooting guard, considered one of our bright young back-court players has departed Belleville East to attend Cardinal Ritter across the bridge in St. Louis. Stacker is a rising talent & was listed as a top 20 prospect in the Class.

Toronto native Nigel Hylton will leave the ritzy Lake Forest Academy campus, returning to Canada where he will attend Thornlea Prep or Charter (whatever they call it). This kid was recognized as a 2022 prospect and arguably the best player in that Class. At six foot eight with a strong frame and the ability to shoot-it deep consistently made him a sure-fire high-level player. We labeled him as a “can’t miss” elite prospect.



· Chris Hodges 6-8 PF 3 Schaumburg University Wisconsin

· Connor Enright 6-2 PG 12 Mundelein Drake University

· Ahmad Bynum 6-2 G 4 Simeon DePaul University

· Bryce Hopkins 6-7 G/F 2 Fenwick University Louisville

· Louis Lesmond 6-6 WG 8 Niles Notre Dame Harvard University

· Isaiah Barnes 6-7 WG 6 Simeon University Michigan

· Max Christie 6-6 PG 1 Rolling Meadows Michigan State University

· Troy D’Amico 6-7 F 7 Niles Notre Dame Southern Illinois University

· Ben Schwieger 6-6 F 16 Waubonsie Valley Loyola-Chicago

· Ty Johnson 6-1 PG 14 DePaul Prep Loyola-Chicago

· Scottie Ebube 6-8 F/C 17 Mundelein Southern Illinois University

One of the Public League’s top young coaches Pat Gordon has taken an assistant coaches’ position at Morton Junior College. He will team up with Glen “Red” Heffernan who spent the last two seasons at Western Michigan. Gordon had the Lincoln Park Program rolling until he ran into a buzz storm, but he’s still recognized as a bright young architect. He will bring along 6-8 center Romelle Howard, a 2020 Lincoln Park grad. That’s a good starting point for the Morton Program.


We were thrilled when it was reported that former Freeport standout Luke Norman had been hired as the new Head Coach at Highland Community College, recognized as the top Junior College in the Chicagoland area. Luke, a heady lead guard in his playing days & also a former Illinois Warrior, replaces Chad Boudreau who spent 3 successful seasons at Highland. Chad moves on as a top assistant at Western Illinois where he will partner up again with Rob Jeter. Remember they had a great run at UW Milwaukee not so long ago. Norman is a former NJCAA Academic All-American at Highland where he is well tooled on Cougar Nation and understands what exemplifies a student/athlete on & off the floor. He spent two seasons at Eastern Illinois serving as a team Captain his senior campaign. He also was an assistant coach there during 2017-2018 season where the Panthers were in the thick of contention giving the hopefuls a late OVC push. Adding to the buzz, Highland will be opening their season in the newly renovated gymnasium. The start of the Luke Norman era will be bright.

An ever-growing trend we are witnessing today is our young players (frosh-soph in particular) and their families lusting for College offers, this is called modern day thirst-chasing. Contacting Colleges, questioning them about why little Johnny has not received an offer is actually taboo! It’s really pointless unless the kid is a sure-fire prospect, probably 8 times out of 10 if the kid was offered in the 9th or 10th grade and he tried to commit by his junior season, most schools would say “hold up”, there would be pushback. “Just adding some humor about today’s delusional climate. Landing offers early mean absolutely nothing.”