Posted On: 01/21/18 12:45 AM
Saturday PrepHoopsIllinois spent the day at the Belleville East Chick Fil-A Classic. High level talent along with two thrilling games to close out the night! Check out what players stood out at the event!
PF EJ Liddell (Belleville West – 2019)
Liddell was solid in the championship game against Chaminade. He was a complete beast blocking shots in the second half. We had him down for 10 blocks in the second half alone after being limited with what he could do in the first half because of two early fouls. He has great timing and anticipation on blocks. So quick off the floor with his explosion. A lot of his scores came facing up and attacking off the dribble. Also showed the continued growth in his shot. One time the defender had to make a choice in a one on one situation with Liddell coming right at him. He chose to cover the basket and Liddell rose up drilling a jumper. Another time he nailed a triple off a dribble hand off. He is much more comfortable with his shot at this stage than even back in July. Solid passing and rebounding for the big fella as usual. He had 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 11 blocks. Priority high-major recruit in the Midwest.
SG Malachi Smith (Belleville West – 2018)
The Wright State commit had his moments in this game. He had several flurries of scoring both early and late in regulation. Smith is a prospect that works very well in the now under-utilized mid-range. He likes to get in that area to drill pull ups, connect on floaters, and also find teammates with passes. Smith had a few impressive takes to the hoop later in the contest including an and-1 spinning in the lane. Smith’s biggest impact might have been felt when he fouled out in overtime and his team looked lost offensively on the perimeter without him. Smith finished with 20 points. Should be an excellent player for Wright State.
PF Keith Randolph (Belleville West – 2019)
Randolph is a big and physical 6’6” power forward that is built like a power five college defensive end. He is a tenacious rebounder that grabs them in traffic and might rip someone’s arm off if they are in the way. Offensively he hit a couple short shots, but his biggest impact is on the boards and anchoring defensively. He had 6 points. D2 prospect.
SF Jericole Hellems (Chaminade, MO – 2018)
There was both the good and the bad for Hellems in this game. The good for the 6’7” NC State commit was when he was aggressive getting to the rim with slick takes finishing with tough layups on the interior. Also got on the offensive glass for a couple of put backs. The bad was getting in foul trouble and letting his emotions get the best of him throughout the game. Hellems is a very talented prospect that has a chance to be a nice piece for NC State at the next level. He had 19 points.
SG Keyyaun Batchman (Chaminade, MO – 2019)
Batchman continues to be the prospect that flies under the radar for Chaminade. The 6’2” shooting guard might not wow you with his athleticism or how he looks coming off the bus, but man does he produce! Batchman is a crafty scoring wing that can really shoot it from the perimeter off the catch. Loves to shoot it from the corners where it is pretty much money when it leaves his hands. Maneuvers his way in the lane for euro steps and transition finishes as well. Batchman is an interesting player that we look forward to tracking and seeing how his game and recruitment evolves. He had 21 points and was a major reason they took home the championship.
SF Luke Kasubke (Chaminade, MO – 2020)
This 6’6” sharp shooter is establishing himself as one of the five best 2020 prospects in the state of Missouri. He has elite size for position along with tremendous length. He can let it fly from three and did it again in the championship game hitting a handful from deep. None were bigger than the one in overtime where he drilled it while being fouled for a four point play that swung the momentum. Every time the ball leaves his hands you think it is going in. Moves exceptionally well without the ball to get open. Also displayed some athleticism with a nice open floor dunk. He had 17 points. Mid-major prospect right now with the chance to move up with a strong spring. With the way the game is played now Kasubke will garner a lot of looks!
SG Tim Finke (Champaign Central – 2018)
Finke didn’t score much in the first half of their third place game against St. Mary’s, but he manage to impact the game in so many other ways. The 6’6” small forward who is headed to Grand Canyon showed off his versatility as a skilled passer with multiple great dishes to teammates on the interior. He also hit the glass at a nice rate grabbing contested rebounds in traffic. In the second half the state of Illinois’ #4 prospect in 2018 got his offense rolling. He played above the rim on a few slams. He took it baseline twice for slams including one where he dunked on the opposite side of the rim. Another one he caught a lob from a teammates. Defensively he was solid and gave effort taking multiple charges. Finke finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 dimes.
SG A’Keion Gill (Champaign Central – 2018)
Gill is a prospect that has impressed us as a senior with his versatility on both ends of the floor. The 6’3” shooting guard is a quality three point shooter that has a quick release. He is especially effective from the wings off the catch. Gill can also handle the ball well against pressure and take it at the defense off the bounce in the half court. Quality athlete that also rebounds in traffic. Plus passer that makes sound decisions with the ball. Defensively he can guard multiple positions. A lot to like with Gill who projects as a high level D3/NAIA player. He had 24 points.
G Jonte Coleman (Champaign Central – 2018)
Coleman has been one of our biggest small college stock risers this season. The 6’3” combo guard is a sniper from the perimeter. He might be one of the best pure shooters we have seen all season. Most of the time he uses his lethal shot off the catch, but also mixes in a step back three on occasion. Mostly a three point shooter, but every now and then will score in transition. Coleman should be a priority small college recruit for teams looking for a shooter with size.
F Khailieo Terry (Champaign Central – 2021)
Terry is the best pure athlete we have seen in the freshman class and he did nothing on Saturday to take away from that. The 6’4” combo forward has elite athleticism above the rim. He had four SportsCenter worthy highlight jams in this game including putting a guy on a poster off an alley-oop. Once again all of his points came on dunks off lobs, dump off passes, or tip slams. In five games we still haven’t seen much skill yet, but his coaches say he shows it in practice and it is in his repertoire but for this team he is not asked to do that. Moves well laterally defending on the perimeter. We will continue to monitor him this spring as he is a potential top 10 2021 prospect in Illinois. He had 14 points.
PG Yuri Collins (St. Mary’s, MO – 2019)
Collins is a lightning quick point guard with explosive speed out of St. Louis. This 5’11” lead guard gets down the floor faster than any guard I have seen this season and that is saying a lot. He has ELITE speed with the ball in his hands. Gets to the rack almost at will as no one could stay in front of him for Champaign Central. Quick and shifty in the paint making him impossible to contain. He took it coast to coast multiple times finishing with acrobatic layups. Definitely a capable three point shooter as he hit a pair pulling up. His passing is another huge asset in his game. He should have finished with many more dimes, but his teammates just dropped them. Vision and feel finding others. Sometimes he puts a little too much zip on his passes. Collins had 16 points. Mid-major plus prospect in our eyes with the chance this spring to secure a high-major spot.
PF Yahuza Rasas (St. Mary’s, MO – 2018)
Rasas is back on the board after decommitting from Lindenwood in the fall. The 6’7” power forward is a mobile four man that is very active on the interior. He seals well on the offensive end for a lot of his scores. Quick moves along with catching passes in traffic make him an efficient offensive player. Plays within himself and knows his role. Flashed a right handed hook shot. Rebounds well in traffic and is a player that can switch guarding on the defensive end. Rasas could help out a low-major program that is looking for an energy four man.
PG Kevin Caldwell (Alton – 2018)
Caldwell is a 6’0” senior point guard that is strongly built. He pushes the tempo and has a burst getting to the hoop off the bounce. Consistently gets to the rim where he finishes with acrobatic finishes at the hoop. Quality mid-range jumper that he hits pulling up at a high clip. Rebounds well for a lead guard and as a passer is most effective kicking to shooters off dribble penetration. He had 25 points. Solid D2 prospect that is being under recruited.
SG Malik Smith (Alton – 2019)
Smith continues to elevate his stock as a junior. The 6’3” wing has a nice combination of strength and athleticism on the wing. He is an outstanding rebounder from the guard position. High points rebounds in traffic and has a quick second jump to covert offensive rebound put backs. As a scorer he can slash to the rim with power driving through traffic and finishing through contact. Solid three point shooter that is most effective off the catch. Smith had 22 points and 13 rebounds. He continues to work his way up the board in 2019 and could be a D2 recruit before it is all done.
SF Donovan Clay (Alton – 2019)
Clay is a rangy 6’3” wing and his length allows him to play bigger than his height. He is active on the defensive end getting his hands on the ball and causing turnovers. A lot of times he flips those turnovers into points on the other end of the floor in transition. Usually a capable three point shooter, but that was not falling in this game. He scored with athleticism and strong takes to the rack. Had good body control at the rim. Projectable wing with upside. He had 11 points and 4 steals.
PG Jordan Holmes (Columbia – 2018)
Holmes gave his commitment to attend Illinois as a preferred walk-on in football on Friday. He then went out and torched Alton. Holmes is pretty much a one man show for Columbia. The 6’0” guard can really score it! He is a good athlete that can create his shot consistently. Holmes is a tough and scrappy player that will do whatever it takes to win. He is a solid shooter that can get his shot off from just about anywhere and has elevation off the floor. He had a lot of quality takes to the rim where he finished with body control around defenders. Also showed well as a passer in this one getting his teammates particularly his big man involved when he was struggling. Holmes finished with 29 points.