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Posted On: 01/16/18 9:00 PM
Every season there seems to be one forward prospect in the senior class that emerges and sees his stock significantly rise from where he was thought to be during the summer. The last two years it has been LeRoy’s Matt Chastain and Illini Bluff’s Taylor Bruninga. Both ended up committing to Missouri Valley programs. This year’s version seems to be Niles Notre Dame power forward Dusan Mahorcic. The 6’8” power forward put himself on our radar in the spring and summer with the Illinois Wolves, but he was still learning the game. He is putting it all together as a senior. In this Film Room: Niles Notre Dame vs Rockford Lutheran we examine the big man’s development along with a few other prospects of note by watching some game film of their recent contest at the Wheaton Warrenville South Tournament. Niles Notre Dame won 64-53.
PF Dusan Mahorcic (Niles Notre Dame – 2018)
From a physical standpoint Mahorcic has legit size and length for the four position at the college level. About 6’8” with long arms. The first thing that jumps off the floor about him is his athleticism and ability to run the floor. He flashed that over the summer, but seemed to still be learning how to use his body and wasn’t all the way coordinated. That has changed. He is confident out there and it is showing. Mahorcic runs the floor tremendously well. Many of his scores came by simply running the floor hard and being rewarded with passes. Several times he finished with layups and a couple others he caught it farther away from the hoop so he shot a sweeping runner. Looked very fluid getting up and down the court. The coordination has really improved catching passes in traffic with his strong hands and goes right up for finishes. In the post he created deep post position before the catch and also sealed well in the high/low. He didn’t start this game for whatever reason, but the first three times he touched the ball he scored in the post. Quick and skilled moves on the block. He can handle it a bit out of the mid and high post with a couple quick dribble and long strides to the hoop. Got fouled a few times and was just ok at the line. Would like to see him improve a bit more there. He flashed the ability to shoot it over the summer, but he only took one jumper in this game and missed it. Solid second jump recording a couple offensive rebounds. Did a nice job defensively on the glass rebounding in his area with toughness. On that end of the floor he showed mobility and lateral quickness being able to stay with a guard Kenny Strawbridge on several occasions staying in front of him. Shot blocking presence when guarding his man using his length and timing. Overall I have to say I was very impressed with Mahorcic’s progress since July. He finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks. No brainer at the low-major level and has mid-major potential.
PG Anthony Sayles (Niles Notre Dame – 2021)
Sayles is a freshman point guard that we have been hearing about this season, but this was our first time evaluating him. The freshman guard is athletic and has solid strength, but still projectability to grow. Smooth pushing it in the open floor and has easy acceleration with the ball in his hands. Finished at the rim with both hands. Played under control and didn’t force anything. Missed the only three he took. He had 6 points. One to track.
F Troy D’Amico (Niles Notre Dame – 2021)
Another freshman for Niles Notre Dame is this skilled forward. He lacks athleticism, but knows how to play the game. Scored on an akward post up and got a steal and layup on the other end. Rebounded well within his area. Passes well for a wing. Coordination needs to improve, but one to monitor. He had 4 points.
SG Kenny Strawbridge (Rockford Lutheran – 2018)
Strawbridge was teammates with Mahorcic on the Illinois Wolves 17U last summer. This 6’4” shooting guard has size for position and quality strength on the wing. Strawbridge looked like he was going to have a big game with an early transition finish and a three off the catch. Really cooled down after that. Missed several threes including an air ball pulling up. Much more comfortable off the catch. The rest of his points were on layups off dump off passes or junk points. Would have liked to seen him finish a bit better in traffic. Flashed some passing with a couple dimes including a slick one to a cutter in transition. He was hampered by foul trouble in this game and didn’t play a big portion of the fourth quarter. His stat line was 12 points, 4 boards, and 2 assists. Worth consideration at the D2 level.