Posted On: 01/7/18 12:30 AM
Saturday was one of the annual must attend events in the state of Illinois as the 27th Annual Highland Shootout took place. There was a ton of talent from both Illinois and Missouri in the event. Here we look at the top performers from the day. We will have a more in-depth breakdown of all the prospects in the days to follow!
PG Jack Marinko (Edwardsville – 2018)
The day started off with a nice game between Edwardsville and Rockhurst. The standout for Edwardsville all season has been this 6’0” scoring point guard. Marinko is a tough guard that can flat out shoot the basketball! Marinko has deep range on his three point shot and a quick release both pulling up and off the catch. Sound mid-range shooter that can stop and pop on a dime. Mixes in runners/floaters on occasion. Works well around ball screens setting his shot up and finding teammates. Marinko is a big time prospect for D3 and NAIA programs. He is having a monster senior campaign and that continued at Highland going for 29 points.
PF Dalen Ridgnal (Rockhurst, MO – 2019)
Ridgnal is an intriguing 6’6” power forward. The big man has a nice frame and is a very good rebounder within his area. He came off the bench to provide a major scoring punch along with what he did on the glass. Explosive second jump allowed him to get on the glass for put backs. Soft touch around the hoop and is an effective mid-range jump shooter. Shot blocking presence. He had 15 points. Low-major programs would be wise to take a look at him.
SF Torrence Watson (Whitfield, MO – 2018)
Watson started off slow not scoring much early in their contest. Once he got it rolling he made some key plays. The Mizzou commit has a strong build on his 6’4” frame. He passed it well early trying to get some of his teammates going. Watson then began to look for his shot. Couple explosive moves from mid-range where he blew past defenders and showed he could finish with either hand at the rim. Late in the contest and in OT he was aggressive taking it to the hoop. Mixed in a couple threes. Watson had 22 points.
SF Sam LaPorta (Highland – 2019)
LaPorta will most likely play football at the D1 level in college, but he showed on his home floor he can hold his own with some of the stars from around the area on the hardwood. The 6’4” wing is a strong forward and super athletic. He consistently powered his way to the rim where he finished with physicality. Several big dunks. Showed a little bit of skill around the hoop. High points rebounds. Mostly a slashing wing that plays well in transition. He had 19 points.
PF EJ Liddell (Belleville West – 2019)
Liddell continues his dominance! The 2019 power forward was dominant a week ago at Centralia in their holiday tournament. He took it up another notch against Poplar Bluff. The 6’7” power forward that has filled out his frame is an absolute force on the high school level. He has diversified his offensive game to where he can score in a variety of ways. Liddell showed off many of those. Hit turnaround jumpers, threes from the top of the key, explosive takes from the perimeter, mid-range jumpers, and quick moves on the interior that he finished by carving out space. He is so efficient with the ball in his hands and might be the most impactful high school player in the state right now. Liddell was a beast defensively swatting shots almost jumping too high at times and spiking them into the ground. As we said at Centralia his passing has greatly improved. That was evident again at Highland. He finished with 26 points, 10 blocks, and 5 assists. High-major Midwest priority recruit.
SF Dominique Hardimon (Poplar Bluff, MO – 2019)
Hardimon emerged as a player to watch with his play for Poplar Bluff. The 6’4” small forward is a physically built wing that plays with a high motor. He is a scrappy player on the interior that finishes extremely well on the interior. As the game went on he showed off he is more than just a gritty player inside. He has speed in transition with the ball and converted a pair of alley-oops. Didn’t show any kind of jumper in the game. Plus rebounder that mauls on the glass for his size. He had 27 points. Right now probably a D2 prospect with the chance to elevate to low-major status if he can prove his shot is a threat.
PG Adam Miller (Morgan Park – 2020)
Miller had to step up for Morgan Park with the Mustangs star Ayo being less than 100%. The state’s top sophomore didn’t disappoint and showed fans why he is a coveted recruit. Converted on a number of his pull up jump shots. The lefty at times can fall in love with it, but was good shooting it in this one. He drilled them from all over the floor. Miller also had multiple explosive takes to the rim including a tough and-1 late. Best play of the day might have been when he got a steal and took it the other way for a one handed jam. The 6’4” lead guard presents great size and big time talent at the lead guard spot. Quality passer that had a few nice dishes. He finished with 23 points. High-major prospect.
F Cameron Burrell (Morgan Park – 2018)
Burrell has been absolutely phenomenal as a senior. The 6’6” combo forward has embraced who he is as a player and been a star in his role. He is a high energy combo forward that is more of a power forward at this stage. Super athletic and rangy. As always he got after it on the glass early and often. Burrell is an outstanding offensive rebounder that uses his quick second jump to score on put backs. Offensively most of his points come on put backs, dunks on dump offs, or in the transition game. He has shown to be a good free throw shooter. Burrell had 36 points and 11 rebounds. No brainer at the D2 level at this stage and low-major programs might want to start giving him some consideration.
SF Luke Kasubke (Chaminade, MO – 2020)
This 6’6” small forward is an absolute sniper from the perimeter. He was unconscious shooting the basketball from beyond the arc drilling at least seven triples in the game. Kasubke is great at sliding to the spot he needs to be for a clean look from the perimeter. Quick release and consistent mechanics every single time. Each time it leaves his hands you think it is going in. He had a couple acrobatic finishes around the hoop including a slick euro step late, but most of his damage was from deep. The Chaminade sophomore finished with 27 points. D1 prospect that mid-majors need to start looking into.
PG Mario McKinney (Vashon, MO – 2019)
McKinney is a quick twitched point guard that is has speed to burn! He makes a lot of his plays in the lane scoring on quick finishes inside. Makes tough layups and the spectacular finish seems automatic with him. Pushes it in the open floor with his speed. With the ball in his hands he has a lot of options. He can take it to the rim, find shooters in the drive and kick, or pull up for three. The slick lead guard is mostly a scorer, but did show growth in his passing against Champaign Central. McKinney had 23 points. High-major point guard.