Posted On: 01/22/18 8:49 AM
BROOKFIELD, Wis. — Always a must-see event in the state of Wisconsin, the 2018 Luke Homan Showcase tipped off from Brookfield Central High School on Saturday. Featuring some of the top teams and talent in the Badger State, Saturday’s event lived up to the hype…
Max Alba – 2018 – SF – Franklin
Alba has been putting up big numbers this season. Entering Saturday averaging nearly 21 points per game, he topped that with 24 in a high level matchup with Sussex Hamilton. A North Carolina baseball commit, Alba can certainly shoot the rock. He was terrific on the ball, hitting a number of pull-up, mid-range jumpers with a hand in his face. Alba also stepped outside the arc and went 3-of-4 from downtown. Alba worked hard on the other end of the floor as well, notching a double-double with 10 rebounds.
Patrick Baldwin Jr. – 2021 – G/F – Sussex Hamilton
Having seen the likes of Henry Ellenson, Kevon Looney, Diamond Stone, and Sam Dekker — the latest pros to come out of Wisconsin — Baldwin seems to compare quite favorably at this stage. He didn’t have his best game in a loss to Franklin, scoring 14 points, but the NBA potential is easily noticeable. A long, skilled wing, Baldwin can get just about any shot on the floor he wants. He has the tools and the sweet shooting stroke to rise over defenders with ease and is already comfortable taking deep, off-balance shots. At 6-foot-8, Baldwin is a three-level scorer. He’ll invert himself in the offense and play down on the block, act as a point forward, bringing the ball up and down the floor, and work off the ball, hunting catch and shoot opportunities. With this kind of skills and length, it’s just a matter of time before the kid becomes virtually unguardable.
Larry Canady – 2019 – G – Racine Park
Saturday was some of the best basketball of Canady’s career. The junior guard made a ton of impact plays on both ends of the floor, leading Park to a blowout win over Milwaukee Destiny. Canady shot the ball well from 3-point and mid-range, displaying a nasty pull-up jumper off the bounce that left defenders helpless. In transition, Canady ignited a ton of fast break opportunities and delivered some beautiful assists on the go. Taking on the challenge of a 20-point scorer, Canady absolutely locked his man up and made sure anything his opponent got was earned, flustering the opposition for 36 minutes. Budding into a low to mid-major Division 1 prospect, Canady is in the midst of some big personal jumps on the hardwood. He finished with a game-high 24 points in Saturday’s win.
Patrick Cartier – 2018 – PF – Brookfield East
This is a post prospect with some juice. Cartier plays tough, hard-nosed interior defense. His impact in Saturday’s come from behind win over Oshkosh West was undeniable. Cartier picked up two early fouls in the first half. As a result, West went into the locker room up by 10 points. Following a dominant second half, Cartier led East to a 12-point victory. The Hillsdale commit went off on West with a mixture of tenacious and skilled finishes around the rim. A high motor, aggressive post prospect, Cartier was unstoppable around the rim. While he doesn’t like to settle for shots, he can step out and shoot the basketball, catching the opposition off guard with a couple jumpers. Everything West was getting at the rim in the first half, seemed to disappear in the second. Cartier shut down the paint. His interior presence and shot blocking really turned things around defensively for East. Cartier posted a team-high 18 points, 14 of which came in the second half.
Gerald Gittens – 2020 – PG – St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy
He’s a little undersized, but Gittens packs quite a bit of strength and athleticism into his frame. A good ball handler that’s electric in the half court or open floor, Gittens was tough to stay in front of all game long during Saturday’s loss to Greendale. Scoring a team-high 17 points, Gittens was relentless going to the rim. He forced too much at times, but a big part of his game is causing havoc in the teeth of the defense. Gittens is a smooth, fearless attacker that doesn’t shy away from contact, but rather embraces it. If he develops and relies on an outside game, rather than trying to live at the rim at his size, it’ll do his game wonders.
Delaware Hale – 2020 – PF – Sun Prairie
Hale had arguably his best performance of the season and picked a good time against a strong Brookfield Central squad. A promising sophomore loaded with upside, Hale scored 15 points off the bench in Sun Prairie’s win. Still developing, Hale can be a force around the rim and in transition. He was very active, running the floor and generating transition buckets. Hale flashed his high ceiling with some sweet drives and finishes in traffic, beginning at the high post. Still raw in his development, you could kind of see a light come on for Hale on Saturday. A strong, athletic forward, Hale earned himself some big minutes down the stretch by grabbing contested rebounds and protecting the rim. Division 1 programs will want to closely monitor his development over the next two years.
Jalen Johnson – 2020 – G/F – Sun Prairie
This level can be just too easy for Johnson at times. While he got off to a slow start, Johnson took over in the second half, leading Sun Prairie to a big win over Brookfield Central. There’s only so much you can take away from a prospect like Johnson, who goes 6-foot-7 and can play all five positions on the floor. Perhaps the next NBA prospect to come out of Wisconsin, Johnson dominated around the rim in transition. A kid that plays point guard in the spring/summer, when he gets going on the break, Johnson is so tough to stop with his size, strength, and athleticism. Johnson clearly had a great off-season in the weight room and is even more explosive than a year ago. While he’s stuck inside during the high school season, it’s helped his post development. Johnson scores on the block with ease, showcasing
a quick spin towards the baseline or as simple as basic power moves to the rim. He rarely needs it, but Johnson can hit turn around jumpers from 15 feet out. The scary part about Johnson? Even when he doesn’t have his ‘A’ or ‘B’ game, he’s still flirting with big numbers. The five-star sophomore finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday’s win.
Cole Nau – 2019 – PG – Brookfield Central
It’s getting more obvious that Nau is a Division 1 guard. We tabbed him the No. 5 ranked player in Wisconsin’s 2019 class — higher than everyone else — and he’s making us look good. In a high level matchup against Sun Prairie, Nau had a shorthanded Central squad on his back and held his own against some other D1 caliber prospects. Defending Jalen Johnson and giving up about six inches, Nau didn’t back down. Despite being taken in the post, Nau didn’t yield and inch and made the blue chip prospect work for everything. A prospect that’s shut down some of the best guards in the Midwest on the AAU circuit, Nau’s ability to defend on the interior against a 6-foot-7 player was still surprising. Offensively, Nau was able to allow Central to hang around for most of the game. A savvy guard, Nau knows how to create off the bounce and is an excellent shooter off the dribble.
Luke Taylor – 2019 – PF – Germantown
A player that will be going up in the next class of 2019 rankings, Taylor was dominant against Racine Case. A skilled big man with a soft shooting touch, Taylor was a handful all game long. Inside and out, Taylor was able to score the basketball. Versus a smaller lineup, Taylor easily got to his right hand and showcased a nice jump hook. Able to score going away from the rim, Taylor even busted out a good looking fade away jumper. He’s not a great ball handler, but can provide support on the perimeter and take some bigs off the bounce if he can get to his right hand. On the block, Taylor is also a good passer. He feels double teams coming and distributes to shooters at a high level. If given space, Taylor can make defenders pay from beyond the arc. Defensively, Taylor protected the rim very well. Bouncier than he looks, Taylor was able to track down shots from a good distance. Taylor finished with a game-high 26 points in a win. This is a prospect Division 2 schools should be giving a close look to over the next year.
Karter Thomas – 2020 – PG – Oshkosh West
A sleeper in Wisconsin’s 2020 class, Thomas looked really good on Saturday. The sophomore floor general had 20 points in a loss to Brookfield East. Thomas got off to a great start, scoring 14 in the first half before running out of steam. A physically strong prospect, Thomas’ body is advanced. He can work his way into the paint and all he needs his a slight angle to get to the hole, using his broad shoulders to muscle people out of the way. Thomas was also very good in the pick n’ roll. He
made sound decisions with the basketball, knowing when to take his shot and when to distribute. Thomas hit some tough, contested shots off the bounce, looking calm and collected after turning the corner off the screen.
Jakobe Thompson – Racine Case
Thompson struggled against a solid defensive ball club in Germantown, but it’s easy to see why he’s regarded as one of the top players in the 2021 class. He came on late, finishing with a team-high 15 points in a loss and nearly led Case to a come from behind win. An electric ball handler that can shake and bake in the open floor, Thompson is very hard to stay in front of. Dangerous when he gets into the paint, Thompson has excellent body control and a nice floater around the rim. Thompson has a tendency to force at times and doesn’t have the strength/athleticism yet to really win in traffic, but does put a lot of pressure on a defense and really tests their principles. Aside from his body, there’s a lot of room for Thompson to grow. He’ll get better with his 3-point consistency, court awareness, and facilitating. The skills are there. If Thompson can round out his game, he’s a Division 1 prospect.
Vlado Zrnic – 2018 – G/F – Greendale
Division 3 programs should be lining up for Zrnic. A do-it-all wing/forward that’s extremely active in all facets, Zrnic scored a game-high XX points against St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy. Zrnic has so much value as a prospect that can play three positions, score from inside and out, rebound, and make toughness/hustle plays. Zrnic is a tough cover with his ability to stretch the floor as a spot up shooter. The 6-foot-6 senior is also comfortable with his back to the basket, able to bang inside or turn and face. A skilled passer, Zrnic has a knack for finding cutting teammates for easy buckets. Whether it’s working the glass, playing the top of the 1-3-1 zone, running the floor in transition, Zrnic just never seems to run out of energy. His huge second half led Greendale back from a double digit deficit on Saturday.
2019 PG Marquise Milton went for 34 points to lead Racine Horlick past New Berlin Eisenhower.
2019 forward Mo Jamaleddin paced Greenfield’s win over Kettle Moraine Lutheran with a game-high 29 points.
Luke Taylor said he was hearing from Division 2’s Winona State, Hillsdale, Bemidji State, and St. Mary’s.
David Joplin has received an early offer from UNLV.
Vlado Zrnic is considering Lake Forest, Carroll College, and UW-Whitewater. He’s also picking up interest from Michigan Tech and a potential walk-on opportunity at Loyola (IL).
Larry Canady is receiving interest from Purdue, Marquette, Butler, Northern Iowa, UC-Irvine, UW-Milwaukee, and North Dakota State.
Cole Nau has interest coming in from Elon, UW-Green Bay, Princeton, and Holy Cross.
Patrick Baldwin Jr. holds an offer from UNLV.
Jalen Johnson has offers from West Virginia, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Schools such as Kentucky, UCLA, Kansas, North Carolina, and Duke have been expressing interest.