Posted On: 01/25/18 6:00 AM
With the early signing period well in the rearview mirror we focus on who are the best unsigned wings remaining in the state of Illinois. Check them out here!
SF Drew Peterson (Libertyville)
Drew Peterson has showed why he is the top uncommitted prospect in the senior class from Illinois with his play in the first half of the season. The 6’7” small forward displays a diverse offensive game. He is a plus perimeter shooter as he shows by knocking down threes and shots out of the high post. He regularly drills step back shots from 15-18 feet. Quick release and gets height off the floor. Works well out of that area on the floor as a passer as well finding open teammates. Can take a smaller defender down in the post in key situations. Will need to continue to add strength, but there is no doubt he is a mid-major prospect in our eyes. Ability to score at multiple levels with good athleticism.
SG Zion Young (Simeon)
Young transferred into Illinois from Utah for his senior year. The top 15 prospect is coming off the bench for the Wolverines being an instant spark scorer. He is a strong wing and freak athlete. Excels in transition where he finishes above the rim with explosiveness. Sound spot up shooter that can stretch the defense. Rebounds well for his position. Mid-major and low-major programs should be watching him. Hard to understand why there isn’t more interest at this stage.
SF Dannie Smith (Orr)
Smith has been the most consistent threat for Orr in the games we have seen this season. The 2018 6’5” small forward has good size and strength on the perimeter. He knows what kind of player he is and what his strengths are. First he is a tough junk yard dog wing that will stick his nose in on the glass and rebound. Attacks well off the bounce with power finishing through opponents in the paint. Catch and shoot threat from beyond the arc. Really become a plus threat from deep this year. Also when the game is on the line he will post up weaker defenders and pound them back to the basket for a score. Low-major prospect that D2’s and JUCO’s should also consider.
SG Cardell McGee (Springfield Lanphier)
McGee is taking over the senior star guard role at Lanphier and is thriving in it early in the season. Most aggressive I might have ever seen out of the 6’3” shooting guard. Consistently got to the rack over and over again when we evaluated him. Sometimes he made the shots a little more difficult than they needed to be on the finishes, but he also used his body control when he needed it against rim protectors. Can hit threes off the catch. Seems more comfortable shooting it from deep off the catch than pulling up. Most of his damage is in the lane. Also rebounds at a high rate on the defensive end grabbing it off the glass and going the other way. Good defense as well. Needs to be looked at heavily by low-major programs and JUCOs.
SG Robert Harvey (Hillcrest)
Harvey continues to have an outstanding senior campaign. We have seen him multiple times this season and he has been super impressive each time. The 6’3” shooting guard is a lanky and athletic wing that is learning how to score while taking quality shots. Displays a silky smooth jumper especially off the catch from three. Pure stroke. Moves well without the ball to get open and sets up his shot. Would be wise for D2 programs to jump in now! Low-majors should also take a look.
SG RJ McGee (Kenwood)
McGee is stepping into the role as the go to scorer for Kenwood this season. McGee stands at 6’5” with strength and athleticism. Looked the most confident that we have seen him in the first two months of the season. Shot the ball well from the perimeter. Clean looking shooting stroke with elevation off the floor. Mixes in some finishes in transition and baseline takes off the bounce. McGee is efficient with his shots and looked like a no brainer D2 prospect with low-major potential if he keeps playing like this.
SF Justin Hardy (St. Charles East)
Hardy is one of the better unsigned prospects on the board. The 6’5” senior combo forward is so tough and competitive. His jump shot has gotten very consistent over the last couple years. Best shooting it from mid-range, but can hit a three on occasion. Not the most explosive athlete, but he gets by with his craftiness, skill, and smarts. The toughness and grit that he brings to the table are his calling card. Good rebounder and glue guy at the college level. High academic D2 programs should be all over him!
SG Damaria Franklin (Niles North)
Franklin is a powerful 6’3” guard that is built like a linebacker. He is at his best spotting up from three. Drills shots with a quick release and a compact stroke. Also a quality pull up shooter from 15-18 feet off the bounce. Rebounds very well for a guard. Franklin projects as a high D2 prospect with the chance to elevate into low-major status.
SF Naseer Turner (Kenwood)
Turner was about as good as we have seen him with his play at the Proviso West Tournament over the holiday break. The 6’5” rangy forward was all over the floor and came out aggressive offensively. Turner converted several quick finishes on the interior. He took it to the hoop strong off the bounce with his long strides. Got in the paint throughout. Turner made plays on the offensive glass with five offensive rebounds including a tip in dunk on one. Played to his strengths. Kenwood forward is a D2 player at this stage.
SG Quinlan Bennett (Proviso East)
Bennett has a plus pull up jump shot that he can get off from anywhere, but is best working in that 15-18 foot range. Also scores well in transition and the secondary break. The Proviso East 2018 is coming back from an injury that sidelined him for most of the early season and is working his way back into his summer form. Really good D2 prospect.
SG Eddie Creal (Romeoville)
Creal stands 6’3” with a strong frame and plus athleticism. Creal is an explosive wing that is at his best in transition. He finishes above the rim with explosion. Strong and athletic wing that is a big time finisher. He is a streaky shooter, but can hit them from three. Good rebounding wing. D2 prospect that might have to go the JUCO route.
SG Anthony Lynch (Larkin)
Lynch is a shooting guard that is having a nice senior year. The top 40 prospect is at his best when he is attacking and getting downhill. This senior is tough to stop with a head of steam behind him. Tough straight line drives to the hoop. Finishes well at the rim. Capable shooter pulling up from 15-18 feet. Lynch is a D2 prospect that would be a solid role player at that level.
SG Isaiah Saulsberry (Harrisburg)
Saulsberry is one of the better unsigned 2018 prospects in southern Illinois. The Harrisburg senior is a smooth shooting guard that has good muscle tone in his arms. Everything he does is just extremely smooth! Moves well without the ball to get open with crisp curls and is always ready to let it fly as soon as it touches his hands. He is definitely best as a perimeter marksmen that is equally effective pulling up from mid-range and hitting from three off the catch. Mixes in some drives as well. He is a quality athlete that makes acrobatic finishes at the cup. Competes on the defensive end. Will need to add strength going forward. Low-major consideration, but probably best suited at a high level D2 program.
SG Kenny Pittman (Simeon)
Pittman can flat out let it fly from deep. He flew a bit under the radar last season for the Wolverines, but is in the starting lineup as a senior and making noise. He is coming off a strong summer on the circuit with Young & Reckless. Pittman has quality size on the wing and can really shoot it. Best spotting up on the perimeter and hitting threes off the catch. Smooth athlete. Game off the bounce flashes, but isn’t consistent. D2 prospect.