Posted On: 02/10/18 8:27 AM
MEQUON — Second place in the North Shore Conference was on the line Friday night between Homestead (11-7, 11-4) and visiting Nicolet (11-8, 10-5). Getting a big effort from their star guard Ryan Waddell, the Highlanders used a second half rally to come away with a 64-54 victory.
Jack Brahm – 2018 – SF – Nicolet
Kid has a big motor that makes it tough to keep him away from the rim. Brahm might not be the leading scorer for Nicolet, but you could argue he’s their most important player.
Brahm is just relentless as a slasher. At 6-foot-5, he can score over people and relishes the chance to go right into a defender’s chest. He’s a good enough ball handler that he can change directions in the paint and work through multiple defenders.
If he’s not getting a shot, Brahm is getting after it on the offensive glass, always looking to keep plays alive. If his own shot is off, Brahm is ready to go get it. He’s the type of kid that thinks every ball on the glass is his and gets back off the ground in a hurry.
A tone setter that brings a toughness element to the table, Brahm will be a nice Division 3 pickup. He said UW-LaCrosse is currently in contact the most.
Declan Ciurlik – 2020 – F – Homestead
Ciurlik put the nail in the coffin during Homestead’s comeback. The sophomore forward was terrific down the stretch, not allowing Nicolet to regain any sort of momentum.
A skilled, versatile forward, Ciurlik was able to take people off the bounce from the perimeter. Comfortable bringing the ball up the floor, Ciurlik has the green light to go to the rim and has some surprising speed for his 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame. A matchup problem, Ciurlik can step out and shoot the ball a little bit and is comfortable on the block, showcasing a nice jump hook.
Ciurlik finished with 11 points, many of which came down the stretch of the ball game.
Reggie Butler – 2018 – SF – Homestead
He’s not one of their main scorers, but Butler had some big moments in Friday’s win.
A long, athletic wing/forward, Butler made plays on the offensive glass and opened some eyes with his ability to create going to the rim, scoring 16 points. There’s a lot of skill work needed, but Butler can create from the top of the key a bit and does a great job of adjusting in mid-air against contact. Butler was also a standout defensively. He did a great job getting after people and playing physical on and away from the ball. A kid that understands how to win the battle before it starts, Butler just wouldn’t let opposing bigs set up camp down low and forced them another step or two from their comfort zone.
Butler is hoping to play basketball next season. Small schools should look into and perhaps take a chance on this kid.
Jamari Sibley – 2020 – F – Nicolet
Sibley has been drawing more and more attention as the season wears on. The 6-foot-9 sophomore is facing constant double teams on the block to the point where if he wants to create something offensively, he’ll need to go out to the perimeter and get the ball, which isn’t a big part of Nicolet’s offense in terms of inverting him up top.
Held to 11 points, Sibley was still able to flash his exciting potential. Sibley had two jaw-dropping dunks in the open floor, going coast-to-coast and taking off well outside the paint. Defensively, Sibley came over from the weak-side and used his ridiculous length to pin shots against the glass.
— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) February 10, 2018
Sibley has a budding offensive skill set. He can handle the ball a bit against pressure and rise and fire over the top of defenders from 3-point and mid-range. A streak shooter, Sibley needs to be more consistent. Strength is also a bit of an issue right now — which he understands. Sibely can be pushed and moved around down low. Our No. 2 ranked prospect in the 2020 class, Sibely is showing enough signs that he’s a legitimate high major talent.
UNLV, Milwaukee, and Green Bay have already offered. Sibley is also drawing interest from Ohio State, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Xavier, Marquette, Purdue, and more.
Ryan Waddell – 2019 – PG – Homestead
Waddell was very impressive against a Nicolet team that tried to match up with him by using small, quick guards and lengthy forwards. Either way, Waddell found ways to score the ball.
— Prep Hoops Wisconsin (@PrepHoops_WI) February 10, 2018
A shifty, change-of-pace guard, Waddell has a deadly hesitation dribble that allows him to blow by people in the half court. Homestead uses a lot of weave action and Waddell did a great job of being patient until a crease opened or getting a matchup he liked. Waddell may not look the part, but this a guard that will attack and challenge people for 36 minutes and has a deep offensive package.
Waddell is picking up interest from Minnesota-Crookston at this time. Surely, he’ll be a coveted Division 3 prospect — at worse. If he can add some size and strength he could be a scholarship player.