Posted On: 03/18/18 5:00 PM
PrepHoopsIllinois has evaluated tons of teams, games, and prospects throughout the season. We wanted to take a look back at some of the breakout performances by underclassmen that we saw during the high school season! Here are 10 Breakout Underclassmen Performances.
SF Khailieo Terry (Champaign Central – 2021)
Terry stands at 6’4” with long arms and wiry strength. He is a FREAK SHOW athlete that jumped off the floor at us in our first look at him against Decatur MacArthur at the Decatur Turkey Tourney! Insane jumper off the floor. Displayed that with his rebounding and quick second jump. Snatched rebounds at their highest point and kept balls alive. He had several huge dunks in this game on dump offs. Most of his points came on put backs or plays that were created for him. Did have one slash from the wing. No doubt he is a big time athlete with major upside as a prospect. Shot blocking is also a major strength for him. He is so explosive off the floor and looked like he was spiking a volleyball! Terry finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks.
SG Rolando “Pee Wee” Brown (Manual – 2020)
Brown was maybe the find of the day from a new prospect standpoint at the Springfield Lanphier Adam Lopez Holiday Tournament. Really liked what I saw out of this 6’1” shooting guard. Projectable body with length where he should grow a few more inches. Slippery slasher that attacked with authority. Got in the lane and finished at the cup. Explosive second jump around the hoop. Plays well in transition. Got on the glass. Streaky free throw shooter. Was a tough defender as well getting his hands on quite a few balls. He had 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 steals.
SF Jabari Chiphe (Walter Payton – 2020)
This sophomore was on our radar going into the Team Rose Classic, but really established himself as someone to track with his play. Chiphe is a 6’3” rangy two guard that will need to add strength long term, but has a lot of game. He is super smooth with the basketball handling getting to the hoop on slippery drives. Finished at the rim for at least three and-1 opportunities. Was an active rebounder as well. Didn’t show off his jump shot much in this game. Over the head release on his shot. He had 18 points and 6 rebounds in the game.
SG Blake Peters (Evanston – 2021)
Peters was the most consistent threat for Evanston in their early season game against Niles North on the road. The 6’0” freshman broke out with his play. Clean looking stroke from beyond the arc and has the athleticism to take defenders off the bounce if they guard him too close. Rebounds well and wasn’t afraid of the big stage at all. He had 16 points. Definitely a player we will be monitoring closely as time goes on as he can really shoot it from three.
SG Isaiah Barnes (Romeoville – 2021)
A week after barely seeing the floor this freshman might have been the best player for Romeoville at the Ramey Midwest Showdown Shootout. The shooting guard has good size and projectability. He really shoots the basketball well from beyond the arc. Let it fly from deep drilling three triples. Handles the ball well and is a solid passer for a wing. The freshman went for 11 points.
G Max Christie (Rolling Meadows – 2021)
The Jack Tosh Holiday Classic was our first chance to the see the much hyped 6’4” freshman who has been putting up big numbers early in the season. Wow were we impressed! First of all he has a long and lanky frame that is very projectable. Already has excellent size for the guard position, but he should grow several more inches over the next four years before he gets to college. Ultra smooth with the rock in his hands. He plays with such poise for a young player. Gets wherever he wants with his smooth ball handling. Likes to finish in the lane with runners/floaters. Gets to the rim on a fairly consistent basis off the bounce. Looks good in the transition game always having his head up while weaving through the defense looking to make a play for himself or others. Clean looking jump shot as he has shown he is a three point threat. Rebounds well for a wing and is a crisp passer that has point-forward potential. He was checked much of the game by top 5 senior Zion Griffin who is bigger and much stronger and still went off for the best performance of the day. He had 23 points and 5 boards. Christie is a potential high-major prospect and in contention early on for the top spot in the 2021 class in Illinois.
PG Ahron Ulis (Marian Catholic – 2020)
Ulis showed why he is a D1 prospect as he was the best player on the floor in Marian Catholic’s victory in their consolation game at the Hinsdale Central Holiday Tournament. The 6’1” point guard was a maestro controlling the tempo and getting others involved. Made outstanding passes throughout the entire game in transition, but was especially impressive in the half court getting it to his teammates in position to succeed. Ulis is a very high IQ guard that has an advanced feel for the game. Seems to put passes on the money over and over with his electric vision. As a scorer he is best in the open floor using his speed to get to the rack. Also a capable three point shooter that works well shooting with the ball in his hands coming off screens. He is an active defender cutting passing lanes and putting pressure on the ball. Ulis had 13 points (5-9 FG), 9 dimes, and 4 steals. Was on our radar, but this established him as a big time player in his class.
SG Dante Maddox (Bloom – 2020)
Maddox had the best game we have seen out of him in his young career at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. The D1 sophomore prospect was absolutely on fire from three early in their contest against Pontiac. He couldn’t miss hitting five in the first half. Deep range on his shot out to well beyond the college three point arc. Clean stroke with repeatable mechanics. Later in the game he started to get downhill using his strength and athleticism to score at the cup. The 6’2” sophomore scoring guard had 30 points on 10-17 from the field and an insane 7-10 from three.
PG Marcus Watson (Morgan Park – 2020)
Watson stepped up last year at the state tournament without Ayo and he had to do it again with the Morgan Park star injured at the Highland Shootout. Watson is a lefty 5’10” sophomore guard that got to the rim with consistency. Slippery with the ball in his hands that attacks downhill with speed and elusiveness. Creative handles in the lane and is an excellent layup maker. Made several nice dishes as well. Didn’t show much of a jumper beyond one 12 foot pull up. Watson had 15 points and is a player that could eventually join the long list of D1 guards from Morgan Park.
SG Amir Spann (Mt. Vernon – 2020)
Spann is a 6’2” sophomore shooting guard that has great strength in his upper body. Big time athlete at the two guard spot that uses his combination of athleticism and strength to get his points. Spann is best attacking the hoop whether it is off the bounce or in transition. He gets to the rim where he has the strength to finish above the rim and through defenders. Skies high above the defense on backdoor alley-oop slams. Pushes the ball in transition a lot of times after grabbing defensive rebounds going coast to coast. Rebounds well for a guard on both ends. The next step in his game will be to get a more consistent jump shot and be a better free throw shooter. Impressive night for Spann finishing with 23 points and 8 boards against Effingham.
SF Lamontay Daughtery (DuQuoin – 2020)
Daughery has been a player that we thought was trending toward high-major status for a while, but he solidified it with his play against Nashville late in the regular season. The progression he has made in his game continues to impress us each time we see him. Daughtery stands at 6’6” with a long and athletic frame. Will definitely need to continue to add strength going forward. Offensively at times he forces things and tries to do too much for his team. As a sophomore he is clearly the best player and has to take on a huge load. His jump shot continues to progress. Connects on pull up jumpers and can stop and pop from mid-range. Much more consistency on the shot and mechanics look sound. His athleticism plays well when attacking off the bounce. At times he can be a bit loose with it, but he has a great burst with the rock in his hands getting to the rim. Likes to shield the ball with spin moves in the lane. His post-game is an area that works for him against smaller defenders. He uses his quickness inside for hook shots. As a rebounder he was a bit timid early, but as the game went on he started winning 50/50 balls with his quickness and length. Defensively he is still up and down. The down is he will get lost every now and then or he won’t slide his feet and his man gets by. The good is he has extremely active hands in help defense getting deflections and steals at a high rate. Once he learns how to play hard all the time on that end and defend on the ball with intensity he has the physical tools to be a plus defender. Length allows him to block shots including on the perimeter. Daughtery had 21 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals, and 3 blocks.