Posted On: 04/22/18 5:00 PM

PrepHoopsIllinois covered the Midwest Thowdown over the weekend in St. Louis we were able to get looks at some under the radar prospects from Illinois and surrounding states.  Here are our evaluations of the prospects in the 2018 and 2019 classes.


Class of 2018

SF Marlon Ruffin (Playground Elite 17U – WI)

Ruffin is a big and physical unsigned senior wing out of Wisconsin at 6’4” that is physical and aggressive with his play.  The 2018 prospect took it right at the defense with an array of powerful finishes through defenders at the cup.  He scored multiple and-1’s in the game that we evaluated.  Burst on his first step.  Did hit one three that he was fouled on to open the game, but you can tell his strength is going north and south to the hoop.  Ruffin netted 18 points.  Projects as a D2 kid.


PG Jaylin Scott (Playground Elite 17U – WI)

Scott is a 6’0” lead guard from Obama Career & Tech High School that opened some eyes with his play.  He is an athletic scoring guard that got to the rim throughout the tournament.  Quick off the bounce and can hit a three when left open.  Intriguing small college prospect that plays with a motor!


PG Kaleb Thornton (Hoopers 17U)

Thornton is an unsigned senior point guard from Bolingbrook High School.  The thin and wiry lead guard is best when he can use his speed to get out in the open floor.  Fast guard that can get a team running in transition and score at the rim despite his slight frame.  Can hit a mid-range pull up.  Thornton projects as a low end D2 prospect.


PF Barlow Alleruzzo (Hoops4Health 17U)

Alleruzzo is a big man from De La Salle that presents size at 6’8” along with some skill.  He can hit a three on occasion and had a nice drive through the lane.  It is just so inconsistent which is one of the biggest problems.  Needs to be tougher on the glass for his size.  In our eyes he is a high upside D3/NAIA prospect.




Class of 2019

G Tyler Cochran (Hoopers 17U)

Cochran was one of the main priorities for the mid-major schools that were in the house on Saturday.  This 6’2” power combo is a thick guard that might need to trim some of that off to reach his max ability as a player.  You have to love the competitiveness and toughness that the Bolingbrook guard brings to the table.  At times he settled for some forced jumpers, but in the second game he started off hot making them.  He was solid scoring, but was more impressive showing his well-rounded game.  Rebounded outstanding from his guard position and had crisp passes distributing throughout the day for Hoopers!  Cochran is a low-major prospect with mid-major upside.

C Kameron Leonard (Hoopers 17U)

Leonard stands at 6’8” with a strong frame.  He is intriguing because of his size and build.  The thing that he did best in the two games we saw was rebound the basketball inside of his area.  If the ball was near him Leonard snatched the rebound up!  High pointed them if they were contested.  Leonard struggles finishing and isn’t much of a scorer at this stage.  High end small college kid with some developmental upside.


SG Ikenna Okeke (Hoopers 17U)

Okeke is a player that each time we watch continues to get better.  The Bolingbrook 6’5” wing is an angular forward that plays with a high motor!  Slashing is what he does best taking quality angles and using a strong first step to get to the rim.  Scored on some layups and runners.  Did hit one three, but getting to the cup is his game.  Also thought he stood out defensively the way he defended the opposing teams best perimeter threat.  Small college player, but if he continues to progress I could definitely see a D2 investing in his potential.  Classic glue guy that makes his team better!


SG Diamond Presniakovas (Hoopers 17U)

This 6’4” Plainfield South forward is a high energy forward that plays with a ton of grit.  He gets the most out of his abilities for sure!  The 2019 wing can hit a spot up three when left open and was also effective crashing the offensive glass.  Tough and competitive kid that will make a small college coach very happy!


SG Yamani Shareef (Hoopers 17U)

This Plainfield East 2019 shooting guard’s game continues to grow on me every time I see the Hoopers play.  He has nice size at 6’3” with the ability to knock down shots at a high rate.  Shareef drilled triples throughout both the games we evaluated.  Definitely most effective off the catch and shoot.  This is a prospect we look forward to seeing how he develops in the upcoming months.  Shareef right now is a small college prospect.


PG Trequan Carrington (Playground Elite 17U – WI)

Carrington is an athletic lead guard out of the state of Wisconsin that impressed for Playground Elite.  The 2019 is a scoring point guard that consistently gets to the rim and is good finishing at the cup with acrobatic layups.  He was in attack mode in the game we saw getting to the rim over and over again.  No brainer at the D2 level.


F Justin Wallace (Pocket City 17U)

Wallace is a thick bodied power forward from Edwards County High School.  The 6’6” forward is a tough and competitive player that isn’t the most physically gifted athletically.  Plays really hard and that allows him to get some junk points around the hoop on dump off passes and offensive put backs.  Gets on the glass well for his size.  D3 or NAIA player at the college level.


C Jamarion Sharp (Pocket City 17U – KY)

This 6’11” center is definitely all-airport team as he was one of the tallest players at the event.  Rail thin and will need to add significant strength moving forward as he struggled finishing around the hoop.  Raw prospect that did run the floor very well.  Coordination needs to improve.  Could see a D2 taking a shot on him as a developmental big.


PG Lawrence Brazil (Jets-Ramey United 17U)

Brazil came up with the game clinching play to win the state championship for Belleville West.  He is running with Jets-Ramey United this spring and summer on the circuit.  The 6’1” guard is a quick and shifty guard that likes to operate in the paint where he can use his floater game.  Struggled to get his perimeter shot off in the game we saw.  Solid point guard that isn’t spectacular as a passer.  D3 or NAIA player at the college level.


SF Khalifah Muhammad (Jets-Ramey United 17U)

This 6’5” small forward from Belleville Althoff presents a great physical profile.  Broad shoulders with a strong upper body.  Fluid movements.  Rebounded very well from his wing position throughout the game.  Struggled finishing at the cup consistently despite his strength.  Hit a wing three with a pure shot mechanically.  Small college player that has the chance to be excellent at that level if he develops.


SF Clifford Talton (Jets-Ramey United 17U – MO)

This Monroe City, MO 6’3” forward has a nice combination of strength and skill on the perimeter.  He got to the foul line quite a bit on tough slashes to the rim.  Hit some contested jumpers including a sick step back.  Scoring pop out of this Missouri product as he finished with 14 points.  Talton looks like a nice D3/NAIA kid.


SG Patrick Evans (Jets-Ramey United 17U – MO)

Evans is a 6’3” shooting guard from McCluer North High School in St. Louis.  The 2019 wing proved to be a power guard that was aggressive taking it downhill right at the defense over and over again.  He scored well through contact at the rim and had a knack for making tough layups.  Didn’t see much in the way of a jumper.  High level small college prospect.


PF Nathan Soltis (Grassroots Indiana 17U – IN)

Soltis is a 6’6” tough and rugged four man that plays incredibly physical against opposing forwards.  He got to the foul line at a very high rate where he converted regularly.  Soltis showed a little bit of a face up game too scoring on a runner and had one huge dunk in the game!  He went for 16 points against the Jets.  Gritty small college forward.


SG Tyriel Nelson (Chicago Select 17U)

Nelson was one of the pleasant surprises of the day!  The 6’0” shooting guard from Providence St. Mel put his team on his back in the first half creating a huge lead that they would carry to the end.  He was aggressive from the jump pushing the tempo in transition and scoring in a variety of ways.  Hit a three, mid-range jumper, and had several acrobatic finishes.  Rebounds well for his size.  Nelson should find a nice home at the D3/NAIA levels.


PG Damari Nixon (Chicago Select 17U)

Nixon is probably the top prospect on the Chicago Select squad.  The Fenwick 6’1” guard is a long and angular combo guard that can really accelerate with the ball in his hands.  Nixon is extremely smooth with the rock getting where he needs on the floor to operate.  Plus shooter that can hit from both mid-range in the stop and pop as well as hitting from three off the catch.  Like what he brings to the table defensively with his lateral quickness and anticipation.  Nixon is a D2 prospect.


C Taeyon Neal (Chicago Select 17U)

Neal only scored four points in the game we saw, but the 6’10” big man showed growth in our eyes.  He looked like he was moving better than we saw during the high school season and it didn’t seem like his knees were bothering him like they had previously.  He still needs to trim down, but this kid can rebound in his area.  Flashed some skill including a right handed hook and scoring off a dump off pass.  Couple block shots.  Raw big man that we project best at the D2 level at this stage.


SG Andrew Stewart (Chicago Select 17U)

Stewart is an athletic wing scorer that can also shoot the rock.  He drilled a three and another mid-range jump shot.  Likes to get to his spot and rise up for a jumper.  High end D3/NAIA.


SG Elijah Stewart (Chicago Select 17U)

His twin brother from Kenwood also showed flashes.  He was more of a slashing scorer however getting to the rim in transition with a burst of speed.  Can use a runner in the lane as well.  High end D3/NAIA.


SF Jason Mason (Chicago Select 17U)

Mason is a player that popped on our radar during the high school season.  The 6’4” Providence St. Mel forward is an athletic wing that plays with a lot of energy.  He can rebound in traffic out jumping bigger opponents.  Offensively he can handle it in the open floor taking it to the rim.  Defends well on the perimeter laterally staying in front of his man and contests shots getting the occasional block shot.  Small college gem.


SF Greg Outlaw (Chicago Select 17U)

Outlaw is a new name to add to the radar.  This Bogan 6’4” small forward is athletic and can run the floor.  He had a big time slashing score on one take.  Definitely one to keep our eyes on going forward!


PF Denardo Jones (Chicago Select 17U)

Jones is another prospect that put himself on the map.  He stands at 6’6” from Timothy Christian.  We had heard some buzz about him coming into the event and there is definitely some potential here.  He is a bouncy four man that runs the floor well.  Still a bit raw, but is a player we look forward to seeing how he develops the rest of the spring!


PG Tim Ervin (Chicago Select 17U)

Ervin is a tiny point guard at 5’5” that is the floor general getting all of the bigs and array of wings on his team the ball in the positions they need.  He can handle it, but at times is a little wild.  Overall though he does a quality job of running the show, getting his team into plays, and being an unselfish lead guard.  Quality D3/NAIA player.


SG Xzavier Jones (Playground Elite 17U – WI)

Jones was the prospect that we knew about coming into the event for Playground.  He is a strong and athletic two guard that at the beginning of the game we saw played really hard and with a motor.  Was in attack mode and that faded throughout the game.  Jones threw several fancy passes some that were turnovers and others that were assists.  Overall he was just ok.  Think he is worth consideration at the D2 level!