Posted On: 04/23/18 7:00 AM
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 2020 and 2021 classes.
Class of 2020
SG Lashawn Johnson (Hoopville 16U)
Johnson was definitely a new name to add to our radar. The 2020 East St. Louis wing stands at about 6’3” with a good frame. Attacks downhill consistently getting skinny through traffic to get buckets in the paint. Connected on one triple in the game we saw. He is mostly a slasher that gets to the rim off the bounce and was effective in transition with several nice finishes. Johnson looked like a high end small college kid with the chance to elevate to D2 status.
C Armon Williams (Hoopville 16U)
Williams is a projectable 6’6” center that is long and lanky. He is more potential than production at this point. Runs the floor great for a big man with long strides. Raw finishing. Quick to the glass showing a natural feel for rebounding. Needs to add strength and work on refining his offensive game, but could be worth monitoring for D2s down the line.
PG Jayshawn Anderson (Hoopville 16U)
Anderson is a 5’10” point guard from East St. Louis High School. The 2020 guard is flashy with the ball and almost too flashy at times which causes turnovers. Nice speed in the open floor. Struggled at the free throw line. Small college or JUCO player.
SF Daulton Burgner (Illinois Bears 16U)
Burgner was a standout when we saw him on Wednesday night at the Pure Sweat Southern Illinois Skills Day. He presents size at around 6’4” with long arms. It wasn’t his day as he struggled to convert at the rim and over dribbled on the perimeter. Still like what he brings to the table as prospect with some upside.
PG Jacob Shadegg (Illinois Bears 16U)
Shadegg reminded me a little bit of former Mt. Vernon standout Braden Fitzjerrells. This Breese Mater Dei point guard is not the biggest, but at 5’9” he plays with a lot of heart and passion for the game. Pass first point guard that can also score. Crisp passes. Shot it well from the perimeter in the game we saw connecting on a handful of triples. Size didn’t seem to hurt him getting his shot off. Kid plays with a motor! He had 17 points against a stacked Oklahoma PWP squad. Small college point guard.
PF Jaccob Dust (Illinois Bears 16U)
Dust stands at 6’6” from Effingham St. Anthony. That program has produced some quality small college prospects over the last couple years and Dust looks to be the next in line in 2020. He is a tough and rugged kid that is an excellent area rebounder. Country strong kid that is powerful finishing through weaker big men. Efficient with his touches on the block and shows some skill down low. He had 16 points. Love this kid at the small college level!
Class of 2021
PG Ethyn Brown (Jets-Ramey United 15U)
It was a nice day on Saturday for this 6’0” point guard from Belleville Althoff. He showed flashes against older competition seeing minutes on varsity for his high school team this past season. He is a smooth lead guard that has athleticism that he likes to use in the paint. Sound perimeter shooter who can hit a three when left open. Like how he mixed up scoring and passing getting others involved with crisp passes in the half court.
SG AJ Smith (Jets-Ramey United 15U)
This was my first look at former Mr. Basketball Mark Smith’s little brother. The Metro East Lutheran guard profiles in some ways like his brother physically. He is actually a little taller at about 6’4” and more of a natural off guard. He has great strength in his upper body with broad shoulders. Moves well. Really struggled to score missing threes and not converting on multiple open slam dunk attempts in a row. Smith is definitely a name to watch going forward with his bloodlines and physical profile.
PG Jamarkus Gary (Jets-Ramey United 15U)
Gary opened our eyes with his play for Jets-Ramey United. The Alton 5’10” freshman is a thicker guard that gets in the lane for most of his scores. Couple strong takes and also got on the offensive glass for a put back. Did hit one mid-range jumper. Tough guard!
C Joe Ware (Jets-Ramey United 15U – MO)
Ware is from Oakville, MO which previously produced Austin Gillmann. Ware is another big man at about 6’6” that could develop in time. He is long and lanky with broad shoulders. Weak finishing around the hoop. Really raw offensively at this stage. Did have a couple blocks. A lot of these same things could have been said about Gillmann the first time we saw him as a freshman. Long way to go, but one to track in Missouri!
SF Tommy Grafe (Jets-Ramey United 15U)
Grafe is a bulldog 6’2” small forward from Belleville West. He probably isn’t going to grow much more, but will be an excellent high school player for the Maroons. He has a thick body and plays with intensity. Tough area rebounder for his size getting a few offensive rebound put backs.
SF Yasir Gire (Hoops Canada 15U – CAN)
This Canadian prospect intrigued us with his long and projectable frame. At 6’3” he probably has several more inches to grow. Finishes well in the paint despite his thin build. Smooth with the ball weaving through the defense for scores. Low release on jumper, but did knock a couple in.
SG Tobias Roland (Oklahoma PWP 15U – OK)
Roland is a prospect that jumped off the page for us on PWP. The 15U UAA squad is playing up in the 16U division in this tournament, but it didn’t seem to faze them one bit winning the game we saw by 20+ points. A major reason was this guard. Roland stands at 6’3” and is built with great upper body strength. This shooting guard has deep range on his jumper and he showed that off in the contest we saw as he drilled five triples in the win going for 15 points. Clean and quick release on his shot. Currently has no offers. That should change as he is a no brainer mid-major and maybe higher. He has already visited Oklahoma and Oklahoma State per his travel team coach.
PG Makale Smith (Oklahoma Run PWP 15U – OK)
Smith is a tiny playmaking point guard that can really go! He pushes the tempo with his natural speed. Active defender with pesky hands creating turnovers. Also showed he could put the ball in the hole from deep hitting multiple threes. This scoring point guard is one to watch going forward. He had 20 points in a win.
SG Matthew Stone (Oklahoma Run PWP 15U – OK)
Stone is a big two guard at 6’3” and should continue to grow. He can shoot it from three. Did air ball a couple, but profiles as a good shooter with a clean looking stroke.
PG Marlo Fox (Oklahoma Run PWP 15U – OK)
Fox is a shooting guard at 6’0” that is a crisp passer and solid free throw shooter. Did a nice job scoring at the rim in the game we saw. Several athletic takes to the cup. Like his projectability long term.
C Luke Braman (SI Select 16U)
Braman is a 6’7” 2021 big man from Roanoke-Benson High School in central Illinois. Struggled some finishing which is a bit concerning since he was by far the biggest kid on the floor. Can’t teach his size and mobility at his age. Actually moves pretty well for how tall he is and has solid strength. Definitely some tools to work with here and a name that we will track going forward!
SG Matthew Sells (SI Select 16U – TN)
This Tennessee native from Livingston Academy can really score it at 6’1”. He is creative with the ball in his hands finding different ways to score and converted some difficult shots around the rim. Slashing guard that got a lot of his points in transition.