Notebook: Saturday In Indianapolis

Grassroots
Illinois

Posted On: 04/29/18 8:06 PM

The UA Association got underway Friday but Saturday provided us a look at one of the best leagues in the country.  With UA Grind and 1 Nation with a ton of Indiana players on them, we made them the focus this weekend.

UA Grind 2020 Gets Off To Slow Start, Finishes Well

8:00 AM games are never fun and it showed early with Grind 2020 and Team Thrill.  Low scoring first quarter but eventually Michael Saunders and company got going. Saunders picked up the pace in the second and started finishing at the rim a bit better.  Thrill had plenty of size and length which caused some problems early.

Football standout Kenny Tracy brought the shooting later in the game, along with some solid points from Jeremy Baker, the 6’1 Kokomo (IN) product, Grind slowly closed the gap and then pulled away. Thrill struggled to get much going showing a lot of raw ability, just maybe a year away from really blowing up.

Dillon Duff was pretty aggressive and was active all over the floor. His ability to play in the paint is ideal when he’s able to make jumpers off the catch.  Duff and Deontae Craig will be more of the rebounding force for this group.  They are undersized a bit but they have a lot of speed and play quicker than a lot of other teams are comfortable with. They will rely on their jump shooter ability a bit as well but going 6-0 so far has proven successful on the UAA circuit.

1 Nation 2020 Home To Indiana Talent

In recent years, 1 Nation has grown from the program that was home to Josh Jackson, to a much different look. They are built more of Detroit and surrounding area kids with more of that balance to the other parts of Michigan. They have also been a place to pick up some Indiana talent.

2021 guards Andrew Kroft and Jaden Thomas played well on Saturday afternoon.  Kroft, a 6’1 guard out of Fort Wayne North (IN), was really aggressive going at the rim. Good speed with the ball and encourages contact.  Shot well off the catch and has the ability to put up some points.  Thomas, a 6’2 guard from International (IN), is a little bit more raw of a prospect but plenty of upside resides in his long, lean frame. Good athleticism and showed off a capable jumper.

1 Nation 2020 fell short against a really good Wisconsin Playground Warriors 2020 group and fell to 0-5 but are much better than their record. Need anther piece or two but the Indiana players are holding them up right now.

Illinois Wolves 2020 With Some Size And Skill To Watch

One of the more respected programs in the country is Illinois Wolves and while they might not have the top talent year in, year out, they always have players and this 2020 group is an intriguing one to watch.

Led by 2021 guard Max Christie, they are a big group with tons of skill and the ability to play inside out. Christie, a 6’4 guard out of Rolling Meadows (IL) already has a DePaul and Florida offer and he showed why on Saturday. The long, thin guard has outstanding handles and the ability to create off the bounce while shooting it pretty respectably.  Very dynamic guard who could grow into his body and become a high-end producer at the next level.

Current Lipscomb wing Jake Wolfe’s younger Brother, Will, is a solid 6’6 wing who shot the ball well and was fairly creative in the mid-range. They also have the Kwiecinski twins, Jordan and Bennett, who are really skilled and able to play on the perimeter and inside.

Even deeper on this list of talent, we walked away impressed with Frank Jakubiecek at times as more of a post four-man.  The 6’7 forward is joined in the post with Brandon Lieb (6’9) and Connor Like (6’8) as the post players for this group adding to this team’s crazy amount of size.