Posted On: 04/14/18 9:15 PM

PrepHoopsIllinois spent the day on Saturday back at Whitney Young High School for day 2 of the Team Rose Classic.  We dive into the prospects that were the standouts from the day here!


SG Matt Ambrose (Fundamental U 16U)

Ambrose is a coach’s son that plays with a high basketball IQ.  He is best as a perimeter shooter.  Ambrose let it fly from three for a big game on Saturday connecting on an array of triples on his way to 15 points.  The Stevenson shooting guard moves well without the ball and has a knack for sliding to the right spot to have an opening to get his shot off.


PG Alex Wood (Young & Reckless Brown 16U)

Wood was phenomenal in their morning game on Saturday!  The Normal U-High 5’10” point guard runs the show, but in this game it was his scoring ability that was on full display.  Wood is one of the top 2020 prospects in central Illinois and he showed why.  The lead guard excels with his pull up jumper.  He can stop and pop for jumpers from all over the floor.  He hit a ton of them from both mid-range and three.  Crafty guard that plays with smarts and knows how to maneuver to get his defender where he wants him.  Had a couple acrobatic finishes at the cup.  Wood is a crisp passer that gets others involved in the half court.  Finished with 24 points.


PG Na’Shawn Howze (Grinders 16U)

Howze is a new name that we added to our radar with his play.  The Mooseheart point guard can really fill it up.  Offensively he is a sound perimeter shooter especially pulling up from three in transition.  Liked how he got after it on the defensive end with his active hands creating turnovers in both games we saw.


PF Sangolay Njie (Team Rose 16U)

Njie struggled a week ago in Madison with his production.  He brought the motor in his home gym.  The Whitney Young 2020 four man is built with great strength and is a quality athlete.  He brought the motor and because of that the numbers followed.  Njie was assertive on the glass high pointing rebounds and snatching them with two hands.  Showed his athleticism off above the rim with a poster dunk and another quick take from the mid-post that he finished with his left hand.  When he plays with the energy he did in this contest he definitely brings something to the table!  Njie had 13 points.


SF Nate Santos (Chicago Elite 16U)

Santos is a long and rangy 6’6” small forward that is from Geneva.  The 2020 wing ranks among the top 30 overall in his class and put together a nice day in the two games that we saw.  Santos is a projectable wing with size, length, and athleticism.  Smooth handling the ball both in transition and the half court.  Hit jumpers from all over the floor with a clean looking stroke that he gets off with relative ease.  He had several strong takes to the hoop where he either finished at the rim or got fouled.  Skilled offensive threat that presents upside.


PG Joey Tianen (Breakaway 16U)

This Niles Notre Dame lead guard that controlled the game for Breakaway.  The 2020 PG handles it well.  Crisp passer that made several outstanding dishes in the lane.  Tianen showed the ability to stretch the defense with his perimeter shot as well.


SF Dannie Smith (Young & Reckless Denard 17U)

Smith was a star this past season for Orr and one of the more dominant wings in the state.  He has decided to go to prep school and reclassify to the 2019 class.  Because of that he is running with Y&R this spring.  The tough and physical wing brings off the charts competitiveness to the table.  Plays with a high end motor all the time.  Plus spot up shooter from three and took it right at the defense on some drives where he has the ability to finish through them.  After a year of prep he is going to find a home as a quality mid-major prospect.


PG Zach Vaia (Breakaway 17U)

Vaia who is a smaller lead guard at 5’9” from Riverside Brookfield shined with Breakaway 17U when we saw him at the Team Rose Classic.  The 2019 guard is crafty with the ball changing gears and speeds keeping the defense off balance.  He advances the ball up the floor in transition.  Hit a couple floaters and a three.  Definitely has some scoring pop, but it was his passing that stood out most to me as he was unselfish getting his teammates involved in the game.


F Keenan Jones (Young & Reckless Parham 17U)

Jones was on his home turf at Whitney Young.  The 2019 rangy 6’5” small forward is your classic 3 & D guy at the next level.  He is a quality on ball defender that uses his length and lateral quickness to guard on the perimeter.  He is a mismatch with his spot up shooting from deep as well as being able to get on the offensive glass for put backs with his quick second jump.