What We Learned: Midwest Throwdown


Posted On: 04/24/18 6:00 AM

PrepHoopsIllinois covered the Midwest Throwdown ran by Recruit Look over the weekend in St. Louis.  Here are some of our thoughts from the event in What We Learned: Midwest Throwdown!


Oklahoma Run PWP 15U Was Most Talented Team

In the games I saw on Saturday there was no more talented team than Oklahoma Run PWP 15U.  They rolled over both of their opponents on the day while playing up in the 16U division.  Despite going against older competition they looked dominant with their guard play.  PWP boasts a quartet of talented guards.  They are led by shooting guard Tobias Roland who has a chance to be one of the best prospects in Oklahoma’s 2021 class.  The physical wing can fill it up from beyond the arc!  Makale Smith is a dynamic scoring point guard that was a straight bucket getter!  Matthew Stone and Marlo Fox are a pair of other scoring guards to watch.


Chicago Select 17U Has Deep Squad

Really enjoyed watching Chicago Select’s 17U group play.  They have added some new pieces to last year’s group which has made them even stronger.  This group is defined by having a lot of interchangeable pieces.  Damari Nixon from Fenwick is their top prospect, but they are definitely not a star driven team.  At the point guard position Tim Ervin runs the show.  He is joined in the backcourt by an array of combos in Nixon, Tyriel Nelson, Elijah Stewart, and Andrew Stewart.  Forwards are loaded with athleticism in Deion Jackson, Greg Outlaw, Denardo Jones, and Jason Mason.  Inside they have three huge dudes the best being Providence St. Mel’s Taeyon Neal.  They took care of business in a blowout win against Hoops4Health in the game we saw.


Hoopers 17U are More Than Just Tyler Cochran Show

The last two season’s Hoopers have been led by a top 10 player in Nana Akenten and then Zion Griffin.  They have a clear top prospect again this year in 2019 #18 Tyler Cochran.  He was good throughout the event showing off his versatile game scoring, passing, and rebounding.  This team is more than just him however as his Bolingbrook running mate Ikenna Okeke continues to emerge as an athletic and versatile wing.  Kameron Leonard inside provides rebounding.  Yamani Shareef has proven that he can really shoot it when left open.  Diamond Presniakovas is a tough wing.  Kaleb Thornton brings a veteran presence at the point.  They should continue to do damage the rest of the spring.


Inside-Outside Duo Shows Well for Bears 16U

Despite their loss to Oklahoma PWP an inside-outside duo emerged for the Illinois Bears 16U.  Class of 2020 Breese Mater Dei point guard Jacob Shaddeg is a tough and competitive point guard that fought tooth and nail despite being down by a lot.  He can shoot the rock from three and is a willing passer.  Inside 6’6” post Jaccob Dust is a country strong big that plays physical inside and dominates as an area rebounder.  They have some other pieces on this team that were either not there (Carson Parker) or didn’t have the best games in this particular outing that we are fans of (Luke Ervie and Daulton Burgner) that should make for a fun group to watch develop!


More Prospects on Way at East St. Louis

East St. Louis will be led once again next year by #3 2019 small forward Terrence Hargrove, but after watching Hoopville 16U this weekend he will have some 2020 running mates to help share the load.  One that stood out the most was shooting guard Lashawn Johnson.  He proved that he can attack downhill at 6’3” getting scores slicing through the defense.  Point guard Jayshawn Anderson is a flashy guard.  Post Armon Williams is a raw and athletic big man that runs the floor.




Next Generation of Jets with Same Names

It is always fun to see younger prospects that you covered their older brothers.  The Jets-Ramey United 15U group has a pair of them in Ethyn Brown and AJ Smith.  Brown is the younger brother of Edwyn Brown.  The Althoff 6’0” 2021 point guard is smooth with the basketball and can make plays for himself and others.  Smith’s brother Mark Smith won Mr. Basketball a couple years ago at Edwardsville.  This 6’4” shooting guard from Metro East Lutheran is already bigger than his older brother and has the same build and athleticism.  Will have to see if the game can round out like it did with his brother.



Get Your Rosters Turned In and Numbers Correct!

The purpose of the live period is to get seen by college coaches.  It is always very frustrating to coaches and scouts when the rosters are not correct.  That was the case for many of the teams we saw in St. Louis.  This is not the event director’s fault as he can only put in the program what the team gives them!  Many of the numbers were not correct and some teams didn’t even send in rosters.  Mike Enright did a great job with this event as he always does.  Travel team directors you have to turn your rosters in and make sure the numbers are accurate!  No college coach wants to have to run around and find out who is who.  That is a step they shouldn’t have to do to recruit your players!