Posted On: 04/12/18 6:00 AM
This past weekend we were at the Rock Spring Classic in Madison, Wisconsin where we saw a nice group of Illinois programs. Take a look at What We Learned from the Rock Spring Classic!
Team Rose Has Three Headed Monster
In their debut event of the spring Team Rose proved to have a three headed monster on the perimeter with a trio of prospects that rank inside the top 15 of the PHI 2019 rankings. Those prospects are Simeon point guard Kejuan Clements, Whitney Young shooting guard Myles Baker, and Curie wing Dajuan Gordon. Clements is a powerful point guard that showed his complete game both scoring and passing. Baker scored in a variety of ways at the rim and on Sunday drilled a ton of threes. Gordon is a rangy wing that scored with athleticism and crashed the glass. Team Rose 17U made it all the way to the championship game.
Chicago Teams Matchup in Epic Quarterfinal
Speaking of Team Rose they were part of an epic quarterfinal game at the 17U level on Sunday with their fellow Chicago squad Young & Reckless Parham. This game featured a ton of ranked prospects on both teams and it actually lived up to the hype of talent on the floor. The big three mentioned above for Team Rose all stepped up each scoring between 14 and 17 points with Baker leading the way. Young & Reckless were pushed by their dynamic point guard duo of Artese Stapleton and Chris Roberts with their elite speed. Roberts had 18 points while Stapleton finished with 20 points.
Nate Ferguson’s Athleticism
This Lemont 2019 power forward wowed fans, college coaches, and scouts with his athleticism. When we saw him previously he was a skilled post that played at the rim along with having face up skill. Ferguson has added 15 pounds of strength filling out his frame and that has translated into his new found athleticism. He was playing way above the rim with thunderous slams including a half court alley oop. It wasn’t just vertical explosion as he showed pop off the bounce. Ferguson is about to see his recruitment soar!
D1 Minnesota 16U Talented Group
We only watched D1 Minnesota’s 16U group play one time, but wow were they impressive. The Minnesota Adidas program played up on the 17U level and showed an array of D1 prospects led by a front court trio. Power forward Ben Carlson is a skilled 6’8” post that scores on the block and rebounds well. 6’10” Dawson Garcia is a lefty that handles it and shoots from deep with ease. Small forward Kerwin Walton has long arms that he uses effectively defensively and has offensive upside.
Fundamental U 17U Highly Skilled and Team Players
Fundamental U’s 17U group has a lot of high academic kids that know how to play the game. Their front court duo of New Trier’s Spencer Boehm and Crystal Lake’s Alex Timmerman are tough to stop with this high skill level scoring on the block. Tough nosed Lake Zurich point guard JR Cison runs the show getting others involved. They have a pair of out of state wings that bring athleticism and length to the team.
Y&R Denard vs Y&R Parham
Most of the time programs with two teams at an age level there is an A team and a B team whether they want to admit it or not. Young & Reckless does it a bit differently spreading out the talent on both their teams at the 17U level. The majority of both rosters are filled with ranked prospects. Which team is better? The top ranked current prospect of the group is Jeremiah Hernandez who runs with the Denard group. He is joined in the backcourt by Bogan’s Jeremiah Washington. The Parham team might have a deeper group of prospects with top point guard prospects Chris Roberts and Artese Stapleton leading the way. It would be fun to see these two meet up in an event sometime this spring!
Chicago Lockdown 16U Makes Run to Semis
It was a nice run for Chicago Lockdown’s 16U team on Sunday as they won a couple of games against quality opponents in Greenwood Elite and Young & Reckless to reach the semifinals where they would eventually fall to the Iowa Barnstormers. This Chicago Lockdown group isn’t loaded D1 players as they might only have one, but I came away very impressed with how they played as a team and were well coached. Their best prospect Plainfield East’s Christian Shumate is a slashing wing that makes plays at the rim. He is complimented by a pair of leaders at the point in Grant Niego and Connor Glennon. They also have a versatile group of wings and multi positional players led by DeAndre Hagans.
Seryee Lewis Lives Up to Potential
It is always great to see a player live up to his potential right in front of your own eyes. That is exactly what happened over the weekend with Kenwood 6’7” four man Seryee Lewis. The post has been a mainstay in the PHI 2020 top 20 since its debut, but it was based more on potential than anything he actually did. The athletic four man put it all together in Madison playing with a motor for the first time we have seen. He was active on the glass, finished around the cup, and drilled mid-range jumpers.
Ramean Hinton Breaks Out
Another highly ranked 2020 prospect that shined was Curie wing Ramean Hinton who checks in at #16 currently in the PHI rankings. He is a power guard that was dominant scoring throughout the event. He put on a shooting display drilling shots from all over the floor particularly pulling up with tremendous elevation. Scores well on drives and brings a high end motor to the table. Rebounds well for his size and proved to be a plus defender. Hinton took a major step in Madison!
Black Numbers on Black Jerseys
The point of grassroots basketball is to get your name out there for college coaches and scouts which will hopefully turn into college scholarships. That is kind of hard when no one can read your number! There was an out of state team at the event that had black jerseys with black numbers. Yes it might look cool when it comes out of the box, but if no one can read it then it is kind of defeating the purpose.
Coldest Gym of All-Time?
I have been a lot of cold gyms over the years especially during July. Most facilities keep the gym cold because they are worried about the floor getting wet from moisture and the players slipping. I am all for player safety, but at an off-site gym I went to on Sunday it might have been the coldest gym I have ever been in. It was 20 degrees outside and seemed like -20 inside.
Quality Event in Madison
This was my first time ever being in Madison period much less for an event. The city of Madison is nice right on the lake with lots of things to do around town. For the Rock Spring Classic it was about 20 minutes from downtown in Stoughton at an outstanding four court facility. Well run event with quality Illinois talent. Look forward to coming back next spring!