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Posted On: 05/24/18 3:00 PM
Each week we look at “What We Learned” from the event we have just covered the previous weekend! Here are some of the things that caught our eye in St. Louis at the Arch Elite Showcase!
Wolves 17U Goes 3-0
The Illinois Wolves 17U group had a successful 3-0 showing at the Arch Elite Showcase. They played three showcase games on Saturday. The first two were not easy by any means. Arsenal Hoops gave them everything they had as the St. Louis squad made it a nail bitter in the final minute of the contest. The Wolves closed out the win 55-51. They would record another close win against Eric Gordon who led throughout the game by a final of 61-58. They finished their trifecta of victories with a 65-49 W over Gateway. Nice way to end the spring!
Ray’Sean Taylor Breakout
Taylor had a breakout day! The Collinsville point guard who plays for Gateway Illinois 16U did whatever he wanted in the two games that we evaluated. He is an explosive lead guard that has a burst with the ball. He plays with a lot of confidence and got pretty much whatever he wanted done of the floor. Scored at the rim, hit jumpers, and dished it to his teammates. Will see a significant bump in his ranking in June.
Illinois Wolves 2021 Wing Duo
A pair of Illinois Wolves wings made a big impact. Max Christie absolutely showed why he is the top prospect in the 2021 class with his ultra-smooth scoring game. Just an effortless feel for the game and can score from all three levels on the floor. OPRF shooting guard Isaiah Barnes put in one of the more productive performances we have seen out of him this spring. He was aggressive with drives to the hoop. Fitting as the best we saw him during the high school season was also in St. Louis.
Gateway’s Twin Towers in 2021
Gateway is an Adidas program out of St. Louis. Their 16U team features a duo of 2021 posts from Desmet. Yaya Keita is a physically built post that is stronger than any 15U player we have seen in a while. Big time rebounder and a major shot blocking presence on the interior. Powerful finisher. Sekou Gassama is another big man that can swat shots, but he also displayed some skill on the low block. If these two stay at Desmet they are going to be a force for several years!
Illinois Wolves 16U With Another Big Win
The Illinois Wolves 16U went 0-8 in UAA play during the two live periods. Then when we saw them in Fort Wayne for Run N Slam they took down the top ranked 16U team in the country Indiana Elite who had a 60 game winning streak coming into the game. 2021 star Max Christie played a huge role in that. With Christie not playing against EG10 it looked to be a tough one for the Wolves, but they were the ones that totally dominated the game. They don’t have a star, but did a tremendous job of sharing the ball, hitting open shots, rebounding as a team, and playing tough defense. That formula added up to a 65-49 victory.
Keith Kiner’s Improvement
It is always great to see improvement in a player’s game. Most of the time that comes over a lengthy period of time as much as we see these prospects. With Chester 2019 6’6” forward Keith Kiner he has made a dramatic leap in his game since we saw him just about a month ago at a camp in Carterville. Despite their loss to Pocket City, Kiner was outstanding for the Illinois Bears 17U! He showed improved handles in transition and played with a relentless motor. Even hit a three. One to monitor going forward!
Another Wolfe on the Way
For teams that play Effingham on a regular basis there is bad news as another Wolfe is on the way! The Wolfe brothers Grant, Landon, and now Parker have been a mainstay for both the Illinois Bears and Effingham High School over the years. Parker is a 5’9” lead guard that doesn’t have the size of his brothers, but is tough and crafty like both of them. He is a smart player that knows how to use angles and get his shot off. Went for 36 points on Saturday night.