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Posted On: 07/9/18 3:00 PM
PrepHoopsIllinois was at the Hoop Group Chicago Academic Camp this past week. Here we discuss the players we saw and what we like about their games in our 2020 and 2021 evaluations from the event!
Class of 2020
PG DJ Steward
Steward is the #2 prospect in the state’s 2020 class. He is a big time top 30 national type recruit. Steward is a long and angular combo guard that is ultra-smooth with the rock in his hands. He matched up head to head with Shannon and did work. Steward hit some threes where he is especially good pulling up. At the beginning he settled for it a bit too much, but as the game went on he began to attack off the bounce with easy acceleration where he got in the lane for layups and even a super explosive two handed jam off a jump stop. Slick passer that made sound decisions with the ball.
PG Joel Watts (St. Rita)
The Hoop Group event was probably the best I have seen Watts play. The St. Rita lead guard is a quick and shifty PG that handles it well in tight spaces. Made a lot of plays off dribble penetration with his burst through the defense. Hit an array of jumpers from mid-range and stretched it to three on occasion. Solid layup maker. A lot of steals that he would take end to end.
SF Paul Zilinskas (Richards)
This Richards small forward stands at 6’4” with a nice combination of skill and athleticism. Handles it well in the open floor putting combination moves together. Has the ability to create his own shot. Also effective as a spot up shooter. Really like how he passes it from the wing. Tough on ball defender that moves well laterally.
SG Pee Wee Brown (Peoria Manual)
Brown flies a bit under the radar as he isn’t seen much on the travel team circuit, but this Manual guard can play! The 6’1” rising junior is a born scorer. He creates his shot both off the bounce and with a clean looking jump shot. When the ball is in his hands you think something good is about to happen. Plays above the rim and is a factor defensively as well.
PG Thomas Stephenson (Rockford Christian)
Stephenson is a 5’8” point guard that shot lights out from the perimeter to close out the night. He was absolutely on fire from beyond the arc. Made four or five in a row at one point.
SG Karl Jackson (Raytown, MO)
Jackson is a strong shooting guard that showed scoring prowess. He got to the line consistently and rebounded in traffic. Power guard that gets buckets.
PG Cameron Rowe (Decatur Eisenhower)
Rowe stands at 5’10” and showed us some flashes during the high school season. He is best right now playing off the ball as a spot up shooter. Clean looking stroke. If he can round out his point guard skills he could take a jump to next level as a player!
SF Lajuan Morris (Rockford Jefferson)
This 6’3” small forward is a powerful wing that plays with a high motor. Flies around on both ends of the floor and got on the offensive glass. Plays above the rim in transition.
PG Sean McNeely (New Trier)
McNeely stands at 6’1”. Proved to be a knock down shooter that also had some crafty drives off the dribble.
PG Nakyel Shelton (Schurtz)
Shelton is a small pass first point guard that worked well in ball screens as both a scorer and passer.
F Will Kapral (Chilton, WI)
Really liked what this 6’4” forward brought to the table. He has nice strength and some athletic pop. Scored a lot in transition and had a couple quick rips to the hoop in the half court. Active on the defensive end as well. One to watch!
PF Blake Coleman (Rockford Christian)
Coleman is a big bodied post at 6’4” that is a bit undersized, but knows how to use his body. Good finish on a tough catch in traffic.
Class of 2021
C Arthur Frigo (Oxbridge, FL)
This 6’7” center from Florida has family connections in Illinois with his mom being from Chicago. He was an impressive big bodied post with his footwork and how nimble he was in the paint. Soft touch around the hoop, got on the glass on both ends, and flashed a mid-range jumper.
F Olamide Ajiboye (Von Steuben)
This rangy 6’4” combo forward has a frame where he should continue to grow vertically and get stronger. Has plus length and will need to add on strength. Liked his mobility and upside with his versatility.
PG Rayshawn Buckner (Peoria)
This Peoria High 2021 point guard stands at 5’10” guard has a scorers mentality as he hit threes, pushed the tempo, and got to the rim. Would like to see his passing improve.
SF Dionysious Hogan (Peoria)
Long and lanky forward that is still a bit raw, but has a ton of athleticism that he brings to the table.
SG Anthony Coleman (OPRF)
This guard has solid size and length at 6’2”. He hit a sweet step back jumper and showed some straight line drive ability off the bounce.
SG Justin Johnson (Normal U-High)
Johnson stands at 6’2” and handles it well off the dribble. He scored on a spin move off a quick post up showing big time athleticism potential. Long release on his jump shot.
PG Isaiah Smith (Waubonsie Valley)
Smith is a point guard that is a crisp shooter, plus athlete, and a lead guard that can handle it in the open floor.
PG Ante Acosta (Joliet Catholic Academy)
Scoring point guard that hit quite a few threes. Sound looking shot from deep.
PF DeAndre Archer (Marist)
Archer is a 6’5” power forward that really rebounded well in his area. Like his developmental upside as he grows and improves the next three years.
PG Christian Henry (St. Rita)
Henry opened our eyes with his play at the point guard spot. Worked well in ball screen situations both as a scorer and distributor. He is a thicker point guard that plays strong with the ball in his hands.