Hoop Group: Thursday Standouts


Posted On: 07/5/18 11:33 PM

PrepHoopsIllinois was at the Hoop Group Chicago Academic Camp on Thursday.  We will have extensive scouting and recruiting updates over the next few days.  We start off with the standouts from Thursday’s action!


PG Artese Stapleton (Kenwood – 2019)

Stapleton is one of the better leads guards in the state of Illinois.  The Kenwood floor general is a slender prospect that has an angular build.  Stapleton got things started with his defense.  Quick and active hands on the perimeter allow him to get steals which he takes the other way.  Burst with the ball in his hands.  Very slippery through traffic.  Couple explosive finishes at the rim.  Also is a quality layup maker.


SF Terrence Shannon (Woodstock Academy – 2019)

Shannon has reclassified to 2019 after his senior year at Lincoln Park.  After a strong spring with the Mac Irvin Fire Shannon is one of the hottest prospects in the Midwest and has seen his stock rise to where he is a top 100 player nationally.  The 6’7” lefty small forward was a man among boys with his size and athleticism on the perimeter.  Shannon attacked with ease off the bounce along with going coast to coast on quite a few occasions.  On one poster jam he hurt his arm from slamming the ball too hard.  Jumper was solid when he was balanced.  At times he can lean forward too much on the shot.  His passing was an aspect that stood out.  Dished it with a lot of flair including fitting bounce passes in traffic and throwing long outlets over the defense on the money.


PG DJ Steward (2020)

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.


G Tyler Cochran (Bolingbrook – 2019)

Cochran is a power guard that is a beast on the offensive glass.  A lot of his points come off crashing the glass or getting his own rebound and putting it back in.  Finishes well around the hoop with strong drives to the cup.  Physical guard that plays with a very high motor.


PG Joel Watts (St. Rita – 2020)

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.


SG Damen Trice (Homewood Flossmoor – 2019)

Trice is an athletic two guard that can really slash!  He consistently made plays off the bounce scoring on drives.  He is a rangy athlete that can really score in bunches.  Also got out in transition.


SF Paul Zilinskas (Richards – 2020)

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 – 2020)

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.


C Vuk Djuric (Lane Tech – 2019)

Djuric stands at 6’6” from Lane Tech.  The big man is a versatile prospect that can play inside and outside.  Quality athlete for how strong he is.  Handles it facing up and makes smart decisions with the ball in his hands.  Beast area rebounder the snatches them at a very high rate.  Soft touch around the hoop and has nice footwork.


PG Nate Duckworth (Normal West – 2019)

Duckworth is a guard that impressed us late in the spring with his Illinois Warhawks squad.  He did it again at Hoop Group.  The Normal West point guard is a tough and gritty guard that can really shoot the rock.  Plus shooter from three that hits both off the catch and pulling up equally well.  Elite shooter.  Dishes the rock making both the simple and flashy passes equally well.  Plays with a lot of swagger to his game!


PG Thomas Stephenson (Rockford Christian – 2020)

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.