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Posted On: 07/13/18 11:00 PM
Another full day of Illinois prospects at the Next Level Invitational in Milwaukee. Here are the players that stood out the most to us.
SF Donavon Clay (Ramey-Jets United 17U)
Clay started off the day on Friday with a nice performance against the Illinois Irish. The three and D 6’6” wing can really shoot it from deep. Plus spot up shooter off the catch, but in this game showed even more creating his own shot on multiple occasions drilling pull up jumpers. Consistently flew in from the perimeter for offensive rebounds.
SF Landon Wolfe (Illinois Irish 17U)
Wolfe is one of the toughest wings in the state and that was on display at Next Level. The Effingham small forward moves great without the ball setting up his shot. Did hit a shot from 15 feet, but most of his damage was done on crafty drives to the hoop where he finished through contact and made regular trips to the charity stripe.
SF Ryland Holt (Illinois Irish 17U)
Holt is becoming a very intriguing player for a lot of D2 schools this week as he has already picked up a pair of offers at that level. What you have to like about this 6’6” forward is his ability to stretch the floor with his shooting. Sound perimeter stroke and can be a small ball four in certain lineups at the next level with his ability to switch and guard multiple positions. Potential to be a big time threat from beyond the arc at the college level.
PG Matas Masys (ET21 Buckeyes 17U)
Masys is one of the premier snipers in the state. He is a smaller point guard that gets his shot off from super deep and they go in on a regular basis. Bombed in an array of threes from NBA distance. Competitive kid that brings a desire to win to the table.
SF Martin Macenis (ET21 Buckeyes 17U)
Macenis will team up with Masys next high school season as he is transferring to Willowbrook. He is a big small forward at about 6’6” that has a European feel to his game. At his best when he is passing with flair and creating shots for others. Feathery jumper stretches out to beyond the arc.
SG Deonte Billups (Quad City Elite 17U)
Billups is back with QCE and he showed growth since we saw him in the spring with the Fire. The Moline two guard played about as hard as we have seen him during his career. He was super active on the offensive glass with his second jump. Got a handful of put backs in the game we saw. Also mixed in a three off the catch and a strong take to the rack. Overall if he plays as assertive as he did in this game consistently watch out!
PF CJ Wilbourn (Quad City Elite 17U)
Wilbourn might not have blown you away when just looking at the scoring numbers, but it was the little things that impressed us. This Normal Community power forward looked much more comfortable playing as a face up four man handling the ball and even hit a pull up three. Liked what he did on the glass snatching them in traffic and protected the rim.
PF Michael Tyler (Illinois Irish Gus 17U)
Tyler emerged on our radar during Springfield Southeast’s run through the tournament. The long and lanky four man changes the game defensively with his length and anticipation. Definitely has major bounce and showed that off blocking shots. Flashes skill on occasion, but most of his points came on put backs.
PF Evan Pogge (Illinois Irish Klein 17U)
Pogge is a physically built 6’6” post from Normal Community that plays bigger than his height. Brings mobility and powerful rebounding in traffic to the table as a prospect.
PG Zach Vaia (Breakaway Basketball 17U)
Vaia did just about everything for his Breakaway team in their blowout victory. The Riverside Brookfield guard lacks ideal height, but he makes up for it with his toughness and scrappy nature. Crisp ball handler and precise passer found his shooters in perfect spots to make their shots. Also drilled some of his own.
SG Connor Ilyavi (Breakaway Basketball 17U)
This Downers Grove North 6’3” wing is a lefty shooter that flat out was on fire for portions of their contest on Friday night. Connected on pick/pop threes along with triples off the catch from movement.
SF Isaiah Rivera (Quad City Elite 16U)
Rivera had a quiet first half in their Friday night game and then he came out aggressive to start the second half. When the top 5 2020 prospect is looking to make plays with the ball in his hands either passing or scoring he is a problem! Had a few aggressive takes in both the full court and half court. Shot wasn’t falling, but when he is using his strength to finish through contact he can make an impact on that alone. Had maybe the play of the grassroots season for me when he caught an alley-oop literally jumping over a guy and threw it down with two hands!
C Devon House (Quad City Elite 16U)
House is a big and wide bodied post that continues to get better each time out. He has a skilled low post game where he is starting to put combination moves together which is scary with his already advanced footwork. Catches the ball well in traffic finishing dump off passes. He can even handle it a little in space. Big time rebounder and lane clogger inside.
PG Zach Toussaint (Kessel Heat 17U)
The “Baby Faced Assassin” is back with his passing flair, speed in the open floor, and deep threes. The Johnsburg standout is such a fun player to watch with the way he can pass it throwing exciting dimes. Gets to the rim with quickness preferring to use his floater over big men. Connects on threes from deep with a quick release.
PF Chris Conway (ET21 Buckeyes 16U)
Friday night was the best I have seen this Naperville Central power forward play. He has all the tools with a skilled offensive game and he put that on display. Screen and roll, quick post moves, and takes from the mid-post. Defensively he was a monster blocking shots and protecting the rim over and over again! Great timing.
PG Alec Millender (ET21 Buckeyes 16U)
Millender is a lead guard from St. Rita that works well in ball screen situations manipulating them and taking advantage of what the defense gives him. Slick handles in traffic gliding through defenders to the rim. Showed continued growth as a distributor kicking to shooters.