Next Level Invitational: Thursday Standouts


Posted On: 07/12/18 11:45 PM

Thursday we were once again at the NY2LA Sports Next Level Invitational for a full day of Illinois travel teams during the first live period.  Here are the standouts from Thursday in Wisconsin!


PG Ray’Sean Taylor (Gateway Illinois 16U)

This Collinsville point guard has seen his stock soar to inside the top 25 with his play this spring.  Taylor is an athletic point guard that can score and dish equally well.  He is a strong ball handler that has the ball on a string.  Makes plays coming off ball screens getting in the lane where he finishes extremely well at the cup.  Pushes it with burst in transition.  Capable shooter although he only connected on one in this game.  Most of his point production came getting to the basket and on trips to the free throw line.  Also a quality passer that made a lot of on the money outlets and cross court passes to shooters.  He had 27 points.


C Keydrian Jones (Gateway Illinois 16U)

Jones is a big bodied five man that is about 6’6”.  Plays bigger than his height and is a bully down low on the block.  Rebounds extremely well inside his area.  Gets on the offensive glass for quite a few points a game.  Light on his feel and is actually a pretty good athlete for his size.


SG Sami Osami (ET21 Buckeyes 16U)

Osami was on fire from the perimeter for ET21 in the morning on Thursday.  The Oak Lawn 6’1” shooting guard connected on several picture perfect triples.  Also mixed in a few nice scores off the bounce.  Competitive kid that plays within his role on the team.


SF Daulton Burgner (Illinois Bears Zurliene 16U)

Burgner was a key player in the Bears comeback victory.  The Belleville Althoff wing used his length and activity level to get in passing lanes and create turnovers on the defensive end which he and his teammates turned into points on the other end.  He has some sneaky athleticism and can finish with both hands at the rack.


SF Kyndall Davis (All-In Athletics Williams 16U)

Davis is headed to Bogan next year and he will fit right in with their athletic wings!  This 6’5” small forward has a strong build and plus athleticism.  Was impressed with his skill set and power combination off the dribble.  Crisp ball handler that showed he could win off the bounce and get to the rim where he consistently finished through contact.


SG Tye Banks (Illinois Irish 14U)

Lanphier keeps rolling in high level guards and wings year after year.  Next up is this 2022 two guard.  We caught a half of his game playing up on the 15U level and he more than held his own.  Banks stands at 6’2” with strength to play at the high school level next season.  Plus shooter from mid-range that can stretch it out to three on occasion.  Reminds me a lot of a player we will talk about later Isaiah Rivera at the same age.


PF Sam Schultz (HIT 16U)

Schultz saw his stock rise in the spring and now he is back in July with his old travel team HIT where he is the featured player.  This power forward has a nice combination of strength and mobility at the four spot.  Pick and pop player, but didn’t really show much of that off.  It was more about his rebounding and transition play.  Schultz has very strong hands which help him grab boards in traffic away from opponents.  High level rebounder.  Ran the floor tremendously well, but also proved he could take it on his own as twice he secured a defensive board and went coast to coast for a score.


PG Taaj Davis (HIT 16U)

Davis jumped on our radar with his play.  The 6’2” Aurora Christian point guard is a lefty that was relentless attacking downhill.  Quick guard with acceleration in just a couple dribbles getting to the rim where he finished well.  Intriguing guard!


PF Scotty Ebube (Kessel Heat 15U)

This was my first chance to see this Mundelein big man.  He definitely deserves consideration among the better bigs in the 2021 class after seeing him in person.  Has a physically mature body already so he might not grow much more, but he is probably about 6’7” now.  Physical rebounder down low.  Offensively he displayed quality footwork in the post with a few up and unders along with other fundamentally sound moves.  Sometimes didn’t finish them, but that will come in time.  Was actually impressed with how he passed the ball and handled in space at his size.


SG Simon Wilson (Ramey-Jets United 16U)

It was a pretty balanced effort for Ramey-Jets United 16U as they were pushed by their defense pressuring all over the floor.  Wilson is a player that flies a bit under the radar, but he has size for position and is a dead eye shooter.  Did just that in the game we caught connecting on a trio of triples.  Quick release and consistent mechanics.  Next step in his development is to round out his overall game.


SF DeAndre Hogan (Chicago Lockdown 16U)

Hogan is a bouncy 6’4” forward from Brother Rice that plays bigger than his height.  Most effective on the interior where he uses his explosive second jump to get on the offensive glass for put backs.  High motor player.


SG Ray Adams (Ramey-Jets United 17U)

Adams is a two guard from Webster Groves that had the biggest shot of the night giving his squad the win over REACH Legends sending them to the final four of the Association tournament.  Right now Adams is best as a catch and shoot guy from beyond the arc that can stretch the defense with his shooting.


SF Donovan Clay (Ramey-Jets United 17U)

Clay has become a name that has created buzz among D2 and low-major coaches.  The Alton wing is 6’6” with long arms and can shoot it from deep.  Projects as a classic three and D guy at the next level.  Ability to defend multiple positions and is a plus shooter from beyond the arc.  Clean looking stroke from three.


SG Justin Eagins (Mercury Elite 17U)

Eagins began on Thursday where he left on Wednesday drilling triples from deep.  I mean super deep!  He was bombing them in from well beyond the NBA arc as he helped his team build a huge early lead.  The Downers Grove South product is a 6’1” lefty two guard that is primarily a spot up shooter at this stage.  Slowed down as the game went on as did his team, but that barrage at the beginning was super impressive.


PG Jack McDonald (Mercury Elite 17U)

McDonald is a lead guard from Geneva that we were huge fans of a summer ago.  He isn’t the greatest athlete, but he knows how to play the game with a high basketball IQ and crafty handles.  Gets to the spots where he needs to operate finding the opening among the defense.  Shoots it well from mid-range and uses his body positioning to be able to convert layups in the lane.


SF Isaiah Rivera (Quad City Elite 16U)

Rivera didn’t wow us on Thursday, but the #4 2020 prospect in the state showed a lot of the tools that make him a top prospect.  He didn’t have his jumper falling as consistently as it usually does.  Did most of his damage using his strength in the paint to finish through contact for quite a few and-1 opportunities.  Would like to see him be a little more aggressive looking for his shot.  One question we had coming into the event was defensively and he answered those questions staying in front of his man with his lateral foot speed.


C Devon House (Quad City Elite 16U)

House stands at about 6’8” with a wide body.  He has established himself among the best young posts in the state early in his career.  Despite his size he is actually a fairly good athlete that is light on his feet and runs the floor well.  Displayed quality moves in the post, but struggled finishing consistently.  Where he was a beast was on the boards.  He owned the glass in both games we saw.  House snatches rebounds in traffic with his mitts.