Posted On: 10/22/18 5:00 PM
This past Friday we kicked off a great weekend of hoops at the Christopher Spartz Basketball Fall Showcase. The event was run by one of the top trainers in the state and gave prospects an opportunity to show what they could do against quality competition. Here is our What We Learned: Spartz Fall Showcase!
Ray J Dennis and Tyler Cochran Are Impact Players
These were the top two prospects from the 2019 class in the gym and they played like it. Ray J Dennis from Oswego East is headed off to Boise State next season. They have got a good one! Smooth operator at the lead guard spot with a feathery jumper from both mid-range and three. Overall outstanding feel for the game. Cochran will be the force behind Bolingbrook this season. They have a shot to make it downstate. After that he will head off to Northern Illinois. Love this kid’s competitiveness and fire that he brings to the table. So powerful inside and plays with a nonstop motor. Both are in store for big high school seasons and should impact early in their careers at the college level.
JR Cison and Demari Grant Remain Sleepers
There was a pair of under recruited point guards in the house. Lake Zurich 2019 point guard JR Cison is a smaller point guard, but makes up for it with his toughness, tenacity, and heart. Quality decision maker, pull up game is on point, and he is the clear leader of his squad. Grant will be at Oswego East this year after transferring from Bolingbrook. While Dennis might get a lot of the shine Grant will be a key reason for their success this season. Quick and athletic guard that makes plays getting to the rim and his jumper from mid-range has expanded to beyond the arc. Both are being under recruited right now. No brainers at D3/NAIA levels and worthy of consideration from D2 schools.
Homewood Flossmoor Quartet Shows Out
There were four prospects that came to the event from Homewood Flossmoor. Three of them we hadn’t seen and the fourth is a player we haven’t evaluated in a while. Let’s start with 2021 power forward Chad Ready. The post might have been the most impressive prospect in the gym beyond the two D1 commits. At his size he has broad shoulders and a strong build. Mobility inside played well finishing around the hoop and even stretched it out to three. Big time rebounder. Also an elite pitching prospect for baseball. Josiah Palmer is a junior that put his name on the map with the way he shot it. Scored absolutely at will throughout the event. Senior guard Trace Williams also had his moments showing some projectability on the wing. Freshman Christian Meeks has a strong body and potential down the line.
Sentwali Nalls Makes Move to Neuqua Valley
Nalls is a player that has flown under the radar with all the talented guards at Whitney Young over the years. For his senior year he is making the move to Neuqua Valley. Nalls will have a chance to show what he can do while leading a talented group of sophomores. The quick twitched guard lives in the lane and brings a lot of intensity to the table.
Ryan Sroka and Connor Webb Ones to Watch in 2020
Ryan Sroka (Huntley) and Connor Webb (Lisle) are a pair of wings to track in the junior class. Sroka brings positional size to the table along with toughness. Crashes the glass and is crafty in the lane. Quality shooter off the catch. Webb is more of a wiry wing that can really stroke it from deep. Like his potential especially with the athleticism improvements he has shown.
Yates Shoots Lights Out
We had seen Jackson Yates from St. Ignatius previously, but he never stood out. Definitely has size and some projectability so he is intriguing. It all clicked for him at the Spartz Showcase. He was phenomenal shooting the basketball from beyond the arc. Lethal three point shooter especially off the catch. Look for this 2021 forward to see minutes this season as a sophomore.
Poulakidas Primed for Breakout Season
Neuqua Valley 2021 small forward John Poulakidas lived up to his reputation as one of the best wings in the state’s sophomore class. At 6’5” he is elite shooter from deep drilling them at a very high clip. Clean stroke and is always consistent with his mechanics. Handles in the open floor and has a good overall feel for the game. Look for him to have a big season!
Henry Another Standout PG at St. Rita
St. Rita has a ton of quality point guards including juniors Joel Watts and Alec Millender. Add another to the list as Christian Henry is ready to bring it this season. Strong guard that plays with toughness. Lives in the lane. Rebounds well. Improving shooter. Keep tabs on him this season!
New Names Emerge on Radar
More names that emerged at the event to track during the year including Michael Cruger (Aurora Christian), Trey Affolter (Marist), Matthew Connors (Plainfield North), Jayce Hyland (Downers Grove North), Jaydn Benson (Mt. Carmel), Anthony Rattanasavanh (Christian Life), and Christian Young (Joliet Catholic).