Posted On: 12/7/18 11:00 PM
Friday night PrepHoopsIllinois had the opportunity to see a MSL game in the Chicago suburbs with two of the top young prospects in the state. Rolling Meadows is led by the top prospect in the state regardless of class 2021 shooting guard Max Christie while Buffalo Grove is pushed by their standout freshman Kam Craft. Buffalo Grove defeated Rolling Meadows by a final score of 67-54. Here are our 5 Takeaways: Buffalo Grove vs Rolling Meadows.
Max Christie Shows Why He is Top Prospect in State
Christie started off slow in this game. He missed a few deep jumpers to open the contest, but as the game went on the sophomore showed his immense skill set. Quality shooter from deep that hit a handful in this contest. Great elevation off the floor being able to get his shot off with ease. Consistent mechanics both pulling up and off the catch. Most of his jumpers were from beyond the arc, but he mixed in a couple from mid-range including a sweet one dribble pull up. Slick ball handler that is slippery through traffic. Couple times he went coast to coast on fantastic drives. Type of player that can get it off the boards, push in the open floor, and finish at the rim. Showed off his bounce on an alley-oop and a few explosive takes to the rim. Rebounded extremely well for his position. As a passer although I only had him for one dime I thought he did a nice job passing. His teammates just didn’t connect on them. Most effective as a drive and kick guy. On the night he finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds. High-major all the way!
Kam Craft Continues Fast Start As Freshman
Craft is a 6’4” small forward that has been posting monster numbers early on this season. We caught a glimpse of him during the travel team season, but this was our first extended eval of the 2022 wing. Quite a few things to like here. First is size for position. At 6’4” with long arms he has positional size and is still super young. He is a guy that has been known as a shooter early in his career. Was a bit streaky in this one. Connected on a couple from three and mid-range. Bit of a funky release on the side of his head. The inconsistent release point leads to streaky results. Crafty game off the bounce. Connected on a runner early. Handles it ok in space. Effective rebounder. Got a couple of put backs in the game and threw a full court outlet off a defensive board. Craft had 18 points and 8 boards. One we will continue to keep tabs on.
Buffalo Grove Shows Depth in Win
It was more than just Craft for Buffalo Grove. I came away impressed with 2020 shooting guard Nate Cole. The junior came up clutch with several key buckets throughout the contest. Good size at 6’4”. He scored from all three levels. Layup and runners, mid-range jumpers, and threes off the catch. Went for 18 points. Tom Trieb is a Northern Illinois commit for football. He made a huge impact in this game. The 6’2” forward has strength and mobility. He proved to be the ultimate glue guy finishing around the hoop, rebounding in his area, and handling some in the open court. Trieb finished with 13 points. Senior point guard Mike Nowakowski made sound decisions with the ball all night and scored 6 points. Coming off the bench Ethan Soifer contributed 9 points drilling a trio from beyond the arc. Overall they shared the ball and made the extra pass.
Who Will Step Up to Help Christie?
Christie scored 30 of his team’s 54 points in this contest. Rolling Meadows is going to have to find a couple of consistent contributors on the offensive end to improve as the season goes on. Who could they be? Senior 6’0” point guard Javonte Warrener is a left handed point guard that is primarily a spot up shooter. Hit a couple, but missed more than he took finishing with 8 points. He could be a guy that could thrive off Christie’s passing. Junior forward Sean Nolan is a glue guy that gets on the glass and to the line. Went for five points. Off the bench 2021 guard Daniel Sobkowicz showed flashes of potentially being a future running mate. Connected on a three and score a layup. He had 5 points. Matt Schoessling is a point guard that can be a pass first guy to set up Christie. Defensively they struggled as a team giving up way to many easy shots for Buffalo Grove.
Young Stars in MSL is Exciting for Future of Conference
It is exciting to see this conference get some young talent that can develop over the years. Could Christie and Craft turn these two programs into rivals and elevate their programs along with the conference in future years? Don’t forget this conference also has the top 2021 big man in the state in Schaumburg’s Chris Hodges.