Posted On: 12/4/18 6:00 AM

The Chicago Elite Classic was this past weekend.  This great event featured eight games filled with high level prospects on Saturday.  PrepHoops dives into our prospect evaluations on the event.  Here is our 2019 Illinois Evaluations Part 1!


PF Chris Payton (Bloomington)

Fresh off his commitment and signing with Southern Illinois the state’s #2 power forward put on a show at the Chicago Elite Classic.  Payton is a strong and athletic four man that scored in a variety of ways in the paint.  Sealed in the high/low, used hook shots, and converted baseline spins for layups.  Got to the line at a regular basis where he went 11-14 from the stripe.  Also knocked down a mid-range jumper and took his man off the dribble on a strong rip through.  Payton was great on the boards all day long and was a force swatting shots.  He finished with 31 points (10-15 FG), 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks.


PG Nate Duckworth (Bloomington)

Duckworth was a prospect that we were really high on after the summer.  He is a gritty leader that plays with swag.  The Bloomington senior made several quick passes that led to assists.  High IQ guard that makes sound decisions with the ball.  His usual reliable jumper wasn’t falling from three.  Duckworth also contributed on the boards from his point guard spot.  He had 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.


SG Caleb Donaldson (Bloomington)

This was my first look at Donaldson and I came away impressed with the upside of the 6’5” shooting guard.  Projectable wing with length.  Played both on and off the ball.  Smooth mid-range jump shot.  Handles it well in space.  Defensively he blocked multiple shots including jumpers.  He went for 16 points (6-8 FG), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 blocks.


PF Garrett Hooker (Bloomington)

Hooker is a skilled four man that finishes well around the hoop.  Efficient with his touches down low.  Gets on the offensive glass consistently.  Good area rebounder.  Hooker is a small college prospect to track as he went for 7 points (3-4 FG) and 4 rebounds.


SF Emani Burgess (Bloom)

This 6’5” small forward is a plus athlete with a projectable frame.  He is a very good rebounder that crashes the glass hard on the offensive end for second chance opportunities.  Like what he brings to the table defensively with his positional versatility.  Went for 4 points and 9 rebounds.


PF Kevin Vance (Bloom)

Vance is a 6’7” four man that has size and mobility.  He had a dunk off a dump off pass and was a factor on the glass.  Also swatted a pair of shots.  Vance had 6 points (3-3 FG), 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks.


PG Traevon Brown (West Aurora)

Brown is one of the better unsigned point guards on the board.  He is a fast lead guard that pushes it in the open floor.  Burst of acceleration with the ball in his hands and takes good angles to the rim.  Also shot it decent from mid-range and three.  Stuffed the stat sheet.  He had 14 points, 6 boards, 4 dimes, and 3 steals.


PG Marquise Walker (West Aurora)

It was not a good outing from the once hyped point guard.  He will need to trim some weight to get his explosiveness back.  Walker forced a lot of bad shots from both three and in the paint going 0-10 from the field in their contest against Bloom.  Struggled finishing at the rim.  Did do a decent job in the first half distributing recording all of his six dimes in the first half.  He had 1 point and 6 dimes.


SG Hezekiah Salter (West Aurora)

Salter is a utility 6’2” off guard that finished well in the paint.  Tough kid that isn’t overly projectable, but plays physical in the paint.  He was outstanding on the glass as well.  Salter and 14 points and 10 rebounds.  Worth a look for small colleges.


SF Cameron Kalmas (West Aurora)

This 6’3” small forward is a thick bodied wing that is a floor spacer with his shooting.  Ran to the corner over and over knocking down shots.  He had 8 points.


SG Lance Jones (Evanston)

Jones is a powerful two guard for Evanston that came to play on the big stage.  The Southern Illinois commit continued what his future teammate Chris Payton did earlier in the day.  The area I came away most impressed with out of Jones was the way he passed the ball.  On the stat sheet they only gave him two assists, but he made a lot more impactful passes than that.  Several outlets on the money.  Also had a few slip passes to cutters.  As a scorer Jones hit a pull up three, but for the most part he went downhill where he used his strength and body control to finish in the paint.  He had 18 points (7-15 FG) and 6 rebounds.


PG Jaheim Holden (Evanston)

Holden is a smaller lead guard who is quick and shifty with the ball in his hands.  He can be a little wild at times with his passing which led to a handful of turnovers.  Did make several sweet dishes for assists.  Likes the pull up mid-range jump shot and has the body control to convert and-1s at the rim.  Holden had 14 points (4-9 FG) (6-7 FT) and 4 assists.


G Ryan Bost (Evanston)

Bost is a combo guard that has flown a bit under the radar with all the talent at Evanston.  He had a breakout game at the CEC.  The smaller guard is mostly known for his spot up shooting.  He hit a couple from there, but was still only 2-9 from behind the arc.  What impressed was how well he scored in the lane.  Drove the ball hard to the rim and one off the dribble.  Scrappy guard that also rebounds well for his position and uses his quickness defensively.  Bost had 24 points (11-18 FG), 6 rebounds, and 3 steals.


PG Markese Jacobs (Uplift)

Jacobs was playing on his future home court at DePaul on Saturday.  The state’s #2 overall prospect and top guard had a huge scoring game.  For Uplift to win against quality competition Jacobs will have to come up big in those contests.  He did his part recording 33 points (11-20 FG).  Jacobs is a compact and athletic scoring point guard.  He lives in the paint where he converts acrobatic layups like they are going out of style.  Jacobs has tremendous speed in the open floor.  Burst with the ball in his hands and is tough to stop when he gets a head of steam behind him.  Got to the line a lot.  Shooting from three he hit a couple going 2-7 from deep. 


SG Detalian Brown (Uplift)

Brown is a name that has been around for a while.  He flashed in this game, but it wasn’t from three as he went 1-5 from deep.  What you have to like best about Brown’s game is the way he slashes off the bounce in the half court.  Quick second jump getting on the offensive glass.  Finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds.