Conference Preview

Posted On: 07/7/19 12:55 AM

Saturday was a jam packed day of basketball at the PrepHoops Summer Challenge.  We saw 15 total games between two different venues in IBA and M14.  Here is your recap in Summer Challenge: Scotty B’s Saturday Notebook!


Illinois Stars Bookend Day

Throughout the day on Saturday we saw an array of Illinois Stars prospects.  We started the morning off with Illinois Stars Rise 16U.  This group was missing a couple of their key players so they fell short to Y&R Brim, but there are definitely a few guys to track.  Rashaad Trice is a name to watch from Oak Park River Forest.  Power two guard that scored the lane.  Ethan Ivan is a 6’6” power forward out of Batavia that has a soft touch in the post and displayed range on a shot in the 2022 class.  Scrappy guard Dylan Garrington out of Georgia rebounded well and scored in transition.  In one of the last games we caught Illinois Stars Mann 17U.  A player that I was intrigued by was Nick Erickson.  The Hampshire 6’6” small forward started of scorching from three.  Also attacked off the bounce for a tough and-1.  He had 13 points.  Chase Monkemeyer is another intriguing wing that scored in the open floor.  Northwestern football commit Sean McLaughlin is a big body inside that is light on his feet and the left even stepped out to hit a three.


Young & Reckless Brim 16U Impresses

We saw the Young & Reckless Brim group twice on Saturday.  They were equally impressive both times defeating in-state foes.  There was a common theme throughout the day.  The elevation of the play of Hillcrest 2021 forward Julius Rollins and TF North 2021 power forward Darrell Reed.  Rollins was a bit up and down last weekend at Ridgewood, but it was a dominant pair of outings at IBA.  He has positional size along with plus athleticism and versatility.  Rollins had the dunk of the day with an absolute POSTER!  It was more than just that as he regularly finished with acrobatics at the rim and attacked off the bounce for scores using excellent body control.  Mobile forward lives on the glass.  Speaking of glass eaters that is exactly what Reed did.  He rim ran in transition consistently for scores, but the majority of his points were on pure effort inside on second chance points.  Flashed skill on a mid-range jumper and a couple hook shots.  Plus defender in the post.  Went for 20 points against the Stars in the morning.  Carmel 2021 point guard Kimahri Wilson showed why he is one of the top lead guards in his class.  Quick and shifty guard is a jet in transition and hard to stay in front of.  The most impressive growth in his game was his improvement as a shooter.  Was consistent in both games with his pull up.  This takes his game to the next level.  Jalen Houston of Hyde Park is trending for a big jump in the September rankings update after a strong June and start to July.  Power guard that has such a burst with the ball in his hands.  Speed end to end and gets to the rim at will!  Kyonte Thomas out of Bolingbrook was brought over to this squad for his defense.  He brought that all day long!


All-In Athletics Gauntlet 16U Lives Up to Billing

In the two games we caught AIA’s 16U group they went 2-0 in impressive fashion.  With this group it all starts with James Dent.  The Springfield Southeast top 20 2021 prospect is trending into his junior year as one of the truly elite snipers in the state.  He has such a fluid and free flowing stroke from three.  Dent went for 17 points in their morning win connecting on five triples.  Zion Benton 2021 combo forward Amar Augillard brings the power to the table!  At times he just bullies his opponents downhill.  Lives at the foul line.  Jumper is streaky, but he can hit them.  A really intriguing prospect we hadn’t seen in a while was Champaign Centennial 2021 post Jaylen Bryson.  The long and lanky power forward is extremely projectable, runs the floor hard, and has the physical tools once he adds strength for the next level.  DePaul Prep shooting guard Tyler Johnson showed off a smooth scoring game.  A couple names that emerged for this group were AJ Storr and Demarco Clayton.  Storr is a Kankakee player who has a quick second jump and makes plays in transition.  As for Clayton he is a quick twitched guard that threw down a huge dunk and showed he had scoring pop.  Christian Henry (St. Rita) brought defensive intensity and Jake Wolf (Lake Forest Academy) got on the glass.


Illinois Jaguars Have Underrated Pair

The Illinois Jaguars 16U team has a few under the radar names.  We start with Aaron McQueen who we featured back in the spring.  Mobile four man who is so active!  The 6’5” post lived on the offensive glass.  Finished well on his touches inside and knocked down a 15 footer.  Jamari McClendon out of Hope Academy is a player we saw in the state tournament a few years back and continues to progress.  Slasher that has a burst off the bounce getting to the rim!


Heart of Illinois Duo Puts Name on Map

Speaking of two prospects that made noise on Saturday let’s talk about the Heart of Illinois duo in Gabe Calhoun (Dunlap) and Sam Tallen (Bloomington Central Catholic).  Calhoun is a natural scorer that has good size and a feel for putting the ball in the hole!  Tallen is a grinder from the wing with his toughness seemingly always being in the right spot to make a play.


RWA 16U and 17U Recaps

We caught three RWA games with two of them from the 16U group.  They went 1-1 in those contests.  That group was balanced.  Kenwood 2021 point guard Caleb Horton continues to be a lead guard that catches our eye.  Capable knock down shooter pulling up and off the catch.  Works well around ball screens.  Jaden Terrell is a lefty wing that can bomb in threes, slash, and brings defensive versatility to the table.  Ola Ajiboye continues to be this group’s top prospect.  It might not always show in the points, but his upside is through the roof with the little things he does on both ends of the floor especially rebounding and swatting shots.  Ante Acosta was a new name that got our attention with his deep shooting.  For the 17U group they rolled to a win to advance to the quarters Saturday night.  I thought it all started with the intensity on the boards especially from Lincoln Way East 2020 center Nate Seputis.  He also stepped out to hit a three and protected the rim.  Another high motor big on this team is Hinsdale South power forward Aaron Tims.  Uber bouncy to the offensive glass and works well on the baseline with quick drives and pull up jumpers.  Nice night for Cooper Bridges as he narrowly avoided running me over saving a ball and then dropped 12 points.  Tough as nails wing that shoots it!  The backcourt of Davis Walker (Home School) and Elijah Jones (Marian Catholic) had it rolling as well scoring in bunches.


Sleepers Emerge in QC Ballers vs Full Package 16U

One of my favorite parts of scouting is seeing new names emerge right in front of you!  That happened Saturday as Mooseheart 2021 6’3” two guard Alfonso Bailey absolutely went off in the first half!  It was an epic 17 point outburst as he drilled pull up threes one after another.  Such a confident player.  High pointed rebounds in traffic and started the break throwing high level passes.  Worked well in the pick and roll.  Closed the first half with a huge dunk.  For QC Ballers I was very intrigued by point guard Kyleb Meadows.  Rangy Galesburg High School lead guard has a feel for the game and made deep shots!  He had 20 points.  In the second half Aidan Wagner also caught fire with his jumper and nifty shot making.


Mercury Elite 16U Prospects to Track

We caught a couple different Mercury Elite 16U groups on Saturday.  The first was Mercury Elite Keck.  Jacob Kim was a tiny guard that drilled deep jumpers.  Nate Demos is a crafty lefty combo that pushes and has his head up looking to make a play.  A couple intriguing bigs were Troy Glover and Henry Krzyzewski.  Glover was very mobile in the pick and roll game and swatted shots on D.  For Mercury Elite Pentaris they got beat, but really battled back in the second half.  Wing Mark Blaszczyk is a lefty with nice size and long arms.  Knocked down a three.  Geneva wing Nathan Valentine was the top shooter on the floor with the way he drilled a quartet from beyond the arc in the second half.  His high school teammate Dylan Fuzak presents a nice frame and post skills to work with.  Cade Hardtke is a well-built guard that is a creative ball handler and solid passer.


Hoops Intensity Training 16U Deep with Prospects

HIT fell to a really good Y&R team when we saw them, but they have an array of intriguing prospects.  For me it starts with Oswego East small forward Odin Lium.  He is a jumbo wing with a long and lanky frame.  Moves well without the ball and knocks down shots.  Naperville North power forward Grant Johnson is a versatile piece that shows footwork on the block and scored a couple times on slip passes.  Benet’s Tyler Van Eekeren is a skilled three man with range on shot.  A couple big men in Luke Braman (Roanoke Benson) and Brian Mathews (DePaul Prep) are good area rebounders.  Mathews showed off fundamentally sound post moves while scoring on the block.  Angelo Ognianov broke out with his three point shooting.  Then you have the rock solid backcourt of Tommy Craven, Max Rivera, and Lium Kim who make the simple correct plays offensively.


Illinois T-Wolves 16U Has New Name Emerge While Old Stars Step Up

We saw this T-Wolves group a ton in the spring!  A new name joined the group as Lincoln Way East point guard Myles Olagbegi had 13 points.  Most of his damage was using his athleticism on the glass or runners inside.  The reliable Ashawn Burbridge from Joliet West is back from injury and doing damage!  He was an absolute force on the offensive boards on put backs!  High level rebounder.  Went for 13 points as well.  Andrew Johnson Andrew Johnson 6'4" | SF Joliet West | 2021 State IL had another quality outing as the scoring wing got buckets in a variety of ways for 10 points.


Southwest Jets 16U Has Up  and Coming Metro East Standouts

The Southwest Jets faced a stacked Wisconsin Playground group at the 16U level on Saturday that just refused to miss any shots.  Despite the defeat there is a lot to look forward to with this group.  Shaun Riley is an uber bouncy four man from O’Fallon that knocks in baseline jumpers like they are going out of style.  Quick twitched athlete around the hoop.  In the backcourt AJ Smith (Metro East Lutheran) and Ethyn Brown (Belleville East) each bring scoring pop in different ways.  Smith is with power downhill and Brown likes to go over the top with the jumper although he did have an explosive take.  Mt. Vernon’s Quani Rudd is oozing with upside that will be broken out this winter for the Rams!


Illinois Bears 17U Falls Short in Comeback in Sweet 16 to Loaded Wisconsin United

The Bears got behind early to Wisconsin United, but the southern Illinois boys fought back to stay in the game until the final minutes.  The biggest reason for that was their wing duo of Carson Parker (Nashville) and Caleb Zurliene (Breese Mater Dei).  As far as non-metro east prospect go they are the best of the best in the 618 for 2020.  Parker kept chipping away at the lead by attacking downhill.  Excellent feel for the game and made a huge impact scoring 20 points like it was nothing.  His running mate Zurline threw down a nasty alley-oop from Parker and used his length defensively to open up transition points for his team.  He had 11 of his 13 points in the second half.  Both are elite D2 prospects and need serious consideration at the low-major level.

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