Conference Preview

Posted On: 07/8/19 7:27 AM

The Summer Challenge ended on Sunday at M14 in Aurora!  It was a tremendous weekend of hoops and an outstanding final day.  Here we look at the action in Summer Challenge: Scotty B’s Sunday Notebook!


Illinois Jaguars 16U Backcourt Makes Noise in Quarters

The Illinois Jaguars 16U group played well over the weekend at Summer Challenge.  In their quarterfinal game against All-In Athletics the backcourt duo of Cameron Lewis and Jamari McClendon each went to work!  Let’s start with DePaul Prep guard Cameron Lewis Cameron Lewis 6'0" | PG Moline | 2022 State IL .  The 5’11” point guard shot it very well from deep hitting an array of contested threes as well as getting to the rim on occasion.  He scored 15 points.  Hope Academy 6’2” Jamari McClendon Jamari McClendon 6'2" | PG Orr | 2020 State IL is a strong two guard that gets downhill and finishes through contact!  Tough and physical scorer who had 17 points.  Also inside Aaron McQueen is one to continue to track with his ability to be efficient with his touches and play with a high activity level.


Depth of All-In Gauntlet 16U Impresses

The fun part about the All-In Gauntlet 16U group was each time we saw them in the event a different player stepped up.  In this game it was Stevenson lefty point guard Trey Baker.  The shifty 2021 is a high-IQ guard that gets the most out of his ability.  He is a crafty player that hits runners, pull up jumpers, and was super active on the defensive end.  Went for 17 points.  Champaign Centennial power forward Jaylen Bryson is so intriguing!  Long and lanky four man that is so projectable.  High-points rebounds, runs the floor with ease, and threw down a nasty alley-oop.  Bloomington guard DeMarco Clayton is a super athletic backcourt player that gets to the rim and is an active rebounder.  St. Rita point guard Christian Henry is a strong point guard that handles it well, pushes in transition, and rebounds in traffic.  Can’t not talk about the best prospect on this team in Springfield Southeast shooting guard James Dent.  All this kid does is make feathery jump shots!  Elite level shooter.


Fundamental U 17U Makes Run to Finals

From an Illinois standpoint the team that went the deepest in the playoffs was Fundamental U ‘s 17U group.  They went 2-1 on Sunday falling in the title game, but made quite a comeback to make it close.  It all started with their win over Young & Reckless Denard in the quarters aka the Jayden Johnson show!  The Batavia wing is a high level shot maker and he did just that in the quarters drilling seven 3s on his way to 25 points.  Johnson also passed it well and mixed in a couple drives.  St. Viator small forward Connor Kochera took it over from there in the semis and finals.  The fast rising wing who has landed a ton of offers over last week was a beast in the semis against Wisconsin Playground connecting of six triples of his own for 23 points.  Then in the final he won off dribble in 1-3 ball screens.  Scored 21 points in the final.  Prep school wing Sam Silverstein has gotten stronger since the end of his senior season with New Trier.  Was impressed with how he slashed and finished with both hands at the rim.  St. Charles North point guard Luke Scheffers is a high-IQ lead guard that runs the show.  Works well in ball screens, crisp ball handler, makes sound reads, and loves floaters!  Huntley versatile shooting guard Uchenna Egekeze does a little bit of everything.  Scored in transition, rebounded, and played good D.  Josh Preston is another versatile kid with his toughness at the power forward spot.  Works well out of the mid-post as a passer and is a sneaky athlete throwing down a couple nice dunks.  St. Charles North center Connor Linke had momentum coming into this event after a strong showing at Ridgewood a week ago.  He is such a physical rebounder inside that snatches them in traffic.  Understands positioning on the block and is a tough post defender.  Can hit a short jumper.  Michael Huene of St. Viator played limited minutes off the bench, but showed he will be a good small college big man with his size and the way he competes.


Devin Davis Devin Davis 5'10" | PG Westinghouse | 2020 State IL Shines for Young & Reckless Denard 17U

Westinghouse point guard Devin Davis was outstanding for Y&R in their quarterfinals loss to Fundamental U.  He carried them for stretches with his three point shooting.  Connected on four of them.  When he gets in rhythm Davis is an above average shooter and this was one of his better outings scoring 14 points.  Also have to note the play of the Williams duo from Curie.  Saiveon Williams is an athletic wing that has a burst slashing to the hoop, but also brings rebounding and the ability to score on post ups against weaker defenders.  Armond Williams is a physical combo forward that is an active rebounder on the offensive end and a tough defensive player.


Young & Reckless Brim 16U Falls in Semis to Eventual Champs

It was a nice run over the weekend for Young & Reckless Brim in the 16U division.  TF North power forward Darrell Reed had a consistent showing elevating his stock heading into the live period.  He was a beast on the glass once again on Sunday getting put backs over and over.  Finished well on dump off passes with power.  Physical post defender that is a shot blocking presence.  Joliet West forward Trent Howland is another tough and versatile player.  Built like a middle linebacker he has a quick second jump around the rim and plays with a high-motor.  Carmel’s star point guard Kimahri Wilson Kimahri Wilson 5'11" | PG Carmel | 2021 State IL got to the rim with his speed and quickness off the bounce.  Jumper has really improved its consistency even since the spring.  Fell to eventual champs Team Flyght 65-62 in the semis.



Out of State Notes

Wisconsin Playground Has Athleticism Across Board

In the semis two familiar friendly foes met as WPC took on Fundamental U.  This was a rematch of another playoff matchup at Battle at the Lakes back in May.  Fundamental U took home the win, but there were a few bright spots for Wisconsin Playground.  Gabe Madsen is a 2020 wing that continues to elevate his play.  Athletic wing that can score at all three levels.  Shot it very well with a feathery shot from three.  He had 22 points.  Wisconsin commit Jonathan Davis is such a freak show athlete with the way he attacks downhill including an absolute poster jam!  Also came away impressed with Terrance Thompson inside.  Big man has size and is a very good area rebounder.  Mobile for his size and can stretch the floor with his shooting.


Wisconsin RAP Takes Home 17U Title

In the 17U title game Wisconsin RAP jumped out with a strong first half and held on to win 69-59.  The star for them was Brandin Podziemski.  This lefty 2021 wing was playing up a year and was still the best player on the floor.  Such a skilled game at 6’5”.  Crafty scorer that makes plays off the bounce and has a smooth looking three point shot.  Went for 29 points in the title game!  Also Gerald Gittens Gerald Gittens 6'0" | PG St. John's Military Academy | 2020 State WI is a power packed scoring point guard with a sweet pull up game.  He had 19 points.

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