Posted On: 10/20/20 3:00 PM

In this article, we take a look at the Illinois Bears 17U team. This Prep Hoops Circuit squad has some very recruitable players from the class of 2021. College coaches, check out this squad!


Coach: Justin Barrington


Twitter: @ilbearsbball


Eli Brown

Brown is a sleeper prospect out of the state of Kentucky just across the border that has some intriguing tools for the next level.  The two guard is 6’3” with good length and a projectable frame.  He can really shoot the basketball both off the dribble and catch.  From mid-range and three.  Clean looking shot that goes down fairly consistently. 


Elijah Downen

This 6’5” thick bodied power forward can flat out shoot the basketball.  He had his feathery jumper on point drilling multiple corner threes along with one from the top of the key at one event.  Also mixed in several mid-range jumpers.


Noah LivingstonNoahLivingston6'0" | PGCasey-Westfield | 2021StateIL

  • Check out his RecruitMe Profile HERE.

Livingston is a combo guard that can really shoot it from beyond the arc.  He did just that on all summer drilling triples at a high rate.  Crisp and easy shot mechanically.  Also can put it on the deck and rebounds well for a guard.  


Braden FlanaganBradenFlanagan5'10" | PGOlney | 2021StateIL

  • Check out his RecruitMe Profile HERE.

Flanagan is a gritty point guard at 5’11” that gets absolutely everything he has out of his ability.  The high IQ point guard gets after opposing guards with his pesky defense.  On the offensive end he throws crisp passes, has a sweet floater game, and can hit an open three ball. 


Garrett Gunter

This thick bodied guard from southern Illinois is tough.  Offensively he uses his strength to go through his opponents and shoot within 5-7 feet.  Finishes through contact.  Below the rim athlete.  Decent passer.  Scrappy defender that does the little things on that end.  Small college player.


Joe MeltonJoeMelton6'6" | CNorris City Omaha Enfield | 2021StateIL

  • Check out his RecruitMe Profile HERE.

Melton is one of the state’s best kept secrets at 6’7”.  Skilled face up four man that can score inside and out.  Hook shot, spin moves, and mid-range shots.  Can also stretch it out to three with ease.  Crashes the glass, rim runs, and is a good overall athlete.


Buzz RitzelBuzzRitzel6'2" | SGNashville | 2021StateIL

  • Check out his RecruitMe Profile HERE.

Ritzel is a 6’2” shooting guard from southern Illinois that has a thin and wiry frame.  Best utilized as a spot up shooter that has clean and crisp mechanics letting it fly from beyond the arc.  Solid passer that puts some zip on his dimes to fit them through the defense.  Cuts passing lanes and has active hands defensively.  Will be a nice addition to a small college program.


Nathan ThompsonNathanThompson6'4" | SFEffingham | 2021StateIL

  • Check out his RecruitMe Profile HERE.

Thompson is one of several quality prospects in the 2021 class from Effingham.  He presents nice size at the small forward spot standing at 6’5”.  Biggest asset is his spot up shooting ability.  Knocks down shots with regularity off the catch with his easy release on his shot.  Improved as a driver with nifty finishes in the paint.  Flies in for offensive rebounds sneaking by the defense for second chance points.  Quality small college prospect.


Landon ZurlieneLandonZurliene6'3" | SGFairfield | 2021StateIL

This 6’4” wing from southern Illinois is a very skilled player.  Smooth mid-range shot whether he is just pulling up or using a crisp shot fake beyond the arc then drilling an 18 foot one dribble pull up.  Plus shooter off the catch with good shot prep and an easy looking shot that is repeatable.  Mixes in some drives and he likes the spin move in the lane.  Worth looking into for D2s in the region.


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