We held a run for some players in the Fox Valley and Northwest Suburban area on Sunday. Here are the writeups on all of the attendees (2021, 2022, and 2023s).
Zach Bailey (6-3 SG, Hampshire)
Bailey was getting to his pull-up often during the runs. He has good lift on his shot, using his athleticism to shoot over defenders. He is really good from 15 to 18 feet, even with a hand in his face, but has three-point range as well. In the open court, Bailey has the speed to get to the rim early. Defensively, he showed length and activity on the ball. He should be a primary option for Hampshire as a senior.
Troy Glover (6-8 C, Glenbard West)
The big, lanky post from Glenbard West had stretches where he dominated on both ends. With nearly a 7-foot wingapan, Glover erased shots all day at the rim. His closing speed against guards was impressive. Playing mostly as a screen and roll player on offense, Glover caught passes in traffic before finishing. He had a couple big time dunks and remained very active on the glass. As he refines his offensive game, Troy will be a productive rim protector and finisher.
Steph Harris (6-0 PG, Buffalo Grove)
Harris was the most consistent scorer in traffic despite giving up some size. He is so tough attacking the rim and has great touch with either hand. There were a few lefty layups he hit over size that seemed like impossible finishes. Harris is a high-IQ guard that plays with heart on both ends. With a slick handle and good speed, he got wherever he wanted. Even though he didn’t shoot as well as he normally does from three, that is another weapon for the Buffalo Grove point guard. Steph should be a highly coveted D3 guard.
Ethan Roberts (6-5 PG, Hersey)
Roberts had one of the most impressive performances. A legit 6-foot-5 with long arms and good bounce, Ebo plays with great pace and patience. He ran point for his team, setting up teammates in transition and looking off defenders to create open shots. From the jump, Roberts was connecting on deep threes. He’s skilled enough as a ball-handler to create separation for his jumper or blow by defenders. His pick-and-roll decision making was as good as anyone at the run and he took on tough defensive matchups. What makes Roberts different is his competitiveness and leadership. Still under the radar, Roberts is a Mid-Major talent that is attracting interest from a number of high-academic schools. He will be a productive player wherever he ends up.
Mike Clarke (6-0 SG, Cary Grove)
Clarke was regularly beating defenders off the dribble and drawing secondary help. He had some crafty finishes around the rim but didn’t force things. Throughout the run, he passed the ball on time and on target. While off the ball, he cut with a purpose and got out in transition. Clarke plays so hard that he doesn’t need the ball to make an impact. He guards aggressively as well. At Cary Grove this season, he should be a dynamic scorer that can fill it up.
Drew Cwik (6-1 SG, South Elgin)
Cwik came out firing during the run. He was knocking down threes off the catch from NBA range. There was no hesitation on kick outs, staying shot ready and delivering in multiple games. A physical, athletic guard, Drew nearly threw down a couple of dunks off of penetration. He defends all of the spots on the perimeter with his strength and lateral quickness. As he enters his junior season, Cwik should be an all-area player that guards the top scorers on the opposing team.
Adidas Davis (6-3 PG, Buffalo Grove)
The combo guard from Buffalo Grove continues to show that he is wired to score. On a team with some other good scorers, Davis remained aggressive and efficient with his shots. He’s got good rhythm on his pull-up, hitting a few threes off the dribble. With his lanky, 6-foot-3 frame, he moves effortlessly in transition and creates turnovers defensively. Davis has the touch and ball skills to put up points quickly as a junior.
Gavin Garcon (5-9 SG, Oswego East)
Garcon did a little bit of everything during the runs. He was active on the glass, creating second and third chances on long misses. He had a few nice mid-range shots and a three as well. Garcon has a strong build that makes him a tough downhill driver. He plays much bigger than his height.
Ethan Marlowe (6-8 PF, St. Charles North)
Marlowe has a ton of potential. There aren’t a lot of 6-foot-8 players that can grab a defensive rebound, bring the ball up at full speed, and deliver accurate passes on the move. Marlowe showed off his handle and jump shot, making multiple crossover moves into long-range shots. His perimeter game is smooth and efficient, playing more on the wing than in the post. Marlowe is a quick leaper that altered shots in the paint and grabbed rebounds at their high point. His stock is going up.
Lane McVicar (6-5 SG, DeKalb)
McVicar is a bucket getter. He was in go-mode from the first game. A three level scorer with great size for a wing, McVicar hit more jumpers than anyone else at the run. In transition, he spaced out to the three-point line where he was efficient off the catch and just as good attacking closeouts. When Lane had size advantages, he used his strength to score in the post or bully defenders on drives. McVicar flashed his court vision, dropping off some pinpoint passes. He knows how to play and where to get his shots. McVicar will have a breakout first season with DeKalb and should be a high level college prospect.
Fernando Perez (6-3 SG, Larkin)
Perez was playing with energy and effort on both ends. A good athlete with length, Perez has the ability to be a lockdown defender. He had a number of nice defensive plays at the run, but was very impactful on the offensive end. Perez was relentless driving to the hole and completing plays. There weren’t many opportunities on the break that he passed up. Perez made a few shots off the dribble as well. With his ability to break defenders down off the dribble and absorb contact, he has a bright future at Larkin.
Paxton Warden (6-3 PG, Glenbard West)
Warden showed out. One of the high scorers of the day, he was spraying in threes and getting to the rim all day. It seemed like every three point look he got was money. He showed a nice handle and worked his way through tight spaces to create offense. Playing off the ball at times at Glenbard West, Warden looked really comfortable as the primary ball-handler. He is a good sized guard that plays with an attitude. Warden was active on the glass, moved and screened well, and made the correct reads as a playmaker. Paxton looks ready for his increased role on a loaded Glenbard West team.
Damari Wheeler-Thomas (6-0 PG, Larkin)
Damari controlled every game with his passing and shot-making ability. In countless pick-and-roll actions, he probed off screens and was decisive getting the team open shots. Wheeler-Thomas crossed up a number of defenders with his quick handle and showed off his outside touch from three. His bread and butter is his mid-range pull-up where he can stop on a dime and elevate. Since last season, Damari has added noticeable strength and consistency as a shooter. It’s a testament to his work ethic and commitment to improving. Wheeler-Thomas is one of the top point guards in the state with a number of Division 1 offers for a reason.
Jabe Haith (6-1 PG, Elgin Academy)
Haith is a skilled guard that can make tough shots. He didn’t get going during the runs, but showed the ability handle the ball and get to his spots in the mid-range. Defensively, he got in passing lanes and used his length to his advantage. Haith has a slight frame that will benefit from added strength given his attacking style.
Armani Ivy (6-3 SG, Larkin)
It took a game, but once Ivy got warmed up, he was giving his team a good scoring punch. A long-range shooter that can get to the basket, Ivy went on a few scoring bursts. He moved the ball offensively, picking his spots to try to get his shots. Armani rebounded the ball well too. The Larkin guard is heading into his second varsity season with a strong, young group.
Will Kamukama (6-9 PF, Huntley)
Will was the tallest 2023 player at the run and had some tough matchups. He was able to get himself some easy looks from dump off passes and running the floor effectively. Even though he struggled from the outside, Kamukama has shooting potential as a stretch big. He was a solid screener opening up his teammates. Will contested everything in the paint and crashed the glass hard. There are still areas he will need to improve on both ends and with his feel, but Kamukama has plenty to work with going forward.
Matthew Lemon (5-10 PG, Burlington Central)
Lemon played hard and scrapped on both ends during the run. He grabbed a lot of offensive rebounds and had some nice passes in traffic. Although he only took a few shots, he made all of them. Lemon is a high-IQ guard that has range on his jumper and relies on angles over athleticism.
Cooper LePage (6-1 PG, Crystal Lake South)
On the team with the most offensive firepower, LePage was a willing playmaker and floor spacer. The strong, athletic guard showed his versatility with a nice contact finish and a step in three. His shooting range will open up driving lanes during the season. Cooper has a good first step and got into the teeth of the defense for drive-and-kicks. Defensively, he has a solid quickness and rebounds very well for his position. LePage is an all-around player that should be one of the best point guards in the FVC.
Ben Lothery (6-1 PG, Harvest Christian)
Shooting is Lothery’s best trait and he showed it during the run. Every time he got a clean look, his release was smooth and he connected on most of his attempts. More than a shooter, Lothery can score from close range when needed. He was mainly playing off the ball during the run but has some passing skills that he wasn’t able to show as much. Lothery should have another high scoring season at Harvest.
Noah Only (6-2 SG, Huntley)
Big and skilled for a guard, Noah was on the attack as a shooter and penetrator. He hit a couple of tough stepbacks and had some finishes that took strength and finesse. Only plays through contact as a driver, able to build up momentum and use his body control to score. He has a lot of natural ability that should allow him to produce against top competition.
Ryan Sammons (6-3 SG, Fremd)
You can tell that Sammons is going to be a problem for opposing teams. Even though he is still skinny, he has good shake off the dribble and limitless range on his jumpshot. He hit multiple NBA threes without hesitation. Especially when going left, Sammons does a good job of protecting the ball and getting the ball up on the glass quickly. Fremd has a good one.