We had another private run on 10/18 for some players in the area. Here are the writeups of the players who participated.
Devon Ellis (6-5 SF, Conant)
Ellis is a freight train in transition, changing ends at high speeds and using his strength to finish. He was one of the top performers from the run with his explosive dunks and consistent shooting. When he had his feet set, Ellis showed an easy three point stroke. Ellis is the type of athlete that can play through a defender’s chest to convert in the paint. There were a couple plays where he split through tight spaces to break down the defense. That continued growth as a ball-handler could make him unguardable. Ellis projects as a high level D2 player.
Troy Glover (6-8 C, Glenbard West)
Glover held a block party. Every shot in his area was rejected or heavily contested, fearlessly protecting the rim. Even at 6-foot-8, Glover was outsprinting everyone in transition for dunks and putbacks. He understands what he is good at and thrives on the interior. Glover has specific big man skills that are becoming more rare. He keeps getting better.
Steph Harris (6-0 PG, Buffalo Grove)
Harris was steady during the run offensively. With a few other scorers on the team, he didn’t have to look for his shot much. But he was efficient with his chances from three and got to the rim well. He was excellent defensively and as a rebounder. Even at 6-foot, Harris was relentless on the offensive glass. He just makes winning plays and can fill it up offensively when needed. Steph has the competitive makeup that college coaches will love.
Danny Mulcare (6-6 PF, Glenbard West)
It’s clear that Mulcare has been working on his jumper. Throughout the day, he must have shot over 50% on three point attempts, including a couple of deeper catch-and-shoot looks. Mulcare has bruising strength that he used to carve out space for rebounds and make contact layups against size. He had a few strong drives off of sweep moves from the wing. With a long list of Division 3 schools pursuing him, Mulcare should be able to provide a physical, athletic presence to a team right away.
J Caleb Slawinski (6-7 PF, St. Joseph)
Slawinski mixed in some jumpers with his interior play. He hit some contested threes over size, including a tough sidestep off the dribble. When he was off the ball, Slawinski was effective cutting and rolling. At this point, his is strong and athletic enough to bully smaller players. There are good initial signs of his developing perimeter game. Slawinski has offers at the D3 and JUCO level right now.
Kennon Cook (6-3 SF, Dundee Crown)
For a player with the strength of a big, Cook is very light on his feet and shifty off the dribble. On drives, he can shake defenders and use his upper body to fend off contact. He’s a mismatch at any position with his size and quickness. But it was his confidence and proficiency shooting the ball that stood out. Since last year, he looked comfortable pulling up when defenders sagged off or went under screens. If that jumper is consistent, it will be a problem for one-on-one defensive schemes.
Adidas Davis (6-3 SG, Buffalo Grove)
You know you are going to get a scoring punch from Davis. He shot the ball well on spot ups and was a little more aggressive slashing than the previous run. I like how well he moves his feet on the defensive end to stay in front of ball-handlers. The MSL is loaded, but Davis will be a name you hear a lot over the next few years.
Gavin Garcon (6-0 SG, Oswego East)
Garcon was the best communicator in the gym. He got after it defensively, creating turnovers and getting loose balls, but also made his presence felt as a passer. Off of penetration, Garcon regularly found cutters and shooters. He is a high energy wing that is active and great for team chemistry.
Arnav Jain (6-1 SG, Crystal Lake South)
We didn’t know too much about Jain headed into the run, but he earned the label of “shooter” quickly. He got his feet set and knocked down triple after triple, all the way past the college line. As defenders started to close out hard, he hit some floaters off of a few dribbles. Jain was able to set up teammates well throughout the day, showing a solid understanding of reading the help. Going into his junior season, Jain looks to be headed in the right direction.
Nick Martinelli (6-6 SF, Glenbrook North)
One of most dominant players from start to finish, Martinelli was impacting the game in every aspect. Despite being 6-foot-6, he has a tight handle that allows him to create space. There were numerous occasions where he drew out defenders and dribbled into deep threes, hesitation pull-ups, or got all the way to the rim. His feel for the game is elite. Martinelli doesn’t predetermine his moves, taking whatever is open and using his touch from anywhere on the floor. Scoop shots, lobs, leaners, hooks, you name it. That’s without mentioning his activity on the glass and ability to guard multiple positions with his length. Martinelli is a complete player that will have a breakout junior season. Mid majors and Ivy League schools have already showed interest.
Lane McVicar (6-5 SG, DeKalb)
Lane comes out to compete. We know he can heat up quickly, but he faced a lot of different types of defenders in the run. Still, he was getting to his spots and converting. McVicar shot the three well once again, losing defenders with shot fakes and crossovers. Being a big guard, he used his frame on some straight line drives when he saw an opening. His passing and defense were solid as well during the run, typically taking the toughest defensive assignment. McVicar is wired to score at a high rate and could hang a 20-piece on any given night.
Cooper Noard (6-2 PG, Glenbrook South)
Noard shot the lights out. He has a quick release, ideal lift, and very good balance. As a floor spacer, he was automatic on open kick outs. But his ability to manipulate screens and freeze defenders to create open looks from three was advanced. His footwork is college-ready. For all of the shots he made, nothing was forced. In transition or against aggressive closeouts, he made quick decisions to attack the paint. Noard is taller and stronger than he was as a sophomore and it showed. He cut as well as anyone at the run and rebounded in traffc. When he brought the ball up, he advanced it with the pass and showed vision when help came. You can tell he has a high basketball IQ and hates to lose. I imagine he would have had a huge summer in AAU, but coaches are still going to notice his shooting, length, and poise at the guard spot. Noard is another player that Ivy League schools and Mid-Majors will target.
Charlie Nosek (6-4 SF, Metea Valley)
Charlie was one of the breakout players of the run. Lanky at 6-foot-4 with good bounce, Nosek plays above the rim. There were a number of taller players at the run, but he probably had more dunks than all of them. He is an effortless athlete that showed he can handle the ball in transition or isolation situations. With his long strides, he only needs one step to get by a defender and finish. His slashing is a strength, but he is reliable as a set shooter as well. Defensively, Nosek has the potential to be dominant. He is always moving, has active hands, and plays much bigger with his length. Charlie had a number of well timed blocked shots and deflections. The arrow is pointing up for Nosek.
Vaurice Patterson (6-0 PG, Schaumburg)
Patterson is a silent killer. He doesn’t do anything flashy, but he is a winning point guard. The 6-foot guard was solid on the defensive end, showing quickness and physicality on the ball. He didn’t shoot a lot, but he didn’t miss a lot either. Patterson hit a couple of threes, had a pull-up in transition, and got to the rim a few times for his own shot. But more often than not, he was facilitating and creating looks. Pass-first point guards are less common so it’s always good to see a player like Patterson doing all the little things to lead. Rebounding, defending, passing, and timely scoring are all assets for him. It should be another All-Area season for Patterson.
Fernando Perez (6-3 SG, Larkin)
Perez has that scorer’s instinct that you can’t teach. His mid-range game was on point, jumping over contested hands to knock down pull-ups. Perez hit some threes off the dribble as well, but his shot around the elbow is so tough to defend. He almost had the play of the day with an attempted tomahawk dunk in transition over a big. He seems to just be scratching the surface with his athleticism, which is scary to think about. Already a tenacious defender, Perez has the mentality to be a difference maker on both ends.
Gabe Rivera (5-9 PG, Dundee Crown)
Rivera showed speed off the dribble and nice handling skills during the run. He separated for some jumpers and drove the lane to create for others. Rivera will be a scrappy guard in the Fox Valley Conference.
Paxton Warden (6-3 SG, Glenbard West)
Defense during runs can get sloppy, but Warden was engaged the entire run. He blocked some shots, clamped down on the perimeter, and hustled even when he wasn’t scoring. Offensively, he had to be more of a passer than the first run we had where he was his team’s primary scoring option. He still excelled at feeding the ball to cutters and shooters while picking his spots to score. Warden had a nice step back three and was creative in the paint against size. Although he is a very good shooter, versatility is what separates Warden. He is a true combo guard that has shown that he can run the show when needed. At this point, D2 and D3 schools should be taking a long look.
Jabe Haith (6-3 PG, Elgin Academy)
Compared to our first run, Haith was much more aggressive and assertive. His skillset offensively is deep for a sophomore, connecting on a bunch of step in threes and showing passing feel out of pick-and-rolls. He got going early with some pull-up threes with defenders in his face and kept that confidence throughout the run. Haith has more length than most lead guards which gave him an advantage scoring over all of the size that was there. He is a true three-level scorer, even though he didn’t have to take many mid-range shots at the run. Haith was one of the top 2023s at the run.
Matthew Lemon (5-10 PG, Burlington Central)
Similar to Haith, Lemon was much more aggressive in this run. He facilitated for a team that hit more threes than any other group at the run. When he pushed in transition, he did a good job of looking off defenders to find the open man. Lemon hit a three, finished on the break, and got some buckets as a cutter. While his lob passes need work, he was hitting guys on time and on target for the most part. Lemon had a more productive run this go around and has the shooting and passing to be a solid point guard.
Noah Only (6-2 SG, Huntley)
Only did a lot of his damage in transition at this run. He scored on some leak outs and finished through contact on multiple occasions. His handling ability shined at times, highlighted by a crossover into a stepback from long range. Noah is a physical two guard that has the chance to become a knockdown perimeter shooter that can score in the paint.
Ryan Sammons (6-3 SG, Fremd)
Ryan didn’t miss a beat from the last run. There were stretches where he hit multiple threes within a minute. His hesitation dribble into a pull-up three is so tough to defend because of his shot quickness and his driving ability. As much as defenders tried, he was always finding a way to get an open look from three. To this point, he is one of the best shooters I have seen in the 2023 class considering his range and efficiency. Sammons mixed in a few mid-range shots, including a one-legged fallaway. He is still a consistent finisher going left where he can use his length to his advantage. Sammons had a great showing.