We had a few college players at the run along with a promising group of high school players. Here are the evaluations from the run over the weekend of the high schoolers.
Troy Glover (6’8 PF/C, Glenbard West)
Glover was doing what he does best during the run: protecting the rim, being active on the glass, and finishing his chances in the paint. He blocked nearly everyone who challenged him, included a few dunk attempts. The length and athleticism that Glover possesses give him a big advantage defensively. But he is constantly engaged on that end and rotates well to help on penetration. Glover got a few steals as well defensively. He dove to the rim in pick-and-roll situations, keeping the ball high and finishing with dunks. Glover also showed more comfort from the outside than usual, hitting a three and taking a few other jumpers. His college projection is as a shot blocker that can contain guards on switches. Still uncommitted, Glover is one of the top rim protectors left in the 2021 class.
Gavin Garcon (6’0 SG, Oswego East)
Garcon came out aggressive, scoring well in the first game. He was able to use his strength to get to the paint and was effective shooting over length. The 6-foot guard is a straight line driver with athletic upside that he showed on the defensive end. He stays low, gets steals, and has a developing frame. His defensive impact will get him playing time, but he is a solid passer that plays with energy. Gavin should be able to guard all three positions on the perimeter.
Daniel Hong (6’1 PG, Barrington)
The creativity of Hong continues to shine at the runs. He plays with great pace off the dribble and knows when to change speeds. Matched up against solid defenders for most of the run, Hong was still able to manufacture shots from all three levels. He used his quick first step to get downhill to score from close range early. In transition, he probably hit 80 percent of his pull-up threes from the top of the key. His composure pulling up at high speeds will translate well to the college game. Hong was also stout defensively moving his feet and using his body to cut off ball-handlers. The dynamic guard continues to be a reliable shooter and playmaker.
Nick Martinelli (6’7 SF, Glenbrook South)
Martinelli probably scored more than anyone else at the run, and that was without taking many threes. He is one of the most productive and consistent finishers in the state, regardless of class. At 6-foot-7, the versatile inside-out scorer has a unique offensive game with an unguardable hook shot, up-and-under moves, and a wide array of ball-handling moves on the perimeter. Defenders might know he is going left, but no one has an answer for it. Nick’s footwork and feel are most impressive, playing angles and taking advantage of how defenders are playing him.
Without the ball, Martinelli cut hard, ran past players in transition, and lived on the offensive glass. He has length and quick bounce that allows him to high point rebounds and dunk in traffic. Martinelli also flashed good passing instincts with a few crosscourt passes and transition feeds. For the most part, he played solid defense on Buzelis. Nick is typically a better shooter, but that is one improvement area that could turn him into a lock at the high-major level with his versatility, size, and excellent academics. Martinelli is one of the best 2022 players in the state without an offer, but that should change in the next few months.
Lane McVicar (6’5 SG, DeKalb)
The competitiveness of McVicar is obvious during every run. Even when the energy is down in the gym, he brings intensity. Lane was scoring off spot-up threes and dribble drives for most of the run. His shot is fluid from distance, even when defenders try to close in on him. McVicar has the ability to get going at the rim as well, which he showed on a few occasions in transition. His defensive energy was good throughout, pressuring the ball and creating disruption. The 2022 wing has a lot of different skills that will show at DeKalb this year.
Matas Buzelis (6’8 SG/SF, Brewster Academy)
The Hinsdale Central transfer looked like a bona fide top-tier national prospect. Even though he is 6-foot-8, Buzelis has the skillset of a guard with a deep set of ball-handling moves and a smooth jump shot that he can make off the dribble or on the catch. He was the primary ball-handler for his team during the run and was making advanced decisions out of pick-and-rolls. When his man fought over, he got to his mid-range shot in the soft spot of the defense. When the screen defenders hedged more aggressively, he hit the roll man and used his eyes to manipulate the help. All of his defenders were at least 6-foot-6, but he still got to the rim effectively.
He played off of his hesitation move well, knocking down multiple pull-up threes and then using the same move to blow by defenders. Matas is a very mobile, athletic wing that shines in transition and covers ground defensively. He blocked multiple shots, got steals, and altered looks around the rim. Buzelis will be at Brewster Academy next semester where his game and body should grow. Syracuse, Wake Forest, Illinois, and Western Illinois have offered him thus far. I can’t imagine that there are 10 wings in the country with a higher upside in the 2023 class.
Alex Engro (6’0 SG, Loyola)
Engro shot it well from three as usual, but he showed a lot of versatility too. He spaced the floor and moved without the ball to get open looks from the perimeter. Most of his threes came off drive-and-kicks and in transition when he sprinted to the line on the break. He also hit a three from the NBA line off the dribble when his defender tried to go under a screen and a tough mid-range shot off a pivot. Alex made a couple of nice passes on the move as well to get his teammates open looks. With his ability to handle the ball and find shots for others, he shouldn’t have a problem playing point guard when needed.
He is a consistent presence on the glass at the guard position, pulling down a bunch of defensive rebounds during this run and crashing well on the offensive end. Engro wasn’t the biggest or most athletic player at the run, but he always competes and plays with an edge. Teammates quickly put their trust in him to make shots and started running to the other end before the ball even left his hands. Engro is a polished scorer that had another good day.
Will Kamukama (6’9 PF, Desert Valley)
Kamukama had some down moments and some great moments during the run. Like many younger players, consistency will be key for his future. Especially given the natural ability that he has at 6-foot-9 with shooting range and athleticism. Will made multiple threes from a few feet behind the NBA line, including a few stepbacks. The finish on his shot allows him to make extended shots without too much variation in his form. Where he really shined was at the rim when he was aggressive getting to the paint. Kamukama had a big-time poster on a drive from the top of the key and added nice finishes throughout the run on his penetration. He has size but still has the ability to handle the ball with a couple of dribbles to get to the basket.
As a roll man, he had a very good two-man game with Buzelis and was the recipient of a number of his looks on the inside. Though he isn’t the widest body, Will is a good screener that makes solid contact and creates an advantage for ball-handlers. Defensively, he was not as effective guarding the rim as he could be with his length and leaping ability. There were too many uncontested shots in his area, but that should improve playing against a national schedule at Desert Valley. His offensive upside is there, but having consistent energy, attitude, and production on both ends will ultimately determine how far he goes.
Dylan Schmidt (6’3 SG, Johnsburg)
This week was a slow one offensively for Schmidt. He didn’t really get consistent looks or develop rhythm during the run. He still knocked down a couple of spot-up threes and was able to get to the rim in transition. Schmidt’s athleticism showed well on the defensive end, intercepting some passes, getting deflections, and staying in passing lanes. He showed good improvement on that end this week, even against much older competition in some cases. The springy Johnsburg wing is opening eyes every week and looks to be in for a monster sophomore year.