Conference Prospect Spotlight: DuPage Valley Conference

The DuPage Valley conference is small, but had a dense talent pool this season. The 2021 class was terrific and created some instant classics.  

Ben Schwieger (Loyola) was the headliner at Waubonsie Valley, providing regular poster dunks, smooth passes, and efficient outside shooting. His defense set the tone this season, taking on tough defensive matches and using his length and explosiveness to affect top options. He was part of a great senior class, with point guard Adri Malushi, 6-foot-7 Carter Langendorf, athletic combo guard Isaiah Smith, and scoring guard Justin Starks. The 5-foot-8 Malushi is a traditional playmaker that is an aggressive defender and good shooter. Langendorf took a nice step this year, looking more fluid and effective scoring from multiple levels. For his size, he handles it well, passes out of the high post, and has shooting potential. He is a serious D3 prospect who has the upside to level up.

DeKalb springboarded into being one of the top teams in the state, winning 18 games led by dual-sport 2021 guard Trenton Kyler and 2022 transfer Lane McVicar. Kyler is the quintessential floor general that has toughness attacking the paint and the ability to shoot with space. He showed up huge in big games this year. McVicar was an all-conference player at South Elgin as a sophomore and was one of the high-impact transfers in the entire suburbs. At 6-foot-5, McVicar is a proficient shooter that is able to score with mid-range pull-ups or straight-line drives. He really digs in on the defensive end, guarding multiple spots for DeKalb. He is a two-way wing for college coaches to track this spring. 5-foot-11 2022 guard Martez Jackson is instant offense, able to be a volume scorer or playmaker if needed.

John Poulakidas (Yale) became the all-time leading scorer and was making tough shots as usual. His elite shooting and long 6-foot-6 frame are a constant mismatch (and will be advantageous in the Ivy League). For the last few weeks, Poulakidas missed some time and 6-foot-5 guard Connor Davis was terrific. He does whatever is needed to win and shined when called upon as the go-to scorer and playmaker. The versatile, strong-bodied senior averaged over 20 points a game during the stretch (surpassing 1,000 career points) and showed why D2 coaches are chasing him. Senior big Zack Davis (Dominican University) has good shooting touch but can work in the post with his strength. 2023 point guard Mark Mennecke looks like an upperclassman with his poise and physicality at the lead guard spot. He should be a leader over the next few years.

Naperville North was led by 2021 forward Grant Johnson and 2022 point guard Zeke Williams. Johnson is a tremendous leaper that does a good job shooting off kick-outs. His slashing is tough to defend for opposing fours. Williams is a great defender on or off the ball and is a high assist-to-turnover playmaker. He finished his third varsity year and is set to make a statement this summer with Breakaway. His younger brother, Luke Williams, is a 2024 that plays above his age. He has long arms, ideal anticipation on the defensive end, and explosive to get to the rim (and finish above it). 6-foot-10 center Zack Thompson is a big to watch for in the AAU season and as a senior. He can really pass at his size and has soft hands in the paint.

2022 Jonah Hinton was one of the under-the-radar stars this year, giving Naperville Central steady production from the guard spot. The crafty shot-maker does a great job of changing pace and using his body to create advantages. Henry Krzyzewski is still developing, but he has made strides at Metea Valley. The 6-foot-9 big has an intriguing outside touch to work with in addition to his size. He should grow into a solid role with a Division 3 or NAIA program. 2022 wing Charlie Nosek (6-foot-4) is a player that has the length, athleticism, and motor to translate. He will be a breakthrough player next season.

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