Conference Prospect Spotlight: ESCC

The ESCC was very competitive this year, with a number of balanced teams knocking off eachother. The conference has a number of Division-1 talents and plenty of future D3 stars.

NDCP had the best trio of seniors in the state. Louis Lesmond (Harvard) was the conference player of the year and the most skilled player in the area. At 6-foot-5, the shot-making guard has a ton of tools in the bag to get separation for his jumper. 6-foot-8 Southern Illinois commit Troy D’Amico was another elite wing player who guarded multiple positions, initiated offense at times, and lit up the nets from three. Lesmond and D’Amico are both players that will be early impact players in college.

Anthony Sayles is the best uncommitted point guard in Illinois, providing contact finishes, timely passes, and terrific defense for the Dons for the last four years. The future is 2023 point guard Sonny Williams. A tenacious defender with high-end speed and handles, Williams was more of a 3-and-D type guard on this year’s team. Expect him to have one of the bigger jumps in production as a junior after attracting some college interest this summer.

St. Patrick ended as one of the top teams in the state. 2022 wing Timaris Brown is a difference-maker on the perimeter and in the paint. He has playmaking upside but really thrives getting to the rim, using his athleticism to finish. Brown should attract more Division-1 interest this summer. The senior class was a part of plenty of wins and should take that mentality to their respective colleges.

Nick Galati (Loras) is a rock-solid shooter that moves well off the ball. Point guard Caleb Corro (Olivet Nazarene) was a catalyst handling the ball, showing a nice mix of passing and shot creation skills. And springy four-man Michael Hamilton (Augustana) is going to be an impact frontcourt option at Augie. He is a lob threat, rim protector, and agile roll man that plays hard.

One team that outperformed expectations was Saint Viator. The backcourt of 2021 Aidan Harrington (Saint Norbert) and 2023 Eli Aldana was productive. Harrington has some strength as a 6-foot-4 guard, using his body well on drives. His shooting and versatility gave the Lions some flexibility on both ends. Aldana is a shorter guard that can go get a bucket. Even as a sophomore, he shined in big games and should be a 2023 to track for D3 programs. 6-foot-5 combo forward Connor Benson is long and active. He rebounds and defends at a high rate. Still uncommitted, the senior should be a good energy forward in college.

Big 2022 forward Ben Rygiel is still putting it all together, but the 6-foot-8 runs the floor, has athleticism, and shows flashes of a perimeter game. Expect a breakthrough summer for Rygiel. Alex Arango is another 2022 that projects as a high-motor defender.

For Marist, 2021 guard Alex Knight provided solid scoring and experience. A stout lead guard, he was a double-double threat that got to the paint regularly. 2023 combo guard Xavier Sulaiman broke through in his first full varsity season. He is one of the better long-term prospects in the conference, possessing elite explosiveness, and shooting range, and defensive upside at 6-foot-2. Classmate Leirre Collier is another 2023 guard to keep an eye on in the future as a guard that can get going in a hurry.

Benet lost a good group last year, but the 2021 class was critical to the Redwings finishing second in the conference. Tyler Van Eekeren (Wash U) is a serious player that does so many things on the floor. He is athletic at 6-foot-5, regularly finishing above the rim and beating defenders to the basket. But he is also a reliable catch-and-shoot player, excellent cutter, and multi-positional defender. His game is a perfect fit for Wash U. Long-range shooter Luke Nolan took a monumental leap as a senior. Opposing teams had to game plan how to run him off of the line because open looks were nearly automatic. You don’t find high level shooters that know how to get open very easily. D3 and NAIA programs should look at his skill.

Sam Hennessey was also solid, particularly on the defensive end. He brings toughness and intensity to the defensive end. The future at Benet is bright, with 2023 guard Brady Kunka, a savvy shooter that get get to the rim, and 2024 Parker Sulaver, a skilled 6-foot-5 forward that can grab-and-go in transition.

2022 Bryce Moore was dominant as the lead guard for Carmel. He is more of a natural two-guard at 6-foot-4 but he has smooth ball control and a good IQ to run the point. Defenders struggle to stay in front of him and he is as good of a transition player as there is in the ESCC. Coaches at the low-to-mid major Division-1 level should take a look at him. Carmel guard Asher Jackson is a junior that has size and can get hot from three.

2022 Nazareth forward Dom Trelenberg had a great season flexing between the perimeter and interior spots. He added strength, giving his tough play style an edge. Trelenberg is a 6-foot-5 lefty wing that shoots the ball well with time and slashes through contact. He is a wing for D3 schools to pursue. Lanky guard Jeremiah Jones was on his game from the start of the season to the finish for Marian Catholic. Even as the focus of scouting reports, he filled up the scoring column in a number of ways. He has shown really good touch and a fluid outside shot to complement his ability to attack.

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