The Bill Hensley Run N Slam did not disappoint. I was able to stream a few of the Illinois based teams in attendance. Here are the standouts from the weekend.
Breakaway Basketball 2022
Ben VanderWal (6’7 SF, Timothy Christian)
VanderWal was dominant all weekend against circuit teams, using his combination of length and skill to affect the game. The 6-foot-7 wing scored off the dribble with aggressive drives to the rim. He was willing to mix it up in the paint for putbacks and tough finishes in traffic, including a few powerful dunks. VanderWal projects as a solid shooter at the next level, knocking down some threes as well. Even though he has the skill set of a guard, VanderWal is a relentless rebounder that showed good energy defending on the perimeter or interior. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a number of other Division 2 and Division 1 schools reach out following this weekend.
Bobby Durkin (6’6 SG, Hinsdale South)
A slick decision-maker with great size and shooting range, Durkin let the game come to him. He has a deliberate offensive game, operating under control to find creases in the defense. He shot the ball very well from distance, making threes off the catch and creating separation against slower defenders off the dribble. Durkin has a big frame and knows how to use his off-hand to gain an advantage on penetration and finish creatively. Durkin’s shooting and feel is advanced, showing potential as a dangerous pick-and-roll ball-handler.
Garrett Bolte (6’6 PF, Hinsdale South)
Bolte’s athleticism was on full display this weekend. He created mismatches with his ability to push in transition and attack closeouts for finishes above the rim. Bolte hit threes during the weekend to draw defenders out to the perimeter but was most effective getting to the rim. He high-pointed rebounds as usual and contained ball-handlers in space. Bolte’s stock will continue to rise as more coaches see his floor spacing, energy, and defensive upside. D2, D3, and NAIA programs will track Bolte.
Jake Quast (6’3 SG, Hinsdale Central)
Quast was feeling it from three, connecting on multiple threes in a number of games this weekend. With a quick release and consistent form, Quast did a nice job of producing from beyond the arc when he got opportunities from kick-outs. He has a strong build at 6-foot-3 and solid positional size to guard on the wing at a small college.
Illinois Hoopstars 2022
Amar Augillard (6’5 SG, Zion Benton) 
One of the standout performers from the weekend, Augillard showcased his scoring ability. He is strong enough to bulldoze defenders and was very bouncy around the rim from a variety of angles. Augillard made some open threes as well, but his upper body strength on his downhill drives was a differentiator. He is probably the best unsigned scorer in the senior class with legitimate Division-1 size, athleticism, and instincts.
Zach Cleveland (6’7 SF, Normal)
Cleveland is a high-upside, low-floor type of combo forward due to his motor, fluid athleticism, and multi-faceted game. At 6-foot-7, Cleveland looked good handling the ball in transition off of missed shots. He got by defenders in straight lines before springing up over the help. His jump shot looked good, coming out clean and displaying a reliable set shot that extends past three. I am always impressed with his passing skill either out of the post or off the dribble. He looked for open shots within the offense. Defensively, he guarded all over and was an asset walling up in the paint or sliding with guards. He has become one of the top long-term prospects in Central Illinois.
Illinois Wolves 17U
Jaden Schutt (6’5 SG, Yorkville Christian)
Fresh off of a couple of high-major offers, Schutt had Another impressive weekend on a Wolves team that wasn’t at full strength. His shot-making comes so naturally in space, able to shoot off the catch, get defenders off him with his jab steps, or blow by defenders into pull-ups or explosive finishes. He made a bunch of acrobatic layups against length look routine. Schutt is a high-flyer that has really improved his ball-handling and playmaking. Schutt needs to be considered one of the best players in the state, not just the best shooter.
Jalen Quinn (6’3 PG, Tuscola)
Quinn was in attack mode for the games he played. He looked comfortable driving either way when plays broke down, breaking down defenders with his quick handle. The gifted lefty didn’t settle, though he is a capable shooter, and instead got going on paint touches. His talent was apparent on a couple of athletic drives where he finished or found a way to spot a shooter or cutter. Quinn’s mid-range game is another weapon that he can go to on command. Mid-major is starting to look like the minimum for Quinn.
Cooper Noard (6’1 PG, Glenbrook South)
When the Wolves needed a scoring spark, Noard was ready to deliver. He sprayed in threes during the weekend and did a nice job of probing in the lane to score or draw fouls. Noard is a high-percentage three-point shooter that can step out near the volleyball line for shots. Playing on or off the ball at times, he was able to make plays off screens and dribble handoffs. Noard fills it up and it’s just a matter of time before his first offer comes.
Robbie Avila (6’8 PF, Oak Forest)
Avila was a big part of Meanstreets taking home the championship. He showed serious range and touch from three. His footwork setting up for his jumpers is precise and doesn’t waste any movement. Avila’s vision is levels above other bigs in the 2022 class. He anticipates the help well to find teammates. Avila is also a solid post-scorer using his big body to get position. He is a prime mid-major target that just received an offer from Appalachian State.
AJ Casey (6’8 SF, Whitney Young)
The elite wing was productive on both ends, particularly using his versatility to impact the game. Casey ran the floor for athletic finishes, handled the ball against pressure, and was efficient with his shot attempts. His defensive activity was really impressive. He moves effortlessly on that end, staying in passing lanes and contesting shots on the perimeter and in the paint. Casey gets it done in so many different ways.
Nick Martinelli (6’7 SF, Glenbrook South)
More production from Martinelli. He excelled as a rebounder, keeping plays alive offensively with a quick second jump and the touch to finish in different ways. The 6-foot-7 wing is able to play and defend the two through four due to his footwork, length, and ball-handling. He keeps his dribble alive well until he is able to find an angle to attack. Martinelli picked up an offer from Navy and is another target for a number of mid-major programs.
Kam Craft (6’6 SG, Buffalo Grove)
Craft wasn’t knocking down threes at as high of a clip as he usually does, but that athleticism stood out again. Long-limbed and bouncy, he did a good job of mixing in hard drives to the cup to get some easy offense. His shot-creation skills were obvious, taking learners and pull-ups that were nearly impossible to defend. Craft also had a big week from a recruiting standpoint, adding offers from Iowa, NC State, and Texas Tech last week.
Illinois Hoopstars 2023
Keon Alexander (6’6 PF, Bolingbrook)
It’s all about activity and athleticism for Alexander. He was constantly grabbing rebounds and contesting shots for the Hoopstars. He is really long, allowing him to play bigger than his 6-foot-6 listing. Alexander ran the floor well too. His offensive rebounding and impact in the punch spot are worth tracking.
George Bellevue (6’5 SF, Lincoln-Way East)
Bellevue jumped out with his slashing ability and athletic gifts. He is a tremendous defender as well that guards with a purpose. Physical and strong, he was able to bang on the inside with post players with no problem. Offensively, he is more of a rip-and-go player right now, but there is some ball-handling to tap into going forward for the high-upside wing.
Grant Welch (6’3 SG, Moline)
Welch is starting to look like one of the better wing scorers in the class. He can shoot it off the bounce without losing much efficiency. A well-balanced offensive player, he gets to the basket with a strong frame and uses that same strength to bump off defenders and shoot his pull-up. Welch is a terrific shooter that was looking to fire when given a crease. Welch has a bright future ahead.
Bryce Tillery (5’9 PG, Hillcrest)
Tillery does a great job of scoring and playmaking. He shot threes and mid-range looks, showing a good base to his shot and a strong follow-through. Tillery handles pressure well and does just as well applying it defensively. There is a lot to like about the floor general skills of Tillery.
Illinois Wolves 16U
Asa Thomas (6’6 SG, Lake Forest)
Thomas is on the brink of putting it all together from a scoring standpoint. His mid-range game was effective, dribbling into that 12-17 foot range for jumpers. That shot combined with his floater and three-point shooting makes him a constant scoring threat from three levels. Thomas was raining in threes at times with his quick, one-motion shot coming from a few feet behind the line. He is also becoming a valuable defender that gives them options at 6-foot-6 to guard on the inside in small lineups. Coaches might not be able to wait until June for the Lake Forest sharpshooter.
Chris Martin (6’6 PF, Mundelein)
There isn’t a stat for energy, but Martin was bringing it this weekend. He’s not the tallest four, but he is tough and active with his minutes. He was able to score on putbacks and hard cuts. Martin moves well, changing ends and protecting the rim as a help defender. He worked well around the paint this weekend.
Sonny Williams (6’0 PG, Notre Dame College Prep)
Williams looked like a point guard with the competitive edge that should separate him heading into his junior year. He defended with a purpose against talented guards, making sure life was tough on them. His open court speed led to a bunch of layups as he got out in transition. Williams also has the ability to shoot off the dribble and create those driving angles as defenders are forced to respect his shot. But his playmaking and defense are what made this a solid weekend for the NDCP guard.
Troy Cicero (6’0 PG, Joliet Central)
It looks like Cicero is becoming more assertive for the Wolves, putting together some good two-way performances. He really competes on the defensive end, with good length and excellent lateral quickness to disrupt guards. Offensively, Cicero shot it well around the elbows and made some threes. He changes pace well off of the dribble to work around defenders in space.
Xavier Sulaiman (6’2 SG, Marist)
Sulaiman did a nice job of shooting and attacking closeouts this weekend. He has an improved jump shot that has been producing results and the same high-level athleticism that has attracted some early interest from college coaches. His defense leads to turnovers off pass interceptions and ball pressure.
Mac Irvin Fire 16U
JJ Taylor (6’7 SF, Kenwood)
Taylor has superstar upside and showed it this weekend. He possesses a clean handle that he used to isolate defenders to slash or step into his hesitation pull-up. Being 6-foot-7 with the top-level athleticism, he uses a lot of his skillset versus relying on overpowering defenders. Taylor has good footwork out on the perimeter and was in the post a lot this weekend to hit turnarounds and make plays. His shooting may be his best long-term asset. It is a repeatable release that he made look effortless. He projects as a plus defender as well that can switch one through five. Taylor is a top-10 national prospect for a reason.
Matas Buzelis (6’9 SG, Brewster Academy)
Buzelis is a special talent that displayed a little bit of everything that makes him a high-major prospect. His defensive upside is crazy with how well he covers ground. A rangy, 6-foot-9 frame guard the athletic ability to be a lockdown defender on the wing, block shots in the paint, or make life difficult at the top of a zone. He turned turnovers into big dunks this weekend. In the half-court, he got defenders off balance with his ball-handling creativity and shot it with range off the dribble. As a playmaker, he has shown flashes of being a high-level pick-and-roll passer too. Buzelis and Taylor might be the most terrifying duo in the EYBL.
Darrin Ames (6’1 PG, Kenwood)
The shifty lefty was able to shake defenders on a regular basis to create advantages for the fire. Ames made a tough snatch back move to hit a three and got to some left-handed finishes on drives. His scoring comes in a variety of ways, in part due to his comfort shooting off the dribble. Look for more Division 1 programs to target one of the top point guards in the state.
Rich Barron (6’5 SG, Saint Ignatius)
Barron showed a lot of versatility this weekend. He guarded all around the perimeter, acted as the primary ball-handler, and made plays in traffic. A physical 6-foot-5, Barron welcomes contact on his drives and has the touch to make defenses pay for leaving him open from three. Barron is a tough guard with great size and an all-around game.
Tae Jackson (6’2 PG, Springfield Lanphier)
Jackson’s vision was very impressive. He has a natural ability to make reads a few plays ahead. Everything is under control with Jackson, rarely looking in a hurry or out of his regular pace. He made threes and was slick getting to the rim for layups. Jackson was setting guys up all weekend with an advanced feel for playmaking.
Sam Lewis (6’5 SF, Oak Park River Forest)
Lewis was stretching the floor and flashing some athleticism in the open court. He really has a smooth jumper that works well with his long, 6-foot-5 frame. He nearly finished a poster dunk in transition and had a few strong takes to the rim. His defensive potential is promising as well.
Marcus Pigram (6’3 SG, Whitney Young)
Pigram is another guard who showed well this weekend. He has legitimate size as a combo guard with a quick first step and body control. He has broad shoulders that he knows how to use to initiate contact on his drives. Pigram was able to defend well using his strength and quickness to affect ball-handlers.
Illinois Wolves 15U
Kelton McEwen (5’11 PG, Bartlett)
McEwen was a standout this weekend for the Wolves making shots and creating off the dribble. He connected on threes in transition, off of designed sets, or in rhythm on kick-outs. His shot is pure regardless of what situation he’s in. It wasn’t all shooting though, as McEwen knifed through the lane for floaters and other layups while providing some on-point passes. He is a gifted, wired scorer.
Jaheem Webber (6’8 C, Normal)
Webber does a great job of posting deep and showing his hands on seals. He got the ball on the block where he was productive finishing possessions. When he was in the area of missed shots, he pulled them in, kept the ball high, and scored. Webber has shown a good mid-range jumper and plenty of rim protection as well. He remains one of the top centers in the 2024 class that I have seen.
Christian Uremovich (6’5 SF, Stevenson)
It was a strong showing from the lanky Stevenson wing. Uremovich played excellent defense on the perimeter, looking very mobile when isolated in space. He made an impact on the backboards, as usual, cleaning up misses on both ends. His transition game really shined, taking it coast to coast, finishing off runouts, and slashing on quick moves. Uremovich is an athletic combo forward that has plenty of room for growth.
Cole Certa (6’3 SG, Bloomington Central Catholic)
Certa is fluid and aggressive with the ball. His mid-range game is confident and consistent, getting to his spots and scoring. Certa made good decisions out of the triple threat when he caught it on the perimeter. I like his defensive tenacity as well, always working to apply pressure.
Morez Johnson Jr. (6’6 PF, St. Rita)
Johnson was a man amongst boys. He is a physical, athletic, high-upside forward that is only going to get bigger and more skilled. One of the more versatile 6-foot-6 defenders around, Johnson guarded everywhere. He has raw, but intriguing face-up skills with his jump shot and ability to put it on the ground. Anything around the rim is money for Johnson, whether that was a putback, transition run out, or dump-off pass. He holds a number of Division-1 offers already for good reason.
Nojus indrusaitis (6’4 SG, Lemont)
Indrusaitis played multiple positions this weekend and found an advantage in every situation. The 6-foot-4 guard is a tough cover with his length, ball-handling, and shooting ability. I really liked how well he played through contact after cutting or driving. He will continue to add strength, but Indrusaitis makes good use of his size on the defensive end. His jump shot is compact and textbook. The balance, rhythm, and consistency as a shooter is well beyond his years. Indrusaitis has a seasoned game as a freshman and should be one of the most recruited guards in the class.
Lathan Sommerville (6’8 PF, Peoria Notre Dame)
Another big for Meanstreets that had a good weekend. Sommerville is a load in the paint, with his big body and solid feet. He is still developing his post game, but has a good understanding of where to be to get offensive rebounds and score. He keeps the ball high and moves pretty well given his size. Sommerville also has touch that should fair well over the next few years. Bradley has already offered the promising 6-foot-8 big.
Antoine Glasper (6’0 PG, Collins)
Glasper is jet quick with the ball in his hands, able to change ends in a heartbeat. He finishes well around the rim once he gets in the paint, with scoop layups and contact layups in his bag. When he got deep, he was able to kick out to teammates well. As Glasper continues to display his shooting range, he will only up his current outlook. DePaul has already offered the Collins PG.
Jeezy White (5’11 PG, Zion Benton)
White showed a lot of ball control in breaking down defenders. He is really creative and can dance on the perimeter or make a quick move to attack. He made a few threes off the bounce and looked dynamic getting downhill for his finishes. White is a point guard to track, especially as he adds strength.
Carlos Harris (6’2 SG, Curie)
An inside-out scorer that showed some toughness off the dribble, Harris is an advanced scorer at his age, with a good-looking jumper and comfort making moves to get to his spots. Harris projects as a solid defender even as a freshman with his size, strength, and anticipation defensively.
Jakob Blakley (5’11 PG, Marmion)
Blakley was another point guard that showed some upside this weekend. His pace is ideal as a ball-handler, changing speeds and working well in pick-and-rolls. Blakley shoots well from three off the catch and has footwork and skill in the mid-range to score. He is another guard that made things happen.
Tavariyuan Williams (6’4 SF, De La Salle)
Williams stood out for Swish as a long, versatile wing that has some upside as a shot creator. He hit a three and made a pull-up in transition. His handle was smooth when he got space to create. His length caused some problems defensively as well as contesting shots. Williams has a lot of tools to work with and he probably isn’t done growing.
Nolan Sexton (5’11 PG, Evergreen Park)
Sexton is one of the premier shooters in the 2024 class. The 5-foot-11 guard made a couple of threes and got to the basket for a finish. He has range to the NBA line with the ball skills to attack when players overcommit. Sexton is a tough guard that understands spacing and ball movement well. He can play either guard spot, though his shooting and handle will translate well as a lead guard.
Tim Handy (6’2 PG, De La Salle)
At 6-foot-2, Handy is an athletic guard that effectively gets to the rim in dribble-drive situations. Handy plays with good energy on both ends, using his length and lateral quickness to guard the ball and cutting offensively. He looked good in transition scoring himself or making plays for his teammates. Handy is a guard to track.
Philip Erickson (6’3 SG, Saint Ignatius)
Erickson is an active guard with good size, physicality, and perimeter skills. He put his head down well to score at the rim. Erickson also showed some passing feel finding cutters. Currently at 6-foot-3, Erickson looks like he will continue to get bigger. His ball-handling from the wing was solid and he is a capable shooter as well.
Richard Lindsey (6’3 SF, Simeon)
Lindsey is a big-time athlete that can defend multiple positions. When he had openings on offense, he attacked hard to the rim and showed really good body control as a finisher. Lindsey is a prime straight-line driver with the ability to make adjustments in the air to avoid defenders. The Simeon wing is full of potential.