I went to watch one of the bigger matchups of the weekend between Fundamental U and Meanstreets at the 17U level. It didn’t disappoint, with the game coming down to the wire and Fundamental U pulling out the win. Here are the standouts.
AJ Casey (6’8 SF, Whitney Young)
Casey gave Meanstreets a much-needed scoring punch in the first half. He had a couple of athletic drives to the rim and knocked down a corner three. There were multiple occasions where his length affected shots in the paint and he was able to high point rebounds. In the second half he wasn’t able to get anything easy. It’s hard to quantify the different skills that he brings to the table, but Casey showed glimpses of his ability to do everything. Every Power-5 school knows about him at this point.
Ty Rodgers (6’7 SF, Grand Blanc [MI])
Rodgers was excellent on the defensive end tonight. He might be able to switch across all five positions with how well he moves laterally and his strength to hold his ground in the post. Offensively, he played bully ball for much of the game, having the offense flow through his post ups. We saw some nice hooks and a willingness to absorb hits in traffic. He has grown man strength to go along with top-level athleticism that he showed with quick recoveries on defense, rebounds above the rim, and an effortless tomahawk in transition. Rodgers had to work for good looks, but he showed plenty of reasons why he is a top-50 recruit nationally.
Kareem Rozier (5’9 PG, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s [MI])
I really like the toughness and IQ of Rozier. The point guard out of Detroit knows how to facilitate with the best of them, looking good as a playmaker on his dribble drives. He got out for a few layups, but his passing and defensive intensity were the key. Rozier has a solid outside shot as well, though he didn’t take many tonight. He’s got that pitbull mentality that rubs off on everyone. I wouldn’t be surprised if mid-major schools made him a priority.
Jalen Washington (6’9 PF, West Side [IN])
This wasn’t the best game I’ve seen from Washington. He struggled to get any rhythm and wasn’t the primary post-up option with size mismatches at other spots. Still, he flashed some of the skill that has schools like North Carolina offering him. Washington’s mobility and length stands out, using his strides to change ends and rotate over defensively. While he didn’t score too much, he finished around the rim and had a smooth one-dribble pull-up from the right wing. His footwork and touch are very advanced. Washington projects as a McDonald’s All-American candidate but he was frustrated at times tonight.
Nick Martinelli (6’7 SF, Glenbrook South)
No matter what, Martinelli finds a way to produce in the paint. He posted smaller defenders and made lefty hooks. His activity on the offensive glass was noteworthy, tapping rebounds to himself and drawing fouls a few times. 6-foot-7 players usually don’t handle the ball, score in the post, and mix it up for offensive rebounds the way that Martinelli does. More mid-majors will be showing interest in Martinelli, who has offers from Bucknell, Navy, and St. Thomas so far.
Dalen Davis (6’0 PG, Whitney Young)
In limited minutes, Davis created well off the dribble. He sees the floor well on drives, throwing some slick passes tonight on the move. There wasn’t a scoring impact from Davis, but he showed his playmaking. The 2023 point guard is a high-major floor general.
Jackson Munro (6’8 PF, New Trier)
Munro was the most consistent presence against a frontcourt with future pros. Offensive rebounds were either put back by Munro or kicked out to guards. He was efficient on his shots, scoring mostly off timely cuts and mid-post chances. When he got a favorable switch, he showed his touch with a 10-foot turnaround. Munro is an inside-out big that tends to do a lot of damage from 15 feet out to the three-point arc. But he looked really good going inside against size and athleticism tonight. His defensive rebounding and stout rim protecting shouldn’t go unnoticed either. Munro has a Loyola (MD) offer but very well could have a few new suitors after this weekend.
Will Shank (6’3 SG, Western Reserve [IN])
Shank is a tough bucket getter. He started the game with an acrobatic finish and stayed in attack mode all game. The lefty guard was weaving through the lane and taking it strong to the rim. A relentless driver, Shank can score with floaters, double clutch layups, or athletic finishes near the rim. I like his stop and pop game from close range where he was able to gather under control for jumpers. Shank made a couple of nice passes off two feet and brought productivity as a rebounder too. He’s an all-around guard that can shoot it as well. Shank showed up on the big stage. He looks like a D2+ kid to me.
Yogi Oliff (6’1 PG, Niles North)
I am increasingly impressed with Oliff the more I see him. He is unshakeable with the ball and broke the zone press and run-and-jump with his vision and IQ. Oliff used ball fakes and eye fakes all game to manipulate the defense. You can tell that he’s trusted with the ball in his hands, capable of setting up the offense or probing like he did tonight. Oliff made multiple bullet passes for layups and was clever with some of the angles he took. He made a floater in the lane but shined as a playmaker tonight. He’s at least a Division 2 point guard that has some instincts that will translate to any level.
Bryce Moore (6’4 SG, Carmel)
Fresh off of an offer from Appalachian State, Moore took on the defensive matchup of Rodgers. He made him catch it out of the post frequently and used his length and athleticism to contest his drives. The defensive presence that Moore provides is a difference maker. Offensively, he knifed into the lane for a few buckets. His handle was on display when he got pressured and was able to set defenders up before exploding to the rim. Moore didn’t score like he has been this spring, but he made smart decisions for others on his penetration. He wants to win and does what is needed, even taking a charge at one point. He continues to look like a D1 talent hiding in plain sight.
David Geiser (6’3 SG, Fenwick)
Geiser may have ended the night as the high scorer for Fund U. He hit three big threes throughout the game. When Meanstreets was going on runs, he made big shots to stop the momentum. Geiser showed no hesitation shooting from college range off curls and for good reason. He did some damage inside the arc as well, using his body well. Geiser has continued his momentum from a solid junior season at Fenwick. It was an eye-opening performance for a player that should be a target for Ivys and high-academic D3s.
Ryan Renfro (6’8 PF, Glenbard West)
Renfro made a few layups tonight, but it was his rebounding that gave Fundamental U a spark. He probably finished with seven or eight boards off the bench and did so in traffic against a huge Meanstreets team. Renfro moved well in dribble handoff actions and as a rim runner. Defensively, he gave good energy trying to contest in the paint. As the game slows down for him, he has some tools to work with that could attract some D2 or low-major interest.