I checked out some of the Chicagoland Summer Showcase event in Rockford this weekend. There were a number of teams from Illinois and neighboring states who were in attendance along with a bunch of college coaches. Here are some of the Illinois standouts from games that I saw.
2022 Christian Jones (6’4 PG, East Saint Louis)
One of the biggest standouts of the weekend, Jones walked away with offers from DePaul and Missouri following a few impressive showings. He has a smooth game but good explosiveness to aid him off the dribble. Jones is long and very adept as a ball-handler creating off the bounce. He got the rim for runners, showed some shooting touch, and got to the rim at will. His defensive upside is immense as well, with high-level lateral quickness and anticipation to guard all of the spots on the perimeter. Jones has garnered a lot of interest over the last few weeks and is emerging as one of the top guard prospects in the state.
2023 Macaleab Rich (6’5 SG, East Saint Louis)
Rich is a powerful, athletic wing that brought the house down with a monster putback dunk on Friday. He is so strong on his drives, taking even the stoutest of defenders to the rim. When he got deep into the paint, Rich went up through contact to finish. He has a developing outside shot that he can make with time and space. If his jumper continues to improve, it will be very difficult for defenses to scheme around guarding him. Rich is a player that is worth tracking for any mid-major plus programs. He has initial interest from a number of Big Ten and SEC programs. The potential is there and Rich has the frame and athleticism to maximize his upside.
2024 Mike Jones (6’8 C, Rockford Lutheran)
Jones is constantly active and impactful on both ends. He sealed hard and finished off drop steps on the block. When he got deep position, he frequently drew fouls and showed good form on his foul shots. Jones runs the floor like a gazelle and has the length and athleticism to play above the rim. He is a hard rim runner that can push a little bit off the dribble. On the defensive end, he covers a lot of ground and can switch onto guards if needed. The talent is obvious and the potential is through the roof for the 6-foot-8 big man. He is one of the premier centers in the 2024 class.
2022 Donavyn Sayles (6’6 SF, Rockford Lutheran)
Sayles is an athletic, slashing wing that digs in on the defensive end. He has the strength and size to play on the wing or the post. I saw him defend guards and bigs without giving up much. Sayles is a good leaper that has developed a three-point shot that has some consistency. But he looked best in the post or making quick moves to drive. Once he caught it in the mid-post, Sayles hit a turnaround and kicked it out when doubles came. In transition, he had a dunk and ran the floor hard. Sayles is a strong two-way wing that has been good for Lutheran over the last few years. He has the body and potential to be a scholarship player.
2022 Matthew Volkening (6’5 SG, Marengo)
The long, sharpshooting wing was a matchup nightmare. He made a wide range of tough fallaway jumpers from the elbow and baseline, shooting over the top of smaller defenders. Even when tightly covered, Volkening used his size and pivots well to find angles to shoot. Off the ball, he got the rim off of some curls and made short jumpers on the move. His reads were impressive on away screens, making good decisions to find openings off of his cuts. Defensively, Volkening used his length to block a couple of shots. He is a plus rim protector as a perimeter player, capable of defending around the rim or in space for Marengo. The 6-foot-5 wing had around 30 points in the game I saw. Volkening has an offer from NAIA title contender Indiana Wesleyan and projects as a scholarship level wing.
2022 Ryan Duncan (6’2 PG, Chicago U-High)
Duncan’s pace and vision shined. He is an advanced pick-and-roll player that showed the ability to deliver passes on time and score off ball screens. He won 1-on-1 situations off the dribble. Duncan made a couple of long pull-ups and scored multiple times in transition. With good size at 6-foot-2, Duncan is an ideal playmaker that can see over defenses. Radford offered Duncan this weekend and he also has an offer from Loyola Maryland with plenty of other interested D1 programs. His scoring and passing prowess make Duncan a solid prospect at the low-to-mid major level.
2022 Carson Seyller (6’2 SG, Burlington Central)
Seyller had a great weekend getting into the teeth of the defense and making plays for himself and his teammates. A strong, athletic 6-foot-2 combo guard, Seyller absorbed contact on drives before finishing. He has an explosive first step and can stop-and-pop from 15-to-18 feet. His penetration forced help and he dumped off passes to bigs or threw skip passes to shooters. Coming off dribble handoffs or ball screens, he looked very comfortable shooting the three off the bounce. Seyller was a difference-maker on the defensive end creating turnovers and using his athleticism to guard the ball. He has the floor of a solid D3 guard but has the chance to be a scholarship-level player with this level of play.
2023 Drew Scharnowski (6’6 SG, Burlington Central)
Burlington’s lanky wing showed his versatility and upside. Scharnowski finished around the rim well off of rolls, post-ups, straight-line drives, and offensive rebounds. He used his length well, keeping the ball high and scoring over defenders. When he got the ball on the perimeter, he made short jumpers and hit some threes. Even at 6-foot-6, he handles the ball fluidly and made aggressive moves to get downhill. Scharnowski pulled in rebounds in traffic on both ends. He has a projectable frame with a big wingspan that he used well on the defensive end to swat shots and makes life tough as a help defender. His anticipation and long strides allow him to defend on the wing and switch across positions. Scharnowski has a lot of potential and was one of the more impressive 2023 players this weekend.
2022 Zac Schmidt (6’3 SG, Burlington Central)
Schmidt moved well off of the ball and scored well inside of the arc. He has a little bit of an unorthodox rhythm but was effective at changing speeds to get to the basket and hit pull-ups or layups. Schmidt was solid on the defensive end and got out in transition well for some easy looks. He is typically a good shooter from the outside and can play out of the post when needed.
2022 Ethan Gallagher (6’4 SF, Lockport)
Gallagher brought a lot of energy to the game. The strong 6-foot-4 forward showed a high motor in transition to get a few easy looks. In the half-court, he drove aggressively and either drew fouls or finished. While he didn’t shoot it as well as he can, he provided a good impact on the defensive end with his activity. Gallagher blocked a shot off the glass and get plenty of tips. The athletic upside and physicality that Gallagher plays with should be valued at the college level as he continues to get more refined offensively.
2024 Jalen Falcon (6’2 PG, Lockport)
Falcon is a physical guard that found creative ways to get to the rim. He didn’t take a ton of shots, but his ability to penetrate and make plays was noteworthy. Falcon is a promising young guard that has the tools to be an impact player as a sophomore. He can make an open three, shake defenders in space, and finishes well through contact. The 6-foot-2 guard is one to track.
2023 Cooper LePage (6’1 PG, Crystal Lake South)
LePage drove the ball well and created for teammates. He was able to break down defenders to get into the lane where he kicked out to shooters and had a nice cross-court pass on the baseline. LePage hit a three from the corner off the catch and can get hot from three off the dribble. He defended well and got steals using his speed and quick hands. LePage is a good two-way point guard that is going to have a big junior year.
2022 Arnav Jain (6’1 SG, Crystal Lake South)
Jain got hot and never cooled down. He hit five threes in the first half of the game that I saw and scored off of a floater as well. His release is quick and consistent, knocking down open looks at a high rate. Jain excels at stepping into shots from deep, but he is capable of putting the ball on the floor. Heading into his senior year, Jain should be a solid Division 3 prospect.
2022 Isaiah Kirkeeing (6’4 SF, Crystal Lake South)
When Kirkeeing saw driving lanes, he attacked strong and didn’t shy away from contact. He scored on left-handed drives, playing to his strong hand. Kirkeeing also had an and-one. His length and skillset are an advantage when he is matched up with opposing bigs, usually too quick and comfortable on the perimeter to be contained. He possesses a good mid-range game with a nice one or two-dribble pull-up. Kirkeeing is a good wing prospect for small colleges to look at this summer.
2022 Mike Clarke (6’1 PG, Cary Grove)
One of the craftier finishers at the event, Clarke was weaving into the lane and finding ways to make things happen. He hit a runner through contact on the baseline, scored with an inside-hand finish on a drive, and worked in a couple of different finishes in transition. There was no panic or rush to his game, waiting for the defense to make a mistake before carving them up. Clarke draws contact well and is a good foul shooter. When he was handling the ball, he made a couple of nice passes to lead teammates to shots. Clarke is set to carry a heavy load as a senior and has the composure to succeed with the increased attention. I would recommend Clarke to any Division 3 program with his academics, character, IQ, and skills at the guard spot.
2022 Darius Robinson (6’1 PG, Thornton)
Robinson put on a scoring clinic with 42 points in one game this weekend. He was hitting stepback threes and pull-ups in transition all weekend, utilizing his handle to create space. Robinson has an uncanny ability to hit tough shots without much space. He got steals against the press and converted them into layups and threes. Robinson is thin at 6-foot-1, but he was unguardable for portions of this weekend.
2022 Ben Ahmer (6’1 PG, Huntley)
Ahmer is a solid point guard that shoots the lights out. He hit a few deep threes and showed no hesitation in catch-and-shoot situations. With serious range and a good trigger, Ahmer stretches out the defense. When he did face aggressive closeouts, he hit a one-dribble pull-up around the foul line, a shot that he makes consistently. Ahmer has a solid build for a guard and plays through physicality on both ends. He should be a high-academic Division 3 prospect.
2022 Aidan Wieczorek (6’1 SG, Huntley)
Playing on and off the ball, Wieczorek was looking for his shot and converting when he got the chance. Using his strength on his drives, he got to the rim and finished multiple times off of rip-through moves. Wieczorek was able to connect on a couple of threes and showed his touch on some pull-ups. The ability to shoot or get all the way to the rim makes Wieczorek a tough cover. Defensively, he takes pride in hounding ball-handlers. Like Ahmer, Wieczorek should see a lot of Division 3 interest this summer.
2023 Ian Ravagnie (6’4 SG, Huntley)
Ravagnie looks to have taken a big step going into his junior year. He was able to drive and finish off a straight line drive and his jump shot looked good off the dribble and when spotting up. Ravagnie made a long two off the dribble and hit a number of threes. The 6-foot-4 wing is bigger and was aggressive trying to score off the catch. He could have a big junior year.
2023 Collin Wainscott (5’11 PG, Marmion)
Wainscott was doing a nice job of getting everyone involved. He set up a couple of open threes with his cross-court vision and was dynamic in the pick-and-roll. When he came off of screens, he was a threat as a driver or distributor. He made a floater and knocked down a corner three. Wainscott is a dangerous shooter from any level and has the feel to make the right plays. He is a point guard that colleges should add to their radar.
2023 Jabe Haith (6’3 SG, Marmion)
Haith is a smooth combo guard that has serious length. While guarding away from the ball, Haith jumped passing lanes and got deflections that led to easy looks. Offensively, he connected on dribble pull-ups around the elbow and made a few threes on the move. Haith has a polished pull-up game that is going to suit him well in the Catholic League. The 6-foot-3 guard can score and defend from multiple spots.
2022 Sean Kavanaugh (6’2 SG, Marmion)
A strong shooter, Kavanaugh made threes from the corner and top of the key in a game that I watched. He has a nice stroke when he is spacing the floor. An experienced player at Marmion, he looked like a source of reliable offense when things broke down. Kavanaugh projects as a Division 3 wing shooter that provides toughness.
2022 Dom Trelenberg (6’5 SF, Nazareth)
Trelenberg found different ways to score and affect the game. He separated from defenders when his teammates drove to catch and finish. When he got the ball on the wing, he went hard to his left hand and scored. Trelenberg is a solid athlete with good strength and a great motor. He remained active on the glass and had a putback and numerous offensive boards. The 6-foot-5 wing hit a three and threw some nice passes. His defense is always solid against three or four positions. Look for July to be an active one for D3 coaches pursuing Trelenberg.