We had two camps for the yesterday with prospects from the 2022/2023 class in one group and 2024/2025 class in the other. There was a solid mix of prospects who project to different levels in the older group with some promising players in the 2024 and 2025 class in the later group. Here are the write-ups from the event.
Adidas Davis (6’4 SG, Buffalo Grove)
The lanky combo guard showed good handle and shot creation instincts. Davis shook off defenders to get to his spots where he was solid with his attempts. During the scrimmages, he didn’t have a high volume but had tough finishes in the paint and made a couple of long threes. Davis is always an effective on-ball defender that plays the gaps well to get deflections. He should receive some D3 and NAIA looks, but will probably also have some JUCOs after him.
Alex Arango (6’2 SG, Saint Viator)
Arango was one of the high-energy players at the event. He piled up points in transition simply by outrunning and out hustling defenders. By the end of the scrimmages, he had one of the higher totals without having to do anything fancy, just cutting with a purpose, making decisive moves, and being efficient. He didn’t take a lot of jumpers, but he knocked down a couple of mid-range shots when left open. The defense and rebounding were plusses as well for Arango, remaining active on both ends. He’s a player that will make some D3 team better with the motor he brings every day.
Alex Krejci (6’2 SG, Somonauk)
It’s always nice to have events like this where you see a player like Krejci that might not otherwise not get a ton of attention. He was one of the standouts with his advanced shooting ability. He has a compact form, good elevation, and can really shoot it off the bounce. Krejci made pull-ups from three off hesitations and handoffs with defenders in his face, looking unaffected by shot contests. A solid athlete with a good build for a guard, he rebounded well and showed good body control on his finishes. Krejci is a sleeper in the 2022 class that could be an impact shooter at the D3 level.
Asher Jackson (6’5 SG, Carmel)
Jackson used his physicality to score in crowds around the rim with putbacks and contact finishes. He’s got a good combination of size and ball-handling ability, creating off pick-and-rolls and in transition for teammates. He delivered a couple of wing threes, including one from NBA range. The lefty turned a couple of fake dribble handoffs into easy looks and looked capable of scoring in bulk. Jackson will need to be more consistent on both ends but has the look of a big scoring guard.
Darius Duff (6’3 SG, Lake Forest Academy)
Duff’s shooting and ball-handling have taken nice leaps this summer and he showed it. He was mixing in step-backs, sidesteps, and tough jumpers from all over the court. In isolation situations, he made good reads to either kick out to shooters or go to work. Usually a force getting to the rim, he made some next-level moves to get to his jump shot. He has good lateral quickness and explosiveness that allows him to defend both guard spots. At this point, he is one of the more under-recruited scholarship level players in the state. He has the two-way upside and unselfishness that will translate. He will have a wide range of suitors, from Ivys and low-major D1s to D2s and high-academic D3s.
Isaiah Kirkeeing (6’5 SF, Crystal Lake South)
Kirkeeing opened some eyes with his smooth mid-range game and scoring prowess. His pull-up around the elbow was automatic throughout the event and his ball skills allowed him to get to his spots. Kirkeeing has ideal size and length for a wing and flashed his athleticism with some double-clutch layups and dunks during drills. He’s a fluid wing that has good footwork in and around the paint as well. Kirkeeing is a potential riser after his showing this weekend and could get some D2 or D3 looks.
Jonah Hinton (6’2 PG, Naperville Central)
From start to finish, Hinton was the most dominant player at the event. He has mastered his change-of-pace dribble and set up defenders with size-up moves before beating them off the bounce. Hinton continued to find different ways to get into the paint and make plays. He used his body to bump off defenders and score. The tight handle gave him an advantage when attacking switches in pick-and-rolls where he created space for threes. When he drew help, he threw pinpoint passes to his shooters in scrimmages. Hinton has good length and size for a lead guard with the skill to make plays on both ends. Following a terrific summer, Hinton is still underrated throughout the state. He’s a scholarship level guard with a 4.0 GPA.
Jullian Acosta (6’2 PG, East Aurora)
One of the premier defenders at the event, Acosta was created turnovers and staying aggressive when guarding the ball. That’s a standard for Acosta. Offensively, he acted as a playmaker with some slick passes and quick decisions off of the dribble. Acosta is a quick guard that penetrated, cut, and showed patience around 10 feet with short jumpers and pivots. He knocked down a couple of threes as well. Acosta had a good day and is an elite defender that can distribute and get into the lane as needed. He should be able to produce at the D3/NAIA level and projects as a JUCO target.
Julian Triffo (6’6 SF, Maine South)
Triffo was relentless on the glass and showed versatility on both ends. He got every offensive rebound in his reach, fighting off box outs and going through multiple defenders to get boards. The 6-foot-6 forward rolled to the rim hard and acted as a ball-handler at times as well. He spaced the floor with his jumper, hitting wing threes and scoring on straight line drives. Triffo guarded in the post and moved well on the perimeter. His agility and hard-working play style will give him an edge. Triffo will have a big year at Maine South and should be a target for some D3s.
Lane McVicar (6’5 PG, DeKalb)
McVicar was another standout. A big guard with a knockdown jumper and playmaking skill, McVicar was filling it up from three levels. The 6-foot-5 guard is a confident ball-handler in the ball screen game that stepped into threes and got to 15-feet for pull-ups. As a spot-up shooter, he can go on shooting tears and showed the catch-and-shoot proficiency during the event. He was weaving through traffic and dropping off passes for layups during the scrimmages. Defensively, he is a competitive, athletic perimeter defender that takes pride in his defense. He should be able to guard all three spots on the perimeter at the next level. At this point, McVicar should be considered a scholarship prospect that should be looked at by some D2 and low-major D1 programs.
Sebastian Blachut (6’2 SG, Lake Park)
Blachut was great all day on both ends using his athleticism and IQ. He has terrific bounce that allows him to play bigger than his 6-foot-2 listing when finishing around the rim. Blachut was always in motion, cutting for layups, moving into the vision of passers for kick outs, and crashing for rebounds. Slashing is his strength, using a quick first step to beat defenders off the catch. But he showed some of the other layers of his game, making heady passes off the dribble and draining catch-and-shoot threes. His intangibles fuel his game. Blachut is unselfish, a good communicator, and plays with purpose. Also an excellent student, Blachut is just scratching the surface and should be a high-academic D3 target.
Adam Labuda (6’3 SG, Lockport)
Labuda shot it at a high clip from three. He was pulling up from a few feet behind the college line with no problem, catching fire early on in the scrimmages. With good size for an off guard, Labuda made a few pull-up threes over contested hands. He added in a few finishes in transition and off baseline drives. Defenders couldn’t give him any space or it was lights out. Labuda should be able to make an impact for Lockport with his shooting prowess.
Benji Zander (5’9 PG, Glenbard West)
An athletic guard, Zander was best on the defensive end when guarding other point guards. He’s got plus quickness and speed in the open floor, showing offensively with some layups on run outs. Zander is still developing on both ends, but he has good speed, passing instincts, and defensive upside.
Brayden Fagbemi (5’10 PG, Neuqua Valley)
Fagbemi was so dynamic off of the dribble throughout the day showing good pace and feel as a primary ball-handler. He has a quick first step that defenders have to respect, but his outside shot is a weapon that he put to good use. Throughout the scrimmages, he easily shot over 50 percent from three with spot-ups and pull-ups when he was given space. Fagbemi has a slick handle that allows him to dice up the defense and survey the help. He made a couple of really nice passes off of the dribble and scored it himself when the help didn’t come. All that he lacks is size, but Fagbemi plays with a toughness and scrappiness that impacts winning.
Chase Collignon (6’5 PF, Hinsdale Central)
A physical, high-motor four, Collignon impressed with his effort as a rebounder and defender. He was going up in traffic to corral rebounds and was stout when guarding in the post. His length helps, but Collignon brings fundamentals and toughness that helps his game. He put it on the ground well to score a few times on face-ups and hit a three. Most of his offensive production came around the rim on hard cuts. Collignon is a productive, active four that is returning for Hinsdale Central.
George Bellevue (6’6 PF, Lincoln-Way East)
Bellevue’s explosiveness was off the charts. He got his head up near the rim a few times and grabbed every rebound in his area. Bellevue is developing his jumper and made multiple shots beyond the arc during the scrimmages. He used his strength to power through defenders as a slasher as well. The combo forward is continuing to become more comfortable on the perimeter as a ball-handler which should only help his stock. Bellevue should be tracked by Division 1 programs looking for high-energy forwards with elite athletic punch. The potential is there.
James Stevenson (6’6 SF, Momence)
Stevenson showed a lot of perimeter skills that are uncommon for a 6-foot-6 player with his length. He handled the ball well, making crossover moves and passing off the dribble well all day. Stevenson didn’t force anything offensively and took what the defense gave him. He did finish and show some shooting touch during drills. During scrimmages, he was primarily a playmaker and distributor that set up a lot of offense for his team. Stevenson has some upside to track.
Josh Farmer (5’9 PG, Metea Valley)
Farmer is a physical guard that was stout defensively. He has solid upper body strength that allowed him to score on a few drives to the rim. Farmer gets to the rim with force and welcomes body contact. On the other end, he got up into guards and caused them to pick up their dribble. Farmer was also effective as a rebounder despite lacking some height. After having some good showings with the Illinois Attack this summer, he should be a nice guard for Metea.
Logan Brown (6’5 SF, Glenbard West)
Brown made his impact felt as a rebounder and defender during the event. At 6-foot-5, he is a strong wing that gets off the ground well. Brown slashed to the rim for a few finishes and added a wing three during the scrimmages. He’s an energetic defender that is solid enough to guard on the inside when needed. He showed some passing ability as well on a few dump off passes when help defenders came over to take away his layups. Brown has ideal physical tools and energy to build upon.
Nick Gouriotis (6’4 PF, Burlington Central)
Gouriotis made the most of his shooting opportunities, spreading the floor with his three-point shooting. He stepped into threes and used jab steps to get defenders to back off before hitting the looks. Gouriotis rebounded well in his area and showed promise as a screen outlet. The 6-foot-4 four scored on a post turnaround during the scrimmages as well.
RJ Gamble (5’11 PG, Saint Viator)
Gamble looked powerful on his drives and made some nice change of pace moves to get downhill. The 5-foot-11 guard is a speedy floor general that showed he could play on or off the ball as a cutter or ball-handler. He ran out in transition for points in the scrimmages and had acrobatic takes to the rim. Gamble is a steady point guard for Viator.
Simon Weisserman (6’7 PF, Lake Forest Academy)
Weisserman is the modern inside-out forward that can put it on the deck, shoot the three, and score in the post. He was strong scoring over his right shoulder in the post with hook shots and turnarounds. There was no hesitation to punish smaller defenders, but he was able to make an impact on the perimeter as well. Weisserman sprayed in threes off the catch and ripped through against aggressive defenders to get into the paint. He rebounds and runs the floor well at his size. Weisserman is a going to have a breakout year at Lake Forest Academy and is a high-academic prospect that will receive scholarship interest.
Tylon Toliver (6’2 PG, Lincoln-Way East)
The athletic combo guard was explosive scoring the ball for segments of the day. He has a balanced release from three with great elevation on his pull-up. Toliver broke down defenders in transition before getting all the way to the rim. He made double-clutch layups in traffic and got around help defenders to finish in a variety of ways. The 6-foot-2 guard also moved well in the half court and found open teammates for easy looks. Toliver should give LWE some scoring punch this season.
Colin Gerrity (6’2 SG, Neuqua Valley)
From start to finish, Gerrity was one of the most consistent producers at the event. He’s got good scoring instincts and just found ways to score. Gerrity can play with the ball in his hands, making some quick counter moves to get space for his shot. He connected on some threes, worked in different shots around the rim, and hit mid-range shots on the move. I like Gerrity’s aggressiveness when getting to the rim, showing no hesitation and not being deterred by size. Gerrity showed some vision as well with some kick outs and passes that led to layups. He’s only going to get better and Gerrity should be a solid player to watch at Neuqua.
Connor Elligan (5’11 PG, Francis Parker)
Elligan was shooting it off the bounce and hitting threes regularly. He has a tight handle with the confidence to gather himself and shoot over defenders. Elligan played on and off the ball effectively and was a consistent source of offense during the scrimmages. As he gets stronger, he should be able to be more productive inside the arc.
Ethan Dabu (5’9 PG, Loyola Academy)
Dabu pushed pace and excelled in transition during live segments. He changes gears well and can make scoop shots and runners over length. Dabu’s energy and effort rubs off on the game, encouraging shooters and bigs to run knowing that he will deliver it to them on time. When off the ball, Dabu knocked down threes at a high clip. He should fit in well to the Loyola system.
James Allison (6’1 SG, Simeon)
Allison scored in transition a few times and cut to get layups. Defensively, he got on the ground for loose balls and turned steals into finishes. Still raw on both ends, Allison has some physical tools to work with and probably isn’t done growing. He will have time to grow in a great program at Simeon.
Jet Jones (5’9 PG, Plainfield East)
With good speed and strength at the lead guard spot, Jones got by his initial defender and didn’t shy away from contact at the rim. Jones made a few pull-ups from the mid-range that looked good during scrimmages and drills. His three-point shot is still developing, but as it gets more fluid he will have a higher volume from there. Jones made some skip passes that led to wide open looks and played off of his penetration well. He is a guard to track in the 2024 class.
JJ Hernandez (6’5 SF, Glenbard North)
Rated as the second-best small forward in the class in our rankings, Hernandez’s athleticism, defense, and slashing stood out. He shot the ball well during drills and has continued to shoot it better off of the bounce. During the scrimmages, he made a couple of pull-up threes and other jumpers off of the catch. In transition, he used his length to quickly get to the rim and finish with euro steps and layups in traffic. He had a couple of dunks on the break as well. His handle was crisp when coming off ball screens or attacking downhill, but he also showed good control making passing on the move to hit shooters. Hernandez is a disruptive defenders with his plus wingspan and quick leaping ability, protecting the rim and switching out onto ball-handlers seamlessly. There is a lot to like about the upside of Hernandez.
Kelton McEwen (5’11 PG, Bartlett)
A cerebral point guard that is a sniper from three, McEwen got it done in the paint as well. He crashed the glass for putbacks and kept defenders on his back coming off ball screens during drills. The 5-foot-11 guard made a couple of tough pull-ups around the foul line and made some slick finishes off dribble penetration. He has a shifty handle and a deceptive hesitation that allowed him to get by defenders. McEwen made some long threes and spot ups when defenders lost him a few times. He is a dangerous pick-and-roll player with his range and continued playmaking growth. There were a few cross court passes that he put some heat on that found shooters in rhythm. The arrow is pointing up for a player that should be considered one of the top point guards in the class. After a big freshman season, McEwen should take another step as a three-level scorer, playmaker, and defender for Bartlett.
Liam Taylor (6’6 SF, Lyons)
Taylor won more games than anyone else during the event and for good reason. He did all of the little things well, running the floor, contesting shots on defense, and making the extra pass. Taylor has serious length that he uses well to score over size in the paint. He’s got a good feel for scoring around the rim, with the touch and competitiveness that you look for in a lanky wing. The 6-foot-6 wing shot the ball well during drills and made some threes during the scrimmages. His length causes problems defensively as well, blocking some shots and affecting the vision of guards. Taylor could be a problem as his body matures.
Luke Kinkade (6’0 SG, Neuqua Valley)
Kinkade is an elite shooter that defenders need to find in transition. During drills, he was nearly automatic in catch-and-shoots. The lefty guard eventually got hot during the scrimmages and made spot ups and threes on the move. He’s more than a shooter, showing some handle in space and toughness in the paint for putbacks and finishes. Kinkade has a good pull-up around 15-feet and a pure stroke that extends well behind the arc. At 6-foot, he has good size and length at this stage. Kinkade can catch fire quickly and is one of the better shooters in the 2024 class that I’ve seen so far.
Nate Scearce (6’1 SG, Bartlett)
Scearce is a good shooter that wasn’t missing much all day. During the drills, he showed good range on his jumper and made plays when help came. That continued into the 5-on-5 play where he was knocking down shots from all over the floor. Scearce was operating on the wing a lot, hitting deep threes, dribbling into pull-ups off screens against drop coverage, and making floaters in the lane. He has a quick release that was giving defenders problems, especially with the distance he was pulling up from. Scearce defended well in space as well, fighting for position and closing out well. He’ll be key for one of the best young backcourts in the area.
Stefan Cicic (6’10 C, Notre Dame College Prep)
It was hard to overlook the potential of the skilled 6-foot-10 big. Cicic shined during drills with his ability to shoot off handoffs and kick outs. His form and follow through are impressive for a player his size, making multiple threes in a row and a mid-range pull-up during 3-on-3. During the scrimmages, he did a nice job grabbing offensive rebounds and getting put backs. His footwork and decisions on the block were solid, but he missed some close-range looks. The next development will be becoming consistent and committed to dominating on the low block and getting more mobile. He has the size and touch to be dominant in the paint and the perimeter skills are already advanced. Cicic is going to have a chance to be one of the top centers in the class.
Reid Olsen (5’9 PG, Niles North)
The only freshman at the event, Olsen looked like a seasoned varsity player at times with his composure and confidence. He just knows how to play. Olsen hit multiple threes from beyond NBA range with no hesitation and adjusted quickly defensively to guard ball screens and handoffs. He has serious shooting range off the catch or dribble, stepping into one that was a few steps in front of the jump circle. When he got inside the arc in drills and the scrimmage, he showed good shake off the dribble to get space for a mid-range shot or to get downhill for floaters or crafty finishes. Olsen delivered a couple of laser passes to cutters and was able to throw them with either hand. There was a swagger about Olsen’s game that should serve him well playing against older competition. He’s going to be a point guard to watch in the freshman class.