I was only able to stay for the first three games of the shootout unfortunately, so I missed what sounded like a great final meeting between Benet and Ignatius. But, I will still provide provide general write-ups on some of the prospects from those two teams as well as the standout players from the first three games.
Jackson Munro (6’8 PF, 2022)
Yorkville Christian had no answer for the size, activity, and touch of Munro. He had multiple putbacks and got deep position on seals for easy scores. The Dartmouth commit dunked one on the break along with some runout layups off turnovers and long rebounds. It’s always apparent how technically sound Munro is on the offensive end with pinpoint passes out of the high post and clean footwork. He made a stepback from around the mid-range and drove off a faceup for a score. He finished with 26 points and six rebounds.
Karlo Colak (6’5 SG/SF, 2022)
One of the best performers of the day, Colak was terrific the entire game for New Trier. Starting off the day with a three, he stayed aggressive with a flurry of downhill drives and finishes. He made a 30 footer to end the first quarter to highlight the early run for the Trevians. In the second half, he again got the rim, made a pull-up jumper from mid-range, and got position in the post well. Colak was equally as impressive on the defensive end, creating turnovers at the top of the 1-3-1 zone and taking a charge. His stock will continue to rise. Colak is a big time player.
Noah Shannon (6’5 SG/SF, 2022)
Shannon did some little things on the defensive end to expand the lead for New Trier and made some timely passes to get easy shots for teammates. He had a strong transition dunk in the second half and made a corner three as well. Shannon is an explosive leaper that has done a great job of filling out his frame. He’s the type of player that still has plenty of room for growth once he gets to college.
Jake Fiegen (6’3 SG, 2023)
There seemed to be a concerted defensive focus on not letting Fiegen get going from three. He only hit one early off a curl at the top of the key. Instead of taking contested threes, he took it to the rim. Fiegen got out in transition for a few layups, finished an acrobatic layup on a baseline drive, and went backdoor dunk. His defense on Jaden Schutt was very good as well, making life as tough as possible when he was the primary defender. Fiegen is physical, athletic, and showed good lateral quickness. He is one of the premier shooters in the state and I have no doubt that he will get Division 1 offers. Fiegen has mid-major upside.
Peter Kanellos (5’10 PG, 2022)
Kanellos is the old-school, prototypical point guard. He controlled the ball and made plays for everyone. Kanellos is so smart off of his penetration and with his fakes to get teammates open shots. Defensively, he was a pest on the ball and rotated well for deflections and steals. He’s an unsung, but crucial cog for the Trevians.
Jaden Schutt (6’6 SG, 2022)
It wasn’t an easy day for Schutt scoring against a stout New Trier team, but he still put up 17 points on tough shots. He made a difficult stepback three and hit a contested turnaround over a defender’s outstretched hand. The comfort scoring off the dribble has really progressed for Schutt, who showed his speed and explosiveness on a drive, putback, and block off the glass. He went over 2,000 points in the game. It will be interesting to see how efficient Schutt is at Duke when he doesn’t have to work so hard for open shots.
Tyler Burrows (6’1 PG, 2022)
Burrows took it to rim hard throughout the game. He showed good quickness on his penetration and made a floater as well as an and-one finish. Burrows was excellent at times pressuring the ball and making it difficult on the NT guards to get into their offense. Division 3 programs are going to really like the energy and playmaking that he provides.
KJ Vasser (6’2 SG, 2022)
The Trevians did a good job of containing Vasser to restrict him from getting in a rhythm. He made a corner three but was largely kept under wraps. So far this year, he is averaging 20-plus points a game and shooting a scorching rate from three. His form is easy, quick, and consistent. I would imagine that there would be some scholarship-level programs that are keeping tabs on Vasser.
Brayden Long (6’4 SF, 2023)
Long was tasked with battling with the 6-foot-8 Munro in the post. He did a decent job in the half court try to bump him off of his spots and was active on both backboards. Long scored on a cut and got to the line a few times, but he couldn’t get many clean looks against size and length of NT. He has an offer from Wofford and looks to be getting back to full form after missing a bunch of time with injuries.
David Douglas Jr. (6’3 PG/SG, 2023)
Douglas made a corner three and a fluid pull-up from 15 feet off the dribble. He added a block as well for the Mustangs. Overall, he’s been a breakout junior for them with his volume three-point shooting and athleticism. A big spring and summer could really open the door for what would be a huge senior year for Douglas.
Nick Martinelli (6’8 SG/SF, 2022)
He was the best player on the floor. From the jump, Martinelli took the game over with his crafty finishing and ball skills. Simeon threw physicality and length at him and it didn’t matter. He made two big threes in the first half as well and finished the game with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Martinelli is one of the top players in the state, regardless of class, and showed out on the biggest stage. Don’t be surprised if he’s messing up your March Madness bracket in a few years while at Elon.
Cooper Noard (6’2 PG, 2022)
Two early fouls in the first quarter sent him to the bench early and took him out of most of the first half. But he still managed to score nine points and drew so much attention that allowed his teammates to get more open looks. Noard hit a deep three and a few tough stop-and-pop jumpers. His confidence and leadership showed even while he was on the bench with fouls. Another player that should be an impact player in college with Cornell.
RJ Davis (6’1 PG/SG, 2023)
Davis made two threes in the first half and was very aggressive before a dive into the stands ended his day before half time. His defense was solid and it was actually his hustle that sent him going for a loose ball. The more I see Davis, the more his poise and fearlessness stand out. Hopefully the injury isn’t too serious and he is able to return to be that third scoring piece for the Titans.
Spencer Brown (6’5 SF/PF, 2022)
Simeon was playing borderline disrespectful defense on Brown for the entire game, daring him to shoot. He made them pay with a three in the second half and a good drive to the rim for a finish. He finished with seven points and gave the typical rebounding and defensive effort that he does so often. His points carried a ton of weight in a one-possession game.
Gaven Marr (6’2 SG, 2023)
Marr was tasked with containing some of Simeon’s top ball-handers and he did an admirable job for the entire game. He’s not overly big or a freak athlete, but he stayed disciplined and moved his feet well. Offensively, he scored six points with a few big foul shots and drives to the rim. Marr is just productive. Nothing flashy, but he gets the job done isn’t afraid of the big moment on either end.
Nate Kasher (6’0 PG, 2024)
Obviously the upperclassmen were vital to the win, but I think Kasher’s composure and ball control when Noard went out early was a big part of the win. He came in, took care of the ball, got it to the spots they wanted, and hit two huge threes in the second half that gave the Titans a boost. In arguably the biggest game of his varsity career, Kasher stepped up.
Jaylen Drane (6’3 PG, 2022)
Drane came into the game on a scoring tear and converted a number of difficult finishes in this one. He started the game with a three and got the remainder of his points with his unorthodox drives to the rim. Drane is so good at scoring off of wide-angled penetration. He didn’t get as hot as he has been over the last few weeks, but he still led the Wolverines in scoring with 14 points.
Avyion Morris (5’9 PG, 2022)
Morris was relentless on the defensive end, being a pest on the ball and making Noard work for all of his looks. There is no question that he is one of the more tenacious on-ball defenders, even though he gives up some height. Morris had some drives and scores over length as well that kept Simeon in the game in the first half while they were finding rhythm. He had 11 points.
Miles Rubin (6’8 PF, 2023)
The game changed when Rubin (12 points) got in there. It was almost too easy how he scored on the block at times over his right shoulder. He contested everything around the rim well and worked to get rebounds on the interior. Rubin is a really promising long-term prospect that has bulked up since the summer. He is going to continue to pull in Division 1 offers.
Nicholas Robinson (6’6 SF/PF, 2023)
Robinson was another player that gave great energy and impact off the bench. He finished with nine points and six rebounds, using his length to score over contact. His athleticism was on display with a couple of drives in traffic. Robinson did a nice job on Martinelli in the second half to limit his drives and contest shots around the rim.
Jalen Griffith (5’9 PG, 2023)
Griffith’s ball-handling always stands out, regardless of the opponent. He had a few layups that didn’t look like there was any way he could get them off. Griffith was solid on the defensive end and regularly found ways into the lane. He’s a terrific creator with the ball in his hands and has received Division 1 looks already.
Braden Huff (6’11 PF, 2022)
Huff looked like the best player in the shootout with his 31 point performance. He went to work with dunks and post ups early. Then stepped out on a terrific defender in AJ Casey to knock down some threes and create off the dribble. Huff was dominant from tip to final buzzer and left no doubt that he is a problem for anyone and everyone. Gonzaga knew what they were doing.
Cade Pierce (6’6 SG, 2022)
Pierce had a complete 25-point game where he set the tone with his tenacity getting to the rim and activity defensively. With a couple of dunks and contact finishes, he made it clear that the smaller Whitney Young defenders were going to struggle to win one-on-one matchups. It seemed like he had a countless number of deflections and steals. He is one of the best defenders at the top of a 1-3-1 that I have seen in a while. Princeton got a winner that has a chance to be a star if this growth continues.
Bobby Durkin (6’7 SG, 2022)
Durkin chipped in 11 points in a good fashion. He made a few next-level pull-ups off the dribble and hit a three. When they needed to beat pressure, Durkin was able to bring it up and get into offense with no problems. He does such a good job of using his body as a ball-handler to dictate where he wants to get. There’s not a mid-major coach in the country that I wouldn’t recommend to look at Durkin now that his recruitment is open. He checks so many boxes.
Paxton Warden (6’4 SG, 2022)
The recent Illini commit was unable to get going for GBW. He struggled with pressure at times and was a little out of sync. But he got it together later in the second half with a dunk in transition and a big three to extend the lead. Warden has been a tough 3-and-D player all season and remains as a big part of the ceiling of this team.
Ryan Renfro (6’8 PF, 2022)
Players usually struggle to impact games when their shots aren’t falling, but Renfro was active throughout the game. He took two charges, rebounding well against a long front line for Young, and played the middle of the zone well. He will have time to develop his offensive game at Army, but the effort and physicality is there.
AJ Casey (6’8 SF/PF, 2022)
A 20-point game was highlighted by some highlight-reel alley-oops. Casey is a different type of athlete with a pro type of body. But he also came out looking to make an impact and that stood out. Even against the length, he took it strong to the rim and had some contested twos around the rim. Once his jump shot becomes more of a weapon and his handle gets a little more refined, I don’t see how defenders will guard him. His defense on Huff in space was solid when he tried to go 1-on-1.
Xavier Amos (6’8 SF/PF, 2022)
Amos was a big factor in that second half using his length and finishing to go to work on the inside. Cuts, second chances, and straight line drives led to buckets and free throws for him. Amos is an impact defender that wasn’t as effective in this game around the rim while chasing around players on the perimeter. He is a huge get for Northern Illinois and should develop into a high-level player for them.
Dalen Davis (6’0 PG, 2023)
Davis hit one of only two threes for the Dolphins and added a couple of nice pull-ups on the move. He’s usually more aggressive getting to the rim, but there was so many bodies in the paint that it wasn’t much of an option. When he was able to find creases, he made good passes to cutters and lob guys across the floor. Davis is a high-major point guard that does so many things that don’t show up on the stat sheet.
Matt Sommerville (6’6 SF, 2022)
Sommerville hit one three but was otherwise pretty quiet. He’s more of a slasher than shooter, so not being able to get to the rim in the half court limited some offense. He scored a few times in transition and was decent defensively on a couple of different players. Sommerville is an open court athlete that will likely develop more of a perimeter game in college.
Marcus Pigram (6’2 SG, 2023)
Pigram has had a nice year for Young as a multi-level scorer. He struggled a bit against the length but came on later in the second half with some transition points and finishes off the bounce. Pigram is one of the younger players in the Dolphins rotation and has his best days ahead of him.
Marcus Overstreet (6’8 PF, 2022)
Overstreet scored on a few duck ins against the zone and worked hard for positioning. He’s a rebounding presence that is going to be a good rim protector in college. Overstreet is a good interior player to look at for schools in search of an unsigned big.
AJ Redd (6’3 PG, 2022)
Redd is a smooth, rangy lead guard that has really ignited the hot second half of the season for Ignatius so far. He sets the pace and is a nice finisher in traffic. Long and skilled with the ball, he’s able to break down defenders or weave through ball screens to find his shot. He finished last night with 10 points and remains as a low-major prospect.
Richard Barron (6’5 SG, 2023)
Barron ended up with a team-high 16 points last night. He is a player whose game and body don’t fit, but in a good way. He’s got a strong, wide frame, but displays nimble footwork and creative ball-handling. Barron is also a very good catch-and-shoot option from three with plus athleticism. With a number of mid-major offers, he looks like the top long-term prospect for Ignatius.
Kolby Gilles (6’5 SF, 2022)
The Air Force commit is another physical, versatile player that is able to bang in the post defensively or step out to guard in space. His game has continued to expand over the last year, looking more at comfortable changing direction off the dribble when straight line drives are cut off. The power, size, and shooting capabilities of Gilles will fit well at AF.
Jackson Kotecki (6’8 PF, 2023)
Kotecki is still putting all of the tools together, but the package of talent continues to be promising. Sometimes struggling to find consistency this year, Kotecki puts opposing bigs in a tough spot with his floor spacing ability. Mobile and long, he rebounds and runs the floor well. It will be interesting to see how Kotecki progresses in the spring where he could see a big jump in his college interest.
Reggie Ray (6’1 PG, 2024)
For a sophomore, Ray is a physical and active kid. He is a downhill attacker that is only going to get better as the game slows down. Ray is a name to track over the next few years at Ignatius.
Kyle Thomas (6’10 C, 2022)
Thomas finished with 12 points yesterday and has really been making his presence felt all year for Benet. Recently committed to Eastern Illinois, his threat as a vertical outlet on lobs and as an offensive rebounder has been crucial. His dunks and volleyball blocks give the team and crowd energy. While he is a capable and improving shooter, he is making his living as a paint patroller. It has him looking like one of the most impactful centers in the state.
Brady Kunka (6’3 SG, 2023)
Kunka had a team-high 13 points last night. Whether it is hard cuts, aggressive straight line drives, or kick out threes, Kunka has proven to be a reliable scorer. He is often leading the Redwings in the scoring column, but is a very good rebounder at 6-foot-3 and competes on the defensive end. I think he’s one of those players that isn’t necessarily well-known outside of the area, but shows well against the best competition.
Niko Abusara (6’4 SG, 2023)
The wiry athleticism and skillset of Abusara is in-line with many late blooming wings who grow exponentially as their bodies develop. He has finished some highlight-reel dunks over the last few weeks and does a great job of attacking closeouts with his length. Defensively, he gets deflections and covers a ton of ground. Abusara is a steady rising junior in the state.
Brennan White (6’0 PG, 2022)
White had 10 points last night and has been a reliable primary ball-handler for Benet. He has great elevation and balance on his jump shot that allows him to get shots up from a full sprint off the ball. White doesn’t try to do too much with the ball, limiting turnovers and getting the ball to scorers on time. He will have a chance to play at Division 3 schools.
Brady Heckman (6’1 PG, 2022)
Heckman is just tough off the dribble. Using change of pace dribbles and protecting the ball in traffic, he isn’t afraid of getting into the teeth of the defense. His body control is solid once he gets inside and similar to White, he is willing and able to make the right play to find teammates. Heckman is another solid Division 3 prospect.
Sam Driscoll (6’2 SG, 2023)
A returning varsity player, the smooth lefty operates well off of movement where he can shoot the three or go to his strong hand to hit floaters or push shots in the lane. Driscoll is a rock solid defensive player that has good length at 6-foot-2 to be disruptive. He’s also a nice passer off the bounce that can throw cross-court passes with ease.
Brayden Fagbemi (5’10 PG, 2023)
After transferring from Neuqua Valley, Fagbemi is finding his footing this month for Benet. He is one of the quicker players on the team with the ball, blowing by defenders with his ball control and first step. Even though he lacks size, he doesn’t back down around the rim and uses angles to finish. He looks like a reliable point guard to lean on off the bench for this year’s team.
Parker Sulaver (6’6 PF, 2024)
Benet doesn’t usually have a ton of freshmen up on varsity, but Sulaver got the call up last year. He has a projectable, strong frame and can really shoot with time and space. Playing with the Mac Irvin Fire last summer, he gained valuable experience against top competition. He’s going to be a nice player for Benet.
Luke Tarnow (6’11 C, 2022)
A legitimate big, Tarnow gives another towering presence to throw inside for or next to Thomas. His game is mostly rebounding and contesting shots at the rim. Tarnow is able to score off dump offs as well. He has visited some D3 programs and would be a center that schools might want to develop over a few years.