I caught some game out at the Roundball Shootout event in Waukegan featuring some quality Illinois programs. The standouts from the games that I saw are below.
Paradise Basketball 2024
Jason Jakstys (6’9 PF, Yorkville)
Jakstys controlled the game with his interior defense. He has tremendous timing, instincts, and quickness off the ground that led to a couple of emphatic blocks. Jakstys scored on a nice seal and showed good touch on a catch and finish as a roll man. He moves very well at 6-foot-9, can handle it in the open court, and has touch and range on his jumper. Add his unselfishness and projectable frame and I can safely say that Division 1 coaches are going to love Jakstys. His ceiling is sky high.
Luke Kinkade (6’1 SG, Neuqua Valley)
Kinkade may have been the most productive player in a game loaded with talent. His three-point shot is money, making two from the corner, one off of a steal, and another and-one three on a stepback. He made another long two off the dribble and was very aggressive from the jump. Kinkade is a solid ball-handler that showed the ability to create off ball rotations or make reads off of ball screens as a passer and finisher. Neuqua Valley’s sharpshooter is also an active defender that is emerging as one of the better perimeter shooters in the class.
Josh Aniceto (5’10 PG, Bolingbrook)
An energetic, scrappy lead guard, Aniceto controlled the tempo. He delivered a couple of pinpoint passes, including a nice pocket pass to an easy bucket. Aniceto wasn’t avoiding contact on his penetration. He scored on a couple of drives and made a stepback mid-range jumper. Look for Aniceto to make an impact on Bolingbrook next year.
Nick Schroeder (6’4 SG, Metea Valley)
Schroeder is a promising two-guard at his size that has a nice outside shot. He got a defender off the ground on a shot fake and dribble into a stepback three. The 6-foot-4 Metea sophomore also hit another three and showed a fluid release from the perimeter. I liked his defensive versatility as well, being active on the ball against some good guards and blocking a shot in the paint. Schroeder is already a big guard for college standards with a nice outside shot. He’s at a good level for a sophomore.
Colin Gerrity (6’2 SG, Neuqua Valley)
His scoring ability is solid, but his toughness and energy on the defensive end got my attention. Gerrity was playing physical defense and picking up ball-handlers high to apply pressure. A 6-foot-2 frame with length and decent quickness allowed him to contain guards. Gerrity is hit a couple of corner threes and can get hot quickly as a scorer.
Team FVV 2024
Antoine Glasper (6’0 PG, Collins)
Glasper was on a tear and gave FVV some life in the morning game. I had him down for five threes in the game, getting rhythm off the dribble and from a standstill. As a primary ball-handler, he routinely created space with his open court speed to get looks at the rim. The dynamic point guard has the ability to quickly lift up into his shot and has a repeatable shot that will translate very well to college. Glasper is a Division 1 PG prospect with an offer from DePaul already.
Richard Lindsey (6’4 SF, Simeon)
Activity and physicality gave Lindsey an edge. Even when he was in traffic, he finished plays and got to the foul line. He had a tough and-one after going to a reverse off of a faceup drive. With some size missing for FVV, he played more on the interior and wasn’t backing down. Lindsey is a high-motor wing that can make plays on both ends.
Kenric Mosby (6’7 PF, Simeon)
Mosby finished off his opportunities in the lane in different situations. His mobility was on display on a couple of rim runs, dunking one effortlessly in transition. A 6-foot-7 four man with long arms, he was able to go up over the top and show some touch. Once Mosby gets more assertive, he should be able to have a more consistent two-way impact.
Chicago Lockdown 2023
Matt Moore (6’9 PF, Hillcrest)
Fresh off of receiving his first two Division 1 offers, Moore looked like he was trying to rip the baskets off the walls in the aux gym. He thrived in the dunker spot, punching home three big dunks as the recipient of dump off passes and making a nice step through move on the block. Defenders started to hack him to avoid his above-the-rim finishing. He showed a lot of range as well, knocking down a trio of threes from the top of the key. Moore’s shot rotation and form is really good and should add to his value as a D1 big going forward.
Nick Niego (6’2 SG, Brother Rice)
Niego was a problem from behind the three-point line. He ripped off shots when he got a hint of space. I still think he does a tremendous job of setting his feet and he has ideal shot preparation. Lockdown ran a number of sets for him and he delivered. While he might not have a huge wingspan or the quickest feet, but he really competes and anticipates on the defensive end. Division 3 coaches that value shooting and IQ should get acquainted with Niego.
Dylan Schmidt (6’4 SG, Johnsburg)
Explosive might not do him justice. Schmidt had a couple of dunks, including a big putback to extend a lead. He was on the attack and knifed into the paint often. Schmidt was able to connect from three and looked good pulling up from a few steps behind the line. There has been nice improvement in his ball-handling and passing ability on the move as well, which is a going to help at the next level. Schmidt caught some attention at the event.
Jimmy Navarrette (6’3 SG, Brother Rice)
It was a big day for Navarrette, really making an impact off the bench with his slashing and cutting. When he put his head down, he got deep and either drew fouls or found a way to flip shots in. He made one tough double-clutch baseline reverse and manufactured offense well around the rim on his straight line drives. Navarrette should be able to get some D3 looks by the end of the summer.
Jackson Niego (6’0 PG, Lyons)
Good point guard play never gets old. Niego collapsed the defense off the dribble and consistently dropped off passes for dunks, layups, and open threes. He commanded the offense and got Lockdown into their stuff, even against heavy ball pressure. Niego’s impact isn’t dependent on scoring, but he did have an and-one floater and a corner three. The compact, 6-foot guard continues to make winning plays this spring.
Illinois Heat 2023
Raeshom Harris (6’3 SG, Bloom)
Harris had big scoring outputs in both games and guarded the ball well. He’s a talented on-ball defender who was making guards work to get to their spots. His aggressive play style and range made it tough to shut him down. Harris had some and-ones and really led the Heat with his two-way presence.
Team GPA 2023
Julian Triffo (6’7 SF/PF, Maine South )
Filling in for a team that was down a few guys, Triffo carried the load with six threes in a 20-plus point performance. He wasn’t missing on any catch-and-shoot opportunities and added an and-one drive and difficult reverse in traffic. The North Central commit is a skilled forward that can play inside and out.
DJ Wallace (6’8 SF/PF, Hoffman Estates)
It’s easy to be intrigued with the tools that Wallace possesses. Long and skilled at 6-foot-8, he was able to attack off multiple dribbles to get to the lane. Wallace scored around the rim off putbacks, a well-timed cut, and a slick spin move on the block. He also rejected a shot on the defensive end and looked very adept at moving his feet in space and recovering to protect the rim. He’s got the ability to be a scholarship player if he continues to add strength and develop.
Ryan Sammons (6’4 SG, Fremd)
Sammons is back healthy and looks like he has added strength to complement his perimeter game. It showed on layup through contact and a couple of foul line trips where he welcomed bumps from defenders. Sammons made a three from the top of the key to add to his performance. His shooting ability is a plus college skill right now, but he is showing signs of adding more elements to his game.
Connor Mosele (6’4 SG, Notre Dame College Prep)
Mosele is a solid 3-and-D prospect that uses his length and lateral quickness well on the defensive end. The 6-foot-4 two guard made a three early on and showed some edge as a rebounder and on-ball defender. His jump shot has great arc and he shoots it efficiently in spot up situations. Division 3 programs will probably be keeping tabs on him.
Drew Scharnowski (6’8 SG, Burlington Central)
Scharnowski showed flashes of his whole arsenal, playing both inside and outside effectively. He got to the rim and foul line often by using his long strides and ball-handling to create driving angles. The 6-foot-8 wing sealed smaller defenders and used his quickness on one occasion to spin middle for a dunk. Scharnowski made a pick-and-pop three and fadeaways during the day as well, which is a good sign given his versatility on both ends. When he had bigger matchups, he worked to get front and make the post entries tough. He has looked like a Division 1 prospect this spring.
Nik Polonowski (6’7 SG, Lyons)
Shooting, positional size, and reliability are at a premium in college basketball, and Polonowski has all three. His defensive energy doesn’t have an off switch, covering ground with his lateral movement, talking out actions, and being active with his hands. Offensively, he made a three behind a ball screen and a number of others off kick outs and ball rotations. His high release allows him to shoot over defenders who are right in his air space. The creativity and confidence putting the ball on the deck to make plays has shown noticeable improvement. Polonowski continues to get better and is securely in that low-to-mid major level.
Arius Alijosius (6’4 SG, Riverside Brookfield)
The shooting ability of Alijosius opened up the entire floor for Breakaway. He had a great shooting performance in the first game, hitting four threes including an and-one. There isn’t much the defense can do once he gets going if they can’t deny him the ball or block the shot. Alijosius had it going and should be able to catch some more attention if he can carry the momentum into the live period next weekend.
Fundamental U Rise 2023
Jackson Kotecki (6’9 PF, St. Ignatius)
At 6-foot-9, Kotecki was running from rim to rim for easy dunks and layups. He was determined to be active in the paint as an outlet and rebounder. Kotecki is a good athlete that can handle it well enough to attack from elbows or off short rolls. While his jump shot is a plus skill at his size, he seemed to be living around the rim. As he continues to mature physically and gets more aggressive in and around the paint, he could separate himself from other post prospects in the class.
Jakob Blakley (6’0 PG, Larkin )
Blakley was smooth and deliberate with the touches that he got today. He made jumpers when they were open and attacked closeouts to create as needed. In a blowout win, he didn’t have to do too much offensively, but he was still rock solid as an on-ball defender. He consistently shows the composure of one of the top guards in the class.
Cooper LePage (6’1 PG, Crystal Lake South)
LePage caught fire from three and drilled a handful in a short period of time. That made for a tough matchup with the opposing defense scrambling to close out and find other shooters as well. When needed, he handled the full court pressure and made athletic drives to the rim. With how strong and quick LePage is when getting downhill, there isn’t an easy defensive strategy when he is shooting like he did.
Ryan Duncan (6’3 PG, Wilbraham and Monson Academy)
Duncan has the passing gift that you can’t really teach. Similar to his teammates, he didn’t have to do too much to look for his own shot but instead flashed his court vision in transition and out of ball screens. Duncan is a cerebral point guard that reads help defenders well and has a deep bag of deliveries to find teammates. I know he can score at a high clip as well, which he may need to do at the live session next weekend. Duncan remains as a high-academic point guard prospect with Division 1 offers so far.
Team FVV 2023
DeAndre Craig (6’1 PG, Mount Carmel)
One of the top scorers for FVV, Craig showed off his ability to create off the dribble for himself and teammates. He’s a very physical point guard that can get defenders on their heels and keep them on his side. Craig elevates well on his pull-up and has the quickness to stop on a dime to get a shot off. But his passing and playmaking was noteworthy as well. He operated well in the P&R to facilitate and led the team vocally. Craig is an all-around tough point guard who already has some Division 1 offers.
Tyler Smith (6’0 PG, Leo)
A team-first guard that does what is needed to win, Smith showed well on the defensive end with his ball pressure. He has the speed and toughness to defend either backcourt spot and plays well in a ball-hawk role where he can cause steals. When needed, Smith can score. He finished cuts and was moving off the ball for looks. Smith is part of a deep junior class at Leo and he should be a player that contributes to winning at the college level.
Peter Lattos (6’7 SF, West Salem [WI])
A gritty, well-built kid from Wisconsin, Lattos was vital for FVV with his floor spacing and defense. He turned steals into dunks, hit big threes, and finished at the rim. Lattos has a 6-foot-7 frame that allows him to defend bigs when needed, but his offensive skillset is more perimeter oriented with his outside stroke and ability to put it on the ground. He had a big first game and should be a scholarship-level player.