I was out in Lombard to watch the Breakaway Basketball 15U and 16U teams scrimmage. The 17U team also scrimmaged some Breakaway alums (who showed no mercy) afterwards. But here are the standouts from the first group.
Jake Riemer (6’7 PF, Downers Grove North)
He was just too big, athletic, and active for the 15U defenders. Riemer operated out of the post and used his footwork and bulk to get deep into the paint off of a few dribbles and score inside of 10 feet. When he caught it outside of the paint, he put the ball on the ground for finish with either hand, using the rim for protection or creating space with dropsteps. Riemer really excels as a roll man by maintaining a wide base as a screener and having the straight-line speed and elevation to beat hedging defenders to the front of the rim. The 6-foot-7 four man dunked a backdoor lob and caught another one late in the scrimmage. He’s also a quality rim protector who projects as a good interior defender.
Yusuf Cisse (6’0 PG, Conant)
Cisse initiated offense when he was in, collapsing the defense with his first step to either kick it out or finish in traffic. As a righty, he had multiple tough layups with his off hand on dribble drives. There were times when he did a good job of varying his pace and initiating contact before coming off of ball screens to create even more space. That P&R ability should continue to develop. With his solid build and quickness, he was pressuring the ball defensively at half court.
Jack Stanton (6’1 PG, Downers Grove North)
Stanton’s activity level never seems to be lacking. He was blowing up plays defensively and scrapping for loose balls before pushing in transition where his ball control was notable. Always a threat to shoot on the move, Stanton hit a three off of a pindown and made a one-dribble pull-up inside of the arc. Obviously the 15U knew the scouting report, but he still worked for quality looks and showed good vision and touch as a passer. Stanton threw two pinpoint lob passes and found a corner shooter off a hammer play. Stanton has had a breakout spring so far.
Talen Pearson (6’5 SG, Nazareth)
For a lanky 6-foot-5 guard, Pearson brings a lot to the table. He played both on the ball as a ball-handler and as a floor spacer. Coming off of a rescreen, he put a pass right on the money to the roll man. He’s got a fluid outside shot and uses his strides to outrun opponents in transition. I like his ability to get in a stance and guard multiple positions as well.
Connor May (6’6 SG, Palatine)
Another big guard for the 16U team, May can handle the ball in the open floor and has the strength to challenge the secondary help at the rim. He scored on direct drives off of rotations and his shot looked good off the catch. Playing anywhere from the one through four, he moves well off the ball and exposes mismatches that he has. May is a multi-level scorer to track in the sophomore class.
Brendan Savage (6’2 SG, Hinsdale South)
Savage plays with high energy and athleticism. Offensively, he was attacking the whole scrimmage, getting out in transition for layups and taking it strong to the rim in the half court. He has a clean standstill shot too, adding a three later on. Savage is a strong kid with an athletic frame that should give him an advantage as a two guard going forward.
Ryan Cox (6’3 SG, Fremd)
Primarily a catch-and-shoot option, Cox shot it well from three. The wiry lefty got by a defender for a high-arching floater when he faced an aggressive closeout. It wouldn’t be surprising if Cox adds a few more inches to his frame over the next few years.
Justin Sveiteris (6’7 PF, Downers Grove South)
Sveiteris was working hard on the defensive end to three quarter and force contested catches in the post. He blocked a shot and took it coast to coast for a layup and got to the foul line on the block. At 6-foot-7, he has solid mobility and effort.
Dom Seaney (6’5 SG/SF, Glenbard West)
Seaney has a good future as a scorer with his length and perimeter skills as a freshman. He made good passes throughout the scrimmage to hit cutters and shooters off the dribble and showed comfort in the mid-range off of one or two dribbles. Seaney elevates well on his pull-up with a high release that was effective around the elbows. As a screener, he hit a pick-and-pop three. A 6-foot-5 wing, he covers ground well on defensive slides and has projectable athleticism.
Daniel Sveiteris (6’6 SF, Downers Grove South)
Most freshmen don’t have the combination of strength, athleticism, and shooting ability of Sveiteris. The DGS forward showed off his outside stroke and was solid on the interior rebounding in traffic. Sveiteris advanced the ball in transition off the dribble and used his body on drives to the rim. Inside or outside, he has a chance to fill it up as he matures.
Bryce Huff (6’3 SG, Glenbard West)
Huff made sound decisions with the ball, playing primarily the one or two for most of the scrimmage. He didn’t get sped up often and found ways to initiate the offense for the 15U team. Huff is a good outside shooter with his feet set, adding a foul line pull-up as well. Huff is another of their freshman that doesn’t look to be done growing and he has a good foundation of fundamental skill right now.
Jokubas Cepronas (6’5 SF/PF, Downers Grove South)
Cepronas gave the 15U team some life late in the scrimmage with an and-one finish and a putback. More of a combo forward than true four, Cepronas has long arms and crashes the glass hard. He knocked down a three later too.
Jack Weigus (6’0 PG, Hinsdale South)
A crafty, creative playmaker, Weigus connected on a few threes and got into the lane often with his change of speed. After playing significant minutes as a freshman for Hinsdale South, he didn’t look afraid of the older team. Weigus shoots it with range and can make threes behind ball screens as he showed. Look for more volume playmaking as he adds strength.
Domas Narcevicius (6’3 SF, Stagg)
For a player with big, physical frame, Narcevicius has some wiggle as a ball-handler that is unique at his size. He didn’t get a ton of looks, but it was easy to see how well he uses his body and handle to create shots off the dribble. Narcevicius came off ball screens and handoffs looking to attack and he has shown the ability to score in bunches this spring.
Daniel Laurich (6’2 SG, Downers Grove South)
Laurich is another player with a developed frame for his age, having a strong upper body and an easy three-point stroke. That size allowed him to defend multiple positions effectively and use his length to contest shots. Laurich could grow into a solid 3-and-D wing.
Athan Berchos (6’1 PG, Andrew)
Berchos knows how to control the tempo and get others involved. At full speed, he moves well with the ball in his hand and puts pressure on backpedaling defenders. He scored on drives but was mainly looking to get a step, draw help, and kick it out. Berchos has shown that he can space the floor as well.