I was at M14 this morning for their second week of open runs. They will be holding two more on the next two Sundays at 9:00AM that I will also be attending to check out some kids in the area. The runs are free and open to anyone, so you can visit the M14 website for more information. Here are some of the standouts from this morning.
Bobby Vespa (6’5 SG/SF, Lyons 2025)
Vespa got better as the run progressed. The 6-foot-5 wing hit a couple of threes and looked comfortable shooting off of the catch. He’s a developing ball-handler who is a threat as straight-line driver right now, especially when he has size advantages where he can use his strides to get to the rim like he showed. For a sophomore, Vespa has very projectable size as a wing and was affecting shots in his area on defense. As his body fills out and his game continues to progress, Vespa has notable upside.
Cam Morel (6’3 SG, Aurora Christian 2024)
Throughout the run, Morel was rock solid in multiple areas. He has a stout 6-foot-3 frame that gave him an edge when bumping defenders off of him, using his shoulders to create space for layups and short jumpers. Morel has a good motor and was active on the glass on both ends. He also has a compact shooting form that led to multiple step-in threes off kick outs and rotations. With his size, strength, and shooting ability, I would expect Morel to have a breakout junior year for Aurora Christian.
Cam Vine (6’1 SG, St. Charles North 2025)
The St. Charles North sophomore stood out with his energy. Whether he was cutting, going after loose balls, or running the floor, Vine did it with a sense of urgency. There is a lot to like about his potential on the defensive end with his lateral quickness and anticipation. Vine is a plus athlete that doesn’t have an off switch. Offensively, he has some ability to size up slower defenders and possesses a quick first step with the body control to finish. Vine should have a bright future as a combo guard for the North Stars.
Connor Speers (6’0 SF, Wheaton North 2024)
A bruising wing, Speers was knocking defenders off of him on his downhill drives. Speers finished with both hands once he got into the lane and wasn’t affected by help defenders. He’s got a nose for the ball and followed up missed shots well throughout the run. When he was isolated in space as a defender, he used his strength and base well to stay on balance and in front of players. Speers should really be effective getting points out in transition and off attacks from the wing this season.
Dawson Charles (5’9 PG, 2027)
One of the younger players at the run, Charles is a scorer. He is quick with the ball, but didn’t seem to get sped up against the older players. Charles understands spacing and picking his spots, driving on open sides and getting separation in rhythm. At this stage, he’s got good size for an eighth-grade guard and was able to pull-up over defenders at times. He’s a 2027 player that will be worth tracking over the next few years.
Gavin Mueller (6’5 PF, St. Francis 2026)
Mueller has a physically mature frame for only a freshman and he uses it well. With long arms, good upper body strength, and solid run-and-jump athleticism, Mueller was impactful carving out space for rebounds and deterring some players from taking shots in the paint. He projects as a quality rim-runner with his speed and comfort catching and finishing on the move. I didn’t see him take many jumpers, but he did look capable of attacking the basket off a few dribbles from the high post.
Hayden Schroeder (6’2 SF, 2027)
Another eight grader to keep an eye on, Schroeder is an inside-out forward that looks like he’s got plenty of growing to do. He’s got good body control and feel for the game at his size and was impressive on the perimeter. Schroeder made a pull-up three and was able to connect on some set shots with a consistent release. He also scored from the punch spot and off cuts, timing his off-ball movements well. There is a lot to like about his long-term prospects.
Jack Speers (6’1 SG, Wheaton North 2024)
Speers is very athletic and assertive on both ends, particularly on the offensive end where he can collapse the defense, score in traffic, kick out to shooters, or step out and hit threes at a high volume. When he was given some space, Speers set his feet quickly and was solid as a catch-and-shoot option. He can really shoot it when he gets square. But he also showed strength in his ability to drive hard, take contact, and make push shots and contested layups. During the season, he should get plenty of free throw opportunities with his play style. I also liked how well he rebounded as a guard and communicated. Speers should be in a leading role for Wheaton North.
Jaden Cruez (6’5 SF/PF, Wheaton North 2024)
Easily one of the more impressive players at the run, the 6-foot-5 forward was dominating at times with his size, length, and athleticism. He’s built like a defensive end and has the ranginess to recover defensively as a help defender and if he gives up a step. There were a lot of good flashes with the ball in his hands, breaking down defenders, making some shots beyond the arc, and finishing a couple of dunks with force. As he refines his game and offensive feel, Cruez has a chance to be a difference-maker.
Jayden Riley (5’8 PG, Oswego 2026)
Riley was dynamic from start to end. A true point guard that excels as a playmaker, Riley had numerous pinpoint delivers off of the dribble to get teammates wide open shots. I like his pace and combination of quickness and deliberate creativity. He allowed plays to develop while still anticipating how help defenders would respond to his drives. Riley finished nicely around the basket with both hands. He did hit a three and could become a complete offensive threat once that shot becomes more consistent. Riley is going to be a floor general that makes everyone else better for Oswego.
Logan Luxem (5’9 PG, Hersey 2026)
The skill level of Luxem is advanced for a freshman. He changes speeds and directions at a high level, constantly keeping defenders off balance. Luxem complements that with having a quick release and good touch on his floater and the ability to hit stepbacks or jumpers off the dribble with range. He has the ball on a string which gave him some flexibility when making moves during the run. Luxem should fit in nicely with the up-and-coming underclassmen at Hersey.
Ryan Walsh (6’2 SG, Benet 2026)
Walsh showed the ability to impact games beyond his shooting. The 6-foot-2 guard was able to win in some one-on-one situations by using hesitations to gain a step on defenders. He doesn’t blow by defenders, but he plays angles well as both a downhill driver and finisher where he used both hands to quickly get layups up to the glass. Walsh also connected on a handful of threes where he is a serious threat. When Walsh gets an open three, I have a ton of confidence that it’s going in. He has the release, range, and footwork to become one of the top shooters in the class.
TJ Williams (5’10 PG/SG, Glenbard West 2026)
Williams is a smooth combo guard that looks like he can really get going once he’s in a rhythm. He has a fluid game off the dribble and constantly found ways to get paint touches. Throughout the run, Williams had a bunch of crafty finishes and he stood out with his scoring upside in that younger group. He’s got that ability to size up and dance with the ball, but also did a nice job of running his lane and making decisive moves from the wing at times. Williams is more of a scoring guard than point guard, but he should be able to play a bit of both backcourt spots going forward.