I was out in Lombard to check out Breakaway’s Get Better League for their 2023 and 2024 slot. Here are some of the players who stood out during the two games.
Anthony Kemp (6’4 SF, Bradley Bourbonnais 2024)
I hadn’t seen much of Kemp, but his size and versatility stood out. He’s probably closer to 6-foot-5 and has broad shoulders and solid athletic ability on the wing. Kemp got hot later on during the day from three, slashed to the rim with some intent, and was a sound passer and wing defender. There weren’t many times that he seemed sped up, using his pivot to stay on balance, getting defenders up in the air on shot fakes, and finishing off of two feet against contact. There are plenty of traits to like about Kemp.
Brendan Savage (6’2 SG, Hinsdale South 2024)
A bigger guard, Savage guarded in space with tenacity and energy. He’s a good all-around athlete and has the upper body strength that you look for in a wing stopper. Savage used that same physicality on the offensive end to convert direct drives after bumping defenders and playing through contact that he initiated to get space. The Hinsdale South junior also buried a handful of threes, an area that will be a strength of his during the regular season.
Connor May (6’6 SF, Palatine 2024)
May was effective both on and off the ball for his team during both games. Whenever he was off of the ball, he stayed in motion to capitalize on cuts for layups or kick out threes when defenders lost him. May has a clean outside stroke and can extend beyond the college line when he has his feet set. Even at 6-foot-6, his ball-skills are closer to a guard than a wing, getting low on dribble penetration and looking comfortable operating in space. May made multiple shots beyond the arc off the bounce and was solid as a passer in the half court as well. He’s got a strong build and a nice combination of size and skill that should attract Division 2 programs.
Daniel Sveiteris (6’6 SF, Downers Grove South 2025)
Playing up with the older group, Sveiteris did most of his damage off of kick outs where he knocked down some standstill jumpers or attacked closeouts hard. There are some clear tools his height, frame, and outside game, but he also showed some impact cutting and crashing to get loose balls. Sveiteris can get going quickly and should be one of the top sophomores in the conference.
Jack Stanton (6’2 PG, Downers Grove North 2024)
Stanton was the best player in the gym, controlling pace and putting on a surgical scoring display. Even with good defenders no-helping on him at times, he was able to create his own shot off the dribble and rose up for pull-up threes and long jumpers in both games. His ability to stop on a dime and make shots with limited space is advanced. He can get defenders off balance with his crossover, has a very quick pickup, and can get separation with the elevation on his shot. Stanton probed well inside of the arc and showed good speed and strength to attack the paint aggressively to finish or draw help for kickouts. He remains as a projectable on-ball defender who can apply pressure and irritate ball-handlers. Stanton is a bonafide Division 1 point guard prospect who shouldn’t be under the radar for much longer.
Jake Riemer (6’8 PF, Downers Grove North 2024)
The athletic 6-foot-8 forward has added some new wrinkles to his game. Riemer was consistently getting to the rim from the perimeter off of rip through moves and did a nice job utilizing some counters and nifty footwork in the paint. He had a nice running hook on a baseline drive, made a couple of timely spin moves, and had a big dunk in traffic off of a give-and-go. His jump shooting may have been the biggest revelation. Riemer has showed some touch in the past, but his catch-and-shoot threes looked much more fluid and he made them at a high volume over the two games. Riemer is still a powerful finisher that moves well at his size, getting out on the break for numerous dunks and using his physicality to grab offensive rebounds. Riemer has developed into an intriguing Division 1 target.
Justin Sveiteris (6’6 PF, Downers Grove South 2024)
Sveiteris was welcoming the role of doing the dirty work. He timed his cuts, worked in the dunkers spot for dump offs, and was active on the offensive glass throughout the games. On both ends, Sveiteris just plays hard. His touch around the rim showed on a few back-to-the-basket moves where he got hooks over both shoulders. After a solid sophomore season, Sveiteris should be the go-to interior player for DGS this year.
Ryan Cox (6’2 SG, Fremd 2024)
I can’t say that I was expecting to see a 40-point output, but Cox went over the 40-point mark in the first game with deep threes coming from all over the court. He had to be near ten threes in that first game alone, stepping into shots in transition and dribbling into open looks when defenders were on their heels. He did more than just shoot it though, looking much improved when getting to the basket and finishing with double-clutch layups and difficult reverses in traffic. Cox was unconscious.
Talen Pearson (6’5 SG, Nazareth 2024)
Pearson really does whatever is needed to win and understands what he has to do to affect outcomes. Early on, he did a nice job of setting up teammates and making quality reads to make the right passes. When the offense slowed down, he stepped into a couple of threes and got more aggressive looking for his shot. Pearson has a prototypical, wiry frame for a two-guard at 6-foot-5 with long arms and fluid athleticism. His defense was notable, working to slow down Stanton in the first game and causing issues in both games with his wingspan and lateral quickness. Pearson’s movement, IQ, and 3-and-D potential should attract some scholarship-level programs over the next year.
Tyler Swierczek (6’5 SF, Palatine 2023)
The top senior there, Swierczek started off strong with a couple of threes and a one-dribble pull-up out of the gate. He used his strength to his advantage as the games went on, muscling smaller defenders to create driving angles. Swierczek is a volume shooter from the perimeter that should be able to make multiple threes a game for Palatine this year. After missing some time this summer, he looks ready to have a big senior season and should continue to draw looks from college coaches over the next few months.
Yusuf Cisse (6’0 PG, Conant)
Cisse orchestrated and defended well. He’s not the tallest guard, but he makes passes in traffic look easy, especially off of drive and kicks where he collapses the defense. What really stood out most was how good Cisse was at causing turnovers, scoring in transition, and making second efforts on the defensive end. He’s a stout one-on-one defender that fought through screens and got players out of rhythm. I would look for him to be in a leading role at Conant this year.