I checked out some of the games at Pangos over the weekend in La Grange. Here are some of the standout Illinois players that I saw during the event.
Khalil Jones (6’0 PG, St. Laurence 2025)
Jones has good creativity off the dribble and found his way to the rim a few times. His game translates well to isolation situations as he has the quickness to score in space and the footwork to work in tight spaces. He is a likely breakout player in the CCL.
Jacob Rice (6’3 SG, St. Laurence 2025)
Rice brought a level of toughness of the defensive end that was nice to see. He competed defensively and was effective from the mid-range area with quick pull-ups. Rice has a good release point on his jumper that works well against tight defense, and he showed that he can step out to hit threes as well. Rice is another Laurence soph that can go.
Patrick Irvin (6’5 SF, Whitney Young 2026)
With real size and mobility for a freshman, Irvin has a lot of projectable tools. Irvin was active around the paint as a cutter, slasher, and rebounder. He will be a name to remember in the 2026 class.
Stephen Brown (6’7 PF, Marist 2026)
Brown doesn’t look or play like a freshman. With broad shoulders, athleticism, and a long reach, he caused problems on both ends. Brown looked comfortable putting the ball on the ground and really shined when he ran hard to the front of the rim. One of multiple promising Marist underclassmen.
Amari Edwards (5’8 PG, St. Rita 2025)
Edwards gives up some size, but he went at defenders off the dribble. A scoring point guard, Edwards weaved into the lane for stepbacks, runners, and open layups. He will be counted on more as a facilitator for a loaded St. Rita team.
Aleks Alston (6’9 SF/PF, Kenwood 2025)
Of all of the players at the camp, Alston has one of the highest ceilings. He acted as a primary playmaker for stretches and showed understanding for how to use his body to shield off defenders and make skip passes. The range and mechanics on his jump shot are ideal for a wing but he’s also got the length and athletic ability to play inside. With his intelligence, I’d expect him to become a solid, multi-positional defender as well. He has clear high-major talent.
Marshall Gehrke (6’3 SF, Antioch 2025)
Gehrke made the most of his opportunities, flashing the explosive athleticism that helped him be one of the most productive freshmen last year. He got out for a couple of dunks and crashed hard for rebounds. For a 6-foot-3 wing, Gehrke has a developed frame that should continue to aid him.
Colby Smith (6’2 PG/SG, New Trier 2025)
While Smith had limited touches, he was productive with his looks and showed well a number of areas. It was nice to see a player slide their feet to provide resistance as an on-ball defender. He also created well when he had the ball and rebounded for a guard. Smith is one of the better all-around guards in the class and should be a difference maker for a good New Trier team.
Gabe Sularski (6’5 SG, Benet 2026)
Sularski has legitimate length and perimeter skill at 6-foot-5. The lefty knifed to the basket well and displayed soft touch as a shooter. His playmaking upside was evident with his decision-making reading help. Sularski will be next in line of big, versatile Benet players with some of his classmates.
Ian Miletic (6’6 SG, Rolling Meadows 2025)
Miletic got whatever shot he wanted, either putting his head down to take it strong to the rim or stepping into threes. He showed his scoring repertoire by getting separation with his jab steps and rip throughs before picking apart the defense. Miletic continues to show development as a shooter off the dribble and has the fluid movement, anticipation, and IQ to be an asset as a wing defender. He will have a chance to be a Division 1 prospect if he keeps his trajectory.
Elijah Lovemore (6’3 PG/SG, Bloom 2025)
Don’t let the 6-foot-3 listing fool you because Lovemore finishes and defends more like a 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 player. He scored through, over, and around defenders after making smooth moves to the rim. Lovemore is a dynamic guard that really takes pride in applying defensive pressure and has a release that looked good off of catch-and-shoots. I really like what I saw from Lovemore and expect him to open some eyes this season at Bloom.
Terrence Smith (6’4 SG, West Aurora 2025)
Smith has elite run-and-jump athleticism that stood out even amongst the talented group at the event. When he picked a direction and took off, there weren’t many answers. An above-the-rim finisher that blocks shots and lives in the passing lanes, Smith knows how to utilize his strengths. His jump shot and handle will continue to improve, but he’s already a two-way D1 prospect that has sky-high upside.
Anton Strelnikov (6’6 PF/C, Lake Zurich 2025)
Strelnikov did a lot of that inside dirty work that kids shy away from in that setting. He rebounded in traffic, used shot fakes and pivots, and managed to score in the paint pretty well below the rim. Strelnikov was productive when he got in.
Keyshawn Barfield (6’9 C, Lincoln Park 2025l
Barfield is a big kid that isn’t easy to move. As an interior presence, he made an impact when walling up as a rotating defender and made space to secure rebounds. As Barfield improves his agility and conditioning, he could be an inside force for longer stretches.
Justin Bowen Jr. (6’5 SG/SF, OPRF 2025)
It’s not often that sophomores have college-ready strength, but the 6-foot-5 wing is physical beyond his years. Defenders were bouncing off of him on drives, using his shoulders to create space and finish in a variety of ways. Bowen attacks with a sense of urgency that you like to see from a young player. His size and body control around the paint stand out but he can also really stretch the floor and produce with his shot as he showed. The arrow is pointing up for Bowen, who should be the next big-time OPRF wing.
Gus Donahue (6’3 SG, DePaul Prep 2025)
Donahue shot the ball very well, capitalizing on the open looks from three. He’s an excellent spot-up shooter that knows how to get his feet set. Most of his looks came from behind the arc and he didn’t let the chances slip.
BJ Powell (5’9 PG, Lincoln-Way East 2026)
With a good combination of speed and shooting range at his size, Powell was most effective in the open floor. On a team with other good guards, Powell picked his spots and showed some burst and floor spacing ability. One of the talented incoming guards, Powell should have an impact on LWE right away.
Rykan Woo (6’0 PG, Whitney Young 2026)
Woo was probably the most impressive freshmen guard that I saw. The maturity in his pace and decision making was the difference. Woo facilitated on the move with both hands. He handled the ball in space but did everything with a purpose. The hesitations and crossovers seemed calculated, and he used floaters, hooks, and other creative shots to finish inside. Woo is the type of tough young guard you could trust to give the keys to early on.
Marquis Clark (6’1 SG, Whitney Young 2026)
Another notable Whitney Young guard, Clark’s explosiveness as a driver and transition weapon stood out. He has a different level of hang time that allowed him to adjust mid-air to score. Defensively, he had moments where he looked capable of shutting guys down. Clark will develop nicely as another high-end freshmen for Young.
Andre Tyler (6’2 PG/SG, St. Rita 2026)
Tyler’s talent jumped out. The rangy, creative guard used his strides to get around defenders and make some contested layups. His handle was crisp and the way he created space while staying on balance and in rhythm was notable. A constant communicator, Tyler brought energy to the gym and should be able to grow seamlessly with Rita’s core.
Rico D’Alessandro (6’4 SF/PF, Whitney Young 2026)
D’Alessandro has a unique combination of size, athleticism, and body control. His strength showed up on crab dribbles and two foot finishes where he was able to bang before elevating up. The volume rebounding and interior defense add value to the physically-ready freshman.
Ricky DiVito (5’9 PG, Hersey 2025)
DiVito got going off the dribble with a number of athletic drives to the rim where he scored around bigger opponents often. Whether it was with a short pull-up or an up-and-under, he got it done in the paint. DiVito’s effort gave him an advantage in that setting.
Anestis Hadjistamoulou (6’0 PG, Glenbrook South 2025)
If there was an opening, Hadjistamoulou took advantage. He protected the ball well on penetration and worked through contact on his layups. Scoring also came off of one-dribble pull-ups, hesitation threes, and stepbacks. Anestis will serve as a confident decision-maker for GBS who can fill it up when needed.
Vincent Kelly (5’10 PG, Lincoln Park 2025)
Very quick with the ball and a solid passer, Kelly was looking to feed to cutters on his frequent drives to the rim. He has a high motor and was getting up and guarding in space. On a younger Lincoln Park team, Kelly should be a spark plug on both ends.
DJ Porter (6’3 SG, Fenwick 2025)
Porter is a big-bodied guard who had moments where he simply overpowered smaller kids. More of a scorer, Porter showed some range hitting a three and rebounded well. Porter may have the most upside of the many Fenwick sophomores who will contribute.
Daniel Pauliukonis (6’7 SF/PF, Benet 2025)
Pauliukonis has great length and agility at 6-foot-7. He scored off of hard cuts and drove baseline well from the perimeter to get layups. Pauliukonis has pretty good ball control and gets low to the ground on drives, showing good touch once he was inside the arc. There are projectable tools that Pauliukonis has to work with, especially as he adds strength.
Brady Sehlhorst (6’6 SG, Notre Dame College Prep 2025)
Moving, handling, and shooting like Sehlhorst did at 6-foot-6 caused mismatches all over the place. The NDCP sophomore got out on the break for a few dunks and converted floaters and hooks in the lane. Defensively, he had a big block and showed that he can cover ground well. Sehlhorst continues to look like a potential D1 prospect.
Noah Mister (5’9 PG, Kenwood 2026)
Mister profiles as a pure point guard with great vision out of the backcourt. He was dropping off pinpoint passes throughout and didn’t focus on creating his own shot which he is capable of doing. I’m not sure if he will be on varsity full time, but Mister should be one of the better lead guards in the class this season.
Jamson Coulter Jr. (6’2 SG, Rich Township 2026)
Coulter displayed elite athleticism and downhill driving ability, blessed with good size for a guard and an array of moves to get into the lane. He is a tough shot maker who was unfazed by defenders being in his space. Coulter could be one of the top scorers for Rich this year.
Cam Thomas (6’2 PG, Mount Carmel 2025)
There is a level of competitiveness that Thomas plays with that is a differentiator. He took on tough defensive matchups, was relentless getting to the basket, and made timely passes when help came. For a point guard, he’s got plus size and strength with the handle to create and stop-and-pop for shots. Thomas shows flashes of being a Division 1 guard prospect who will be in the backcourt with one in Denver commit DeAndre Craig.
Damajay Richardson (5’10 PG, Whitney Young 2025)
Another guard who is flat out tough, Richardson has a tight, controlled handle and understands when to take it to another gear. His defensive activity led to multiple steals, and he changed ends quickly with the ball and off the dribble. Richardson is also a capable shooter, especially from the mid-range. He will be a productive piece for the Dolphins.
Machi Josiah Nelson (5’8 PG, Fenwick 2025)
Nelson was one of the shorter players at the event, but he didn’t let that affect his impact. The Fenwick guard played with a fire, breaking down defenders to get into the paint for floaters, scrapping for loose balls, and getting under opposing guards defensively. Nelson fits well with the movement at Fenwick.
JT Pettigrew (6’6 PF, Fenwick 2025)
Pettigrew was doing his work on the inside as a rebounder and scorer on the block. He’s got a solid frame and long arms that helped him get around box outs to grab boards. More than just a block scorer, Pettigrew worked well in pick-and-roll actions and showed that he can pop out to shoot threes. Pettigrew is only going to get better.
Jax Abalos (6’4 SG/SF, Batavia 2025)
Known more as a knockdown shooter, Abalos did a lot of little things to contribute. He rotated defensively and made sound decisions with the ball. The lefty shooter has a really nice looking outside shot that has range on it. He’s a rising 2025 player.
Caleb Lindsey (6’5 SF, St. Laurence 2025)
Lindsey has the big wingspan and athletic upside that you want in a wing. His cuts and straight-line drives were coming in waves, taking advantage of bad closeouts and sleeping defenders. Lindsey didn’t stop playing hard defensively and protected the rim well. He may have to take on some tough defensive matchups this season but looks equipped to handle it.
AJ Demirov (5’11 PG, Crystal Lake South 2025)
Demirov was one of the fastest end-to-end players at the event, playing with pace and urgency with the ball in transition. He has excellent burst and knows how to use setup moves to get defenders on their heels. Demirov also hit some jumpers from long range and facilitated while operating at high speeds. He is one of the more under the radar point guards in the suburbs.
Yaris Irby (5’11 PG, Niles North 2025)
A new guard for Niles North, Irby is a playmaker at heart. Strong with the ball and capable of throwing passes from different angles, Irby made some plays for others. During the times when he wanted to score, he used his body to avoid getting shots blocked and made shots around the cup. Irby will be a welcome addition as another creator for the Vikings.