Lots of MLK shootouts and late-game situations were at the forefront of last week. With only a month of regular season games left, we only have a few more players of the week left.
Anton Strelnikov (Lake Zurich)
Only a sophomore, Strelnikov went off for a career high 33 points. Light on his feet while playing with both force and finesse, Strelnikov has been an integral centerpiece for Lake Zurich and should have some more big outputs before the season is over.
Braylen Meredith (Wheaton Warrenville South)
Before dominating at their MLK tournament, Meredith had 33 points to start last week. Also a gifted wide receiver, Meredith is coming into his own at the right time, rattling off multiple 20-point performances during the WWS MLK shootout. There should be a number of college programs keeping tabs on the two-way, 6-foot-6 senior.
Cooper Koch (Peoria Notre Dame)
Koch is a steady, highly productive force for the Irish. He went for 35 points in a game last week and added 19 in another one. You don’t find a lot of 6-foot-9 players with as pure of a shooting stroke as Koch, making tough turnarounds look routine and knocking down threes with hands in his face. The Iowa commit should be a repeat All-State player.
Daniel Johnson (Whitney Young)
It feels like Johnson is on here more often than not. The star season is continuing for the Dolphin senior with his best performance coming on a 33 point, 10 rebound night. If that wasn’t enough, he followed that right up with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and five dimes. The college interest should continue to flow in while his stock soars.
Drew Scharnowski (Burlington Central)
The 6-foot-9 senior has become one of the most dominant players in the state. He averaged nearly 30 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks a game during the week. His quickness and ability to play through contact as a driver and post scorer led to multiple big showings. Defensively, he has emerged as a true one through five defender with fast closing speed and ideal timing. Belmont is getting a good one.
Dylan Schmidt (Johnsburg)
Johnsburg’s leading scorer has been excellent for them over the last three years. But putting up 41 points while hitting eight shots from behind the arc is always going to catch some attention. Still uncommitted, Schmidt should remain a coveted Division 3 target.
James Stevenson (Momence)
Stevenson is a problem. He has been for a while, but he once again proved it last week with another eye-opening game. With 29 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and nine blocks, Stevenson controlled the game on both sides of the ball. Another gifted uncommitted senior, Stevenson has some D2 looks and a ton of upside.
Terrence Smith (West Aurora)
Smith’s ceiling is right up there with the best in the sophomore class. He is realizing that ability with athleticism that is hard to find in any grade. In a career night, Smith poured in 32 points to lead West Aurora. He already holds an offer from NIU for basketball but recently added a football offer from Akron as well.
Tommie Aberle (Lake Forest)
A 6-foot-2 point guard, Aberle is a dog. He shows up in big moments and hit a game-winner foul shot as part of what was one of his best weeks as a Scout. Aberle had a game of 27 points and 10 boards then went on to have games of 27 points with eight rebounds and 24 points with six more rebounds. He has cemented himself as one of the better guards in the area.
Tylon Tolliver (Lincoln-Way East)
The driving force for a talented LWE team, Tolliver’s 29-point performance and jumper to send it to overtime against Bloom finished off one of the better wins of the week. Quick and explosive off the bounce, he has produced from all three levels with a dynamic stop-and-pop game and craftiness in traffic. Tolliver also contributed 23 points in another game later in the week.
5 Things I Loved To See:
1. MLK Shootouts
Teams throughout the state gathered at various locations to host shootouts during the Martin Luther King weekend. This is the most common weekends for teams to play two games in a day and get that summer league, AAU type of feel with the schedules. It was a great thing to see.