Standouts That We Saw At Prep Hoops Chi-Town Tip Off

The PrepHoops Chi-Town Tip Off featured a large number of teams around the Chicago area and we were able to watch some of them in-person and on BallerTV. Of the teams seen this week, here are the standouts.

All-In 2024 Rodell

Alex Daniels (6’5 PF, Warren)

Following a breakout junior year, Daniels is bringing that same productivity to All-In. He lived around the paint with layups on cuts, a post spin move, and regular second chance looks. A very high motor forward, Daniels operates well when plays break down and there are loose balls to be had. His rebounding was excellent throughout the game and the 6-foot-5 forward hit a corner three as well. A kid who has ideal athleticism and activity for a D3 four man.

Camden Lathos (6’6 PF, Conant)

Lathos kept it simple on the offensive end, leaning on his size to carve out space inside. He made turnaround jumpers from inside of the paint and used his pivot foot well to get scoring angles. Lathos is a strong kid who was the recipient of some dump off passes and also got some points on the offensive glass. I imagine he’ll respond well to a college strength program which will further highlight his ability to face-up or make plays on the block. Lathos is a talented kid who has a nice future.

Connor Woodin (6’0 SG, Buffalo Grove)

Woodin is a marksman with a great release from the three-point line. He made multiple in the game I saw, hitting one from just inside the volleyball line off of a curl and another off a shot fake. Woodin’s pre-shot preparation is ideal for a shooter and he has no fear as a shot-maker. After a good junior season for Buffalo Grove, look for Woodin’s floor spacing and off ball activity to draw D3 interest.

Jack Dabbs (6’5 SF/PF, Stevenson)

Another versatile and energetic forward for All-In, Dabbs was either ripping through from the perimeter to get to the paint or leg whipping and sealing smaller defenders to get shots. With the matchups, he typically had a size advantage that he used to get short hook shots and layups. Dabbs is a capable three-point shooter off of the catch and made a one-dribble pull-up during the game. He’s always around the ball when shots come off of the rim and showed some passing instincts as well. A likely high-end D3 prospect.

Sam Lappin (5’10 PG, Glenbrook North)

Without having to score, he left his fingerprints all over the game. Lappin put on a clinic for how to run the show. He easily led the game in assists and was making excellent passes all game, including multiple excellent skip passes to find shooters. Lappin’s on-ball defense was critical and throwing off the flow of the opposing offense and he had a handful of steals with his pesky ball pressure. A steady, hard-nosed performance from Lappin.

Full Package 17U

Kaleb Jackson (6’0 PG, Carmel)

Jackson is a crafty point guard that leans more towards scoring. With deep range, he stepped into a few long threes and took it to the rim for crafty layups as well. There is some quickness and passing instincts that are there as well that will be key for Jackson at the next level.

Mark Nikolich-Wilson (6’7 C, Rolling Meadows [2023])

The unsigned senior always does things that work but don’t necessarily fit into the traditional box of a center. While he didn’t score a bunch, he buried defenders a few times to get post layups. As a playmaker, he remains as special of a passer as there is at his position in Illinois. The outlet passes were just precise enough to get over defenders’ heads and his ability to assess coverages and facilitate from the high post were impressive. I could see Ivy league, low major, and even D2 and high-end D3 programs looking to pull the trigger.

Fundamental U 2024-2

Ian Brown (6’5 SG/SF, New Trier)

Brown’s three-point shooting is elite. He hit multiple threes during the game and garnered constant defensive attention once he got past half court. Brown, who looks to be pretty familiar with the weight room, provides good size and strength to add value on the defensive end and as a rebounder. A high-academic kid, Brown will appeal to many D3 programs.

Josh Stewart (6’0 PG/SG, Warren)

An energy-giver and aggressive defender, Stewart did a nice job of fitting into the offense and playing a role to help extend their lead. On a few occasions, he found cutters off of the dribble for layups and made a short jump shot as well. Stewart is a spark plug for them.

Marko Visnjevac (6’0 PG, McHenry)

Visnjevac has a score-first mindset and a shot-making game that was on display. He creates good space off of the bounce and either got to the foul line or hit some pull-up jumpers. When he gets things going, Visnjevac can produce in bulk.

Owen Giannoulias (6’0 PG, Glenbrook North)

The heady point guard made plays and took what the defense gave him. He picked up steam in the second half with a couple of buckets off of drives and cuts, making floaters against some size. The passing prowess, particularly when carving up the zone, stood out as well. Giannoulias is tough as nails and is ultra-competitive on both sides of the ball. Another FU player who will attract high-academic D3s.

Grit N Grind 2024

Al Brooks (6’6 SF, Hansberry [2025])

Everything about Brooks from a physical standpoint line up with Division 1 wings. The mobility, explosiveness, and anticipation gave him an edge on both ends. He sent multiple shots away at the rim with good timing and did a little bit of everything offensively. Brooks had putbacks, made a hesitation pull-up, and evaded help defenders around the rim with eurosteps. As he becomes stronger and more consistent, Brooks should continue to rise up among the top wings in the class.

Ikee Brooks (6’0 PG, Hansberry [2025])

Brooks started the game fast with a few pull-ups and drives that led to foul shots. From 10-to-15 feet, he does a solid job of hitting short jumpers. Speed is his best trait at this point and allowed him to beat the team down the court a couple of times. He was a triple-double threat for Hansberry this year and is just in the early stages of his development.

ICE 2024-Davis

Davee Flowers (6’2 PG/SG, Niles West)

Flowers was a breakout star for Niles West this year and is one of the leaders of this ICE team. Whether he was attacking in transition or pushing in transition, Flowers changed speeds well and showed touch in the paint. He has a good-looking jump shot from the outside and is a proven tough shot-maker as well. Still relatively under the radar, Flowers is a dynamic combo guard who is worth watching.

Jaxson Davis (6’0 PG/SG, Warren [2027])

Yes, 2027. The eight-grader was a terror all game manufacturing offense off of the dribble with minimal wasted movement. He made quick decisions with the ball, from having his feet ready for multiple threes to getting to the lane and playing off of two feet. It’s hard to find upperclassmen with his feel for the defense, knowing when to use his inside hand on finishes and how to hold off defenders with his body. He probably scored double-digits in transition alone and was standing tall defensively against rising seniors. Davis also sees the floor well and is a very unselfish playmaker. He’s going to be a problem.

Illinois Attack 2024-1

Aaron Cook (6’5 SG/SF, St. Francis)

Cook worked the baseline well to get open looks throughout the game. He’s got great hands, long arms, and nice athleticism to score over length inside. During the game, he hit a jumper in the lane and finished off multiple looks inside. On the perimeter, Cook can put it on the ground and help break pressure. Cook is a very good rebounder with how quickly he gets off of the ground and highpoints misses. He has high-level defensive potential switching across multiple positions. Don’t be be surprised if Cook adds a few inches and fills out into his frame as well. He’s a versatile wing with good upside.

Evan Czarnik (6’6 SF, Plainfield North)

A legitimate 6-foot-6 wing, Czarnik hit a handful of threes during the game. He’s a floor spacing threat who has the advantage of shooting over the top of shot contests. He ran to the three-point line and spread out on dribble penetration to get his looks. There should be some college coaches in need of size and shooting.

Noah Mason (6’3 SG, Oswego East)

Mason is another knockdown shooter who cashed in on a couple of them during the game. When defenders started to run him off the lane, he made a couple of slick passes inside and got an and-one on the break as well. After playing on a very successful Oswego East team, Mason is stepping into a bigger role with the Attack before doing the same in June with his high school team.

Illinois Stars

Alex Miller (6’5 SG/SF, Downers Grove North)

Miller is a terrific spacer and cutter off of the ball to get opening that he doesn’t often miss out on. When he got the ball with space, he regularly hit jumpers from beyond the arc and off of one or two dribbles getting to the rim. Miller plays off of his three-point shooting ability well and makes the most of his 6-foot-5 frame when he decides to go inside. Expect plenty of D3 programs in the area to take a look at him.

M14 Gold 17U

CJ Savage (6’0 PG, West Aurora)

The one player who kind of stood out from a grit perspective was Savage. He worked hard defensively to push players off of their spots and go in with the trees to get rebounds. The physical nature that he drives to the rim with led to some free throws and paint points for him. Savage provided good leadership throughout the game on both ends.

Jalen Crues (6’5 SF, Wheaton North)

Crues started the game off well with a one-foot turnaround in the middle of the lane and a putback. His physical attributes stand out, looking the part of a serious college prospect. While his skills are still progressing, he still showed defensive ability in one-on-one situations and got some looks on running the wings. College coaches would be smart to see what Crues does over the next few months.

Jeffrey Fleming (6’3 SG, Plainfield North)

In terms of shot-making, Fleming was among the best in the game that I saw. He had a handful of tough jumpers, with a few fallaway shots and pull-ups with defenders in his area that didn’t seem to phase him. Fleming makes aggressive moves out of the triple threat and doesn’t waste dribbles when he’s looking to score. Around 6-foot-3, Fleming brings a general level of toughness to the glass as well that is worth noting.

Nick Schroeder (6’4 SG, Metea Valley)

Schroeder came off of the bench firing, hitting a few threes and a mid-range shot. Lanky at 6-foot-4, Schroeder is a shooter with ample range to deliver on some of the looks he was getting. The toughest one coming off of a pull-up after sizing up the defender from the wing. When M14 needed a spark off of the bench, he gave immediate support.

Tre Blissett (6’5 SG/SF, Waubonsie Valley)

Blissett’s upside is evident to everyone who watches him play. On a few possessions, he made the decision to get to the rim and there wasn’t much the defender could do to stop him from long stepping around them and elevating up to the rim. As a slasher and cutter, he made an impact at times, having one two-handed dunk in the game as well. Defensively, there is still a lot to like from a college perspective with how he slides his feet and protects the rim more like a big. He has scholarship-level upside.

Will Ashford (6’6 SF, Metea Valley)

Ashford got going a little bit in the second half with some takes to the rim. He guarded well in the post and didn’t get beat often when defending on the wing. What really stood out was the athleticism and strength that he had changing ends and going for offensive rebounds and direct drives. Ashford has got some next-level ability to his game and it should continue to show with more consistency as the spring progresses.

Team Rose 17U

Gianni Cobb (5’11 PG, Homewood Flossmoor)

Cobb is always going to put pressure on the defense. He handled the full-court pressure well and blew past the defense for a couple of layups where he got it up to the backcourt quickly. Cobb knows how to slow his momentum down and get control of his body, making a few well-balanced stop-and-pop jumpers. As a primary playmaker for Team Rose, he won one-on-one situations in order to create advantages. Cobb has scholarship-level talent at the PG spot.

Lee Marks (6’5 SG/SF, Mount Carmel)

There are few wing players in the state who have the long-term defensive upside as Marks. He is a true one through five defender at the high school level and matched up with some size and athleticism across multiple positions. I really liked the way he got in the air space of players and made them put the ball on the ground where his length and quickness shined. Marks is an active mover and crasher offensively at this stage with a couple of high-flying plays offensively in traffic. Division 1 talent who has excellent intangibles.

Mac Hagemaster (6’8 PF/C, Lincoln-Way East)

Hagemaster anchored the inside and was walling up and contesting shots in the paint. The 6-foot-8 big has a strong build and a developed base that allowed him to hold his ground and move his feet well when hedging and guarding in space. There is a level of energy and commitment that he plays with in those non-statable areas like screen setting, boxing out, and talking that will catch the eye of college coaches.

Richard Lindsay (6’5 SF, De La Salle)

Lindsay came in and provided some scoring for Team Rose. Athletic and rangy at 6-foot-5, he lifted up well into a three and gave some good minutes on the defensive end and as a rebounder. He moves with well in the open floor and is an ideal wing running in transition. Lindsay is coming off of a breakout junior year at De La Salle and should be a player who opens some eyes over the next few live periods.

All-In 2025 Gold

Anton Strelnikov (6’6 C, Lake Zurich)

Strelnikov was having his way on the block. He scored on dropsteps and running hooks after doing a great job fighting for position and showing a big target to post feeders. Only a sophomore, Strelnikov is a post technician who feels the defender and has counters ready to different coverages. He had a couple of touches aroud the elbows where he was able to face and drive across the lane. The 6-foot-6 big can step out and hit threes as well. His effort and tenacity didn’t waver despite the score. To this point, Strelnikov is one of the best centers in the class.

Brandyn Michaels (6’1 SG, St. Viator)

Michaels brought an edge to both ends. Always a productive defender, he took a charge and forced guards out of their comfort zones picking up at half court. The St. Viator guard knocked down a couple of threes off of the catch and kept the ball moving when he didn’t have an open look. Michaels is one of the more athletic players on the team and was making plays all game.

Jordan Tunis (5’10 PG, Schaumburg)

The point guard for most of the game, Tunis kept things under control with timely shots when needed. Known more as a driver, he contributed a few threes and a turnaround jumper when defenders went under on him. He still pushed the tempo and sought out penetration opportunities when possible. Tunis fed the post well throughout the game and was rock solid on the defensive end.

Luke Smith (6’0 PG/SG, Addison Trail)

Smith looked really good playing off of the ball and running off screens to get open looks. A gifted scorer from Addison Trail, Smith utilized off ball screens to get space to drill some outside shots. As a primary ball-handler, he got to the basket, drew contact, and converted on his free threes. Smith is another All-In guard who is a willing and committed defender that reads passing lanes well.

Matthew Morrice (6’3 SG, St. Edwards)

The 6-foot-3 St. Eds guard added to the three-point barrage early on and gave some more offensive value cutting, crashing the glass, and getting some points at the line. At his height, Morrice is an aggressive rebounder at the guard spot and will make extra efforts on the defensive end to contest shots in the paint.

Full Package Black 2025

Evan Salvador (6’0 PG/SG, Mundelein)

The lefty guard can shoot it from three, especially from the corners. Salvador made multiple timely threes and provided some scoring punch for Full Package throughout the game. He plays with pace with the ball and has some appeal as a point guard with how he changes speeds and controls the ball. Salvador can heat up in a hurry and was able to make plays attacking the rim to his strong hand as well.

Ian Polonowski (6’5 SF, Lyons)

Another long and projectable wing for Full Package, Polonowski worked in the middle third of the offense well as a high post threat. He acted as the reverse man in the offense from the elbows and top of the key and never let the ball stick when it came his way. His jump shot stands out, drilling open looks and showing clean technique off the catch. Very long at 6-foot-5, Polonowski did a good job guarding on the interior despite giving up some weight due to his reach to affect shots. He also crashed the glass hard and looked comfortable making plays in the open court.

Liam Curtin (6’5 SF, Stevenson)

Curtin has a good combination of size, skill, and IQ. At times, he brought the ball up and was effective making moves off of the dribble to get to his spots. The 6-foot-5 wing drove and cut with a purpose, taking contact well and using his length to score over the top. I thought his shooting form and footwork were noteworthy, getting into his shot quickly and staying consistent with his release throughout the game with a few threes. He also showed some defensive promise guarding wings and bigs, making an effort to be active on the ball.

Illinois Attack Miller 2025

Bobby Grganto (6’6 PF, Downers Grove North)

Grganto was a force on the inside with his athleticism, touch, and power. Against man, he set solid screens and dove to the rim hard where he had multiple and-ones and discarded some defenders with hard seals. He moves really well at his size and was highly efficient when he got touches inside of 10 feet. Grganto shielded off length with his body and was living at the free throw line where you could see the soft touch and shooting form. Also a tough rebounder who has a frame that should fill out well, Grganto was impressive.

Donovan Neal (5’10 PG/SG, Waubonsie Valley)

Being able and willing to make plays for others is a skill that often gets overlooked. Neal did a good job of facilitating in the games I saw in transition and off of his own drives. He let plays develop and connected on face cuts and drive-and-kick actions with accuracy. Neal works the baseline well off of drives to either whip out passes or make plays himself. He brings a good level of toughness to the team.

Moses Wilson (6’3 SG/SF, Waubonsie Valley)

One of the most promising sophomores I saw all weekend, Wilson was making plays all over the floor. He buried a few threes off of the catch and dribbled into another early in the game. Wilson has a one-motion set shot that has a high finish to it, making it tough to contest at 6-foot-3. His slashing ability might be what separates him though, throwing down two separate dunks on defenders and making second and third efforts to score inside off of drives. He’s a fluid athlete who has a smooth handle and long strides to get downhill. Wilson’s impact as a help side defender, passing lane disruptor, and wing stopper all showed signs as well. He’s got very high upside if he continues to develop.

Whitman Charboneau (6’2 SG, Neuqua Valley)

A smooth combo guard, Charboneau hit a three early and showed some skill creating separation in space. He has touch shooting from multiple levels, possessing a good pull-up game and some feel for his turnaround. Charboneau moves well off of the ball and got some layups as a cutter. He is also able to act as a secondary playmaker and set up teammates when the defense overcommits.

Illinois Attack 2025-2

Blake Fagbemi (5’10 PG, Benet)

It got to the point where the defense was doubling Fagbemi to try to get the ball out of his hands. He was shaking defenders and making acrobatic layups repeatedly, even as bigger players came over to block his shots. The Benet guard has a way of picking up speed and picking the right creases to attack. He had a big scoring game.

Jaden Edwards (6’0 PG/SG, West Aurora)

The athletic guard initiated the break and facilitated to other guards to get easy looks. Playing as a main ball-handler at times and also running the wings, he moved with the same energy to get good shots. Defensively, Edwards gave good effort in one-on-one situations and used his speed to cut guys off from their direct drives.

Sincere Martin (6’0 SG, Waubonsie Valley)

Offering constant energy, Martin was a factor on the glass with his leaping ability and endless motor. For being only 6-foot-, Martin has a ton of heart and physicality that makes things tough on other players in the paint. He also showed good instants offensively with some well-timed moves to evade help defenders and some nice passes off of ball screens.

M14 2025 Gold

Dasean Patton (6’5 SF, Oswego)

Patton played on the perimeter and in the post on both ends and showed some good signs. From 15-feet and in, he faced up and drove the ball with some force along the baseline where he drew plenty of contact. Patton created angles with his body control inside and followed his own misses. He was a crucial piece for Oswego this year and seems ready to have a big spring.

Jax Abalos (6’5 SG/SF, Batavia)

Among the more promising sophomores in his area, Abalos showed his sweet left-handed shooting stroke with a couple of deep ones. His range forced the defense to press up on him which allowed for more space for cutters and drivers, who he was able to see at 6-foot-5 above the hands in his face. Since last year, he has improved his ball-handling and defensive ability, blocking a shot at the rim in the game and getting some good looks in transition with the ball in his hands. Abalos is on the right path.

M14 Gold 15U

Eddie Austin (6’3 PF, Nazareth)

Austin is a well-rounded athlete who made a living running the floor and finishing off dump offs. There is a level of physicality and toughness that he brings that seemed to provide a spark. Austin seals well inside and uses his leverage to get the angles that he wants inside. As Austin refines his skill, he should be able to cause some mismatches down the line.

Ethan Iacob (6’3 PF, York)

Iacob’s energy and hustle were great to see, especially at the 15U level. When shots went up, he pursued and secured the ball with two hands and was willing to fight for position early to get offensive rebounds. A strong kid at 6-foot-3, Iacob was making his presence felt on both ends. He also connected on a corner three and was playing through contact on layup attempts.

Mason Lockett (6’2 PG, Oswego East)

Lockett looks every bit like a kid who will end up being a tall, lanky playmaker. For a freshman, he dropped off some pretty advanced passes while attacking with the ball in his hands. He’s more of a long stride athlete than a traditionally fast point guard, but it was just as effective taking it coast to coast and making the right reads to either keep it or give it up. Lockett has a chance to be a game-changing defender as well with his length and instincts.

OJ Powell (6’2 SG, Willowbrook)

Among the more athletic and developed two-guards in the class right now, Powell’s explosiveness jumped out in transition. So strong and quick with the ball, he took it right at the backpedalling defenders and either got free throws or converted. As his game gets more refined, expect Powell to find even more ways to get to his sweet spots.

TJ Williams (6’1 PG/SG, Glenbard West)

Williams got better as the game progressed, scoring in volume primarily at the rim. He was relentless attacking the paint and can do a lot of damage driving to his right hand and finishing in a variety of ways. There were floaters, contact layups in traffic, and transition runouts that led to his high scoring output. Williams knocked down a three as well, but his speed and consistent drive-first mentality caused a ton of problems for the defense. He was a standout of the game.

Mike Glennon Elite 2026

Joe Niego (6’4 SG, Brother Rice)

A big guard that has a number of different shots in his arsenal, Niego was scorching hot from deep and went for over 30 points. He started the game off with a short runner and then made a pull-up and and-one finish off of ball screens. For a freshman of his size, Niego used screens well to get defenders on his back and he has the push shots and spins inside to use his size. He has a quick and compact jumper that he made off the catch, from the volleyball line off the bounce, and after crossing over one defender. Niego has a projectable frame and a scoring package to track.

Team GPA 2026-1

Dominic Mordini (6’1 PG, Lake Forest)

Mordini has the IQ and feel of an upperclassmen. He snapped the ball up the court in transition and never let the ball stick in his hands, either throwing pinpoint passes to teammates or making a quick decision to attack. Throughout the game, he regularly elevated off the dribble for mid-range jumpers and showed ideal balance on his catch-and-shoot looks from three. Mordini is highly skilled at this stage, looking comfortable creating shots in isolation or ball screen actions. His rebounding and active hands on the defensive end were worth noting as well. With his length, skill, and intelligence, don’t be surprised if Mordini develops into a triple-double threat at the varsity level.

Sean Kerr (6’4 PF, Rolling Meadows)

For a freshman, Kerr has some maturity to his frame already with a solid upper body and decent understanding for how to use it functionally. His work came on the inside primarily as the recipient of interior passes where he made the most of his looks. Kerr goes up through contact and has pretty good touch in and around the paint to finish. He might not be done growing and should be able to elevate his physicality well given his foundation right now.

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