We’re looking at some of the standouts from a couple of games that we saw this weekend at the NY2LA Grassroots Showcase in Kentucky.
ET21 Buckeyes 2024
Alex Keizer (6’4 SF/PF, Timothy Christian)
A big shooter with the green light, Keizer showed balance and a consistent release from three. Coming off of a curl, he comfortably knocked one down. He also got his feet set well when spacing the floor off of post touches or drives. Keizer’s build will allow him to play the four spot and he has some value as a rebounder defensively as well.
Cale Cosme (5’8 PG, Brother Rice)
Cosme is constant energy and execution with the ball in his hands. He was able to get teammates looks off of his penetration with scoop passes and creative deliveries in the lane. At his size, he’s quick and knows how to get the ball up to the backboard to score against bigger defenders. Cosme also has deep three-point shooting range and pretty good lift on his shot from three. Excellent undersized D3 PG prospect.
Corey Lee (6’2 SG, Oak Lawn)
Athletic with good length, Lee was getting to the free throw line and driving closeouts often for ET21. More of a combo guard, he was able to get them into some stuff as a primary ball-handler and dealt with some pressure in the half court well. There is evident upside with Lee as a slashing and cutting guard, getting off the ground well and showing good instincts during the season with OL.
Greater Purpose Athletics Black 2024
Cam Cerese (6’3 PG, Lake Park)
Cerese is a relentless two-way player who was getting downhill early and often. He gets low and takes great angles to the rim when attacking. With his height and athleticism, Cerese didn’t face much resistance inside and brought that energy to the defensive end in space. He projects as a quality individual and team defender in college with how well he communicates, rotates, and competes to stay in front of the ball. In situations where driving lanes weren’t there, Cerese was able to manufacture jumpers, which is an area where he excels. Cerese was terrific.
DeJuan Graise (6’4 PG/SG, Tremper [WI])
A dynamic combo guard with ideal length at the position, Graise continues to impress this spring as a slasher this spring. On his takes to the rim, he was springing up quickly for push shots and layups. The smooth lefty has some good moves in his bag when he needs to break defenders down. For a good portion of the second half, he worked as the primary ball-handler and made sound decisions off of ball screens.
Malachi Johnson (6’3 SG, Rockford Guilford)
There was no rush to Johnson’s game. He took what the defense gave him, whether that was a hard take to the basket for himself or a pass to a cutter or shooter. Johnson played through contact on a couple of occasions around the rim and handled the ball well to create space to get to the basket. On one spot up, he stepped right into a three and has shot the ball well this spring. Johnson should be able to attract some college interest during the June live periods.
Greater Purpose Athletics Black 2025
Anestis Hadjistamoulou (6’0 PG, Glenbrook South)
Hadjistamoulou delivered late in the game with his outside shooting and ball control as the game went back and forth. His confidence to make plays on his dribble penetration allowed for ample looks inside of the paint for both himself and others. He’s just got a certain level of feel and agility, both physicality and as a decision maker, that made things flow.
Ben Schneider (5’11 PG, Prospect)
Similar to Hadjistamoulou, Schneider stepped up to get GPA the lead by hitting some threes of his own. Schneider generates good arc on his shot and is a threat to hit shots from a few feet behind the arc. Crafty, shifty, and quick off of the bounce, Schneider got to 10 to 15 feet and was effective scoring in a number of ways. He has been terrific so far this spring, not just scoring it, but as a pesky defender as well.
Greater Purpose Athletics Black 2026
Anderson Neach (5’10 PG/SG, Prospect)
Neach worked at both guard spots and was effective scoring the ball and getting to his spots. He has a smooth handle with some decent understanding of how to get separation for his shot. Neach connected on a couple of threes with good form and provided ball-handling support against pressure. Only listed at 5-foot-10, Neach has longer limbs that hint towards him developing into a taller combo guard.
Dominic Mordini (6’1 PG, Lake Forest)
Mordini has been one of the breakout freshman this spring and was showing more promising traits in the game I saw. Lanky and rangy on defense, Mordini showed his hands and wasn’t afraid to take contact to slow down drivers. On the offensive end, he was a force getting inside the arc when using both hands to finish runners and off-rhythm layups, while also finding soft spots around the foul line to hit jumpers. His rebounding really stood out at well, especially on the offensive end fighting in traffic to corral misses.
Mustaf Rexhipi (6’4 PF, Niles North)
In 5-out situations, Rexhipi did a nice job of sprinting to ball screens and making plays as a screen outlet. With soft hands and good instincts as an interior passer, Rexhipi made the necessary plays off short rolls and when driving from the perimeter. He’s got a big body for a freshman but showed the balance to comfortably make shots in the lane off of hard drives.
Illinois Attack Miller 2025
Bobby Grganto (6’6 PF, Downers Grove)
Working that triangle from the short corners to the front of the rim, Grganto was separating to create passing windows and punishing smaller defenders on the block. He has uncommon patience at his age on post ups and made a couple of slick moves to get middle with his back to the basket. At his size, he gets off of the ground well and pulls in rebounds at a high clip.
Bryce Turner (5’10 PG, Lockport)
Pushing the ball up the floor with his speed, Turner wasn’t having much difficulty finding open space. There was a number of quality passes that he made to find open guys and he set the tone with a few early buckets at the rim and a three on the break. Turner gave a good showing defensively as well keeping his man outside of the three-point line for most of the game.
Jack Crowley (6’2 PG/SG, Downers Grove North)
Crowley is a knockdown shooter who did a lot of little things that probably didn’t show up on the stat sheet. He kept the ball moving offensively and dribbled with a purpose within the offense, often setting up teammates for open shots. Defensively, he had high hands on his closeouts and was disciplined in one-on-one situations. When he got open looks, he knocked those down as well.
Josh Tinney (6’0 SG, Waubonsie Valley)
Tinney came in and brought immediate energy for the Attack. Even at 6-foot, Tinney has very good strength and toughness that helped him convert on a couple of shots in traffic. He also added a transition three from the wing and ran the floor well to help extend the lead.
Moses Wilson (6’3 SG, Waubonsie Valley)
Wilson continues to build on a breakout spring, having an efficient game where he scored in a few different ways. He had one of the plays of the game with a two-hand dunk on a well-executed backdoor lob play. The 6-foot-3 wing scored on a spot-up three from the corner and multiple cuts off of the ball. His length, ball-handling, and potential as a legitimate two-way player were evident.
Vova Polishchuk (6’4 SF, Neuqua Valley)
This was my first time seeing Polishchuk this spring and he didn’t look like he had much rust to knock off. He came in right away and hit a couple of threes in rhythm without any hesitation. The skilled Neuqua Valley forward got out in transition for some layups as well. As he gets back into form, his floor spacing and scoring ability should add another layer for this Attack team.
Whitman Charboneau (6’2 SG, Neuqua Valley)
The passing, particularly in the second half, was crucial to getting his teammates some wide-open looks. Charboneau made a number of two-foot decisions when he drove to the rim, whether he was making floaters or dropping off passes. Able to impact the game as a playmaker and perimeter scorer, Charboneau also blocked a shot and gave some value stepping over on the help side.
Illinois Predators 2024
JaiQuan Holman (5’11 PG, Lanphier )
One of the better point guards outside of the Chicago area, Holman was impressive playing up an age level. As a shooter, he buried a couple of threes well beyond the college line. He uses his lower body well to get into a one-motion shot off the dribble or spotting up. What really separates Holman is how good he is at improvising and getting into the lane with his handle. He’s an unselfish decision maker and tough to contain in open space. Holman has Division 1 upside.
Sebastian Hill (6’3 SG, LSA Decatur)
Hill is a scoring guard who looks taller than his 6-foot-3 listing. He looked to get his shot whenever possible, making a few catch-and-shoot threes as a lift guy and working around the elbows for pull-ups and push shots. His length served him well when trying to elevate over the top of smaller defenders inside of the arc. It was also nice to see Hill stick his nose in there on the glass for the Predators throughout the game.
Illinois Wolves 2026
Davon Grant (6’4 PF, DeKalb)
Grant is quite the outlet on dribble penetration from guards. He owned the punch spot throughout the game, catching passes cleanly and exploding up to the rim to finishing. A quick jumper with uncanny body control inside of the paint, Grant was able to double-clutch in the air to find openings. As his offensive game becomes more refined, look for even more production from the 6-foot-4 forward who plays more like 6-foot-8.
Jayden Wright (6’0 PG, Benet)
Acting more as a scoring guard for the Wolves, Wright made a lot of plays as a secondary ball-handler and floor spacer, His outside shot looked good, drilling threes and knocking down mid-range pull-ups when he saw space inside of the arc. I like the confidence and toughness that he shows with the ball, rarely allowing past plays to affect his aggressiveness. It’s easy to see how the feel and scoring ability will translate, especially as he develops physically.
Oliver Gray (6’3 SG, Barrington)
Gray is a known marksman who was cashing in on the open looks he got within the offense. In the second half, he made a couple of threes off of movement and was quick to set his feet and unload from long range. Gray’s got an ideal build for a two-guard with long arms and good height that hasn’t maxed out yet. More of a floor spacer for this Wolves team, Gray also showed flashes as a one-on-one shot creator with his ball-handling.
Rashaun Porter (6’6 PF, DePaul Prep)
The more I watch Porter, the more impressed I am with his long-term ability. The physical lefty forward had a couple of athletic takes to his strong hand where he took bumps and kept his eyes on the rim to finish the plays. He handles the ball well at his size and has a little bit of playmaking punch once he puts it on the ground. There is an inherent nose for the ball that he has when shots go up, shedding box outs and being a monster on both backboards. Porter is going to be really good.
Rocco Pagliocca (6’2 PG/SG, Stevenson)
For a player who is still in the early stages of his physical development, Pagliocca’s core strength to stay on balance while drawing contact to create angles was impressive. He’s already advanced when it comes to cutting off defenders and using his leverage as a downhill driver to negate shot blockers. On multiple plays, he used his handle to get inside and picked the right angles and finishing options to convert. Pagliocca can really cause havoc at times defensively with his ball pressure as well.
Rykan Woo (6’0 PG, Whitney Young)
Gifted and adept at making plays off of the dribble, Woo’s IQ is what really stood out. Off of the catch in the half court, he was decisive, yet patient with his moves. He’s got the ball on a string and was able to collapse the defense on multiple occasions. Woo also hit a high-arching three and showed well on the defensive end by jumping passing lanes and avoiding breakdowns. He’s a difference maker at the guard spot.
Mercury Elite Nolan 2024
Jimmy Tarjan (6’4 SG/SF, Loyola)
Tarjan’s ability to create shots at his size stood out. Playing a lot as a ball-handler in pick-and-roll actions, he good change of speed moves to get into the paint where he was able to make shots over the top of the defense. He was also blistering hot from three, showing no hesitation on lifting up into shots from deep. The growing 6-foot-4 wing guarded a couple of different spots and projects as a productive defender and multi-purpose offensive threat at the D3 level.
MidPro Academy 2024
Braylon Roman (6’4 PG, Normal)
Among the best point guards in the 2024 class, Roman’s length, height, and feel for the game are advanced. The ball is on a string with him, particularly in P&Rs where he was patient and picked his spots to attack. Roman has that ability to shake defenders and only needs a few dribbles to get to the paint where he had a number of acrobatic layups. His jump shot comes out of his hands well and he has a solid base on it. I see a great future on the defensive end with his ranginess and athleticism. Definite D1 lead guard.
Tyler Mason (6’1 PG, Metamora)
A competitive guard who knows how to make plays, Mason probed through the defense and made solid decisions with the ball. He is a plus athlete with a good first step that helped him explode to the rim and get some crafty looks inside of 10 feet. Playing off of the ball at times, he cut well and showed some prowess getting to his pull-up out of the triple threat. Mason’s defensive toughness was noteworthy as well, regularly frustrating ball handlers. He is a reliable, fiery guard who should get ample D2 and LM looks.
Jaheem Webber (6’9 C, Normal)
Webber remains an imposing interior scorer who does his work early on the block. He was able to score around the front of the rim with ease at times just by getting defenders under the rim before catching the ball. The 6-foot-9 big had a strong drop step dunk and rebounded in his area well. With how much size and production he brings within 10 feet and a frame that college coaches can work with, expect Webber to continue to draw D1 attention as one of the better centers in the class.
Hank Alvey (6’9 C, Illini Bluffs)
Alvey has a great frame with a big wingspan that was critical on the defensive end to contest shots. He moves pretty well to hedge screens to recover from the week side. Alvey worked in ball screens to help his guards get open space and he ran hard to the rim for a few layups, drawn fouls, and a good-looking pop three. On a few defensive rebounds, he showed some ability to bust out with the ball as well. Alvey is a scholarship-level big who picked up an offer from Quincy this weekend.
Niko Newsome (6’6 SF, Bloomington)
For a wing, Newsome has developed strength and athleticism that would work at the college level right now. His cutting and off-ball movement led to putbacks and tough finishes around the rim. Around 6-foot-6, Newsome has natural scoring ability with his pull-up jump shot, but he also looked good bodying up players defensively and guarding a few spots. Another player for MidPro who should be on the Division 1/Division 2 radar.
Ross Robertson (6’8 PF, South Beloit)
There is not a big his age in the state who has been as consistently productive as Robertson. His low-post game was efficient and dominate, getting deep catches and making quick moves over both shoulders. At times, his strength overpowered defenders and eventually led to double teams. Whether Robertson was catching it in the slot or making decisions out of the high post, he showed good vision and passing ability. The mobility and activity defensively and strong hands as a rebounder stood out as well.