We had our spring showcase camp last Sunday that featured some good talent from around the Chicago area. Here are the evaluations from the 2024 and 2025 players in attendance.
AJ Demirov (5’11 PG, Crystal Lake South 2025)
You can’t teach the type of speed and rhythm that Demirov plays with on a consistent basis. Defenders struggled to keep him out of the paint, often using different combo moves to break guys down and attack. He quickly got the ball up to the rim to avoid shot blockers and evaded them with double clutch layups and explosive finishes. What really stood out was how well he shot it off of the dribble, particularly from around the elbows. Demirov crossed players over on multiple occasions and smoothly popped up into mid-range shots. He also shot it well from three with some good range. Demirov’s scoring was noticeable, but he also whipped a bunch of timely passes to cutters and got in a stance to pressure the ball defensively. He’s got the traits to attract scholarship-level programs.
Anton Strelnikov (6’7 C, Lake Zurich 2025)
Strelnikov is wise beyond his years in the low post. During scrimmages, he got a large portion of his points with his back to the basket off of seals where his footwork and strength took over. Even against good size, he created angles and made nearly all of his interior looks. In ball screen actions, he did a nice job of getting set, rolling hard, and keeping the ball high on his catches. Nothing ever seemed to speed him up with the ball on offense, allowing him to quickly react to double teams and find cutters or shooters. Strelnikov was excellent on the glass and also stood tall defensively with a couple of blocked shots and solid shot contests in the paint. He should continue to be among the most productive centers in the class.
Atticus Richmond (6’7 PF, N/A 2025)
In the last year, Richmond has continued to take massive leaps in his game. Most notable was how well he is shooting the basketball on the move. The 6-foot-7 forward was lights out during drills and made even tougher ones in the scrimmages coming off of away screens and making pull-ups from beyond the arc. He’s got a fluid shot and a crisp release off of different actions, setting his feet well in space. A plus run-and-jump athlete, he got above the rim regularly and showed good ball-handling skill and straight-line speed to beat initial defenders to the rim for layups. Richmond is a capable wing or post defender who was sliding his feet well when matched up with some guards. There is a ton to like about his frame, offensive versatility, and overall upside. Richmond has Division 1 potential.
Bobby Grganto (6’6 PF/C, Downers Grove North 2025)
Coming off a breakout spring AAU season, Grganto was going to work both on the block and from the outside against some high-level bigs. He’s a gifted low post player with how he feels out defenders, delivers bumps, and finishes off of different counters. Grganto has magnetic hands around the paint as a rebounder and pass-catcher off of rolls, slips, or direct post ups. His touch was noteworthy in and around the lane, but even more so from the three-point line. During drills, the 6-foot-6 junior was draining threes with very good shot mechanics even while coming off of baseline pindowns and transition on air. Once live portions started, he was just as effective, making pick-and-pop threes, handling the ball to attack off of a few dribbles, or stepping in as a floor spacer. Grganto is a rock solid prospect to track.
Cam Thomas (6’3 PG, Mount Carmel 2025)
Now back in the state, Thomas helped his team string together a long winning streak during the scrimmages with his unselfishness, attacking play style, and shot making. He has a gravity about his game when getting downhill, often pulling in multiple defenders and making the right decisions on who to kick out to for open shots. Thomas is a very good athlete who skied for a strong two-handed dunk in transition and lifted up over tight defenders on some pull-ups. He played off of the ball well, staying in constant motion and delivering with a handful of threes. Thomas is a well-built guard who rarely got beat as the primary defender. He is going to be one of the better long-term guard prospects in the class.
Cam Vine (6’3 PG/SG, St. Charles North 2025)
Vine is a tough, gritty combo guard who made winning plays throughout the camp. In drill work, he showed a good base on his jump shot and some potential as a standstill shooter. Once live action started, his willingness and ability to defend the ball and use his length to affect shots stood out. Vine stayed in pursuit and was always around the ball to pull in rebounds in crowds on both ends. He was among the better rebounding guards at the camp and had a handful of putbacks. As a driver, he got low with his dribble and had a few push shots inside. Look for Vine to provide a good spark for SCN this year.
Cayden Mudd (6’0 PG, Wauconda 2024)
Mudd has a craftiness to his game that is going to be valuable as a senior and once he gets to college. The 6-foot guard kept his dribble alive and made good things happen when he drew help. He had some nice dump offs and crosscourt passes to create openings for his teammates. Mudd’s best trait, his shooting ability, was on full display playing on and off of the ball for his scrimmage team. When defenders gave him space, he made them pay with long triples and mid-range pull-ups. He brings energy and intensity to the game that you love to see. Mudd will be a high-academic D3 recruit.
Connor Williams (6’2 SG, Stagg 2024)
What Williams does can’t always be quantified, but the impact is felt. His active hands, rotations, and IQ on the defensive end led to multiple difficult shots and a few steals during scrimmages. Williams has some size to work with at 6-foot-2 that helped him get some passes over the defense to cutters, but more often than not, it was Williams who was moving and cutting hard off of the ball for easy layups. In addition to his off-ball activity, Williams was effective scoring with his mid-range game, an area that could separate him offensively. He’s got good pop off of the floor and is a slick ball-handler in space. Williams has three-point range as well and is a solid athlete. Look for Division 3 coaches to lock in on him.
Donovan Neal (5’10 PG, Waubonsie Valley 2025)
Neal impressed with his scoring instincts and pick-and-roll processing. Things looked like they were moving in slow motion when Neal was coming off of screens, picking apart defenders during 3-on-3 and the scrimmages by changing his tempo, using deception, and holding his angles. He’s got good speed with the ball, but his ability to control the ball without being rushed made more of an impression. Neal stopped on a dime for pivot shots and pull-ups, finished with floaters, and was an efficient three-point threat during the 5-on-5 play. He’s a point guard who plays without an agenda, looking to feed players when they are open or attack when given space.
Elijah Luxton (6’4 PG/SG, Rochelle 2024)
Luxton isn’t a well-known player outside of his area, but he can really play. At 6-foot-4 with a strong build and plus explosiveness, Luxton checks the measurables test for a big guard. During drills, he was effortlessly dunking and knocking down spot shots from the perimeter. Once defense was added, his quick release and shot preparation were good to see. He’s ready to let it fly off of kick outs and he sprints to open space to get set before defenders can recover. Luxton slashes with intent, shaking off bumps and powering to the rim with a quality handle. I liked how he used his size defensively to get ball-handlers off of their spots and hold his ground on the inside. Luxton is going to be a high-priority D3 recruit once more coaches are able to see him
Erik Ramirez (6’0 SG, Taft 2025)
Ramirez was constantly making energy plays. Putbacks, basket cuts, and extra effort plays on defense were his most frequent areas of production. The junior guard moves with a purpose and didn’t need a lot of touches to make his presence felt. He turned a handful of steals into layups and was one of the first ones down the floor for transition layups. Look for Ramirez to be a productive piece for Taft this year.
Ethan Dabu (5’9 PG, Loyola 2024)
Heady and scrappy, Dabu acted primarily as a facilitator and did so admirably. During 3-on-3 work, he was collapsing the defense and making sure his teammates didn’t have to do anything other than catch and shoot. At 5-foot-9, Dabu is a smart PG that understands time and score and was willing to give it up early to let some scorers go to work at times or slow things down to make sure they got a quality shot. In drills, Dabu got good lift on his three-point shot and connected on multiple throughout the different actions. His on-ball defense and tenacity to make ball-handlers work made it difficult for other guards to consistently get good shots against him. Dabu is another guard who will have some Division 3 suitors.
Ian Miletic (6’6 SG, Rolling Meadows 2025)
From the start of the camp, Miletic brought great energy and enthusiasm to drills, moved with a sense of urgency, and communicated well during drills and scrimmages. That complemented his dynamic game, creating offense very well at 6-foot-6 in ball screen actions to score or snap it to teammates. Miletic made a number of difficult turnarounds, spins, pullback shots off of the dribble, using his footwork to hit the brakes and elevate. His shot looks even cleaner than it did at the end of the winter, making a bunch of catch-and-shoot looks with good range and hitting a few pull-up threes during scrimmages with little movement to his shot. When defenders pressed up on him, he made aggressive moves to finish and flashed his athleticism in space. Defensively, he was excellent talking out actions and showed quick recovery time to cut off drives and block shots. Miletic is a Division 1 talent who keeps getting better.
Jack Crowley (6’2 PG/SG, Downers Grove North 2025)
Having a good feel for the game can take players a long way and Crowley has that understanding. Once live work started, his quick processing and passing skill separated him from some other guards at the camp. He kept his head up and made touch passes from a standstill and live dribble. The 6-foot-2 guard, who seems to be steadily growing physically, has a projectable jump shot. In drills, his makes were all net and the rotation was great coming out of his hand. Crowley connected on some jumpers during live portions as well, but his vision and passing were what jumped out.
Jack Speers (6’3 SG, Wheaton North 2024)
Speers is a strong two-guard that has a clip from the three-point line. He stepped into threes with confidence and comfort during drills and has a propensity for knocking down shots well behind the high school line. Although his shooting is where he usually scores a good amount, Speers was doing a lot of good things inside of the arc. His dribble penetration led to over help and he was patient and precise with his deliveries. When help didn’t come, Speers protected the ball and went through traffic to finish. He has a college-ready frame and the shooting to add value early to a Division 3 program.
Jayden Rodriguez (6’3 SG/SF, Evanston 2025)
Rodriguez possesses a good combination of size and shooting. The 6-foot-3 wing shined during the shooting portion of drills with his form and proficiency hitting standstill shots. Built with enough strength to play the two through four, Rodriguez will be able to play as a stretch four or plus-sized wing. He had a couple of good takes to the rim where he used that physicality to knock off defenders and finish over the front of the rim. Rodriguez missed some time last year, but is a potential breakout player for Evanston this year.
Jimmy Bies (6’4 SF/PF, Maine South 2025)
More of a combo forward than a true wing, Bies showed versatility as an inside-out weapon and rebounder. He got on the offensive glass for putbacks, shedding boxouts and showing a nose for the ball. Bies has the upper body strength needed to play through contact, but he’s got soft touch that he used with a variety of push shots on cuts and dump offs. Bies is a more than capable shooting, catching fire from beyond the arc during scrimmages and never hesitating to let it go if defenders played him as a driver. If Bies is able to shoot it like he did, he’s going to be a dangerous screener outlet.
Jordan Brooks (6’2 PG/SG, West Aurora 2024)
I thought Brooks had some of the best pace and smoothness with the ball at the camp. The lefty lulled defenders to sleep with his size-up moves and had a quick first step to get to the paint where he made pull-ups and a bunch of strong-handed finishes. Brooks took it coast-to-coast a few times and seemed to have an extra gear to kick it into when needed. With long arms, Brooks finishes more like a player closer to 6-foot-4 with those hooks and scroop layups. Brooks operated well in ball screens as a playmaker hitting rollers and hitting shooters when taggers got sucked into the lane. Brooks has an intriguing downhill game and should garner some interest over the next two months.
Kyle Cualing (5’11 PG/SG, Lemont 2025)
Cualing lacks some size for a combo guard but he’s got some quickness and speed to go along with a good understanding for how to find open space. Most of his offense came from transition attacks where he made decisive moves to get to the rim. Cualing is a competitive defender who moved his feet and was active with his hands. Look for Cualing to compete for a role with a Lemont team that lost some huge pieces.
Lucas Crosby (6’0 PG/SG, Huntley 2024)
Crosby is a sharpshooter who is able to knock down shots off of pindowns, kick outs, or in transition. When he was coming off handoffs or screens in drills, he got square and drilled threes from the wings and top of the key well. The wiry guard is a smart ball-handler who doesn’t waste dribbles and is always looking for open teammates. In transition, he made lead passes to get layups and dribbled into a three in the scrimmages. Crosby is a shooter and ball mover who should attract some Division 3 programs in the area.
Marcus Everhart (6’5 PF, Bloom 2024)
Probably the most high-energy defender at the camp, Everhart was sprinting to the help side and going up and challenging every shot. He’s a high-end shot blocker with an innate ability to anticipate, time, and get a hand on shots. Everhart also thrived at switching onto guards in space and recovering to use his closing speed to slow down penetration. Offensively, Everhart dove to the rim after screening or as an off-ball cutter, caught the passes, and went up near or above the rim to finish. The ideal interior outlet, Everhart cuts hard without needing to receive the pass. During drills, his shot looked workable with time and space and his athleticism was a big asset on putbacks and direct drives. Now at Bloom, college coaches will love the effort and defensive presence that he brings.
Matthew Morrice (6’3 SG, St. Edward 2025)
Morrice really got it going once the scrimmages started. The 6-foot-3 shooter was coming off of curls and spraying in threes early and often. There’s good lift and a high release on his shot that makes it nearly impossible for most guards to block his shot. He also cuts and spaces with speed, making the closeouts often longer as he meets passes with a full head of steam. Morrice willingly attacked closeouts for quick layups at the rim and was taking good angles on ball screens to get to his spots. Look for Morrice to take a big jump as a leader for St. Eds this year.
RaeQwon Rogers (6’0 PG, Bowen 2025)
One of the more productive sophomores in the city last year, Rogers brought passing, defense, and attacking to his scrimmage team. He didn’t let the ball stick on offense, moving the ball with a purpose and feeding teammates after beating his initial defender to force help. On numerous occasions, he took his time off of ball screens and dropped off passes to the roller for layups. Rogers is a very good athlete at 6-foot, flying in for a dunk in transition and showing some quick-twitch movements in the half court to burst by players and go up for offensive rebounds. Rogers is an aggressive defender who shows his hands and looks to speed up ball-handlers. He also had his hands and feet ready on a kick out. Rogers is a promising young guard.
Sam Thomas (5’11 PG/SG, Geneva 2025)
The Geneva combo guard had one of the better showings during the drills and 3-on-3. Thomas continued to hit pull-ups and catch-and-shoot looks in the different actions that we ran through. With a high-arching shot and consistent mechanics, Thomas was making it look easy, even once defenders were closing out. His shot translated to scrimmages with multiple threes off of staggers and single away screens. Thomas did most of his damage from the mid-range and three-point line, but also had a few good backdoor cuts while defenders pressed up on him.
Whitman Charboneau (6’2 SG, Neuqua Valley 2025)
From start to finish, Charboneau was the best shooter during the camp. He was pouring in threes throughout the scrimmages, playing primarily off of the ball as a floor spacer on the wings or in the corners. His balance and leaping ability on his shot was noteworthy, but so was the volume and efficiency. He was connecting on the same looks during individual drills and 3-on-3, also showing that he can make plays out of ball screens and create in one-on-one spaces. Charboneau sized up defenders to get to his mid-range jumper, which is a strength for the junior guard, but also took defensive rebounds from end to end a few times and finished up near the rim. He had a very good day.