Fall Private Run Evaluations: Upperclassmen Groups

We’ve gone through 5 weeks of our fall runs and have seen a number of kids show well in the competitive environment. Here are some writeups of the players who attended the runs with the upperclassmen group so far.


Braeden Carlsen (6’4 SG, Wauconda)

Carlsen didn’t waste any time getting himself going during the run. Known more as an elite outside shooter, he showed a decisive first step to get paint touches and play in crowds. There aren’t many guards in the area that can knock him off of his spot and he was using his own bumps to get some separation for short pull-up jumpers. The ball screen game was effective for him as well, burying deep threes if defenders went under and drawing out the screen defenders well before hitting rollers. He chested up with other guards and wings defensively and had a number of textbook stunt-and-recovers to either get steals or cut off driving lanes without giving up open threes. Carlsen always brings great energy to the gym and is going to be a steal for some college program. A top 20 player in the class.

Cam Lathos (6’6 PF, Conant)

Lathos has been to every run this fall and has produced every week. It takes a high level of defensive discipline to stay down on the different pivots that Lathos uses and even when players did, he still made turnarounds and hooks over contested hands. A nice, high release point on his jumper allows him to make shots within 15 feet more like a 6-foot-9 player. He regularly buried defenders and showed his hands on post seals before going to work and showing the entire package down low. Face-up shots, turnarounds, hooks, and spins were all utilized multiple times to score.

Lathos also shot the three on kick outs well when defenders closed out short. He’s got good technique and form as a spot-up shooter and had the best pump fake out of anyone so far this fall. Once he got defenders to bite, he was comfortable hitting elbow jumpers and one-dribble pull-ups. The 6-foot-6 forward worked hard to get second chances and may have shown the most growth from a defensive standpoint over the course of the runs. Typically guarding bigs during the year, he quickly adjusted to chasing around faster players on the perimeter and welcomed making things tough on guys. Lathos should be a gem at the Division 3 level.

Germaine Benson (6’1 PG, Hyde Park)

A pitbull of a point guard, Benson is a hard-nosed two-way player who brought a competitive edge to the run. He barreled through defenders to get to the rim and had no issue converting amongst the trees inside. His powerful takes to the basket started to cause a ton of help and he made the right basketball plays by executing on a number of great looks to teammates. He was one of the top assist guys at the run he attended and much of it came in transition. Benson’s tenacity and want-to stood out while he was hounding ball-handlers. Very well-built for a PG, Benson was frustrating guards and bigs alike. Currently with a couple of Division 1 offers, Benson is a player who looks physically ready and tough enough to play at the next level.

Owen Giannoulias (6’0 PG, Glenbrook North)

You like to think that there are a lot of kids who know how to play in P&R actions. But Giannoulias seems to be on another level in that regard. He was running his defenders through ball screens all day and maybe had a handful of turnovers the entire time while making the defense pay for any mistakes. Giannoulias had pocket passes, lobs, skip passes, and no-looks all delivered right where they needed to be in the flow of the offense.

What I really liked is that his passing decisions seemed to be anticipated, but not predetermined. Blitz coverages or aggressive tags from the weakside didn’t speed him up or surprise him. When the passes weren’t there, he hit push shots, pull-ups, and threes comfortably. When he was guarding players, they felt his presence with the physicality, extra effort plays, and constant communication and ability to be an irritant. Giannoulias has winning traits and a mentality that will serve him well beyond basketball. But in the near future, top-line Division 3 programs and some D2/NAIAs should be taking a hard look at him.

Ryan Cox (6’4 SG, Fremd)

Cox is a microwave shooter from the outside who was on point from all five spots around the three-point line. The skilled lefty sprinted out in transition to get open looks in the corners but was particularly proficient from the wings with multiple 25-footers and step-in threes. He’s a marksman from the outside, but also had a day where he did a lot of his scoring inside the arc coming off of ball screens to his strong hand and using change-of-pace dribbles to get advantages.

Cox made some sound passes off of his penetration to get teammates wide open looks. I don’t think enough could be said about the conditioning and on-ball defense that he displayed. There were few occasions where he was out of position and he was contesting, recovering, and staying in a stance at 6-foot-4. It’s easy to fall in love with his outside shooting, but Cox has refined his all-around game. He should be a high-level D3 recruit.

Will Sullivan (6’1 PG, Lyons)

From the start, Sullivan’s confidence with the ball stood out. He looked to make the right play throughout the run, whether that was getting the ball advanced through the air in transition, crashing for a rebound, or probing in the lane until he found an open look. Sullivan hit a couple of jumpers but was best when putting his head down and getting inside for floaters and quick passes to teammates. He competed defensively to fight through screens and hustled throughout the day. Sullivan should step into the lead guard role for Lyons this season.


Aidan Bardic (6’3 PG, Stevenson)

Vision, toughness, and creativity come to mind when talking about Bardic. In the run he attended, he shot the ball extremely well, probably hitting close to double-digit threes primarily off the catch and dribbling up in transition. The lefty has a physical build and aggressive penetration style that allowed him to complete forceful drives in the paint. He’s an ambidextrous finisher who actually tends to use his right a lot when attacking from the left side. Bardic had a good showing as a primary decision maker out of ball screens as well, with the ability to throw bullet passes in tight windows or use touch to lead bigs to the rim. It just seems like Bardic continues to exude more confidence and continues to produce. He’s got the positional size, feel, and improving scoring game to be a scholarship player.

Anton Strelnikov (6’8 C, Lake Zurich)

Everyone wanted to have Anton as their 5 man during the runs. At times, he was simply unstoppable inside of 10 feet with the array of up-and-unders, step throughs, jump hooks, and drop steps. He is an expert at using his shoulders and elbows to create and maintain advantages inside and has an uncanny knack for making off-rhythm shots in the lane to throw off shot blockers. Even when guarded by some of the better interior defenders at the runs, Strelnikov used his body and touch to do damage.

For a big, he is starting to move a lot better in space, particularly defensively. There were numerous times where he took on tough matchups or was switched onto guards and took pride in sliding his feet and trying to force contested jumpers. That will be an added benefit to his low post game and magnetic hands on the glass where he easily had the most rebounds in the weeks he was there. Strelnikov has continued to expand his range as well and made a high-percentage of his pick-and-pop and kick out looks from three. Still growing physically, Strelnikov is going to be one of the breakout bigs in the whole state this year. He’s got a chance at the Division 1 level if he continues to fill out.

Atticus Richmond (6’7 SF, Stevenson)

Richmond continues to look more and more like a natural wing with how his shooting and ball-handling is progressing. During the runs, he was nearly automatic on catch-and-shoot threes on a high volume. Part of his success when popping or ghosting ball screens comes from his footwork and ability to get square on the move. With a clean, consistent stroke, he kept his mechanics when pulling up behind ball screens as well. In transition, the vertical and end-to-end speed were noteworthy finishing lobs and dunks off of different angles and deliveries. Richmond was shading the ball well defensively and didn’t get beat often while guarding both guards and bigs in different games. He is another player who is going to rise and open a lot of eyes after playing out of state as a sophomore.

Brady Sehlhorst (6’7 SG/SF, Notre Dame College Prep)

Sehlhorst has shown some of the best improvement from a mechanics standpoint to his jump shot that I have seen over the last six months or so. There were some difficult, long-range pull-ups that he hit multiple times throughout the runs that you just don’t see often from high schoolers. He was taking and making a high volume of deep looks, which opened up the lane for attacking the rim, which is still one of his best traits. The long euro steps and extended layups are hard to stop when he has a reach that is at least a few inches wider than his 6-foot-7 listing.

Sehlhorst showed springs inside to finish putbacks with a quick second jump and get well above the rim for a couple of impressive open court dunks. His ball-handling and patience were solid as well, understanding how to size up defenders without rushing into a move. There continues to be signs of defensive upside, especially as a gap defender and weakside rim protector that is worth tracking. Sehlhorst picked up his first Division 1 offer a few weeks ago but expect more to come.

Cam Thomas (6’3 PG, Mount Carmel)

While I’m glad to see Thomas back in Illinois, I’m not sure some of the backboard supports would say the same if they could. Among the stronger guards at the runs to this point, Thomas made life difficult on other scorers with his physicality and quickness. He understands how to close space and force guys to their second and third moves while always having his hands ready to get strips. Thomas turned a lot of defense into offense and the finishes were usually right at or above the rim. It’s uncommon at any level to see point guards rise up with two hands and dunk off of dump off passes and cuts.

When he went to attack to his right-hand, defenders struggled to cut him off, and when they did, he had quick spin moves and counters ready to get to the rim or hit short jumpers. The long pull-ups from within the lane lines were falling and he did a nice job of picking his spots on when to go attack. Thomas is going to be a key piece on one of the most talented cores in the state at Mount Carmel. Clear Division 1 upside.

Derek Bishop (6’2 PG, Mundelein)

Bishop was a standout scorer in a group of players who will probably be double-digit scorers this year. There was an ease to the way that he got into his moves, flowing with the ball and stopping on a dime to get to his looks. Bishop was collapsing the defense and making shots over length, pulling up in transition from three, and changing speeds before finding soft spots from 15-fot-18 feet. Bishop is a scoring point guard, but he really plays well off of other talented players, understanding how to find opportunities in the open court, off DHOs, or in ball screen actions. Bishop has a legitimate chance to be a 2,000 point scorer for Mundelein.

Dom Seaney (6’5 SF, Glenbard West)

Seaney made a positive impact at each of the runs that he attended. He was excellent defensively using his length and athleticism to direct guys to where help was and disrupt their rhythm. As a positional defender, he was intelligent and calculated with taking risks and oftentimes let his physical traits create turnovers instead of gambling to making things happen. There were a bunch of good moments driving the ball off of kick outs and using shot fakes to get defenders up before finishing layups.

The 6-foot-5 wing used the rim for protection well when he had looks around the rim. It can be hard to teach kids how to perfectly time up cuts, but Seaney seems to have an innate ability to know when to sprint to the front of the rim or backdoor to easy looks. When he wasn’t cutting or getting to the rim, his catch-and-shoot game was productive from the corners and wing where his jumper is looking smoother. His combination of IQ, length, and lateral quickness should make him a great college defender. I have a ton of confidence in Seaney’s ability to make winning plays on both ends and tap into his two-way potential this season.

Domas Narcevicius (6’6 SG/SF, Stagg)

Shooting is a skill that will stand the test of time. Being able to shoot the lights out at 6-foot-6 is a combination that catches people’s attention. Narcevicius was making tough pull-up jumpers from 15-to-18 feet while stretching out well past the three-point line to hit shots from the arc. He’s got a solid build to deal with defenders who try to get him off balance. When he caught the ball on the wing, he was picking an angle to get to his leaners off of one or two dribbles. On a few drives, he got all the way to the rim using his body to hold guys off as well. The scoring is there for Narcevicius to have a big year for Stagg.

Hudson Kirby (6’5 SF/PF, Geneva)

Sometimes kids lead with the energy that they bring. In both runs that Kirby attended, he was all over the glass and didn’t take possessions off defensively. Around 6-foot-5, he’s very athletic with the mobility to guard multiple positions well. Kirby blocked shots and closed gaps on a consistent basis. On the other end, he swept through to his strong hand and made good decisions out of the triple threat. The bruising style helped him score on basket cuts and off of second chances. He added in some threes off pops as well. I thought Kirby did a lot of the dirty work that doesn’t always show up in the box score but that you need to win.

Ian Miletic (6’7 SG, Rolling Meadows)

It can be tough for some kids to speak up and hold everyone accountable in a setting with so many kids who are top options on their respective teams. But Miletic was the best communicator at the runs, whether that was calling out coverages on defense or getting his team into quality actions on offense. The production in the other areas was there as well for the 6-foot-7 guard. Miletic did a lot of good things off of the dribble as a ball-screen decision maker and as a slasher from the wing. Sometimes it takes him one step to do what many kids need two or three to do, using his strides in transition and in isolation situations to get to the rim and finish.

He has added strength and is getting better at delivering initial contact offensively. Another area where he shined was out of the mid-post where he made on-target skip passes to shooters when the helpside loaded up and showed a good sense for using jabs and pivots to make face-up shots. Miletic’s bounce around the rim is going to impress a lot of Mustang fans this year if the high-flying finishes that he showed in the last month are any indication. It will be a huge year for him in his third varsity year and there’s no question that he has Division 1 talent, academics, and character.

Ian Polonowski (6’6 SF, Lyons)

Polonowski’s length caused problems for a number of kids at the runs. He blocked shots off of penetration, on jump shots, and as the low man stepping over to help. Listed at 6-foot-6, he’s got a plus wingspan and good focus and athleticism to stay in front and take away vision with his active hands. Polonowski was among the most versatile defenders at the runs, matching up with point guards all the way to fighting inside with bigs. With that being said, his shooting ability is probably his best skill at this point. When he was set and in rhythm, he connected on open threes with confidence and showed lift on his shot with his high release. Polonowski is only going to get better and looks like a potential 3-and-D prospect.

Jake Nosek (6’8 SF/PF, Metea Valley)

When Nosek got open looks, he was able to make the defense pay. The long, 6-foot-8 forward has a unique ability to hit perimeter shots at his size in ways that are usually more common for guards. He had a smooth pick-and-pop three on the wing and lifted up into his pull-ups with ease in the mid-range after he got defenders up on shot fakes. Nosek has a knockdown perimeter shot that was highlighted offensively, but there is a future defensively as well with long arms and solid movement that should only improve. Nosek missed last season but should be a big-time player for Metea and a scholarship recruit.

Joey Hernandez (5’9 PG, St. Viator)

Hernandez is a relentless on-ball defender regardless of the setting. His energy and activity picking up guys brought the level of the competition in the gym up, which benefited everyone. He’s quick, tough, and always looks to make an impact even if he isn’t scoring. When he had opportunities with the ball, he worked off the ball as a floor spacer to hit shots and on the ball creating mostly for others after using his ball-handling to shift by defenders. Hernandez is going into his third varsity year and will be counted on as a leader.

Josiah Calvin (5’10 PG/SG, St. Viator)

Once Calvin got warmed up, he was a dynamic offensive option for the teams he was on during the run. As an isolation player, he drew guys out and was decisive getting to his spots and pulling up. Calvin has that shift and change-of-gear that tends to give him an edge. Jumpers came from the corners and wings, with a couple of combo moves off of the dribble that left defenders frozen. Calvin is back at St. Viator and should be in position to emerge as a key piece.

Ross Robertson (6’8 PF, South Beloit)

One of the more under-the-radar bigs in the class, Robertson was going at it with the other posts at the runs. The quick-twitch athleticism showed up most as a rebounder and defensively. Robertson is a high-level rebounder who was scoring on putbacks after discarding players for positioning. That same mentality showed up on the defensive end where he was blocking shots on-ball and as a helpside defender. Even when he was guarding traditional guards, Robertson excelled at blitzing ball screens or keeping guys in front in one-on-one situations.

His comfort handling the ball was evident at times as well, bringing the ball up and making some moves to get a step on his primary defenders. Robertson plays with a mean streak on the interior and can draw contact while maintaining his driving line. He is going to be a force in the Rockford area and should be getting some more eyes from coaches.

Sam Hanus (6’2 PG/SG, Deerfield)

Hanus can really shoot it. He was at multiple runs and shot it with confidence and accuracy in all of them. There isn’t much limit to where he can pull-up from in catch-and-shoot situations, keeping a similar shot as he extended out. He played off of the ball a good amount and relocated off of penetration and post entries well to give himself some extra room to shoot. As the runs progressed, he looked better going to the rim and having some athletic finishes inside off of direct drives. Hanus was solid on the defensive end and I never had to question whether he was giving effort on or off the ball. He will be a valuable shooter for Deerfield this year with some multi-level scoring potential.

Samuel Hirsch (6’4 SG, Fremd)

There were a couple of times where Hirsch made plays with the ball that you just don’t see very often. He’s got a way for creating space that is unique and effective, generating a lot of power on his stepbacks or pull-up jumpers. Hirsch’s body control was the one thing that probably stood out the most. It didn’t matter if he was up in the air by himself or evading a helpside defender, his balance and ability to finish didn’t waver. The 6-foot-4 guard does so many things well, from creating for teammates, to rebounding at a high clip, to guarding all of the spots on the perimeter. His jumper looked good as well in spot-up situations. I think Hirsch has a chance to be among the best players in the MSL this year.

Zach Mazanowski (6’7 SG/SF, Lane Tech)

Another long, rangy wing who was at a run, Mazanowski had some good moments making plays in transition and with the ball in the half court. He is an effortless run-and-jump athlete who runs his lanes on the wings well. There were a few looks that he got solely because he was willing to beat defenders to the rim and used his length to get up near the rim. In the half court, Mazanowski has a good-looking jump shot with really soft touch that is going to become a big asset. He has a raw, but promising handle that he used a few times to get inside the free throw line and make short jumpers and push shots. Mazanowski has the tools to be a difference maker as a defender as well, which he showed with multiple possessions where he switched out on guys and affected or blocked shots. A high-academic kid as well, college coaches are going to like Mazanowski’s future prospects.


Adam Anwar (6’7 PF, McHenry)

During the summer, Anwar was a dominant shot blocker and interior scorer who showed flashes as a three-point threat. Those aren’t flashes anymore. He was knocking down threes from a variety of locations and the form that appeared promising in the summer seems to be producing the results that line up with it. Oftentimes a recipient of kick outs, Anwar spaced the floor well while teammates got into the lane. On the defensive end, he rotated and communicated well on the back line. For a 6-foot-7 sophomore, he moves extremely well laterally and has the length to erase shots. I wouldn’t be surprised if Anwar gets to 6-foot-9 plus. He may not be as well-known outside of the area but Anwar will be on a lot of radars sooner rather than later.

Colin Stack (7’0 PF/C, Benet)

Stack was a menace on the defensive end, and I mean that in the truest sense. He probably tripled the block total of anyone else at the run and altered just about everything. It’s one thing to be tall. It’s a whole other set of skills to be disciplined, intelligent with positioning, and committed to not letting anything get off easily around you. Stack walled up like a vet and made other bigs shoot over his 7-foot-3 wingspan while timing his jumps well to contest shots. When he was out on the perimeter guarding dribble penetration, he covered ground and used his length so he didn’t have to go hip-to-hip with players and had space to go chase down blocks.

Offensively, his shooting ability is a differentiator for a 7-footer. His release point is smooth and he has range out to the three-point line, which he showed at the run. As a screener, he keeps a wide base and opens up well to either pop or sprint to the front of the rim. There is potential there as a high post player who can work out of DHOs and do some damage putting it on the ground as well. I really like how he keeps the ball high on rebounds and as a roll man to pop up and make shots inside. Stack has one of the higher ceilings in the class and is only going to get stronger and more explosive as he fills out. Playing under a great coach like Coach Heidkamp will help to refine his defensive game and unlock that upside.

Gabe Sularski (6’6 PG, Benet)

Sularski showed a ton of maturity with his patience as a playmaker and competitiveness on the defensive end. His ability to diagnose the second and third levels of the defense when attacking off of ball screens was impressive, waiting until players fully committed before hitting shooters and cutters. His isolation ability and shot creation has progressed even since the summer. He excels at attacking open space and quickly lifting up to pull-ups but also showed good balance and ball-handling skill to snatch back and make stepbacks or sidesteps.

A plus finisher as well, Sularski is blossoming as a run-and-jump athlete who can get above the rim to compliment his craftiness inside. Through the four weeks he was there, his defensive activity was consistently excellent getting deflections, steals, and contesting shots against high-level guards and wings. As the weeks have progressed, he has become more vocal and is getting guys in the right spots as well. Not bad for a sophomore playing in the upperclassmen group. He checks the boxes of an unselfish, high-floor/high-ceiling guard prospect for college coaches to prioritize in the 2026 class.

Jake Pollack (6’7 SF/PF, Deerfield)

There were a lot of promising flashes from Pollack at the run. He was often tasked with guarding some of the older, physical bigs, and held his own using his length and athleticism. For a sophomore, the 6-foot-7 Deerfield forward has good strength that aided him when banging down low. He did a really nice job rebounding in and around his area and attacking balls off of the glass on both ends. Once he got adjusted offensively, Pollack scored inside on dump offs and stepped out to hit a three. Pollack also put it on the floor well to his strong hand off of face-ups and made some solid change of direction moves in transition. You can tell that he’s just scratching the surface and is going to be a monster once things click.

Jayden Wright (6’0 PG, Benet)

There has been no shortage of plus shooters at the runs, but Wright’s consistency and range really stood out. When defenders were backpedaling, he hit bombs from a few feet in front of half court and was lethal getting to the three-point line coming off of ball screens. He plays with a calm, composed swagger that didn’t seem to waver despite playing against older players with more size. Wright has the ball on a string and scored by snaking ball screens, holding guys off before hitting floaters, or making quick moves to get downhill.

His passing and court vision should help to separate him, especially as a sophomore on varsity. Wright diagnoses plays well and loves to snap the ball up the court and find guys for open shots. He makes a lot of the hook passes and look-offs that you want from a point guard and he also brought a level of grit on the defensive end picking guys up around the timeline and turning them. Wright kind of has that scoring ability of a modern floor general, but also the demeanor and distributing ability of a more traditional PG. He’s going to be really good for years to come.

Mickeis Johnson (6’3 SG, Romeoville)

Johnson is a stellar athlete, but he does so many small things to contribute to winning. During the runs, he was one of the more vocal sophomores with the older group and was early on his rotations defensively while switching across different players on the perimeter to slow them down. His explosiveness and strength at this stage separate him when absorbing contact and getting back into plays. The bounce was evident in transition with a dunk and multiple difficult scores in traffic.

There was a sense of urgency that Johnson played with, but it showed in ways other than just putting the ball in the basket. His basket cuts were forceful and he was spacing the floor with his hands and feet ready to knock down threes with time. He attacked closeouts when possible and either finished himself or made the extra pass. Johnson’s athleticism is among the top of the class and will continue to be that way going forward. If he continues to add value across the board as he is starting to show, good things will follow.

Oliver Gray (6’4 SG, Barrington)

Gray has been the most impressive outside shooter and one of the most proficient all-around scorers at the runs to this point. He made contested volleyball line threes look routine over multiple weeks, looking most lethal in transition where he gets his feet set and can drill shots off of a live dribble. The Barrington guard has creative ways to lull defenders to sleep before pulling up or getting defenders off of their feet with shot fakes and eye fakes. To this point, he’s the best shooter in the sophomore class when considering the quickness of his release, pre-shot preparation, and sheer shot making ability from outside the arc.

What was really great to see was how well he got into the lane and converted with scoop shots, runners, and even a few dunks. Every week there were a couple double clutch finishes he had that didn’t seem like there was any angle for but he made it work. Gray is a true off-ball mover that has gravity off the ball with his range, which ultimately allowed for his teammates to slip pindowns for layups and give guys more open driving lanes as defenders had to pick their poison. In terms of long-term upside, Gray is right there in the discussion for top two guards in the class.

Rocco Pagliocca (6’2 PG, Stevenson)

Pagliocca’s skillset is advanced for a player so young. Despite giving up some size, he got inside and used about every finish in the book to convert. From step throughs, to euros, to high-arching same-foot floaters, the Stevenson sophomore was weaving and probing inside successfully. He’s got that savvy start-and-stop to his game that is difficult to disrupt and he didn’t ever look out of control as a ball-handler.

The perimeter shooting came to life in his second run, with a number of corner threes off the catch and some deep ones in space with the ball. When he gets his feet underneath him and is on balance, his shot comes off clean with ideal rotation. Pagliocca attacked drop coverage well with pull-ups and got a few layups off of step throughs after making two-foot decisions. You have to appreciate the knack for poking balls loose and using his length to cause problems defensively as well. Still developing physically, Pagliocca projects as a high-skill, high-IQ, rangy point guard who can beat you in different ways.

Ryan Walsh (6’3 SG, Benet)

Another talented Benet sophomore, Walsh was a three-point specialist in the upperclassmen runs. He also showed an improved ability to fill it up off of the bounce and use his size to attack in straight lines and finish through contact. Walsh has continued to add noticeable strength and has a build that should play well for a 6-foot-3 two-guard. His perimeter shooting is already close to the point where I like my chances with him thinking shoot-first off of the catch, particularly off drive-and-kicks or throw aheads in transition. There is zero wasted movement in his shot and he was lighting it up from well beyond the line at the runs he attended.

Once he started to get more attention off of the catch, he took good angles on his direct drives and got the ball up to the backboard quickly. Even in the older group, he held his own defensively and covered ground well to take away scoring opportunities. Walsh is an elite shooter already and is in that same discussion with the most deadeye shooters in the sophomore class.

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