This week we wanted to bring some attention to five players we have identified as some of the more undervalued recruits in the 2021 class in the state of Illinois. These five players are all under-recruited and should see their recruiting stock rise even with the limited amount of games for some players.
2021 Grant Newell 6’7 190 SF (Whitney Young)
Grant has expanded his game during this lockdown period becoming more of a wing player that will help him long term in his development. Grant can hit the trial jumper beyond the arc and does a steady job attacking and finishing along the baseline as well. He has a fluidness to his skill set as his footwork offensively is very nimble. This showcases on the floor as he is equally comfortable playing in space and successfully scoring through contact. He will need to continue to become more comfortable putting the basketball on the floor creating scoring opportunities for not only himself but for teammates. He is a high major prospect with excellent potential.
2021 Jalen Houston 6’1 175 PG (Bogan High School)
Jalen decided with the uncertainty of it being a season in Illinois decided to transfer to Carolina Basketball Academy. What they are getting in Jalen is a complete point guard who excels in an up-tempo-style offense. He has the ball-handling skills and athletic ability to score on all three levels of the floor. He also can defend his position and should see more schools looking in his direction in the late signing period. Plays an all-around game and reads the game well as a floor leader. He plays an attacking style with obvious confidence and the type of killer instinct that can’t be taught. Jalen is a point guard with solid size for the position and matching upside who will have his pick of suitors to play at the next level.
2021 Jakobi Heady 6’6 170 SG/SF (Hillcrest High School)
After watching Jakobi over the last few summers and in the early games so far this season he is playing the most confidence I have ever seen him. As this story is going to press he has signed a letter of intent to continue his playing career at Moraine Valley Community College. His athletic ability is evident in terms of straight-line speed and lateral quickness and what has made him stand out is that he is not afraid to defend. Jakobi will continue to add strength, fine-tune his ballhandling, work on his defense off the ball and be a consistent performer all of which he is more than capable of movinf forward. If he stays with his commit to attend JUCO for two years he will have time to reach his max potential.
2021 Michael Hill 6’0 165 PG (Hyde Park Academy)
The senior guard is a complete floor leader on both sides of the basketball. Mike is an elite tough on-ball defender who also excels in helps defense situations. Mike’s offensive game allows him to play in any system. He’s a scoring threat in all three ranges because he can rise and shoot at virtually any time off the dribble. This gives him the freedom to play off the basketball and utilize his scoring ability. Mike plays with a constant motor and brings intensity from the opening tip until the final buzzer. He is the type of shooter that offensive plays can be run for in order for him to get an open look. He’s a throwback-style point guard and a coach’s dream at the point guard position because he makes those around him better with his leadership, work ethic, and unselfishness and understands what it means to run a team. He will not be short on opportunities once the season ends to continue his playing career.
2021 Devonta Blevins 6’6 175 SF (Rich Township)
Devonta is starting to let his game take shape as he is showing guard skills that will translate to the next level. As the season has got started in a small sample size he is averaging close to a double-double with point and rebounds. Devonta is a rangy wing prospect that bodes that prototypical Division I frame. Devonta is a capable defender of both guard positions given his athleticism and length. He excels on the break by running the floor and in the halfcourt, he likes to use the crossover and spin move to get to the basket. He is a tough wing match-up for most perimeter defenders which will suit him well moving forward. Blevens is a good-looking prospect for the next level due to his ball skills, athleticism, savvy, and motor.