Category: PLAYER FOCUS

Five under-recruited players to watch from Illinois

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.

Top Performers: Iowa Playoffs Part 1

Iowa state high school basketball playoffs are in full swing. We highlight several of the top performances from the opening round.

Elijah Vos | 2023 | Wing

A 6’4” wing that has a knack for getting the defense off balance. The triple threat position is where he is lethal. He is great at spinning to his left in the post for a patent fadeaway. Elijah shoots 51% from the field and 48% from three. His efficiency reminds us a lot of Waukee Senior Payton Sandfort. One of three players on this list that are only missing the free throw percentage of a 50/40/90 season. On the season Elijah averages 13 PPG & 4 RPG.

Tyron Wright | 2024 | Power Forward

A 6’6” power forward. He led all of 4A in rebounding as a Freshman! Although some of the CIML metro does lack size, it was still incredibly impressive. He is able to take advantage of players in the paint where he is either bigger or stronger than the opponent. Tyron’s averages from this season are 11.3 PPG 10.9 RPG & 1.5 BPG. Chad Ryan made the transition from coaching at Des Moines North to Des Moines East and Tyron is probably the greatest benefactor.

Drew Kingery | 2023 | Shooting Guard

An extremely gifted 6’5” shooting guard. He can make pull-up jumpers or catch backdoor alley-oops. Drew’s currently averaging 18 PPG & 5.2 RPG, while shooting 56% from the floor. He is currently leading Indianola to their best finish since 2003.

Colby Collison | 2023 | Guard

A 6’3” big guard that shoots extremely well. He showed off his playmaking ability in a round one win over Nevada, logging 9 assists. A player that should see his recruitment soar in the next year! Colby gets better in the bright moments. His Sophomore season shooting splits are 58.8/48.2/75.8. 

Blaise Porter | 2023 | Guard

A 6’0” super quick athlete that does what he wants at the 1A level. His ability to score jumps out at you immediately. Blaise finished 9th in regular season scoring with 22.5 PPG as a Sophomore. He also garnered 5 APG while just missing the 50/40/90 mark due to free throws. His pairing with fellow 2023 prospect Kade Benjamin already looks like the best duo in Class 1A. Looking forward to seeing Kade, Blaise, and Colby with the Iowa Barnstormers this summer!

Young Floor Generals: Aaron Rowe & Avian Webb

This past weekend, two promising 2025 floor generals went head to head in Springfield, MO. Aaron Rowe and Avian Webb are two players to watch out for in the future. Both appear to have the tools and skills needed to be national prospects. 

Aaron Rowe | Columbia, MO

Rowe has early signs of an elite frame and athleticism to come in the future. He’s got incredibly long arms, quickness, and speed to separate. Rowe looks to attack where he’s a gifted finisher who absorbs contact and already throws it down with a dunk on the break. His handle and craftiness are rare for that age and it’s easy to see him staying at point guard even as he grows into a frame that has many inches to go. Rowe trains with Pep Stanciel in Columbia, MO. 

Avian Webb | Atchison, KS

Webb is floor general with range that extends far beyond the line. His confidence, shooting form, and touch make it easy to see he will be one of the better shooters in the Midwest come high school. He operates out of the pick and roll with ease and can find open teammates through the defense. Webb plays with a chip on his shoulder and competes every game. He’s going to be an exciting player to watch the next 4 years and projects as a major college recruit. 

Dubuque Hempstead: Impact Players

We got a chance to scout Dubuque Hempstead recently. Here are 3 impact players.

Michael Duax |6’5 | 2021 | Wing

Duax can takeover at any moment. He’s a matchup nightmare with the ability to play inside and out. He spins to his left as well as anybody and can stop on a dime to hit a fadeaway jumper. Whether in transition or half-court, his game has very few weak points. A major option for Iowa, Mr. Basketball. Michael’s averaging 23 PPG 6 RPG 4 APG & 2 SPG.

Jamari Smith | 6’4 | 2021 | Wing

Jamari can dominate a game with his athleticism. He excels in transition. Jamari’s ability to attack the basket opens up the defense to catch and shoot opportunities.  He’s second on the team in scoring and rebounding with 14.8 and 5.3 respectively. One of the biggest sleepers in Iowa’s Class of 2021.

Kellen Strohmeyer | 6’3 | 2022 |Shooting Guard

Kellen is a sharpshooter that hits threes at a high rate. He is the best shooter on the team and will put home a dunk on the fast break. Kellen does a little bit of everything while averaging 9 points a game.

Normandy High School: Impact Players

Omarion Henry | Normandy | Class of 2021 | Hybrid Forward

Henry is a 6’7 wing with serious athletic traits. He plays way above the rim on offense, alters shots on defense, and highpoints rebounds better than most. His biggest strength currently is his ability to defend all over the floor. Henry’s ability to switch onto any position will catch the eyes of college coaches. On offense, he’s currently scoring 15 PPG on a lot of attacks to the basket. In addition, his jumpshot has shown major improvement as he currently shoots 41% from three on roughly 3 attempts per game. Henry is a prospect with a lot of potential and his game is consistently trending in the right direction. 

Jamaray Davenport | Normandy | Class of 2021 | Guard

Davenport is an explosive scorer with some of the best production in all of greater St. Louis. He’s a marksman from deep and has been for years. Through 14 games he had made 57 threes and does so with incredible efficiency at 46%. Davenport is a microwave scorer and made 8 threes in the last game we scouted him. He’s a rock-solid guard with a good handle combined with above-average play strength. Davenport can play either guard spot and will add scoring punch to any roster.