O’Fallon having terrific season

O’Fallon is off to a great start at 15-3 and only sitting 1 game behind Collinsville for the SWC lead, but they face a big road test tonight against DeSmet. O’Fallon came off a great week beating Ladue in the Denver Miller Kirkwood Tournament.

O’Fallon has been getting balanced scoring from several key members.

Shaun Riley II : The 6’6 Junior is the leading scorer, averaging 12.2 points a game and 7.8 rebounds per game. The athletic lefty has expanded his game to the perimeter and is scoring from all 3 levels now. His downhill attack is tough to stop as he can finish with authority at the rim.

Dawson Algee: The 6’3 Sophomore is averaging 10 points a game and 7.2 rebounds a game. Dawson is a load around the basket and eats up rebounds on the glass. Algee’s motor and aggressiveness are what every coach wants on his team.

Caleb Burton: The 6’2 smooth sophomore point guard is having a strong encore to his freshmen season. Caleb averages 3 assists a game and 3 rebounds a game to go along with 8.6 points a game. His game has really taken off on the defensive end — he often guards the teams best offensive player.

Drew Tebbe: The 5’9 sharpshooting junior is the fuel to O’Fallon’s fire. He is shooting 40% from the three with several games of over 5 makes. He is dangerous from anywhere on the floor which creates driving lanes for other players.

O’Fallon has interesting games in the next few weeks. 
1/21 at Desmet
1/28 at East St. Louis
1/31 vs Collinsville
2/7 vs Belleville West
2/8 vs Chaminade in the Bank of O’Fallon Shootout 

Trae Swartz is buzzing

Trae Swartz from Ottumwa High School in Iowa is having a terrific junior season. The 2021 small forward is averaging 22.4ppg on 52% shooting from the field and 46% from 3-point range. Trae’s had scoring games of 42, 36 and 33 points this season.

He has played a lot of post, but at 6-4 he isn’t considered a true post for the next level. However, this post work is creating new elements to his game as he develops more of a scoring prowess. His ability to score inside and out is a true mismatch for defense — smaller guards can’t defend him in the post or mid-range, and bigger forwards can’t stay with him on the outside.

Trae’s shooting and overall scoring abilities are getting a lot of attention right now, but he’s contributing to his team all over the court. He’s currently the team’s leading rebounder at 6.5 per game.

Trae will be an interesting prospect to monitor this spring and summer on the travel scene. He’s been hearing from several division two programs across the midwest with a few low-to-mid majors checking in on him too.

2020 Highland Shootout Playmakers

We spent the day at the Highland Shootout watching some great games in a sold out gym. Here are a few playmakers from the event.

Jaehshon Thomas (2021 / G) is a competitive player for Whitney Young. He rebounds, defends, and makes plays when asked of him on the offensive end. His jumper is fluid and he’s a consistent scorer on the perimeter.

Phil Russell – Vashon’s senior floor general can get hot fast. He is quick off the dribble and defends full court all game. Dropped 31pts & received the game MVP honors. SEMO is getting a stud!

Thomas Redmond of DeSmet has a feel for the game which allows him to get to his spots on the floor for jumpers. He also showed the ability to be a secondary ball handler and run an offense.

Larry Hughes Jr. – The 2022 wing is a great shooter off the catch and bounce. He has a lot of confidence already and will be a big name in the Midwest for the next 2-3 years.

Rashad McDaniels – 36 points for the Central Michigan signee. Connected on multiple threes and got in the lane with ease using his strong frame to finish. Led his Trinity team to a 77-67 victory and he earned MVP honors.

DJ Steward – The Duke signee tied current Missouri player, Javon Pickett’s scoring record. The packed highland gym got to catch a glimpse of what a future NBA talent looks like.

Quani Rudd is 2021 to know

Quani Rudd is coming off an excellent holiday tourney being named 2nd team all tourney at the Centralia Holiday Tourney. The high flying wing from Mt.Vernon does it all for the rams. He plays inside, outside and often guards the best player. He continues to improve off a strong summer where he picked up D1 offers and interest with the SW Illinois Jets.

Quani will continue to improve and see his stock climb as his game continues to develop. A 6-5 wing that can score at all 3-levels, plays above the rim, can handle the ball, can guard multiple positions and be a go-to scorer will be highly coveted this coming spring/summer by Division 1 schools.

Quani will be playing with the SW Illinois Jets on the RecruitLook Hoops League.

Lennox Erupts, Leads Truman Against Lutheran North

Kaimen Lennox of Truman High School is a man on a mission, wanting to show that he is more of a scorer this year than years before. Lennox proved that friday night in their win against Lutheran North out of St. Louis, finishing with 28 points, Lennox wowed many in attendance. Displaying his scoring prowess, elite court vision, and much improved defense. 

Lennox attributes his new found scoring mindset to his teammates. “I’m really trying to win the Direnna Award, so they continue to push me and back me up the most.” 

“Don’t sleep on us.”

That’s the message that Lennox is professing to everyone in the Kansas City Metro and the state of Missouri. Truman has a very talented team and veteran leadership, but they can’t seem to put it together in the early season. They’re a team that takes a few games to get them going and really find their identity, but they’re wanting to change that this season. “We never really have a statement win and we want to change that.”

To go with Lennox’s scoring ability, he has incredible court vision as well. Last night against Lutheran North he showed that, finding teammates in ways not a lot of players can. A few passes were jaw-dropping and simply amazing. It’s an attribute he prides himself on highly. 

“More people focus on the scoring and the wrong parts of the game,” said Lennox. “I want to get to the next level, I’m not the tallest or the most athletic so I have to focus on the intangibles.”

The defense from Lennox was most impressive last night, seeing he’s got quicker and able to slide his feet easier to stay in front of the player he’s defending. It’s a part of his game that he knows he wasn’t very good at so he really went to work on improving it. 

With the win over Lutheran North, it sets up a showdown against their crosstown rival in Wiliam Chrisman. The mindset heading into the championship game is all about having no fear. They believe this is their season and they’re going to go after anyone that’s in their way. 

But what makes the game tomorrow even more special is the match-up with his AAU teammate Isaiah Jackson. “We’re going to go at it, he’s still my brother, but I hope everything goes right.”

It’s going to be a battle, and a must-see game. 

The 2020 guard is a sought after commodity for colleges at the next level as well. Having heard from a majority of the local Division Two schools such as Northwest Missouri State, Washburn, & Drury. South Dakota State, Nebraska-Omaha, and Missouri State are also showing interest as well. 

Lennox has no timeline for making a decision, he just wants to find the right fit. Regardless, any school at whatever level he ends up at will be getting a steal and a great point guard.