Team Breakdown – Southwest Illinois Jets 17U

The Southwest Illinois Jets program has a ton of talent on their hands, and they choose to split it up to make multiple very competitive teams instead of different levels. We will focus on their 17U Blue team and their 17U Orange team. It’s hard to pick which is the better of these 2 teams, as both are filled with talent and guys that look like they’ve played together for years. 

Southwest Illinois Jets 17U Orange

This team loves to get out and run in transition. Their players all have skill sets that mesh together really well, which makes for a pretty good team. The standout player for them is AJ Smith. He has a good build and is an athletic freak. He played above the rim all weekend, throwing down monster dunk after monster dunk, including a highlight reel windmill in one of his games. He is the go-to option for the Orange team, and the man who usually gets it to him is Ethyn Brown. Brown is a great facilitator for the Jets. He does a good job with getting steals and kicking ahead to open teammates, or finding a cutting Jet for a bucket. Or it might just be a swing pass in their offense that goes to Tommie Williams, who’s great at attacking and finishing near the basket. Or the pass could go to Dylan Harkins, who stands at only 5’9, but can really hit from 3. His form is golden and he has the same release every time. Lefty wing Brennan Weller played terrific all weekend and came up with some big performances. Quani Rudd and Carson Prost both played well and contributed on both ends.

The Jets Orange team got a tough schedule, having to face OSA 17U Adidas, Jimmer Elite 17U, Team YOBO, and Team Knight Elite 17U, but they finished 2-2 and their 2 losses came by 2 points and 3 points.

Southwest Illinois Jets 17U Blue

The Orange team’s go-to guy is AJ Smith, a high flying wing who loves to throw down dunks. The Blue team isn’t much different. Their go-to guy is Cole Farrell. If Farrell starts to load up to jump, it’s best to get out of the way or you might end up on a poster. Farrell is more than just a high-flyer, though. He has some really good vision that results in timely passes that most others wouldn’t be able to make. A couple of those passes go to Mario Fleming. Fleming scores a lot of his points off of dump off passes near the rim, but showed his ability to cross over and drive into the lane and either pull up for a jumper, or finish with a layup at the rim. NJ Benson (2022) played up this weekend, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell that he was a grade younger than everyone else on the court. He played a great post role for the Jets this weekend. Rebounding, scoring in the paint, altering shots on defense, blocking shots, and more. His motor was set on high for the weekend for sure. The Blue team also got good contributions from Dre Scott and 2022 Brylan Phillips. Scott was doing a little bit of everything for his team and does all the little things that don’t necessarily show up in a boxscore. He’s got good size at 6’5 / 180lbs and moves well laterally to defend on the perimeter. He also is strong enough and long enough to defend in the post on small/power forwards. Scott made a few key defensive stops and took some big charges in their games. Phillips has the tools to be really good. He came in and played well and had some nice moments — look for Phillips to have a big junior season.

This Jets team kept it close against Team Factory 17U UA Rise as well as with Lincoln Supreme 16U National, and played high-level basketball all weekend.

In depth look at the OSA Crusaders 3SSB roster

Omaha Sports Academy Crusaders played at the Sunflower Showcase -- our first time seeing them in person and we came away impressed by the makeup of their roster and the way they play. The one thing to note about this team is that they are very unselfish and work really well together as a team […]

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Grassroots Sizzle players getting tons of recruiting attention

June 15th marked the first day that division one college coaches could contact the 2022 class, and Grassroots Sizzle better have an unlimited mobile plan because their 2021 & 2022 players are getting calls from division one coaches all over the country.

Here is a breakdown of the colleges that have contacted their 2021 and 2022 players.

Hercy Miller : LSU, USC, Missouri, Auburn, Minnesota. 

Isiah Davis : Morgan State, Hampton, Western Illinois, St Thomas

Andre Gray : Westen illinois, UIC, South Dakota

Gabe Ganz : Dartmouth, Brown

Chet Holmgren : has heard from just about every school recently. Chet is the #1 player in the country.

Davon Towney : Western Illinois, Morgan State, Temple, Minnesota, Wright State

Prince Aligbe : Villanova, Florida, Purdue, Ohio State, LSU, California, Marquette, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Iowa, Xavier, and Minnesota

Donovan Smith : Hampton, Western Illinois, Morgan State, and Saint Thomas.

Chris Morgan : West Virginia and Washington State.

Chase Carter : West Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, Vanderbilt and Illinois

Demarion Watson-Saulsberry : Minnesota, Missouri, Morgan State, and Western Kentucky.

Teigan Martin: Portland State, Milwaukee, Illinois-Chicago, and Western Illinois

Willie Wilson : Florida, Hampton, Temple, Vanderbilt, and Minnesota

Alonzo Dodd : California, Northern Iowa, Milwaukee, Southern Illinois, Illinois State, Drake, Colorado State, Utah State, and North Dakota State 

2022 Braeden Carrington : Florida, Missouri, Minnesota, Western Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Iowa

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 

Pure Prep Director BG Regins Talks RecruitLook Hoops League

Pure Prep Hoops based out of Iowa has been a staple of Recruit Look Hoops leagues for the last few years and will continue to be. We were able to catch up with the program about what separates our league from the others for independent teams, our elite camp, and what players boosted their stock the most from our events. 

What’d you like about our league this year?

I thought it was good. It was well organized, and had great coverage. Brought some coaches out for my teams. A lot of my guys got looks that I don’t think would have in different leagues. Being an independent team and all, it was phenomenal. 

How did you think the competition was for the league?

Shoot, being an independent team it was great. Every team that we played against had several high-level players on their team. At all levels too, 15, 16, and 17. 

Did your players benefit pretty well from it then?

Yeah, we had one really high level player in Xavier, but we had a few under the radar players that really blew up. That was a great benefit for us. 

You were talking about your players blowing up and boosting your stock, who do you think received the most of that from your team due to the RecruitLook Hoops League?

Two of my players got a really good boost. Aquan was known, but he didn’t have any offers entering the spring but that changed when we played in your league. Then Caleb Haag, he missed that first live period, and if you miss that then no one really knows you. He played in the second live period in Georgia and the Sunflower Showcase and now he has five offers. 

How about your younger teams?

Yeah, we’re going to be really loaded for years to come. We’ve got several players on our younger teams already receiving looks from division one programs. 

You guys are going to participate in the league next year, right?

Absolutely! We love it. 

Is there anything with the league or your team that looking back on it, you would change?

I don’t think so. The locations were great. Great competition at all of them. Kansas City is the hub. Atlanta in the end and then capping it off in Kansas City was great. Budget wise with everything in the area, it just really helped us financially. Only taking one trip that was really out of range in Georgia, but everything worked out well. Being in Kansas City and being right next to the UA event, being in Georgia with UA, Adidas, and Nike right there as well, that was awesome. That was a boost for us. 

You said the locations were good, if we kept the same locations next year would you say that would be good for the league? 

Yeah, I’m not opposed to it. The circuits switch up locations every year, and traveling isn’t a problem. The locations were great due to them bringing all the coaches out. 

Heading into next AAU season, what’s something you’re looking forward to?

Just creating new opportunities. Seeing what’s new to the league, and I hope all the teams that were in it last year return. I know there will be new faces, but for the most part the Sunflower Showcase shows that you have a really great league and competition and it brought out the coaches, a lot of Division Two coaches. I think it opened some eyes to those other independent teams. 

If you had to say something to the teams who are thinking about joining the league but haven’t yet, what would that be?

That we had success. I mean, look at Xavier and look at Quan. Just look at the second session in Kansas City. We brought Duke in the gym. It just shows that you don’t need to join a shoe circuits second tier league like UA Rise, and the lower Adidas leagues. Plus, you’ve got the cream of the crop with the Larry Hughes Elite Camp. You can’t beat that. 

What were your overall thoughts on the Elite Camp?

I’ll be honest with you, it was an eye opener. You know, having Xavier and being at Pangos, USA Camps, and NBA 100 camps the last few years, and then coming out and experiencing the Larry Hughes Elite Camp, the talent level was there. I was very impressed with the talent that you guys brought out. You guys evaluated well, you researched, and just did a masterful job of bringing some high level talent in. The camp was ran smoothly and the technology used made the camp just rose the camp above everything else. 

If we did another Larry Hughes Elite Camp, is that something you’d want your players to compete in?

Oh absolutely. Because it brings the best out in those players. It gives them something to go back and say, “Okay, what do I need to improve on” and plus those coaches call you guys saying “how did this guy play?” and that’s going to get them more exposure. It’s going to blow up, writers are going to come out from everywhere and cover it because you can’t deny the talent that was there.