Chicago Tournaments: Day One

Chicago, Ill. – The city of Chicago has numerous tournaments going on after Christmas. Two of the better ones are the Proviso West Holiday Tournament and the McDipper Classic. spent time at both events on Monday and saw some impressive performances, most notably from future Louisville Cardinal Wayne Blackshear.

Wayne Blackshear, SG, Morgan Park – Quite simply Blackshear is good. He looks in better shape than he has ever been in, and Blackshear is putting that strength and conditioning to good use. He scored a cool 40 points on 16-33 shooting and also contributed with 11 rebounds. Blackshear can stroke it from deep and also has the athleticism and strength to score off the bounce. Defensively he might be best served on the wing, but there is no doubt he will bring a scoring punch to the lineup for Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals.

Aaron Armstead, SF, Hales Franciscan – The older of two Armstead brothers, Aaron had a huge game in a win. A pledge to UW-Green Bay, Armstead had his future head coach looking on and did not disappoint. The long and rangy wing was working it from deep with his jumper, and then also did a solid job of attacking the rim off the dribble. He was obviously working against an outmanned opponent, but Armstead did what he should do to players like that and dominated. For the game he finished with over 30 points and singlehandedly outscored the other team in the first half.

Julius Brown, PG, Hillcrest – Better known as "Juice", Brown had the jumper working in his team's opening round win. Brown is dynamic with the pull up game, and is good at making contested shots in the mid-range. He does naturally fade backwards on his shot, and that might need to get corrected, but the kid simply has a knack for scoring. As a point guard he will have to do a better job of getting others involved, but right now his main job is to score, and the future Toledo Rocket did an excellent job of that.

Jacob Williams, SF, St. Patrick's – Though his team suffered a defeat, Williams had a decent showing. He used his length and athleticism to pull in rebounds and also managed to hit a few shots from deep. Williams definitely needs to improve his handle and his shooting from the mid-range and out, but the tools are there for him to be a very solid late signing period catch at the mid-major level.

Aaric Armstead, SG, Hales Franciscan – The younger of the two Armstead brothers, Aaric is the one who is receiving the high-major interest at the moment. On Monday he played Robin to his brother's Batman on the floor, but Aaric no doubt played well in his own right. He didn't have huge scoring numbers, but Aaric got to the rim, hustled like crazy, hit a three, and finished above the rim. High-majors are definitely taking a close look as he has played somewhat under the radar before now, but no doubt he will be recruited at a very high level going forward.

Delvon Rencher, PF, Homewood-Flossmoor – A combo forward who can stretch the defense some as well as take a slower defender off the dribble, Rencher was impressive in a blowout win. He scored 12 points on 4-5 shooting and showed the solid skill set. The fact that he isn't a great athlete will limit him some going forward, but he does have an intriguing ability to be a mismatch guy and he also showed a good motor.

Tyrone Sherman, PG, Homewood-Flossmoor – Sherman is the engine to the Homewood-Flossmoor attack and he had it working in a blowout win over St. Patrick's. The diminutive guard was pushing the tempo, making shots, and setting up his teammates for buckets. Also Sherman can be a pest on the defensive end. He is small, and isn't a jet, so he does have a few limitations, but Sherman produced all over the stat sheet with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, and only one turnover.

Cameron Harvey, SG, St. Joseph's – A onetime commitment to Wyoming, Harvey is hoping to put up big numbers during his junior year. He passes the look test with flying colors, but Harvey didn't have much substance to his game on Monday. Harvey did hit a deep jumper and crashed the glass some, but overall he disappeared at times. The physical ability is there, now he just needs to regain a solid motor. No doubt he will attract attention with his length, physical frame, and athleticism, but the consistent production will also be needed.

Sterling Brown, SF, Proviso East – Until the last two seconds of overtime it was an awful night for Brown. The younger brother of Los Angeles Laker Shannon Brown, Sterling couldn't get anything going. His shot was off, he wasn't in the flow of the game, and he sat on the bench for the majority of the second half. Still Brown came in ready to play in overtime and scored the game winning bucket on an effort rebound and put back. Overall his performance was far from his best, but he helped his team when it needed it most, and that is definitely noteworthy.

Markee Williams, PG, Morgan Park – An athletic and high energy guy, Williams is also proving to be able to run the show some and make shots from deep. He is definitely still a work in progress, and everyone played second fiddle to Blackshear during the game, but for a sophomore he was poised and showed some good down the road potential.

Billy Garrett Jr., SG/PG, Morgan Park – The son of DePaul assistant coach Billy Garrett, the Morgan Park guard is a heady player like you would expect. He was the only person to feed the post all day long, and then also Garrett can make shots. His biggest weakness is quickness in terms of beating his guy off the bounce and also being able to stay in front of a quick point guard, but he is savvy enough to know how to be effective. Odds are he outgrows the point guard position, but he will be effective with his basketball IQ and pedigree at the college level.

Andrew McAuliffe, PF/C, Glenbrook North – Not the most athletic kid in the world, McAuliffe does have good hands and a nice touch around the rim. Laterally he struggles, and that makes him susceptible to ball screens, but he is always giving maximum effort on defense. McAuliffe is currently 6-foot-7 and looks like he has room to grow, and if that happens he is a different prospect, but right now he is tracking as a mid-major type of player because of his effectiveness around the rim and the desire to play as hard as he can every possession.

Aaric Armstead listed offers from Southern Illinois, Nevada, and Dayton. Also he is hearing from DePaul, Illinois, and Wichita State.

Tyrone Sherman claims offers from Indiana State and Southern Illinois. Also interest is coming from Nebraska, Illinois, TCU, Drake and others.

Delvon Rencher has offers from Loyola (Ill.) and Ball State. Also he is hearing from Marquette, St. Louis, DePaul, Illinois, Providence, TCU, Fordham, Albany, Illinois State, Nevada, and Wake Forest.

UW-Green Bay Head Coach Brian Wardle looked on and watched Aaric Armstead as did assistants from Purdue, Wichita State, Southern Illinois, LaSalle, and Chicago State.

Throughout the day at Proviso West, assistants from Toledo, Western Michigan, Eastern Kentucky, Ball State, Bradley, DePaul, UIC, and Purdue were all spotted.

"I was going to keep him in and let him get 52 but I changed my mind. I will let him try to do that tomorrow," Morgan Park Head Coach Nick Irvin on taking Wayne Blackshear out in the fourth quarter after he scored a bucket to get to 40 points. The tournament record for scoring is 52 points set by Jon Scheyer.

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