Brandon Paul, SG, Warren – The highlight that everyone will remember will be Paul's baseline slam on a Curie defender, but the reason Warren won the game was because of his defense on Wayne Blackshear and his passing ability. This is a guy that will fill a role at Illinois and will be a very solid player. He's got good athleticism finishes well at the rim and plays hard. He filled the stat sheet finishing with 17 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Joseph Bertrand, SF/PG, Sterling – Straped with foul trouble, Bertrand didn't get to play as many minutes as Sterling coach Tim Lavin wanted. The Illinois commit stands 6-foot-5 and spends a lot of time playing on the ball for the Warriors. Bertrand created for his teammates and showed of an impressive court vision. He finished with
James Kinney, SG/PG, Centennial – It may not have been his best shooting night of the year, but the Ohio commit dished it out to teammates. He was quick off the dribble and consistently found open teammates. The lefty finished with 11 points and seven assists.
Colin Nickerson, SG, Waukegan – The Fairfield commit certainly isn't afraid to shoot. He came out firing on all cylinders and finished 7-for-14 from the field and scored 16 points. He's got an impressive looking shot from long range and managed to knock down a pair of three-pointers.
Meyers Leonard, C, Robinson – It can be a bit frustrating watching Meyers Leonard's team. He doesn't get many touches inside, but still gives maximum effort and fights for position inside. Out of the post he's a gifted passer and is skilled enough to face up defenders for jumpers or back them down for hooks.
His hands are a big asset for him, as is his ability to get up and down the floor. Often times he brings the ball down too low in traffic and will need to add strength, but he's got a nice frame and looks like a promising prospect. He finished with 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting with seven rebounds and seven blocks.
Crandall Head, SF, Crane – Last year at this event he got loose for 20 points in the first half and finished with 34 points. This time around the highly rated junior started slow and picked it up in the 3rd quarter where he threw down a trio of dunks. The first thing you notice about Head is his athleticism. He uses his high level hops to snag rebounds, hangs in the air for finishes at the rim and elevates over defenders for jumpers.
Although his three-balls weren't falling, he found other ways to make a difference. He does have a tendency to take a few plays off and he must take better care of the ball (10 turnovers), but when he's motivated he's tough to stop. Head finished with 21 points on 9-for-16 shooting and 11 rebounds.
Jereme Richmond, SF, Waukegan – Playing in front of his future fans, Richmond put together a solid all-around game. Richmond went for 18 points on 8-for-15 shooting. He also grabbed 11 rebounds. There aren't many prospects in the 2010 class with the upside and potential that Richmond possesses. He uses his length on both ends, moves extremely and seeks jumpers off the bounce with ease. Going forward strength and consistent long range shooting are areas for improvement, but he's the gem of Illinois recruiting efforts and has future star power.
Chasson Randle, PG, Rock Island – Playing in front of a big crowd, Randle didn't waste any time get it going against Waukegan. He finished with 16 points in the first half and knocked down a handful of threes. Randle plays off the ball for R.I., but he projects as a point at the next level and he's certainly capable of playing it. He's got nice touch on his jumper and is true from 23-feet. Despite the loss he went for 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting.
Wayne Blackshear, SF, Chicago Curie – We know this wasn't Blackshear's best game of the season, as he shot just 4-for-13 from the field. With that said, Blackshear is loaded with potential. He's got a terrific looking frame, a pair of long arms and great size for the wing spot. Going forward we'd like to see him be more aggressive on the offensive end because with his size and skill set he could simply overpower defenders.
Antonio Drummond, PG, Peoria Central – Coming out of the same school that produced D.J. Richardson, Drummond appears to be P.C.'s next standout. Despite being just 5-foot-9, maybe 5-foot-10, he has the look of a future high-major floor general. Already a starter for the Lions, BoBo, as he's known by his coaches and teammates, is heady, has a good feel for his position and can shoot it from long range. Late in the game, P.C. needed the ball back and he stepped up, guarded Head and forced a jump ball.
Randle's backcourt mate Royce Muskeyvalley is pretty talented in his own right. Like Randle he's a sophomore and spends majority of his time playing on the ball. The 5-foot-10 guard is quick and has impressive court vision.
Jereme Richmond and Colin Nickerson aren't the only prospects on Waukegan. Freshman Akeem Springs is a guy to keep an eye on. Currently he's a 6-foot-2 guard that has a good-looking shot. He scored seven points in the win.
John Groce scored a pretty good one in James Kinney. The Centennial standout didn't have his best shooting night, but he tossed out a bunch of assists. His teammate Rayvonte Rice, a junior, had a big scoring night going for
Bruce Weber and his staff were planted in Assembly Hall throughout the day, as they had a number of committed prospects playing. Iowa, Illinois State and Fairfield also had assistants in attendance.