Riverside-Brookfield: Top Performers

The Riverside-Brookfield Shootout is the premier annual June high school basketball team camp in Illinois. It is the kickoff for a month of basketball where high school teams can play against each other while taking a break from AAU.

At Riverside Brookfield, many of the best teams in the Chicagoland area were in attendance including several that featured Illinois targets. Here is a look at a few of the top performers and notes from the weekend.

2015

SG Aaron Jordan (Plainfield East – Illinois Commit)

Jordan is an elite perimeter shooter. He displayed that again over the weekend at RB getting his jumper off with ease from deep. Throughout the tournament Jordan was in attack mode as he has to score for his team to win. The biggest development in his game has been putting the ball on the deck with more confidence.

Jordan looked good slashing through the defense with strength and quickness, getting in and out of traffic on his way to the basket. His ball handling has greatly improved over the last year putting spin and combination moves together. In four games he scored 20, 21, 23, and 25 respectively in each contest.

SF D.J. Williams (Simeon – Illinois Commit)

Williams played solidly at RB and showed flashes of why he is considered a top 50 player nationally in spurts. His best game of the weekend was in pool play against Providence St. Mel where he scored 17 points.

Williams has a great mid-range game with a smooth jump shot. Sometimes he can fall in love with it though. He is at his best when he mixes up the pull ups and drives.

Williams handles the ball well especially in the open floor. The Illini commit did a good job in various games on the glass rebounding well for his position without Ed Morrow in the tournament. He scored 11 points in semi-final against Hinsdale Central and went for 10 points in the finals against Proviso East.

SF Isaiah Moss (Simeon)

The MVP of the tournament was Williams' teammate Isaiah Moss. This was an Isaiah Moss I had never seen before. The 6'5" wing has always had potential, but has never really put it all together.

He was dominant at times, especially when his team needed him on Sunday. Moss' perimeter shot was falling, specifically from the baseline. His handles have made strides as he consistently got to the rim, finishing well in transition with acrobatics.

PG Glynn Watson (St. Joseph's)

Watson was without his running mate Jordan Ash (Northwestern commit) at RB. He was playing with a lot of younger players during the tournament. His vision is the first aspect that stands out, and he just has a feel for making sound decisions with the basketball.

At times he is not the most flashy, but gets the job done effectively. Watson likes to work in the 15-18 foot range with his mid-range shot and makes decisions for distributing to others in the lane.

PF Matt Rafferty (Hinsdale Central)

Rafferty is one of my favorite players to watch. The skilled 6'7" post knows how to play the game and does what he does best every game. While not the most athletic, Rafferty is a good face up player that can knock down pick and pop shots.

The Hinsdale Central post can score with his back to the basket with sound footwork and a soft touch around the hoop. One area that he showed progress was his ball handling. Several times he grabbed the rebound and went end to end for either a score or an assist. He is a plus passer for a big man and a productive rebounder. Rafferty will be a nice pick up for a mid/low major program.

2016

PF Nick Rakocevic (St. Joseph's)

Rakocevic is the top 2016 in-state prospect and records an offer from the state school as well as a handful of others. The 6'9" big man is a skilled and mobile prospect that is a great combination of potential and production. He is effective at all three levels offensively.

The rising junior shoots it well from all over the floor including from beyond the arc, but the baseline is becoming one of his go-to spots. In the post, he finishes well off the glass and is continuing to develop his post moves.

Rakocevic wants to make the transition to a perimeter player long term and has made progress in his ball handling displaying ability to win off the dribble from the mid and high post.

The St. Joe's star is a plus passer, a very good rebounder, and an effective shot blocker. Rakocevic will need to put on weight before college, but he has all the tools to work with to become a big time player.

SF Nick Robinson (Kenwood)

Robinson has taken that next step from prospect to player. He has always been looked at as one of the more talented players in the state's 2016 group, but wasn't all that productive. The 6'6" small forward put on a complete show at Riverside Brookfield.

The first aspect that stands out is how much more aggressively and confidently Robinson is playing. We noticed it in Minnesota when he was playing with Meanstreets 16U. Robinson was taking it right at the hoop with an explosive first step and strong handle through traffic. He had multiple combination moves where he looked unguardable.

Robinson's perimeter shot is his next big area of focus. He has made strides, but he still can get even better. Robinson hit the boards on both ends of the floor at a quality clip and has a chance to be a very good defender.

PG Mike Smith (Fenwick)

Smith is the best 2016 point guard in Illinois and is extremely under-appreciated from a recruiting standpoint. He is a heady floor general that works great in the pick and roll game, a skill that is a coveted commodity at the next level.

The Fenwick guard always makes the right play with the ball in his hands in both the half court and transition. He weaves in and out of traffic pushing it for his team.

Smith can also score in an array of ways including pull-ups, threes, floaters, and drawing contact in the paint. Although he is hearing from a lot of high majors, Smith still does not hold a scholarship offer at this point. Look for that to change in July.

2017

PG Mahir Williams (Proviso East)

Williams is one of Chicago's best-kept secrets. The 2017 prospect did not play high school ball his freshman year, but is an exciting playmaker that is extremely fun to watch.

Whether it is with his Young and Reckless AAU squad during the summer or with Proviso East during team camps, Williams is electric. The quick and shifty lead guard excels in transition as a distributor in the open floor.

He loves making the electrifying pass while juking his defenders out of their shoes with his elite handles. Williams reportedly put on an extraordinary performance going head-to-head with Morgan Park's Charlie Moore on Sunday.

SF Justin Smith (Stevenson)

Smith was the 6th man on a Stevenson squad that was among the state's best during his freshman year. Look for the 6'4" wing to take on an even bigger role as a sophomore.

Smith has long arms and is great as a finisher around the hoop. The deceptively-athletic wing is still developing a go-to offensive game, but shows the flashes you look for in a young prospect. He rebounds well and will block occasional shots.

PG Lucas Williamson (Whitney Young)

The 6'3" point guard has long arms and a body that he can continue to grow into. Williams shows flashes with his supremely skilled game.

He can knock down a shot and is an excellent passer including multiple outlets in transition that led to buckets on Sunday morning. The standout moment was when Williamson grabbed a defensive rebound then went end to end for a crazy finish through a defender.

The rising sophomore is a good rebounder for his position and should develop into an above average defender.

2018

SG Marquise "Kezo" Brown (Simeon)

Kezo Brown was the player I was most looking forward to seeing this weekend. People I trust have said he is the next big thing out of the Windy City.

The 6'1" combo guard will attend Simeon and look to continue the Wolverines' legacy of elite prospects. This was his debut with the Wolverines and he was impressive, particularly on Saturday.

Brown is a left handed guard that loves to make quick slashes to the hoop. He is at his best in transition where he can get in space. In the half court he displayed an explosive initial step and bounce off the floor to finish in the paint.

Kezo has plus handles and plays with a lot of confidence for a young prospect. He only took a few jumpers, but showed sound mechanics on them including one awesome step back. Defensively he pressures his man and causes turnovers.

Other Notes:

Simeon took home the Riverside-Brookfield championship with a commanding 55-35 victory over Proviso East. Isaiah Moss capped of his big weekend with 20 points.

Jalen Brunson did not play for Stevenson at the event. He instead was their primary coach on Saturday during pool play.

A couple of future division one football players were with their high school hoops teams as well. Downers Grove North tight end David Edwards and Gordon Tech defensive lineman Raequan Williams were both in attendance playing for their respective basketball teams. They are two of the Illini's top football targets.


Illini Inquirer Top Stories