SF - D.J. Williams
Chicago (IL) Simeon – 2015 Illinois Commit
Williams high school coach Rob Smith was one of the coaches at the event, but not for D.J.'s team. In fact, he was coaching the team D.J. played against on Thursday. The Illini commit came out aggressive and looking to get a W against Coach Rob.
At the start, he opened with a sweet looking stutter step jumper that looked like a pro move. He handled the ball well in transition on some coast to coast drives. At times he played a point forward role and displayed he could initiate the offense.
Williams was very assertive to start both halves. When he has a mindset that he is going to be the best player on the floor he cannot be stopped. D.J. hit the glass well and got to the charity stripe at a good clip. On the night, the future Illinois small forward had 15 points (5-10 FG) (5-6 FT), 6 rebounds, and 2 steals.
PG - Jalen Brunson
Lincolnshire (IL) Stevenson – 2015
It wasn’t necessarily one of Brunson’s most spectacular games, but he showed up when his team needed him. Brunson only played 16 minutes, but was efficient with his offense when he was in the game.
In a close contest against a tough Brazil team it was Jalen who put them over the top with a string of assists and a couple buckets to give them a cushion late. His ability to control a game with pace and tempo is one of his biggest strengths.
He is the clear leader on the floor even with some of the best players in the nation surrounding him. His final stat line was 9 points (3-4 FG) (1-2 3PT), 4 assists, 3 turnovers, and 2 steals.
SG - Jalen Coleman
LaPorte (IN) La Lumiere – 2015
Coleman got off to a great start on Thursday morning. He is sharing point guard duties with Eric Davis as his unit doesn’t have a true point guard. Coleman displayed an ability to get others involved in the half court moving the ball around and finding cutters and shooters.
The rising senior handled it well through traffic. His most impressive move was a double cross where he left his man in the dust. Coleman knocked down a sweet jumper early, but then went cold with his jump shot the remainder of the game. The Indiana-based standout finished with 7 points (2-9 FG) and 2 assists.
C - Marques Bolden
DeSoto (TX) Desoto High – 2016
Bolden stole the show on the first night not only from an Illinois perspective, but overall. However, the rising junior didn’t quite have the follow up that he would have liked.
Bolden got in some foul trouble which limited his aggressiveness a little. He just could never really get it going all day and didn’t get the ball in his spots to go to work. Bolden went for 2 points (1-1 FG), 2 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the West’s victory over Canada. We look for him to bounce back strong on Friday.