After taking a few days off to celebrate the holidays, the holiday hoops circuit picked up where it left off before Christmas with a vengeance on Monday. With high profile events taking place all across the country, the Road Show rolled into the west suburbs of Chicago, IL for the Proviso West Holiday Hoops tournament at Proviso West High School in Hillside, IL.
KANSAS PROSPECTS AT PROVISO WEST
Julian Wright - When describing what Julian Wright does each time out you can start to sound like a broken record, but the 6-8 WF is what he is. On Monday, Wright came out looking to get others involved first as he cruised through the first quarter against an inferior opponent. During the second quarter he came out and looked to take the game over scoring inside off of cuts and with hanging jams. All the while he intimidated opponents on the other end using his length and athleticism to block four shots.
By the time his afternoon was over, Wright had accumulated 16 points, eight rebounds, five steals, four blocks and an assist according to the official statistician. However, more than one person keeping track on press row credited Wright with seven blocks and four assists.
The most important thing that Wright did was knock down some foul line area jumpers off of curls and screens. That’s the shot that he’ll need to be able to hit on the college level in order to create space for him to operate off of the dribble. The next step for Wright is to go out and consistently take control of games from the opening tip rather than waiting to pick his spots.
Jon Scheyer - Scheyer has built his reputation as one of the premier jump shooters in the class of 2005 but that reputation could be in danger because he’s been in a bit of a slump this season. Monday it looked like he was going to break out as he came out and buried four of his first six shots from behind the three point line and scored 19 of his team’s first 21 points. After that it was a different story as Scheyer went on a frigid streak from downtown missing the final 15 threes he took. These weren’t contested looks either, they were clean looks at the basket where he generally had lots of time to get his feet set.
Like most “shooters”, Scheyer has always been a little streaky but missing that many deep shots in a row is a little more than a bad streak. For whatever reason, he seems to be shooting a bit of a flat ball. If one plays shot doctor for a minute the misses are more than likely due to his tendency to not finish up with the wrist action on his follow through. To his credit, Scheyer played hard the entire game and used his length and ability to handle the ball to create -- and finish -- several open looks around the basket and with medium range jumpers and athletic finishes with either hand around the hoop. By the time his Glenbrook North squad fell to Evanston (IL) High, Scheyer had scored 41 of his team’s 53 points on 15-37 shooting from the field (4-21 3PT FG’s), grabbed nine rebounds, blocked five shots and dished out three assists.
Angel Santiago - According to the 6-0 PG from Chicago (IL) Von Steuben, Kansas has offered him a scholarship and he’s still very much in the picture with schools like DePaul, Wisconsin, Illinois, Oklahoma State and St. John’s. To Phog.net’s knowledge, Kansas has not offered and it is unclear just how involved the Jayhawks and other schools are in Santiago’s recruitment.
Regardless, Santiago shook off a rough summer performance and dazzled in a sparkling 21 point, seven rebound and four assist effort. The heat check was in full effect as he drilled five straight threes at one point and basically did whatever he wanted to, whenever he needed to. He’s very explosive off of the bounce and was extremely unselfish on drives to the basket often finding teammates for easy looks. According to Santiago he’s got the grades to qualify out of high school, however he is more likely to end up at a prep school next season.
He’s a kid who had a lot of hype around him as an underclassmen and his first game at Proviso was the first time he’s played up to the level a high major prospect should in a while.
OTHER NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
He may not be on the Kansas radar just yet, but expect 6-8 BF Nyal “Mac” Koswal to generate interest from the Jayhawks by season’s end. Actually, the class of 2007 big man from Chicago (IL) Julian is probably going to be on the radar of just about every high major program in the country….. if he isn’t already. Koswal is blessed with a long frame, a good build, and he’s got the ability to use either of his soft and sure hands to pass or score around the basket. Because of growing pains he can be a bit clumsy around the hoop, but surprisingly enough he’s pretty nimble when facing up from 12 feet and scored off of several nifty two dribble drives. From the looks of it he’ll be running with Jon Scheyer this summer as a member of the Illinois Warriors.
Iowa bound WG/PG Tony Freeman can certainly put the ball in the basket, but a lot of that has to do with his complete lack of shot selection. The 6-0 product of Westchester (IL) St. Joseph’s is a capable ball-handler and has done some nice work in the weight room, but right now he is much more of a wing than somebody who is going to run the point in the Big 10. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to sharing the ball a little more on the next level because he already knows how to put the ball in the hoop and the ability to make plays for others consistently is the only missing ingredient….
It isn’t often that somebody who only stands 6-6, ok maybe 6-7, legitimately blocks 13 shots but that’s what 6-6 BF/WF Jeremiah Bryant from Chicago (IL) Harlan did Monday evening. The total was good enough to set a new tournament record and it really isn’t a surprise that Bryant did it because he’s one of the premier defenders in the class of 2005. If word around the campfire is correct, Bryant will become one of the elite defenders in the class of 2006 when he heads off to a prep school next season. Whether he goes to a prep or ends up at a junior college he’s a kid who should ultimately end up on the high major level, if only for his ability to defend three or four positions.
There aren’t many players out there who give more effort or play with more heart than Marquette bound Jerel McNeal. The 6-2 WG from Country Club Hills (IL) Hillcrest leaves everything he’s got on the court and is one of the meanest players on the high school level -- without playing dirty -- that you’ll ever see. He’s a guy who is going to be easy to like on the next level regardless of who you cheer for….
Speaking of Hillcrest players, can Reggie and Randall Bossie get a little more run? The spelling of their last name is a little funky, but with a name like Bossie they have to be players….
One final 2006 kid to take note of is 6-10 BF/C Brian Carlwell from Maywood (IL) Proviso East. He’s gotten himself into much better shape than he was in over the summer, runs the court well, is a pretty nifty passer who changes the game by his mere presence in the lane. Carlwell needs to become a little more skilled offensively, but the fact that he is able to hit the occasional 16 foot jumper is a very promising sign. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get many touches on the offensive end. At this point he’s elevated his game to the point that high majors need to be paying close attention and for the most part he plays intelligently within eight feet of the hoop.
Schools in the gym- Lehigh, Wyoming, Southwest Missouri State, Purdue, Southern Illinois, Illinois State, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Depaul, Chicago State, Loyola-Chicago, Northern Iowa, Dartmouth, St. Louis, Oklahoma, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, UNC-Wilmington, Bradley, Nebraska.
- Total games seen- 92
- Total teams seen- 52
- Total miles traveled- 6283