A number of the Midwest’s top prospects in the rising sophomore and freshman classes were on display past weekend in LaGrange, IL at the LaGrange Park & Recreation Center near the Chicago Midway Airport. Camp Director Dinos Trigonis hosted over 230 players from 16 states as well as Canada.
The Camp featured the nation’s top rising sophomore in 6’9 Patrick Baldwin (pictured) along with a deep group of wings and offensively minded back court talents. Still, the Midwest camp, like its southern counterpart lacked the depth at the lead guard spot needed to elevate the play of some of the more team-oriented talent in LaGrange over the weekend. But, all in all, it was a good representation of the talent available in the Midwest in the near future. Look for players like Sekou Gassama, Sekou Kalle, Chase Courbat, Khamari Lands, Jadin Johnson, Ahmad Bynum, and Jaylen Drane to soon to be on the high major radar, if they aren’t already!
So, with that in mind here’s a quick look at the top talent and others to watch that emerged at the Pangos All-Frosh/Soph Midwest Camp:
TOP BIGS (Listed by Height)
Rocco Muratori 6’11 2021 West Lafayette (IN) – This low block scorer has good hands and can finish versus contact on the blocks and in the paint. He has a soft jump hook that he hit on various occasions. He runs ok, but needs to work adding strength and endurance to reach his full potential!
Sekou Gassama 6’10 2021 DeSmet Jesuit (St. Louis MO) – This athletic and quick big man did a solid job matching up with Patrick Baldwin on defensive end. He is a strong rebounder who started break with quick outlet, knocked down 12-footer on pop out and finished with authority in paint. Rising in our rankings based on this performance.
Sekou Kalle 6’10 2021 Aspire Academy (Louisville KY) – This long and aggressive big man did an excellent job blocking and altering shots on defense, got on the glass, and finished in traffic with regularity. One of top bigs in rising Sophomore class!
Chase Courbat 6’9 2021 Cedar Falls (Cedar Falls IA) – This skilled big man showed he can pick and pop or roll to block with best here. He has excellent hands and catches and creates space with solid footwork on the blocks. He is solid defender and is good passer out of the post. He went for 17 points and pulled down 9 boards in Top 30 game. Definitely one for high majors to monitor.
Langdon Hatton 6’9 2021 North Harrison (Ramsey IN) – Wide bodied big man who has skills to face or roll to the block and score versus contact. He showed range to trail and hit jumper and surprised us with his quick feet for his size. Mids-up should have him on their lists!
AJ Casey 6’8 2022 Simeon (Chicago IL) – This long and athletic big man challenged shots in the paint, rebounded and started the break and ran floor to be involved on other end. He howed he can pick and pop hitting 12-footer on baseline. He still has some rough edges on offense, but his bounce and effort will bring coaches to watch him play!
Jason Brower 6’8 2021 Wayland Union (Wayland MI) – Solid big man who hit the glass, ran the floor and finished in traffic on the break or pick and roll. He can pop out and knock down elbow jumper and is a good passer facing the hoop. He is a solid post defender who showed he will go get after it in the paint.
Curt Hopf 6’7 2021 Forest Park (Ferdinand IN) – This big man caught our eye with his hard-working blue-collar style of play, battling for every board and not being afraid of floor burns that he got going for loose balls. He has good hands and is mobile enough to create space and get to rim and finish.
Others to Watch (Listed by Height)
Brian Mathews 6’8 2021 DePaul College Prep (Chicago IL)
Jaylen Bryson 6’8 2021 Centennial (Champaign IL)
Henry Krzyzewski 6’8 2021 Metea Valley (Aurora IL)
Phillip Holmes 6’7 2021 Simeon (Chicago IL)
Dylan Johnson 6’6 2021 Western Dubuque (Dubuque IA)
Dylan Arnett 6’6 2022 DePaul College Prep (Chicago IL)
Gabe Burkle 6’6 2022 Prairie (Cedar Rapids, IA)
TOP WINGS (Listed by Height)
Patrick Baldwin 6’9 2021 Hamilton (Sussex WI) – Make no doubt about it, he plays at another level than most his age. He has range to three with consistency, can create drive going either way to the rim. He rebounds both in and out of his zone and can flat out deliver rock to open man off the dribble. He reminds us in many ways of a bigger Grant Hill. He showed why we have him #1 in his class by pulling down MOP award at Pangos!
Jalen Washington 6’7 2022 Westside (Gary IN) – This lanky wing man really caught my eye with his ability to pass the rock off of transition or the dribble drive. He finished at the rim with length and hit mid-range jumper with good rotation and soft touch. He needs to extend his range to three (just didn’t show it) and continue to add strength to his long frame, but tools are there to draw lots of D-1 interest.
Khamari Lands 6’6 2022 La Lumiere (Laporte IN) – This long and lanky wing man has excellent quicks, solid skills and bounce to finish at the rim versus contact. He can knock down jumper from three or off the pull-up from 15-feet. He creates with either hand and showed he can “D you up and crash the glass with best from the wing. He is one of top wing prospects in class and will see interest from majors!
Caleb Schlaak 6’6 2021 Kennedy (Cedar Rapids IA) – This combo forward really grew on me over the weekend, especially as he started to show his perimeter skills. He has range to the arc but is deadly off the pull-up from 15-feet. He has great feet in post up and can take wings inside and score. He is an excellent rebounder with skills to start the break. He needs to get stronger to stay on course to Mids-Up his tools promise.
JR Konieczny 6’6 2021 St. Joseph (South Bend IN) – Wing man who showed he can take it off the glass and go end to end finishing with the flush! He can catch of the wing and pull-up after one dribble and drop in 15-17-footer with regularity. He hustled on the glass, and showed his athleticism running down and blocking shot of opponent on the break. He will see D-1 interest this season.
186 Grant Newell 6’6 2021 Whitney Young (Chicago IL) –
Jack Pronger 6’6 2021 MICDS (St. Louis MO) – This skilled wing man caught our eye on day one with his passing, ability to score off the dribble and solid jumper with range to three. He needs to add upper body strength to finish versus contact but should be monitored by Mids-up!
Brandon Weston 6’6 2021 Lake Forest Academy (Lake Forest IL) – This lanky and long wing man can knock down jumper from three and can knock down pull-up from 15-feet or finish drive with the flush! He can create drive and is an excellent passer off the drive to open man on wing. He showed he will get on glass on “D” you too! D-1’s should be monitoring him now!
Michael Duax 6’5 2021 Hempstead (Dubuque IA) – Wing man with range to three who does the little things. He plays ”D”, gets on the glass and gets on the floor for loose balls. He is a tough blue-collar kid that just tends to grow on you. He has solid basketball I.Q. and uses it to get positive things done on both ends.
Ola Ajiboye 6’4 2021 Von Steuben (Chicago IL) – This bouncy wing man caught my eye with his great help side shot blocking right out of the box in game one! He plays both ends with same intensity, finished with flush and kiss off the drive and showed he can knock down pull-up from 15-feet. If shot extends and skills continue to rise he’s got a bright future.
Reggie Ward 6’4 2021 St. Rita (Chicago IL) – This athletic and bouncy wing caught our eye with his ability to knock down the jumper from three or off the dribble from 16-feet. He can pass it in transition but needs to add that pass to his dribble drive in half-court to keep the defense honest. He has hops to finish drive with dunk. One for mids-up to monitor.
Chrishawn Christmas 6’4 2021 Westside (Gary IN) – This lean and lanky swing man can knock down three and uses it to set up dribble drive that he finishes with bounce at the rim. He was active on the glass and can take it end to end off the glass. He is solid passer too! He will see D-1 interest develop this coming season!
Others to Watch (Listed by Height)
Jalen Butler 6’6 2021 Niles North (Skokie IL)
Landon Regnerus 6’5 2021 Grandville (MI)
Kanye Smith 6’5 2022 Whitney Young (Chicago IL)
Antonio Lisenbee 6’5 2022 Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Jermel Grigsby 6’5 2021 Currie (Chicago IL)
John Poulakidas 6’5 2021 Neuqua Valley (Naperville IL)
Steven Clay 6’5 2022 Menomonee Falls (WI)
Calvin Schmeling 6’4 2021 University School of Milwaukee (WI)
Kaden Stork 6’4 2022 University (Bloomington IL)
Sincere Malone 6’4 2021 Simeon (Chicago IL)
Ben Loverude 6’4 2021 Des Moines Christian (Des Moines IA)
Xavier Amos 6’4 2022 Whitney Young (Chicago IL)
TOP GUARDS (Listed by Height)
Jadin Johnson 6’4 2021 Lincoln (Council Bluffs IA) – This athletic and lanky combo guard grew on me with his ability to balance scoring with his ability to deliver the rock off the drive or in the break. He has range to three and uses his quick first step to create drive along with his length and bounce to finish in the paint. He plays both ends and helps on the glass. One for mid to high majors to monitor.
Tevin Smith 6’3 2021 Danville (IL) – Athletic swing man who showed he could rebound out of the guard spot and start the break. He is tough to stop off the dribble to the rim and finishes in traffic. He hit a couple threes to show range, but needs to add consistency to bring it to the level of his athletic gifts promise, so stay tuned!
Kobe Bufkin 6’3 2021 Grand Rapids Christian (Grand Rapids MI) – This talented combo guard has excellent size to be a future lead guard. He sees the court and has a good basketball I.Q. He has range to three and the quicks to create drive or transition break with dribble or pass. He is tough to stop to hoop and is you do he makes you play with ability to kick it to open man. High majors should be monitoring his development
Najashi Tolefree 6’3 2022 West Allis Central (WI) – Athletic and quick with basketball back court talent with combo skills who showed he can score with jumper off the dribble or finish at the rim with strength. He is a good passer both off the draw and kick as well as in transition who sees post man when he’s sealed opponent and wants the rock. He has lots of time to develop into good one down the road!
Ahamed Bynum 6’2 2021 Simeon (Chicago IL) – This physical scoring guard has never seen a shot he didn’t like! He has all the tools to be a scorer as he showed in Top 30 game scoring 31 points on 11-17 shooting while earning game MVP honors, but he needs to realize he has teammates as he will need to utilize them in the future as he faces better talent and better coaches. He has good stroke and handle to create, with quicks to blow by opponents. One for majors to monitor!
Jaylen Drane 6’2 2022 Simeon (Chicago IL) – Skilled lead guard has all the tools to play either guard spot but is a leader with the ball. He sees the court and delivered the rock to open man with regularity but can take over and score with jumper from the arc or off the pull-up off the drive. He is a solid defender and creates opportunities with his quick hands. He will get lots of looks this winter from high major programs looking for future additions to their back courts.
Kenyon Coates 6’2 2021 Oak Park River Forest (Oak Park IL) – This athletic and quick scoring guard has excellent handle to create drive or pull-up jumper. He hit the three and knocked down pull-up jumper when challenged off the dribble. He can drive and kick so he becomes a multi-threat player off the drive. He has quicks to defend and sowed he can get on glass too! He has D-1 future!
Trevon Love 6’1 2021 Jennings (St. Louis MO) – He caught our eye with his quick hands on defense as he picked opponents and took it to rack and scored. He has solid handle and can create dribble drive and finish in traffic. He hit a couple 15-footers while we watched, but needs to extend range and consistency to reach full potential.
Trey Shearer 5’11 2021 Montezuma (IA) – This hard-working lead guard has all the tools to become a D-1 floor leader. He sees the court delivers in transition or draw and kick with accuracy. He has ranch to three and is deadly off the pull-up too! He will “D” you up and doesn’t back down from that challenge. He should see lots on Mid-up interest in the future.
Leland Walker 5’10 2022 North Central (Indianapolis IN) – Solid lead guard who is quick with ball on the dribble and has a quick first step to put pressure on defenders. He showed range to the arc and can penetrate and kick to the wing with accuracy. He needs to continue to add upper boy strength that will come with maturity.
Others to Watch (Listed by Height)
Jaylin Gibson 6’3 2021 Evanston Township (Evanston IL)
Nathaniel Hoskins 6’3 2021 Danville (Danville IL)
Byron Hobbs Jr 6’3 2022 Hyde Park Academy (Chicago IL)
Anton Brookshire 6’2 2021 Kickapoo (Springfield MO)
Brock Wakefield 6’2 2021 South Iron R-1 (Annapolis MO)
Kai Evans 6’2 2021 Montini Catholic (Lombard IL)
Quinton Murrell 6’2 2021 Rufus King (Milwaukee WI)
Jelani Willis 6’2 2021 First Assembly Christian (Memphis TN)
Frederick Poole 6’1 2021 Simeon (Chicago IL)
Keon Thompson 6’0 2021 Merrillville (IN)
Keaton Kutcher 6’0 2021 Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon IA)
Kimahri Wilson 6’0 2021 Carmel Catholic (Mundelein IL)
Tyrese Hunter 5’11 2021 St. Catherine’s (Racine WI)
Keon Henderson 5’11 2021 Renaissance (Detroit MI) –
Cassius Brooks 5’10 2021 Currie (Chicago IL)
Desmond Dunn 5’10 2021 Kenwood (Chicago IL)
Tyane Barnes 5’9 2021 Grandville (MI)
Avyion Morris 5’7 2022 Simeon (Chicago IL)