Monday, October 22, 2012
Midwest Workout features Illinois stars
By Dave Telep
LOMBARD, Ill. -- This weekend’s first-ever “Midwest Workout” highlighted 45 players selected from Illinois and the surrounding region. The concept was to bring in three groups of 15 players and put them through roughly an hour of drills, implement basic principles and then allow 30 minutes of controlled play using the concepts learned.
Mike Procopio, a former scout with the Boston Celtics and operator of Hoop Consultants, conducted the five-hour workout.
From an evaluation standpoint, the event allowed you to see how a prospect reacts to the implementation of concepts and gauge an overall skill level. There were players ranging from low to high major. In an era where exposure events are the rage, Procopio’s workout was a welcomed change where real basketball concepts were taught and emphasized. In short, the 45 kids who were hand picked to attend were subject to improvement.
Junior forward Victor Law was the best prospect at the Midwest Workout and a lock high major.
Victor Law (Chicago/St. Rita), SF, 2014 Providence, Bradley, Colorado, Loyola and Chicago State have offered this junior forward, while Georgia Tech and Oklahoma are close. This was the best prospect at the camp. He’s a lock high major and the big dogs need to commit time to go and see him. Law has a classic small forward frame with upside and a jump shot. He oozes potential and stood out in terms of the entire package.
Trevor Manuel (Lansing, Mich./Sexton), PF, 2015 Manuel was one of the most talented players in attendance. He has uncommon touch for a big man that extends to midrange. His ability to make shots in the paint and put away finishes with touch is impressive for a young kid. He also makes himself a big target in the lane. Manuel said NC State and Providence are recruiting him the hardest.
Kendall Pollard (Chicago/Simeon), SF, 2013 The Dayton Flyers should feel real good about this kid. He’s a monster and is bigger, stronger and ready to make an impact for Dayton. He’s not a perimeter player but a guy who can pass, rebound, and bring lots of strength and energy. He made a college decision that should ensure his success over four years.
Michael Finke (Champaign, Ill./Centennial), PF, 2014 Programs that value perimeter-oriented skilled four men will have a field day recruiting this kid. He has a great setup with his developing frame and overall skill package. As his body matures, his inside game will need to pick up. Finke has a beautiful stroke and is the type of player who can use either hand near the rim. He’s receiving high-major attention and it’s warranted. Finke owns offers from Illinois, Kansas State, Iowa and Wisconsin. The mid-major with the most juice is Wisconsin-Green Bay.
David Cohn (Elmhurst, Ill./York), PG, 2013 Cohn was the best overall point guard in the workout. He has quickness, smarts and can shoot it. His commitment to Colorado State was reported, but frankly it deserves more attention than it garnered. When you sign a guy who can start for you for three to four seasons, it’s a big deal.
Eye on Underclassmen
Junior power forward Yante Maten owns the paint and doesn't mind contact.
Roosevelt Smart (Palatine, Ill./Palatine), PG, 2015 This is a kid who’s going to make waves during the season. He’s a sleek athlete at the lead guard, and his combination of speed and explosion is an issue. Indiana made an impression on him during his fall tour of campuses.
Jordan Ash (Westchester, Ill./St. Joseph’s), PG, 2015 Ash did the workout the right way: He made himself coachable, paid attention to what was taught an implemented it during the live action. This is a big-bodied guard with an aptitude for the game. The lefty made a strong impression. His time is coming soon.
Yante Maten (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Bloomfield Hills), PF, 2014 Maten strikes you as a guy who is going to own his area. He doesn’t mind contact, puts away his chances at the rim and in a camp that didn’t have many bigs, Maten popped enough guys in the lane to announce his presence.
Two more young guards who have high-major expectations also attended: Isaiah Moss (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way East) and Prentiss Nixon (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook). Moss is an ace shooter; Nixon is a smooth lead guard. Nixon listed Indiana, SMU, Colorado State, Michigan, Illinois, Purdue, Iowa and UCLA.
• Senior power forward Robert Marra (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove) is a Division I prospect. Coming into the event he didn’t have much interest on that level, but to have his size and motor means he’ll eventually be a low-major signee.
• Alex Majewski (Chicago/Brother Rice) is a combo forward on the low-Division I level. His stroke is marketable.
• Dominique Matthews (Chicago/St. Rita) is wired to score it on the mid-major level. This guy was involved in the action. Illinois, SMU and Loyola are showing interest.
• Junior Ore Arogundade (Arlington Heights, Ill./St. Viator) probably made more 3s during the workout than anyone.
News & Notes
The Air Force Academy picked up guard Matt Mooney (Chicago/Notre Dame) recently. Mooney said the Falcons told him they needed an answer and he accepted the offer.
John Groce’s future backcourt mates -- and current high school teammates -- Kendrick Nunn (Chicago/Simeon) and Jaylon Tate (Chicago/Simeon) participated in the workout. Nunn’s defensive ability lends to the notion that he’ll draw tough assignments on defense and be a slashing-style player on offense.