Each fall, Dinos Trigonis hosts four regional events featuring the top underclassmen in each area (West, Southwest, Midwest and East). The Midwest showcase did not disappoint, as it featured many of the area’s top players, as well as some hidden gems.
Best Prospect, Part I
Bol Bol (St. Paul, Kan./Olathe)
2018, PF/SF, 6-foot-7, 170 pounds
The son of Ex-NBAer Manute Bol is very skilled and very thin. You can see him growing before your eyes. The program listed him at 6-5, but he is at least 6-7 and extremely long. Bol can handle the ball solidly for someone his size. He also has a very good touch and can shoot the ball to 19 feet. He is painfully thin and needs strength badly, but as a prospect his ceiling is very high.
Best Prospect, Part II
Simisola Shittu (Burlington, Ontario/Corpus Christi Catholic)
2018, SF, 6-6, 175 pounds
Shittu is a long and athletic wing who simply makes plays all over the court. The Canadian is a monster in transition with his size, length and skill level. Most players his size are straight post players. He is comfortable on the perimeter and has some natural 3 skills. He is definitely one to keep track of for the future.
Best Point Guard
Charlie Moore (Chicago/Morgan Park)
2016, 5-9, 140 pounds
Moore is a quick-scoring point guard who can create for others as well as himself. He is very good off the dribble and has improved his jump shot (though it is still a bit streaky). His quickness is what sets him apart as he is very hard to keep out of the paint. He needs to get stronger and continue to improve, but he definitely has a Division I future.
Best Shooting Guard, Part I
Zach Norvell (Chicago/Simeon)
2016, 6-4, 185 pounds
Considered by many to be the best prospect in Illinois for the Class of 2016, Norvell is a strong-bodied wing who is a very good shooter with his feet set all the way to 22 feet. The lefty is a strong driver, but he prefers to stay on the perimeter and launch jumpers. Norvell is a very good player who should end up a priority recruit for any Midwest high major school.
Best Shooting Guard, Part II
Devon Daniels (Kalamazoo, Mich./Central)
2016, 6-3, 175 pounds
Daniels is an athletic wing who should be poised to explode this season. He is more of a scorer than a shooter, but he is very proficient at putting the ball in the basket. He is a good rebounder for a guard and gives good effort on the defensive end. Daniels is a true up-and-comer.
Best Small Forward
Brian Bowen (Saginaw, Mich./Arthur Hill)
2017, 6-6, 175 pounds
Bowen is as skilled as you will find for his size and youth. He can feasibly play any position on the floor other than center. He is best on the wing, where he can create and score. Bowen is very talented and has to be considered one of the better freshmen in the Midwest, if not the country.
Best Power Forward
Nick Rakocevic (Westchester, Ill./St. Joseph)
2016, 6-9, 200 pounds
Rakocevic was the surprise of the camp for me. He has great size and solid length. He is also very skilled. He can score some on the low block but is best when facing up from 17 feet and in. There, he can hit the mid-range jump shot or take his defender off the dribble. Rakocevic is a solid athlete who is not afraid to dunk on someone in the half court or in transition. He is a top prospect that could explode this season.
Barrett Benson (Hinsdale, Ill./South)
2016, 6-8, 230 pounds
Benson is a solid, big-bodied post player. He will not wow you, but he is very efficient and proficient. He only does what he can do, which is score down low, rebound and hit the occasional face-up jumper to 15 feet. He is an average athlete, but Benson’s size and productivity will get him looks at the high-major level.
Grant Gelon (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point)
2016, SG, 6-4, 165 pounds
Every time I looked up, Gelon was nailing a 20-foot jumper. He has great size for a sophomore wing. He is also a solid passer and has a developing handle. There are three player college coaches ask for constantly: point guards, bigs and shooters. Gelon is a definite shooter.