Tag: jaylen drane

Unsigned Look: Top 2022 Unsigned in Illinois

With so many talented players throughout not only the state of Illinois but the entire region, it is always an opportunity for high-quality players to fall thru the recruiting ranks. I will highlight a few players I have seen thus far in the early going of the season who have shown the ability to play college basketball.

2022 Christian Meeks 6’6 (Homewood-Flossmoor)

Christian who early in his career reminded me so much of a young Elton Brand but has since started to expand his game. He has really started to transform his game to play more on the perimeter which is going to help his long-term potential. He plays with great poise and does not force shots, instead of allowing the game to come to him and scoring within the context of the offense. He also is a quick leaper which makes his a very effective rebounder. He has been on an absolute tear this season winning MVP of the Hinsdale Classic scoring 18 in the championship game.

2022 Adidas Davis (6’5, Buffalo Grove)

A complete sleeper of a prospect in the state is the 6’5 lefty who not only scores from all three levels but rebounds the basketball exceptionally from the guard position. Was blown away by the effectiveness that Adidas plays with on both ends of the floor. He is more than just a 20PPG scorer as he is averaging 10RPG this season thus far. Adidas is a skilled and athletic wing with all of the tools necessary to be one of the top players at his position in the class. He is an excellent scorer. He can shoot to 20 feet and slash to the basket. He plays with good effort and is a solid defender as well as a good rebounder for his position. He plays with passion and is a winner and will be a solid addition to a roster.

2022 Jaylen Drane 6’1 (Simeon)

A floor general leading one of the best teams in the state. He has been highly recruited since entering high school and with a big senior season, he will have a lot of coaches looking for his services. He’s a true point guard who has great size who possesses great court awareness and savvy. He is a master at penetrating and dishing. He sees the court with a true point guard mentality. Sets up teammates well and works hard on defense, breaks opponents down off the dribble, and is a steal guy on defense against opponents. He can really push the ball down the court and he gets wherever he wants with it. He gets into the paint at will and can get it to the rim with his athleticism and explosion.

2022 Byron Hobbs 6’5 (Hyde Park)

The senior guard passes the eye test as he has great length and a skill set that will easily translate to the college level. Hobbs is a good shooter who plays hard and displays great basketball knowledge. He can stroke the three or take it to the hoop. On the break, he can finish with either hand or pull up for a jumper. Byron does not try to force the issue offensively, preferring to stay within the confines of his team’s offensive philosophy, though he has the ability to score. He has decent enough quickness to put the ball on the floor and penetrate to the hole if he faces defensive pressure. He works effectively off the bounce and uses the pull-up jumper in the mid-range area of the floor to complement his forays to the rim, due to his ability to rise up over the outstretched arms of defenders for the jumper. He has helped be apart of his team winning the Big Dipper tournament an earning a top ten ranking so far this season. With a continued play like he has shown thus far he will have a slew of colleges coaches making offers.

2022 Xavier Lewis 6’8 (TF South)

After a solid summer on the AAU circuit with Y&R Lewis has come into this season with a more balanced skill set. Xavier is one of those prototypical wing-types that can do just about anything on the court. He has a long, lean frame that oozes potential and a feathery touch out to 22-feet. His stroke is smooth and effortless and he doesn’t need a lot of space to get it off, especially off of the catch. He has a versatile game and can even post up smaller defenders and shoot over the top of them or drop a baby hook. His stock continues to rise as he is a highly looked at athletic prospect who will make a strong transition to the college game.

Rock N Ball Fall League: Standout Players PG Edition

As we enter the championship games for the Rock N Ball fall league we are highlighting some of the standout Point Guards who have helped lead their respective teams to this point. These players have been a main driving force for their team’s success.

2022 Devonte Hall 6’0 160 PG (Hyde Park Academy)

Devonte was not a name at the top of many scouts list coming into this event back in November but all that has changed now. Ticket as he is called by his teammates showed with his play that he is worth the price of admission. He is a dynamic ball-handler with next level speed and quickness being able to change gears end line to end line. I watched him play two different styles of play in each half of the game. In the first half he looked to be a distributing pass first guard. He routinely got into the teeth of the defense drawing the second defender an finding the open teammate. As the game started taking shape in the second half he switched gears by going into attack mode. He started by driving the basketball to the rim finishing layups and using screen an roll to make tough defended shoots as well as finding teammates. A big year is in store for Devonte as his game continues to improve along with his decision making.

2022 Jaylen Drane 6’2 170 PG (Simeon Career Academy)

Jaylen didn’t disappointment this weekend when he was on the floor. Coming into the game you already know he is an athletic combo guard who excels in transition with the basketball in his hands. Drane is able to play both ends of the floor and picked up full court during certain periods of the game. Jaylen attacks the basket relentlessly which is one of his calling cards. The biggest takeaway throughout this entire fall league has been his confidence with shooting the basketball. He can get in the lane at will but his game has progressed into him becoming a capable outside shooter. He know has defenders at his will with his offensive package being able to score on all three levels.

2023 Kendall Brasfield 6’2 190 PG (Curie High School)

The senior guard showed why it is so important to have battle-tested players late in close games. Kendall was able to show veteran leadership on and off the floor leading his team to a victory. He used his length on the defensive end disrupting passes and leading to easy fast-break baskets. With an impressive wingspan, he looks the part of a college-ready guard. He is an adaptable all-around offensive player as he excelled both on and off the basketball. He has used the time away to really improve his all-around game on both ends of the floor.

2023 Kaiden Space 5’10 150 PG (St. Rita)

When you are a lead guard under 6ft you have to have a special feel for the game to help you stand out in environments like this one. I watched Kaiden be able to score in the transition game as well as in the half court. He is years ahead of the learning curve being able to run effective pick an roll and making a decision to attack the switch or find his teammate. Having years left in high school will only be able to help improve his overall skill set. Kaiden is already a capable shooter who will continue to stretch his range out to the three point line. He will definitely be a fast rising prospect to continue to monitor.

Feature image: Threat Hoops