By Joe Henricksen
A whole lot from the high school basketball scene this past week, so lets get to it ...
Add the Hoops Report to the Rashaun Stimage Fan Club. In fact, the Hoops Report LOVES what Stimage could become down the road.
Stimage jumped on the scene last summer on the AAU circuit, with his tenacity, activity and blue-collar work ethic becoming his calling card. A solid start to his junior season at Farragut was thwarted by a broken right hand -- he missed a month of the season and was slow to bounce back. But he came on late, scoring 20 points with 11 rebounds and two dunks in a regional final win over Morton. And he's continued to play well this spring and summer, jumping into the Hoops Report's top five prospects in the Class of 2012.
Yes, the Class of 2012 is less than ideal for high-level college programs looking for talent, but the 6-7 Stimage boasts a lot more upside than the majority of players in the class. Stimage is an ultra-active, athletic 4-man on both ends of the floor. He rebounds, attacking the offensive glass and getting plenty of his offensive production from his sheer will to stay after it on the boards and keeping the ball alive around the rim. He's quick off the floor, blocking shots and beating other big men down the floor.
In addition, Stimage's skill level has improved. He has shown an ability to knock down a face-up jumper, though he's still inconsistent with it at this point. But Stimage will step out and hit a three-pointer, even put it on the floor a little from the wing.
Look for Stimage's stock and reputation to grow this July while playing with the Mac Irvin Fire. In fact, if not for some academic hurdles he will have to get over, Stimage would be one of the very few no-brainer high-major prospects in what looks to be a very weak Class of 2012 in Illinois.
Orr's talented young players
Last season was not what coach Louis Adams and the Orr Spartans had anticipated, not with the return of all-everything Mycheal Henry. Orr never could get it going a year ago when heavy expectations were placed on the program for the very first time.
While Ball State commitment C.J. Jones, a tough, hard-nosed guard, returns for Adams, it's the talented young players in the program that will make Orr a dangerous team next winter. There is no better talent at Orr than sophomore Tyquone Greer.
The Hoops Report became enamored with the 6-5 wing after taking in the Orr-Young sophomore game last winter. He was long, gangly and knocked down shots. Since that time he has certainly refined his game. Greer has the size, length and shooting stroke for a young player that will immediately jump out at you. He's been among the Hoops Report's top dozen college prospects for the past six months, yet is still just making a name for himself as he has a long way to go before maximizing his talent and reaching the high ceiling he possesses.
After getting a heavy dose of Orr at both the Hoop Mountain Tournament at West Aurora over the weekend and at the DePaul Team Camp early this week, it's impossible not to appreciate the junior tandem of 6-6 Marquise Pryor and fiery point guard Jamal McDowell. Both are rising prospects in the Class of 2013, with Pryor already one of the better rebounders in the class. He's always near the ball and is a big-bodied, athletic 4-man who brings some toughness.
But perhaps no player brings more toughness than McDowell. Put McDowell on my team any day of the week. The 5-9 point guard, who is also a standout football player as a bull-dozing running back, is so strong. Plus, he competes at a higher level than just about everyone he plays against.
With the foursome of Jones, McDowell, Pryor and Greer, along with senior guards DeShawn King and D.J. Jones, Orr could be a surprise this season in the Red-West.
Transfer Schilling fractures wrist
As reported in a previous Hoops Report blog, 6-8 Gavin Schilling has transferred in to De La Salle after spending a year playing with the German Basketball Academy. Schilling, who started his high school career at Loyola Academy as a freshman, showed his potential as a freshman before moving to Germany. While it has been nearly 18 months since the Hoops Report last watched Schilling -- and it was just a small sampling at the DePaul Team Camp -- it's easy to see that Schilling is among the top 15 prospects in the loaded Class of 2013.
The good news: You better believe Schilling will enhance De La Salle's hopes next winter.
The bad news: Schilling fractured his wrist Tuesday at the DePaul Team Camp and will be out all of July.
Downers South different with Wilbut
Although it appeared Downers Grove South standout Jerron Wilbut would be headed to La Lumiere Prep School next year, he instead will remain a Mustang. The 6-2 athletic guard vaults Downers Grove South to a different level. Wilbut was outstanding in action at the DePaul Team Camp and is clearly the No. 2 prospect in the class behind Simeon's Steve Taylor.
The much ballyhooed La Lumiere basketball team came to the De Paul Team Camp with a lot of buzz. With two Illinois products -- Champaign Central's Jay Simpson and Peoria Central's Bobo Drummond -- part of the program, along with a host of other big-name players, including 7-footer Obij Aget, La Lumiere lost to a Simeon team that didn't have Jabari Parker, Kendrick Nunn and Kendall Pollard.
Speaking of Simeon, senior point guard Jelani Neely is playing some of the best basketball of his career. And the talent keeps coming for coach Robert Smith. The Hoops Report loves the look of 6-4 freshman Dennis Williams. And there is still nothing official regarding star 2013 point guard Jaylon Tate's transfer to Simeon.
Johnnie Vassar to Morgan Park?
Despite the loss of star Wayne Blackshear, who is off to Louisville, Morgan Park figures to still be among the top handful of teams in the Chicago Public League. The Mustangs, led by junior standout and DePaul commit Billy Garrett, Jr., could get a whole lot better if Johnnie Vassar is in the fold when school opens next September.
Vassar, a highly-explosive and talented point guard, is a Chicago native who has been going to school at Lawrence Academy, a prep school located in Massachussetts. The 5-10 Vassar played with Morgan Park at the DePaul Team Camp this week and has the playmaking ability and tools to become an elite guard over the next three years. A Garrett-Vassar backcourt for coach Nick Irvin would be one of, if not, the best in the state over the next two years.
Another home run for DePaul?
A year ago the DePaul Team Camp at Attack Athletics was a home run. Coach Oliver Purnell and his staff were able to get all the movers and shakers in prep basketball under one roof for a get-to-know-DePaul party. The two-day camp a year ago was a huge success.
This year's DePaul Team Camp at Attack Athletics was at least a stand-up triple. Although some of the high-profile players, most notably U.S. National Team members Jabari Parker and Kendrick Nunn of Simeon, Springfield Lanphier's Larry Austin and Whitney Young's Jahlil Okafor, were unable to attend, it was still a terrific opportunity for the Blue Demons staff to get a first-hand look at prospects. Plus, it was a chance to interact and socialize with players, coaches and Chicago basketball "people."
With the new NCAA rule limiting how far a college basketball program can leave campus to conduct camps, the team camp concept is a huge advantage for a DePaul program -- right here in Chicago with all the talent in the world in its back yard. Purnell and his staff hopes to soon land an impact recruiting class of Illinois prospects. There is no question that, locally, the Class of 2013 is a monstrous recruiting opportunity for DePaul and a chance to land difference-makers that could make the rebuilding process a little quicker.