By Joe Henricksen

Best of summer at R-B this weekend

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By Joe Henricksen

No, it's not Proviso West or Pontiac in late December, the two premier holiday tournaments in Illinois. It's not the annual City-Suburban Showdown tripleheader in February, which offers up tantalizing matchups every year. And it's not the state finals in Peoria in March. But the Riverside-Brookfield Shootout has established itself as the best darn out-of-season high school basketball event in Illinois and, if there is such a thing in the offseason, must-see hoops for fans.

There will be plenty of eyes watching and a whole lot of interest in the 2012 R-B Shootout this weekend. There won't be a high school team event with more high-level talent, including the state's big three prospects of Simeon's Jabari Parker, Whitney Young's Jahlil Okafor and Crane's Cliff Alexander.

The top-notch, respected and always well-run event, which is put together by Riverside-Brookfield assistant coach Mike Reingruber and the Bulldogs basketball staff, continues to grow and gain notoriety each year. This year the elite field is at 36 teams and will play Saturday and Sunday at Riverside-Brookfield High School. Among the list of teams is defending state champion Simeon.

"It's a chance to get the guys back together and the sooner we realize last year is over the better," says Simeon coach Rob Smith about the opportunity to kickstart the offseason with an appearance at R-B. "It's an opportunity to find out what we need to start working on."

This event is loaded, featuring top individual teams and an endless list of highly-regarded Division I prospects. In addition to Simeon, the R-B Shootout will include the likes of Whitney Young, De La Salle, Proviso East, Curie, St. Joseph and a host of others that figure to be ranked among the Hoops Report's top 25 teams in the preseason next November.

At the end of the day on Sunday there won't be any banners raised or trophy presentations for the winners when they return to school, but as always, the R-B Shootout is an early barometer and measuring stick for all 36 coaches and their teams.

"R-B is the premiere high school basketball shootout of the summer because it has so many quality teams, programs and players involved," says Loyola Academy coach Tom Livatino. "I think the shootout gives you a great indicator as to where you are as a team at the beginning of the summer and allows you to identify areas you need to improve as a team, but more importantly, we are able to see where our personnel is as they relate to the best players in Illinois."

R-B Shootout's Top 20 Prospects (regardless of class and listed alphabetically)
Jubril Adekoya, 6-6, Andrew (Sr.)
Cliff Alexander, 6-9, Curie (Jr.)
Ore Arogundade, 6-2, St. Viator (Jr.)
Jordan Ash, 6-0, St. Joseph (So.)
Sterling Brown, 6-4, Proviso East (Sr.)
David Cohn, 6-2, York (Sr.)
Alvin Ellis, 6-4, De La Salle (Sr.)
Alex Foster, 6-7, De La Salle (Sr.)
Billy Garrett, Jr., 6-4, Morgan Park (Sr.)
Tommy Hamilton, 6-9, Whitney Young (Sr.)
Charles Matthews, 6-4, St. Rita (So.)
Kendrick Nunn, 6-1, Simeon (Sr.)
Jahlil Okafor, 6-10, Whitney Young (Jr.)
Sean O'Mara, 6-9, Benet Academy (Jr.)
Jabari Parker, 6-8, Simeon (Sr.)
Kendall Pollard, 6-5, Simeon (Sr.)
Gavin Schilling, 6-8, De La Salle (Sr.)
Jaylon Tate, 6-2, Simeon (Sr.)
Paul White, 6-9, Whitney Young (Jr.)
Milik Yarbrough, 6-5, Zion-Benton (Jr.)

A complete list of teams at Riverside-Brookfield: De La Salle, Homewood-Flossmoor, St. Rita, Curie, Simeon, St. Joseph, Morgan Park, Hillcrest, Whitney Young, Proviso East, New Trier, Bloom, York, St. Patrick, Downers Grove South, Riverside-Brookfield, Neuqua Valley, Providence St. Mel, St. Viator, Mundelein, Morton, Benet Academy, Zion-Benton, West Aurora, Von Steuben, Evanston, Andrew, Nazareth Academy, Ridgewood, St. Ignatius, Mount Carmel, Glenbard East, Loyola Academy, Oswego, King and South Elgin.

Follow Joe Henricksen and the Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport

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Joe, thanks for the update on the R-B Shootout. I know that the high school basketball season is a ways off, but this is a great place to start thinking of next season and seeing some great games / players up close. I will be there all day Sunday.

Top prospects man David cone is a top prospect or is he on the list cause he plays with the wolves. 6'2 .NA he's like 6'0 isn't he

Top prospects man David cone is a top prospect or is he on the list cause he plays with the wolves. 6'2 .NA he's like 6'0 isn't he. Are u saying there are no top kids from nequea valley or west Aurora or Oswego maybe even St pats kids. The list looks like a fire mean streets or wolves list from Chicago hoops. Its crazy how politics play a key role in high school Basketball

I don't understand the negativity. It's clear you have never seen David COHN play. He is a legit 6'2. He scored 42 pts for York this past season in a game.

Hey Basketball Watch, go to the games this weekend and watch Cohn play. I can't verify his height, but I can verify that he can play and can score - in bunches.

As far as the schools you mention - what players on those teams look good to you? West Aurora has the freshman guard who played well in the state tournament last year. I don't like his handle, but he played very well against Proviso East at Hinsdale Central.

Hoops fan I like David don't get me wrong but I can name a bunch of guards who are just as good and better. Let me say David scored 42 nice isn't he the only player on that team though. Elijah watson jabari sandifer Elliott. Mcgaughy royal ewing these are just some of the players. His aau team is good but he was put on that team in the beginning because his dad knew the coach just like others. He has a nice stroke I'm not knocking the boy I'm saying there are other kids who are just as good and better just under the radar. Let see how he does Saturday then will talk. As far as west aurora there whole team is back this year minus starks. I'm just giving my opinion so don't take it wrong

I went to the R-B Shootout this weekend. Very well run event with the games starting on time. That is amazing when you think of how many teams are entered and they are spread over 6 courts.

It was a pleasure watching Jabari Parker on Saturday. I watched Simeon play Benet. Parker played extremely well and does whatever he wants on the court. Simeon has a ton of talent. Kendrick Nunn played at a very high level, offensively and defensively. He looks like a Thoroughbred race horse - lean He and Parker just look smooth and efficient when they are on the court.

Proviso East looked like they were in mid-season form. Relentless is what I would call them. In every game I saw them play (4) and especially in the final against Simeon they just kept coming. It looks like Coach Boyce will have another terrific winter this year on the basketball court.

Whitney Young looks good as well. Their big's played extremely well. It looked to me like they need a solid point guard though.

Other teams that looked good to me - Bloom, St. Pat's (#15 played well in the game I saw), DeLaSalle, and Benet played well - O'Mara is getting better and better and they have the usual group of shooters.

Another team I like is Riverside-Brookfield. They always seem to play very solid team basketball. Their motor seems to be Damonta Henry. Joe, he seems like a solid player and is seriously quick and athletic. Is he moving up the board or is he caught in-between at 6 feet tall?


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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on May 29, 2012 6:53 AM.

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