By Joe Henricksen

Individuals stand out at Swish 'N Dish

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While the Mac Irvin Fire, Meanstreets and Illinois Wolves teams grabbed the headlines in last weekend's talent-filled Swish 'N Dish event in Wisconsin -- as the Hoops Report wrote about in a blog earlier this week -- there were several individual players who stood out.

It was just one event, one weekend, but here are the players that really impressed the Hoops Report with their play in a great weekend of basketball, where every Illinois club team was on hand.

Jalen Brunson, 6-1, So., Lincolnshire (Stevenson)
His mature game and easiness made it easy to forget he was playing -- and dominating -- one age group up while leading the Mac Irvin Fire 17s to the Swish 'N Dish championship. Brunson is a high-level shooter with natural point guard instincts when it comes to running a team, making decisions and unparalleled vision. He may not possess the dazzling foot speed, but he makes up for that in so many other areas. Hard to imagine how Brunson, the Hoops Report's top player in the Class of 2015 for the past 18 months, isn't among the top 25 prospects in the country at this time.

Keita Bates-Diop, 6-7½, Sr., Normal (U-High)
It's not as if anyone needs this pointed out to them, but he's really good. The Ohio State recruit just progressively gets better and better. There is a reason he's a top 25 talent in the country in the Class of 2014, and he put it all on display at the Swish 'N Dish while playing with the Illinois Wolves. So long, so athletic and becoming more and more versatile as his shot -- both beyond the arc and an effective mid-range pull-up -- adds consistency.

Ore Arogundade, 6-2, Sr., Arlington Heights (St. Viator)
At the Swish 'N Dish, this active 2-guard looked the part of a mid-major plus type player (think Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley, Mountain West) rather than a mid-major. With a weekend or two like that in late April and July he will solidify that status and add a lengthy list of offers. When his jumper is falling, he's a real weapon because he's so active, in the middle of everything and making plays.

Malek Harris, 6-7, Sr., Orland Park (Sandburg)
What you have to love about Harris is his consistency to produce. That's what happens when your motor is always running. Many prep players should take notice of Harris as energy and hustle leads to good things. Although his perimeter jumper wasn't falling, he was still a game-changer for the Illinois Wolves with his rebounding, ability to run rim to rim and an effectiveness around the basket. Plus, for a player his size he can put it on the floor comfortably.

Tai Odiase, 6-8, Sr., Homewood-Flossmoor
In the never-ending search for big men, including the raw and all projects 6-8 or bigger, Odiase is going to be front and center among college coaches this spring and summer as they figure out just how good he can be. Odiase is big, long, agile and impacts the game with his reach defensively. He can really run the floor and has a decent touch, with a developing jump-hook, around the basket. He's still raw offensively, but Odiase finished the final month of the season strong with H-F -- he moved into the starting lineup in February -- and has picked up where he left off while playing with Meanstreets.

Edward Morrow, 6-6½, PF, Chicago (Simeon)
Unheralded for now, due mostly to playing in the shadows and waiting his turn in a loaded Simeon program. It may surprise some but Morrow is currently among the City/Suburban Hoops Report's top five prospects in the Class of 2015. The Hoops Report just loves this kid's motor, toughness and readiness to get after it and utilize his greatest strengths. If he adds another inch and sheds the undersized 4-man label, look out.

Roosevelt Smart, 6-2, 2G, Palatine
On a team loaded with talented guards, Smart played the best and was the most productive in action the Hoops Report took in of the Illinois Wolves' 16-and-under team. His perimeter jumper, with range out to 20-22 feet, looked terrific. He also gets out on the wing in transition and can finish. When and how Smart figures out to be most effective off the dribble will determine just how high of a level he can play at in college.

K.J. Santos, 6-5, PG/2G/WF, Geneva
After making an impact as a sophomore for a 21-win Geneva team, this under-the-radar talent was slowed midway through the event with a nagging injury. But he showed enough early on to catch people's eye and show the promise the Hoops Report believes he possesses. Santos is a smooth, versatile perimeter threat who will be a fast-rising prospect in the Class of 2015 once more people see him play. Long, rangy with skill, there is a lot to be intrigued by in Santos.

Andrew Jordan, 6-3, 2G, Plainfield (East)
The Illinois Celtics 16s are a team to watch, with the fast-developing Jordan a big reason why. The Hoops Report was impressed with the flashes Jordan showed throughout his sophomore season this past winter, but he appeared even more polished, more confident at the Swish 'N Dish. He's already a quality outside shooting threat with proper mechanics and range. Plus, he will show you that slashing ability in the open court. As his ability to make plays consistently off the dribble and make those around him better improves, Jordan's rise will continue.

Tyler Seibring, 6-7, Jr., Normal
He's not going to wow you and athletically is very limited, but he's one heck of a pure shooter at 6-7. And the Hoops Report is always fond of players you can just stick out on the floor and knock down shots, players who when the ball leaves their hands from 18-23 feet you think it's going to go in. In Central Illinois Net Gain's over Meanstreets, Seibring knocked down six 3-pointers. He's the very definition of a stretch 4-man with range, touch and a terrific release.

Out-of-state special
While the City/Suburban Hoops Report is Illinois-based, out-of-state prospects always grab some attention on the club circuit. And no young talent turned the head of the Hoops Report more than Jayson Tatum, a 6-6½ wing out of St. Louis.

Wow, what a talent -- an elite, legitimate talent. The Chaminade College Prep prospect who plays travel basketball with the St. Louis Eagles is just a freshman, which is the biggest reason for being so impressed. Tatum, who averaged 13 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game this past season as a freshman, is ultra-skilled and as versatile as they come.

The Class of 2016 national rankings aren't always readily available, but with Tate there is no need to see the rankings. You know where he'll be.

Follow Joe Henricksen and the Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on April 13, 2013 9:09 AM.

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