Here’s what we missed

Th­ese sto­ry­lines would’ve emerged if bas­ket­ball had been played through­out Illi­nois this June

Chicago Sun-Times - - CENTER OF ATTENTION - BY JOE HENRICKSEN @joe­hoop­sre­port

The two new eval­u­a­tion-pe­riod week­ends in June that proved to be so highly ben­e­fi­cial in the re­cruit­ing land­scape a year ago were wiped away by the coro­n­avirus, as was the en­tire spring eval­u­a­tion pe­riod. Ev­ery class has been hit hard. But the Class of 2022, next year’s ju­nior class, was just get­ting pre­pared to put it­self on the map. There would have been a lot of at­ten­tion thrown its way as col­lege coaches started to fa­mil­iar­ize them­selves with the next group of up-and-com­ing prospects.

Here are some sto­ry­lines that would’ve de­vel­oped over the course of the past month if June bas­ket­ball had been played through­out Illi­nois.

Glen­bard West tan­dem would have opened eyes

There are two bona fide Di­vi­sion I prospects in Glen El­lyn who have hardly been seen.

While Glen­bard West has pro­duced Di­vi­sion I play­ers in John Shurna (North­west­ern), Justin Pierce (Wil­liam & Mary/North Carolina) and Evan Taylor (Le­high) in re­cent years, it’s not ex­actly a house­hold bas­ket­ball name. The Hill­top­pers weren’t a must-see for col­lege coaches this past win­ter.

Glen­bard West’s tan­dem of 6-9 Braden Huff and 6-4 Cade Pierce were un­able to show­case their tal­ent and ver­sa­til­ity.

Huff and Pierce, promis­ing prospects in the Class of 2022, would have cer­tainly opened eyes in June while play­ing with their very promis­ing Glen­bard West team. Nonethe­less, the in­ter­est is start­ing to trickle in for both.

North­west­ern and Vir­ginia Tech have made of­fers to Huff while a sur­plus of high­ma­jor pro­grams have jumped in and are in­volved in his re­cruit­ment. Pierce picked up an offer from UIC and is hear­ing from sev­eral other low-ma­jor and mid-ma­jor pro­grams.

Jaden Schutt would have so­lid­i­fied early billing, raised pro­file

While he has been among the City/Sub­ur­ban Hoops Re­port’s top prospects in Illi­nois in the Class of 2022 since his fresh­man year, Yorkville Chris­tian’s Jaden Schutt had not been seen all that much by the time his sopho­more sea­son ended.

That was all set to change this spring and sum­mer.

The Class of 2022 as a whole gen­er­ally gains more fo­cus among col­lege coaches as the group inches closer to its ju­nior sea­son. Schutt was set for a big run with the Illi­nois

Wolves on the club cir­cuit, and Yorkville Chris­tian would have been watched in June.

Schutt is as pure and natural of a shooter as I’ve watched in 24 years of pub­lish­ing the City/ Sub­ur­ban Hoops Re­port re­cruit­ing ser­vice. He still gained a ton of at­ten­tion re­cently. Even with­out ac­tu­ally play­ing in live events over the past month, the tape and lo­cal su­perla­tives didn’t lie.

He has picked up of­fers from Creighton, Illi­nois, Iowa, Mar­quette, Michi­gan State, Ne­braska, North­west­ern and Xavier, among oth­ers.

But with a full spring and sum­mer plat­form, Schutt would have got­ten more na­tional at­ten­tion from eval­u­a­tors and col­lege pro­grams out­side the Mid­west. He’s on pace to be­come a top-100 player in the coun­try in the Class of 2022.

A star would have emerged at St. Pat’s

Coach Mike Bai­ley has a blos­som­ing tal­ent at St. Pa­trick in the Class of 2022.

Ti­maris Brown, a de­vel­op­ing 6-4 ver­sa­tile wing, av­er­aged 12.3 points, 7.7 re­bounds, 2.3 as­sists and 1.8 blocks this past sea­son as a sopho­more. Brown also made 40 three-pointers.

A su­per-in­trigu­ing col­lege prospect, the lefty not only fills up a stat sheet but boasts the phys­i­cal tools — his bas­ket­ball body and ath­leti­cism — that are so at­trac­tive. Plus, he has that whole “just scratch­ing the sur­face as a player” thing go­ing for him.

Cen­tral Illi­nois pair would have made a name for them­selves

The tan­dem of Jalen Quinn of Tus­cola and Zach Cleve­land of Nor­mal were set to have things heat up around them this sum­mer.

Quinn, a point guard with ter­rific 6-3 size, has been an im­pact player at Tus­cola, lo­cated 30 min­utes south of Cham­paign, since he en­tered high school. This past sea­son, he put up 20.6 points, 7.4 re­bounds and four as­sists. He plays with poise and a feel at a po­si­tion that calls for it.

UIC and South­east Mis­souri State made of­fers in June, and more than 20 Di­vi­sion I pro­grams have been in con­tact with Quinn.

Cleve­land is a rel­a­tively un­known player out­side the Bloom­ing­ton-Nor­mal area. But the 6-6 ju­nior-to-be put to­gether a rock-solid sopho­more sea­son, av­er­ag­ing 15.2 points, 10.1 re­bounds, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks.

The ath­letic four-man runs the floor, fin­ishes above the rim and has a fam­ily tree of height that could po­ten­tially push him to 6-7 or 6-8. ✶


Glen­bard West’s Braden Huff has re­ceived of­fers from North­west­ern and Vir­ginia Tech.


St. Pa­trick’s Ti­maris Brown, a 6-4 wing, can fill up a stat sheet and has all the phys­i­cal tools.


Jaden Schutt

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