Lone Peak Makes Emphatic Statement in Chicago
And more highlights from the Chicago Elite Classic.
Hudson holds offers from Kent State, Akron and College of Charleston, but that list will definitely grow.
He hasn’t gotten much high-major attention, but with his size, great athleticism, silky smooth release from the perimeter and rare willingness to rebound the ball as a guard, he should start to pick up some more looks. He’s not a finished product but also feels he can play at the highest level in college.
“Basically, the offers I have is because they’ve only seen some of my skill,” Hudson said. “I’m still improving, I’m only a junior and I’m not close to where my potential is supposed to be. I can shoot it really well, but I still have a lot to work on. I think I’m a high-major player.”
Hudson showed how good of a shooter he can be when he caught fire in the third quarter and drilled four threes, including a run of three straight possessions. It would be inaccurate, and unfair, to describe him as a selfish player but given the circumstances Saturday in the second half, he wanted the rock.
“It was like give me the ball—really, I’m hot, I need it,” said Hudson, who drained five from long distance throughout the game. “My teammates are really good and they really helped me out. Without them I couldn’t do any of this, so it was really good for them to help me out. We’re getting closer and closer every day with practice and playing ball. We all love basketball and getting better.”
Bates-Diop led U-High with 23 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals despite being saddled with foul trouble much of the second quarter. He recently gave his commitment to Thad Matta and the Buckeyes, and headlines U-High’s mostly underclassmen-laden team.
The Pioneers were the runners-up in the Class 2A state tournament a year ago, and figure to be one of the favorites to win it all this season thanks to Bates-Diop’s presence along with juniors Kane Wildermuth (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Malik Wildermuth (7 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists). One of two seniors on the team, Nick Schroeder, scored 11 points (3-3 from three-point land) and provides U-High with another sharpshooter.
Bates-Diop is listed at 6-7, but his long wingspan allows him to be one of the best shot blockers in Illinois. His ball-handling, mid-range game and three-point stroke have steadily improved so far making him one of the most versatile players in the state.
OTHER GAMES FROM THE FIRST SESSION OF THE CEC
De La Salle Institute 70, Phillips 59: Future Minnesota shooting guard Alvin Ellis got De La Salle Institute started by showing why Tubby Smith went after his services. Ellis scored 11 of his 21 points in the first quarter on a three ball, a mid-range jumper and two takes to the cup. He also handed out a pair of his game-high 6 assists during the first quarter to help the Meteors take a 23-8 lead after the first eight minutes.
The Meteors (4-0) also got boosts from senior guard Marcus White (18 points), 6-7 senior forward Justin Earls (13 points) and intriguing 6-5 sophomore forward Brandon Hutton (10 points). Earls, who is drawing interest from New Hampshire, University of Illinois-Chicago and Southern Illinois among other schools, scored all his points in the second half and was active on the offensive and defensive glass. White has garnered interest from Eastern Illinois, SIU according to coach Tom White.
Hutton could be considered an undersized power forward but he’s got two years to refine his skill set. As it stands now, he will soon be attracting DI attention because of his bouncy athleticism, and frame to turn himself into a versatile forward who can guard multiple positions. He showed flashes of advanced footwork in the paint to free himself for easy shots.
Mater Dei (CA) 65, St. Joseph (IL) 55: Mater Dei junior Stanley Johnson came in as the headliner, as the 6-6 wing sports Kentucky, Arizona and UCLA at the top of his vast collection of offers, but it was 6-3 senior point guard Elijah Brown who carried the Monarchs.
Brown, son of former Cavaliers and Lakers coach Mike Brown, was in full attack mode from the moment the ball tipped. The lefty hurt the Chargers by getting into the lane and knocking down some outside shots. He finished with 26 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. He’s got a slew of mid-major offers and remains uncommitted, but played at extremely high level Saturday.
Johnson finished with a 17 points and 7 rebounds, but seemed to defer to the backcourt of Brown and Jordan Strawberry. Aside from having a famous father (Darryl), Strawberry shared in Brown’s attacking mentality. He’s a 5-10 blur with the ball in his hands in transition, and finished the game with 13 points on 4-6 from the field.
St. Joseph was led by junior Paul Turner (12 points) and sophomore Glynn Watson (11 points), each of whom have high-major programs showing interest.