Midwest underclassmen on display
Byron Zeigler highlights the Pangos All-Midwest Freshmen/Sophomore Camp
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- The Pangos All-Midwest Freshmen/Sophomore Camp was a showcase event with a solid collection of talent from across the Midwest. Although there was not as much athleticism on display as there was in Atlanta the previous weekend for the Pangos All-South camp, the talent was good and the play was solid, which led to an enjoyable and well-played camp. Despite the all-around solid play, there were a couple of players who stood out above the rest.
Byron Zeigler (Detroit, Mich./Community)
2013, SF/SG, 6-foot-5, 180 pounds
He is a long wing with solid skills and top-level athletic ability. He is a beast in transition, where he can finish well above the rim, and has the ability to score with either hand in the paint, making him tough to stop when he slashes to the basket or posts up. He is good off the dribble, getting into the paint, and can go left or right. His jump shot is streaky right now, but he has above-average mechanics so he only needs repetitions to become a solid shooter. His length and athletic ability also allow him to be a solid shot-blocker for his position. He has the potential to be a lock-down defender, once he adds more strength and effort.
Vito Brown (Bowling Green, Ohio/Bowling Green)
2013, PF, 6-7, 205 pounds
He is an ever-improving low post player with huge hands and excellent length. Brown is athletic but does not maximize his athletic ability on the court. He is more laid back than explosive at this point (although he still is very effective). He scores mostly in the paint, although he has added a solid face-up jump shot out to 15 feet. He has solid hands and finishes well inside. Brown also is a very good rebounder who should get even better as he adds strength and aggression. He is a solid defender in the paint, where he uses his long body to deter penetration. He is a decent shot-blocker at this point and should improve as he learns to use his athletic ability even more.
Player to watch
Ian Theissen (Champlin, Minn./Osseo)
2014, C/PF, 6-8, 215 pounds
He is a very productive young post player who has learned to use his body at an early age. Theissen can use either hand in the paint and is proficient finishing righty or lefty. He also showed the ability to hit face-up jump shots out to 17 feet, which can be a very effective weapon for him since he is so good in the low post. He is not very bouncy but makes up for it with guile and skill. Theissen is a good rebounder inside, and he struggles some defensively because he can't challenge very many shots. He needs to learn how to be a better position defender, but that should come with time and coaching.
• Coach Gary Decesare is rejuvenating the St. Rita program in Chicago. Although he is still in the rebuilding process, Decesare has a couple of outstanding building blocks in 2014 prospects SG/PG Dominique Matthews and SF/PF Victor Law. Matthews is a natural scorer with a smooth game and no wasted motion. Law is a skilled combo forward who can score in transition or in the half-court set. They both are talented players with a chance of starting for St. Rita this season.
• Two of the better freshmen at the event came from Wisconsin. Class of 2014 prospects SF Kevin Looney and SF/PF David Burren both attend Milwaukee Hamilton and have huge upsides. Looney is long, athletic and skilled. He has high shoulders so he has a lot of growth potential. Burren also is long, athletic and skilled. He plays extremely hard (probably harder than anyone else in the camp). He makes plays all over the court and always seems to be in the right place at the right time.
• Class of 2014 C/PF Andrew McAuliffe (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) is a skilled post player who seems to be improving every day. He is much better than when we first saw him in July. He even improved from Day 1 to Day 2 at the camp. He is a solid low-post scorer with a nose for the ball in the paint.
• Class of 2013 SG/PG Kendrick Nunn (Chicago, Ill./Simeon) would have been considered one of the best players in camp, but he was unable to attend the first day. The lefty combo guard is wired to score and lives to be in transition. He is athletic, finishes above the rim, and in this setting was very impactful because of the up and down action. He will need to improve his half-court efficiency and jump shot as he continues his development.
John Stovall, a recruiting coordinator, has worked as director of scouting for Prep Spotlight Scouting Service and magazine for 15 years.