Riverside Brookfield Shootout Takeaways

Riverside Brookfield Shootout once again served home to Chicagoland's finest. Year in and year out, the Shootout unveils a variety of breakout prospects and spotlights younger guys stepping into bigger roles. Here, I'll dial into a variety of key takeaways.

Gabe Sularski continues to assert himself

Sularski first popped this spring early on at Meanstreets showcase event, displaying a mature feel for the game and versatile shooting ability at 6-6. Since, he's taken steps forward in a number of areas all while making a big leap in overall confidence. Now taking on a prime role with Benet Academy (IL), Sularski showed to be one of the premier prospects in the building, while being among the very youngest. I've seen him adeptly toggle between roles all spring long, but this was perhaps the most 'primary' role he's taken on. Creating advantages off the bounce, driving closeouts to get all the way to the rim, setting the table for guys around him by drawing quick rotations and knocking down contested looks from beyond the arc. A rare breed of wing who at a very early stage doesn't need the ball in his hands to spur offense and make an impact, but is capable of doing so at a high level when given the opportunity. In terms of progression, he's made strides on the defensive end. Still a ways to go, but is unafraid of walling off drivers at the point of attack and has the instincts to consistently beat guys to their spots. Quickly separating himself from the pack in terms of 2026's in the state, Sularski is one of Illinois premier prospects regardless of class. Still 14 years old, he's trending towards the top 50 of our national 2026 rankings.


Phoenix Gill is putting the pieces together fast

The flashes have been there for years now. A fiery, athletic off-guard with dynamic moments playing out in transition and finishing around the rim. But, the consistency hasn't been all there. The 2025 G looks like he's beginning to hit his stride in a real way. Always been stocked with a lightning quick first step, Gill has found a real cadence now in his pace and tempo. A rare trait for a young guard, but one that's a noteworthy indicator for me, has been his ability to get to the free throw line with consistency. The St. Ignatius (IL) scorer lived at the charity stripe all weekend long, putting immense pressure on the rim and routinely catching rim protectors and rotating defenders out of position with his first step and physicality. Much prefers to get it going from inside the arc first before finding his spots from three, but hit a variety big shots from deep when the defense gave him space. Easy to see in his demeanor and controlled aggression offensively that he's turning a corner in his development, but the massive box score outputs don't hurt either in terms of reflecting the leap in his game. A top 100 prospect in the class of 2025, and one that's due for a jump.

Davis Bynum's breakout weekend

Fresh onto the radar, Bynum may not have been one that coaches hit the road to get eyes on, but was one that turned heads rather quickly at the Shootout. A fluid mover at 6-8, it starts with his overall activity and defensive impact. Bynum switched up and down the line, while stringing together big sequences of covering ground to blow up plays around the rim. Athletic and aggressive, he generated a ton of stocks and made a big impact defensively with his overarching work rate. Game over game, it was the East St. Louis (IL) wing's foundation of offensively versatility that opened eyes. Grab & go attacks, functionally handling in traffic and taking guys off the bounce as well as making shots as a pick & pop threat. The game is still slowing down and there's room to improve in terms of picking his spots offensively, but there's an awfully enticing foundation of athletic ability, skill and size in place. Quickly added three offers after the weekend, but there should be more where that came from. 

Jack Stanton's surge

Seems like Stanton hasnt gone a weekend or two the last few months without making noise, all since leading Downers Grove North (IL) down state to end his junior campaign. The Riverside Brookfield Shootout was no different, except this time the sidelines were packed with coaches hot in pursuit of the cerebral guard. A proven lights out shot-maker both off the dribble and off the catch, to me, it's been the consistency in which he makes the right play with the ball in his hands in addition to seeming to be in control of each game he takes part in. The 6-2 G takes what the defense gives, often times before the defense knows their giving it to him. In this setting as the primary creator, Stanton had his way off the bounce — collapsing the defense and wasting no motion to find the open man. He has a knack for elevating the guys around him and putting them in positions to thrive, all while getting his own when the opportunity presents itself. Offers from all levels continue to pour in, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more high-majors join Stanford in pursuit.


Young guards stepping into big roles

One of my favorite parts of the scholastic live period, getting a preview of young guards with promising foundations stepping into bigger roles. The live weekend at Riverside Brookfield unveiled a variety.

Whitney Young's Marquis Clark starred in our MADE events to close out his 8th grade year, before providing a spark off the bench at times on a veteran-laden Dolphin team as a freshman. With the graduation of Dalen Davis (Princeton) and Marcus Pigram (The Citadel), Clark is now next in line. After a spring of up's and down's with Meanstreets, he appears to now being playing his best basketball. Attacking with more advanced pace, playing off two feet and while it was just one weekend's sample size, playing with a ton of confidence in terms of breaking down defenses off the bounce and letting the game come to him. Finding his groove from beyond the arc is the next step, but he's progressing in a variety of key areas early on. Top-100 2026 G could be in the early stage of a big jump, one I'll be tracking closely.

Speaking of exodus, Simeon (IL) lost a number of key pieces, including Jalen Griffith (Jacksonville) in the backcourt, from their fantastic 22-23 season, but Lorenzo Shields looks next in line. The 6-3 G arose early this spring with YnR and now looks to be settling into a primary role with the Wolverines. Still filling out and adding strength, but I've continuously come away impressed by his raw versatility in the backcourt in addition to his craft. Plays with a mature tempo with the ball in his hands, flowing into ball screens and changing gears with fluidity to generate advantages. Shields shoots it very well off the dribble and made some highly encouraging reads as a live dribble playmaker on the weekend. Still settling into the role and usage, but I'm highly intrigued by the upside of the 2025 guard. 

Marcos Gonzales has impressed with the Illinois Wolves both of the previous two springs and now looks to be taking the reigns at Brother Rice (IL) after the graduation of Ahmad Henderson II (Niagara). At 6-3 with skill off the bounce and a mature feel for the game, Gonzales excels in ball screens and attacking tilted defenses. Seems to rarely force the issue, more so keeping the ball moving and providing connective value in half court offense. Pass, dribble, shoot ability along with feel is a fantastic recipe for a young guard, and the 2025 G has quickly become one of my favorites that isn't discussed enough.

Fears brothers are out, but Joliet West (IL) has refueled with 2026 G Rajan RobertsLoaded with juice off the dribble, the 6-0 guard pressures the rim at a high level and excels playing up tempo. At his best with the ball in his hands, he's yet to truly struggle in terms of creating advantages off the bounce through last season, this spring with Team Rose and now as the primary initiator for the Tigers. Room to grow as a decision-maker, but the supply of on-ball reps across settings is beginning to unveil intriguing flashes as a playmaker. Still in the early stages, but Roberts has quickly asserted himself as one of the Chicagoland's most prolific guards.  


More Notes:

 - It was a loud introduction for Chicago's 2027 class, but no surprise here as three of the four starred on our Spring Circuit. Came out of the spring discussing Davion Thompson as the rare breed of young guard who should produce at a high level from day one, and he did just that with Bolingbrook (IL). Polished southpaw with mature feel and high level off the dribble shooting ability, he's going to continue to make noise. Kenwood's Devin Cleveland looks to be stepping into a bigger than expected role on perhaps the state's top team, and flashed his upside on the weekend. Now pushing 6-2, he came off the bench and provided a big spark on both ends of the floor — generating deflections atop the press, knocking down shots off the catch and driving closeouts to put pressure on the rim, even with his slender frame. Big on Cleveland's long term upside. Whitney Young's Howard Williams provided a very nice two-way spark and given his wealth of physical tools on the wing, should figure into the Dolphins rotations quicker than expected. The 6-5 wing brings value in a complementary role, spacing the floor from the corners, defending multiple spots and scoring it well around the rim. Jaxson Davis from Warren Township (IL) has made quite a bit of noise over the last few months, and for due reason. Gifted with the ball in his hands, he plays with mature pace and has a ton to his game as a distributor. Tools won't blow you away, but the 6-0 G is a natural playmaker and can certainly generate offense.

 - Nojus Indrusaitis looked excellent in his new home at St. Laurence (IL). The future Cyclone scored it with efficiency from all three levels, attacking space to get to his pull up and finishing well in traffic. It's been a very nice spring for the 6-5 G, now bleeding into the summer in a new setting. 

 - Yet another strong weekend for Mount Carmel's Angelo Ciaravino. Long been big on the 6-6 wing's versatile impact, and that'll be on full display all season long given the array of responsibility he takes on with this group. Active on the glass, sparks the break, defends multiple spots, brings value as a connector and is leaned on as a half-court initiator. The Swiss-army-knife-type productivity is nothing new for Ciaravino, whose proven the ability to toggle between roles and impact winning regardless of usage.

 - Discussed younger guys breaking out and opening eyes, but Larkin's Jakob Blakely looks like a potential 2024 G that could gain steam fast. A no frills bucket-getter at 6-1 with deep range on his jumper, he was a handful to bottle up offensively, stringing together a few monster box score outings. Lightning quick and understands how to utilize pace, defenses threw a ton of different looks at him but it didn't stop him from heating up. After battling through some nagging injuries, he's healthy and building momentum.

 - Benet Academy rolls out a promising young group alongside the previously mentioned Gabe Sularski, namely 6-8 2025 wing Daniel Pauliukonis. Skilled and smart, he scored and distributed it well as a dive man getting to his crafty float game and finding slick drop off's. Wiry and narrow, he's still filling out, but came away intrigued by his upside as a plus athlete with a foundation of skill at 6-8.

 - He's not new onto the radar, carving out a role with Meanstreets over the past few years, but Thornwood's Arden Eaves looks to be coming into his own. At 6-4+ with big time length, Eaves shoots it at a high level from three, makes quick decisions and plays with a ton of confidence. Still key areas to progress, but he seems to be turning a corner and has an array of enticing tools. A 2025 I'll be keeping close tabs on.

 - Big introduction to Riverside Brookfield's 2026 G Cameron Mercer. The son of former top 10 NBA draft selection Ron Mercer, the 6-2 scorer looks to just beginning to come into his own but there's plenty of indicators. Fluid closeout attacks, a knockdown catch & shoot stroke, impressive pace, scoring craft and promising ambidexterity as a driver. Early stages, but a ton to like.

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