The inaugural All-Illinois Invitational brought together 32 club teams from around the state to Riverside-Brookfield High School for a one day basketball marathon this past Saturday.
There were no brackets or champions. This was simply about bringing teams and players in Illinois together to be seen, while eliminating the time, travel and cost normally spent on an “AAU weekend.” It was also a chance to get in three games in one day in front of local fans, talent evaluators, media members and 50-plus coaches in the Division II, Division III and NAIA ranks.
Today the City/Suburban Hoops Report highlights a pair of teams that really impressed and opened eyes with their play on Saturday, while we will provide some thoughts and take a look at several individual player performances later this week.
➤ Team Rose 16U impresses
Team Rose’s 16U team went 3-0 on the day with a particularly impressive performance in a 79-73 win over a talented Mac Irvin Fire team, which included Morgan Park’s Ayo Dosunmu, St. Joseph’s Joffari Brown and the Simeon tandem of Kezo Brown and Talen Horton-Tucker.
Team Rose and the Mac Irvin Fire teams went at it in one of the top two or three games of the day. Team Rose jumped out to a big double-digit lead and then held on behind the play of Morton’s Vinny Belcaster (14 pts), Curie’s Treavon Martin (12 pts) and Young’s Jake Kosakowski (13 pts). Joffari Brown led the Fire with 18 points and Dosunmu scored 14.
Throughout the day Team Rose, which also took care of Hoop Avenue and LockCity Elite, impressed. Treavon Martin, who played a big role for the state champion Condors this past season, is blessed with so much upside. The 6-7 sophomore averaged 13.3 points a game in the three wins, along with his typical impact on the glass and defensively.
The 6-5 Kosakowski showed off an offensive repertoire that includes a terrific perimeter shooting game, knocking down three-pointers in a 20-point performance in a wi over LockCity Elite. On the day he averaged 16 points a game.
With 6-7 Treavon Martin, 6-7 Tyree Martin, also of Curie, Kosakowski, Belcaster, Marian Catholic guard Brandon Hurt, Urban Prep’s Jayden Gasby, St. Rita’s Jordan Matthews and others, Team Rose has balance and size.
Although Team Rose can sometimes be overlooked, with the Mac Irvin Fire and Meanstreets grabbing a lot of attention playing in the EYBL, this is a nice nucleus that showed very well at the All-Illinois Invitational.
➤ Young Legends open eyes
Among the 17U teams in the field, Fundamental U’s Young Legends team opened the eyes of those in attendance with wins over All-In/Young & Reckless, Mac Irvin Fire and Chicago Lockdown.
Aesthetically, from an AAU standpoint, the Young Legends team is pleasing to the eye. There is movement and sharing of the ball, an old school big man on the block and a fun-to-watch guard whose heady, confident and versatile.
“That really is one of the few AAU teams you enjoy watching play from a basketball standpoint,” said a small college coach in attendance of the Young Legends team.
The matchup between Fundamental U’s Young Legends and All-In’s Young & Reckless was a fun one. These are two teams with talent who go out and play anyone when given the chance, a refreshing notion on the club basketball scene.
With 6-8 Cameron Krutwig of Jacobs and 6-2 guard Jimmy Sotos of Conant doing their thing, the Young Legends pulled out a 56-53 win.
At the high school level, Krutwig is an absolute load to contend with on the block with his footwork and passing, while Sotos scored 15 points in the win. More importantly, Sotos controlled the game with his overall floor game. Y&R’s Demarius Jacobs, a talented 6-3 junior guard from Uplift, scored 12 in the loss.
The Young Legends team then came back in the next game and defeated the Mac Irvin Fire 78-75. While the Fire were missing a few key pieces, including Peoria Manual’s DaMonte Williams and Larkin’s Christian Negron, Michigan recruit Jordan Poole of Milwaukee and Stevenson’s Justin Smith did combine to score 35 points.
The Young Legends put four players in double figures in the win over the Fire, including 12 points from Krutwig, 11 from Sotos, 10 from guard Jacob Keller of Fenwick and a game-high 15 points from Hinsdale Central’s Peter Blust, a Class of 2016 recruit who is still uncommitted.
When you add Jeameril Wilson, a long and improving 6-5 wing, shooter Luke Anthony of Wheaton North and Lincoln-Way West’s Marco Pettinato, a prep hoops post-season hero this past March, this team has some pop.
Playing in the Under Armour Association this spring and summer, the Young Legends are 3-5 overall with two losses by a combined six points.
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