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St. Joseph's Glynn Watson was among the Illinois prospects that impressed at the Spiece Run-n-Slam in Fort Wayne, Ind., last weekend

St. Joseph's Glynn Watson was among the Illinois prospects that impressed at the Spiece Run-n-Slam in Fort Wayne, Ind., last weekend. | Patrick Gleason/For Sun-Times Media

When it comes to spring Midwest events on the AAU circuit, there aren’t any better than the Swish-N-Dish in Wisconsin in early April and the Spiece Run-N-Slam in Fort Wayne, Ind., the first week in May.

The latter provided plenty of team highlights this past weekend, including an Illinois Wolves 17U title and a Meanstreets 15U championship. But as always on the club circuit, all eyes were on the individual players, with several stepping up with impressive performances.

Here is what the City/Suburban Hoops Report took from the weekend at Spiece.

Five who shined at Spiece

➤ Obediah Church, Springfield
There wasn’t a player who enhanced their stock more in the eyes of the Hoops Report than the 6-7 Church. Maybe it was because he was thought of too little after watching him with his high school team during his junior season. His offensive game clearly needs to expand, but there are very few players in the state of Illinois with the type of athleticism and quick bounce that Church brings, which he uses to finish in impressive fashion with dunks, alley-oops and getting out and running the floor in transition. Add his length and lateral quickness that make him an intriguing defender and any mid-major plus program will be fortunate to get him. 

➤ Weisner Perez, Morton
The Hoops Report highlighted Perez’s rise last week, which is enhanced by his fine academic reputation. But as Perez continues to show more and more versatility, the undersized 4-man is going to be a bigger name and hotter commodity. The offers and interest will go beyond the academic schools pursuing him in the Ivy League and Patriot League. He’s come a long way as a player, becoming an integral part of the Mac Irvin Fire 17U team this spring. He battles and competes on the glass with his strength and build, finishes around the rim and has shown an improved face-up game and jumper.

➤ Glynn Watson, St. Joseph
The 5-11 point guard has an understated game. Watson isn’t a dynamo scoring point guard or a knockdown shooter. And though he has some quickness, Watson isn’t an electric athlete. But he also doesn’t try to do too much, which is exactly what you want from a steady, traditional point guard. He stays within his point guard responsibilities and knows how to run a team and get others involved. He takes advantage of and shows his strengths at the right time. Watson excels in the open court and has such an effective pull-up, mid-range jumper. Those are all the reasons high-major coaches in need of a point guard have come calling.

➤ Roosevelt Smart, St. Viator
Although the 6-2 guard has battled with some inconsistency in his high school career, the highs are outnumbering the lows. Smart was terrific at Spiece, particularly with his shooting and scoring production. He put points on the board, shot it well from the perimeter and helped lead the Illinois Wolves to a 17U Spiece title, which included a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. Smart has solidified himself as a solid mid-major plus prospect. 

➤ Davon Dillard, 6-5, Gary (Bowman Academy)
He plays across the border in Gary, Ind., but there’s no way of dismissing what this ultra-athletic wing has done for the Mac Irvin Fire this spring, particularly this past weekend with some head-turning moments. Dillard had the dunk of the weekend, dropped in a few three-pointers and was devastating finishing in transition. He’s a physical specimen with a body and explosiveness that screams high-major. Now it’s just a matter of continuing to show more polish and improved offensive versatility. 

Some out-of-state Hoops Report love

It’s sometimes nice to get a clean slate on a player, which often happens when the City/Suburban Hoops Report takes in out-of-state talent at various events. With so much attention thrown toward Illinois prospects, it’s refreshing to see the talent from outside Illinois that quickly jumps out.

Here is a quick rundown of a few out-of-state players the Hoops Report took in this past weekend at Spiece.

Brevin Pritzl, DePere (Wis.)
This 6-3 shooting guard was one of the real highlights for the Hoops Report at Spiece. Based on his weekend play with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors, if Pritzl played in Illinois he’s a top 10 player here in the Class of 2015. Nationally and among college coaches, he’s vastly undervalued. A shooter and scorer with some bounce and confidence, there will undoubtedly be high-major offers coming his way soon.

Jalen Coleman, LaPorte (Ind.)
There’s a reason this 2-guard is among the top 50 players in the country. He’s all that as the Hoops Report loved him and his sweet, quick shooting stroke with range this past weekend. The Hoops Report doesn’t see the La Lumiere star as a true combo guard at this point, but he’s the type of player it loves –– a shooter who stretches a defense and puts points on the board.

Deyonta Davis, Muskegon (Mich.)
Congrats, Michigan State! You have a good one and, from what the Hoops Report has seen of the 6-8 power forward, an underrated player for one who is among the top 100 prospects in the country.

Caleb Swanigan, Fort Wayne (Ind.)
As a prospect, this 6-8, 260-pound behemoth might have been the most impressive the Hoops Report watched at Spiece –– and he’s just a sophomore. His size and game left you saying, “Wow!” when watching him. This top 20 prospect in the Class of 2016 is immovable on the block with soft hands, touch and is light on his feet. A true on-the-block difference-maker.

And some more Spiece thoughts ...

Oswego’s Zach West doesn’t play for a high-profile AAU outfit, but the big, strong, 6-4 physical wing with shooting range and scoring ability impressed at Spiece. West has a ruggedness about him that he uses to his benefit but also has outstanding shooting range. He’s a scholarship player one way or another, whether it’s at the Division II or Division I level.

■ The recruitment of Christian Williams of Decatur St. Teresa will be interesting going forward. He’s a big combo guard at 6-5 with a bundle of talent and playmaking creativity to his game, which was all on display again while playing with the Illinois Irish. He plays in control and is so smooth. But most of all, it’s hard to ignore his upside. Already a highly coveted mid-major prospect, high-major programs will continue to monitor his progress.

■ Another weekend passes and Hoops Report favorite Admiral Schofield of Zion-Benton remains the best-kept secret in Illinois, though interest in the 6-5 wing continues to pick up. Schofield, who has a Wisconsin-Green Bay offer, will take an unofficial visit to Valpo this weekend.

■ If Hinsdale Central gets the George Kiernan the Hoops Report saw this past weekend while playing with Chicago Lockdown, then 6-7 junior star Matt Rafferty is going to have a heck of a sidekick next season. The 6-6 Kiernan was active, bouncy and showed an aggressiveness that will easily translate to a double-figure scorer for coach Nick Latorre.

■ Patriot League, Ivy League and any other high academic programs at the low-Division I level should be all over Lyons Township guard Harrison Niego. The 6-1 combo guard knows how to play, has some grit to him and is an efficient perimeter shooter.

■ Simeon's Zach Norvell, a 6-4 guard who started as a sophomore for coach Rob Smith, and 6-9 Barret Benson of Hinsdale South are two of the top five prospects in the Class of 2016. Both had moments showing why they are this weekend.

When Norvell's shot is falling, he instantly becomes a major offensive weapon with his perimeter shot and size in the backcourt. Now it's a matter of becoming more efficient and consistent with it. Benson, meanwhile, has picked up offers from Indiana and Kansas State in the past couple of weeks.

■ At a time when it’s so difficult to find a true 5-man, Kyle Flanagan of Oak Forest is just that –– a good, old fashioned center. His biggest attribute is his size. Flanagan is huge at 6-9, 230-plus pounds with a strong, solid frame and base. Although he’s a below-the-rim big, Flanagan is making strides, has some tools to work with and will get Division II and low-Division I looks because of it.

■ Speaking of the Windy City Magic, Providence’s Jack Brody continues to improve. At 6-4 with the ability to slash and shoot, Brody is a good looking small college prospect who Division III programs will covet and Division II and NAIA schools will be keeping tabs on.

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