At every event, there always seems to be new names that catch my eye and some household names that may have added a few more tools to their performance kit. Here’s a list of some of the most intriguing players that caught my eye at the Midwest Showdown Shootout…

2021 6-6 Quani Rudd Mount Vernon
A gifted forward that enjoys playing above the rim. The ceiling is high for this athletic high flying forward with his size and length. He has real potential as a point forward long term because of his exceptional passing ability and court vision which allows him to relieve pressure and see over the defense. Rudd will progress well this season as he continues to gain confidence in his playmaking ability and consistency in his outside shot. Already holding offers from SIUE and Southeast Missouri State, expect more schools to get involved with Rudd.

2021 6-9 Michael Folarin St. Louis Christian Academy
The wing span, mobility and shot blocking ability of the 6-9 forward posed a problem in the lane for the Corliss guards. The London native has about a 7-4 wing span which complements his bounce and mobility to make him a serious interior defensive threat and rebounder. He’s very active in the lane and near the rim and was a go to option for his teammates on the drive. He was at his best offensively in the screen and roll action or catching the ball on the as he cut down the lane or flashing into the high post.

2020 6-8 Armond Williams East St. Louis
The slim forward was in his bag as the Flyers pressed the Hawks, forced turnovers and capitalized in transition. Williams can motor from baseline to baseline soaring above the rim. He is long, athletic and loves to run. He’s a good rim protector and does a good job of timing blocks. The forward is already having a nice high school career and will excel in the college ranks as he continues to add strength and size.

2021 6-9 Josh Robinson - Cardinal Ritter
Robinson has a mix of old school back to the basket moves and a continually growing set of contemporary face up moves. He is a big body forward that is physical and doesn’t shy away from contact. He has some nice low post drop steps, pivots and counters which he uses to keep defenders on their heels. He’s ready to scrap in the paint and rebounds well on both sides of ball.

2021 5-10 Nashawn Townsen – Chicago Corliss
The most dynamic lead guard of the evening. Has next level speed and passing skills. Can score it at all three levels. Has tight handles and can change speed and direction quickly to blow by defenders. He plays with a chip on his shoulder, is very tough minded and excels under pressure.

2020 6-6 Brandon Ellington Cardinal Ritter
The slender athletic forward blocks everything and scores consistently out to 15 feet. A gifted leaper, Ellington is a natural rim protector and sure to give the fans some “wow” moments with his aggressive dunks 
in transition or after driving through half court defensive gaps. He has a nice motor and his best days are ahead of him as he continues to add to his strength and size.

2021 6-2 DeMarcus Sanford Jr. Lift For Life
The floor general for the Hawks is a talented athlete that has a quick first step and excels in transition. Sanford was a good decision maker in transition and whipped some nice passes through the defense to cutting teammates. He was at his best on the run but also showed the ability to execute in the half court and make plays for his teammates or create his own shot opportunities.

2020 6-0 Glenn Valentine Cardinal Ritter
A skilled pass first, lead guard with the ability to make plays in transition and in the half court. Valentine also can create shots for himself. He can score it at all three levels including raining down three-pointers. He is a good on the ball defender and was able to get his hand on several passes for deflections and steals.

2020 6-5 Lashawn Johnson East St. Louis
A long slender shooting guard with good range and the ability to slash and finish above the rim.Can shoot the three off screens or create for himself. On the drive will catch defenders unaware and put them in the rim.

2020 6-7 Garry Clark Cardinal Ritter
Fits the role of the modern forward, long, athletic with a good blend of perimeter skills including ball handling, shooting and passing. His range from the three makes him an interesting prospect at 6-7.  This is especially true when considered with his ability to get to the rim and pass and score from the post. The icing on the cake is his bounce and above the rim finishing ability. Look for coaches to continue to get involved in his recruitment as they become increasingly aware of his versatility.