CHICAGOLAND, IL— The 11th Annual USJN Windy City Classic provided a great finish to the second NCAA April evaluation period. The over 400 teams from 21 different states and Canada provided the 300 plus college coaches plenty to evaluate, take notes on and drool over. If you didn’t catch Tony Bleill’s coverage earlier in the week, follow the link below to catch up on some of the results and comments from Chicago.
And, for a list of all the college programs in attendance, pool All-Stars, a list of participating teams and more, follow the link below to the USJN post event page.
Here’s a quick recap of some of the impressive performers from this weekend:
Hailey Brown – 2017 – 6-2 – Forward/Center – (Ancaster, Ontario – ON Hamilton Transway 17 Nurse Juel– Brown is a mobile forward/center that plays hard on both ends of the floor. Offensively, she likes to score around the basket on post moves (has a nice up and under), putbacks, transition layups, and basket cuts. She is pretty versatile, has a nice shot from 15 feet (did not see her pull any threes) and looks comfortable going off the dribble. Brown is also active defensively and will apply pressure on the perimeter. In one defensive possession, she had four blocked shots.
Rachel McLimore – 2017 – 6-0 – Guard – (Carmel, IN – IN Indy Magic 17 Blanding) – McLimore is a big guard that has a great skill set. Not only can she knock down deep threes, but she can also attack the basket and post up smaller defenders. She has a high basketball IQ and is aware of game scenarios plus makes great decisions while understanding both the score and the time. McLimore plays hard on both ends of the floor and is effective in transition.
Madison Piper – 2017 – 5-11 – Guard/Forward – (Lawrence, KS – KS Hoopsters 17) – Piper is a big, strong guard/forward that can get hot from downtown. With her quick trigger and shooter’s mentality, she did a great job finding gaps against the zone defense and hit multiple threes. She also boards well and made several good passes to teammates for open shots.
Bridgette Rettstatt – 2017 – 6-2 – Guard/Forward – (Galena, OH – OH Showtime Elite 17 Daniels)– Rettstatt is a skilled guard/forward that is very fluid offensively. She has a nice shot and can knock down threes and mid-range jumpers. Rettstatt is solid in transition; she uses her length and defensive positioning to secure rebounds and has the ability to push in transition plus make great passes to teammates for easy layups (fluid one hand on the move). She will also shift to point guard and attack off the dribble.
Julia Ruzevich – 2017 – 6-0 – Forward – (Orland Park, IL – IL Defenders 17 D’Apice)- Ruzevich is a versatile forward that plays hard on both ends of the floor. With her skill set and mobility, she is able to attack off the dribble and shoot jumpers efficiently. She’s also a vocal leader and displays a sense of urgency making sure her team got into huddles and were on the same page offensively and defensively.
Mackenzie Schmitz – 2017 – 5-10 – Guard – (Germantown, WI – WI Lakers 17 White)– Schmitz is a talented guard that can score with and without the basketball. Using her high basketball IQ, she does a great job of reading her defenders. The ability is there to knock down threes, them off the dribble for jump shots or layups, and backdoor them if they try to deny her. She also has nice length and uses it for rebounding.
Kaylee Wasco – 2017 – 6-2 – Forward/Center – (Midland, MI – MI Storm Elite 17 Love)– Wasco is a strong forward/center that does a majority of her damage in the paint on post moves (nice dribble drop), putbacks, and transition layups. She posts up hard and does a good job reading her defender to finish well around the basket plus has the ability to knock down 15 foot jumpers. Wasco also uses her strength to fight effectively for rebounds.
Carie Weinman – 2017 – 5-9 – Guard – (Glenview, IL – IL All In Athletics 17 Kahleaf)- Weinman is a versatile guard that uses her great skill set to score and facilitate the offense while creating scoring opportunities for her teammates. She has a nice shot, good handles (nice hesitation), makes solid passes, and has a high basketball IQ. Weinman can hit the three and uses a nice shot fake to attack off the dribble.
Jada Wright – 2017 – 6-4 – Forward/Center – (Park Forest, IL – IL Lady Meanstreets 17 Stokes)- Wright is a strong forward/center that has an impressive skill set for a player of her size and position. She is very skilled offensively and can attack off the dribble (has a great crossover), knock down the midrange jumper, and make great passes. She is graceful and comfortable on the offensive end. (great body control on an attack off the dribble with a finger roll finish) Defensively, she boards well and can block shots.
Payton Brotzki – 2018 – 5-9 – Guard – (Papillion, NE – NE CSS 16 Bison)– Brotzki is a skilled guard that can shoot with deep range. She makes smart reads and is able to attack off the dribble by using quick starts and shot fakes to get to the rim. She is also a good passer that sees the court well and has solid handles. Defensively, she boards well and takes charges.
Delaynie Byrne – 2018 – 6-3 – Forward – (Arvada, CO – CO BC Denver 17 Elite)– Byrne is a long forward that looks to attack the defense in a variety of ways. She can shoot the three, go off the dribble, hit mid-range jumpers, and score on cuts (finish with left/right hand). Defensively, she uses her long wingspan to block shots and rebound.
Taylor Mikesell – 2018 – 5’9 – Point Guard – (Massillon, OH – OH Sports City U 17 2.0)– Mikesell is a smart, athletic floor general that is talented and fun to watch. She has great handles and court awareness, makes phenomenal passes (beautiful behind the back in transition), and puts her teammates in position to score. She has a great shot and can knock down threes, pull up jumpers, and finish around the basket.
Olivia Brown – 2019 – 5-8 – Point Guard – (East Grand Rapids, MI – MI MBA National 14)– Brown is a smart, scoring point guard that consistently makes solid reads to pass or shoot. She has great court vision and her passing ability is impressive (fluid with left/right hands). She uses pass fakes to get the ball into the post and can attack the basket and create for her teammates. Brown consistently gets into the paint (had a nice Euro finish) and can shoot threes. She is also active on defense and makes hustle plays.
Ricki Harris – 2019 – 5-10 – Guard – (Indianapolis, IN – IN George Hill Lady Stars 17)- Harris is a tall, athletic guard that can knock down threes, attack the basket, and help facilitate the offense. She has a solid skill set, a nice shot, and is dangerous in transition. Her ability to rebound, push, and score in transition is fun to watch. Defensively, she can also block shots.
Savannah Jordan – 2019 – 5-6 Point Guard – (Burlington, KY – KY Premier 14 Foust)– Jordan is a skilled floor general that does a great job facilitating the offense and can also score. She is able to make good passes to teammates using her court vision and was able to get their transition game going with quick outlets and crisp passes. Jordan has a good shooting form and a shooter’s mentality. In one possession, she missed a three; her team got the rebound and kicked it back out to her for another shot that she swished without any hesitation. She does a good job going off the dribble and finishes well around the basket (nice pass fake layup).
Sadie Knee – 2019 – 5-7 – Point Guard – (Grand Rapids, MI – MI Finest 14)– Knee is a skilled point guard that shoots three and attacks the basket well. She has good handles and uses her strength to get to the basket consistently (nice in and out). Against fullcourt pressure, she was patient and made proper reads/passes to beat the press and get easy points in transition. She also got hot from three point range and hit multiple long balls against the zone defense.
Paula Taylor – 2019 – 5-4 – Guard – (Cleveland Heights, OH – OH Friends 4 Life 14)– Taylor is an athletic guard that is able to consistently create scoring opportunities for herself. She is great at one on one using in and outs, crossovers, and a change of speed to get around her defender and to the rim. She can also pull the three and has a step back jumper in her repertoire.
Samantha Underhill – 2019 – 6-0 Forward/Center – (Grand Rapids, MI – MI MBA National 14)- Underhill is a long, mobile forward/center that scores a majority of her points in the paint on post moves (nice up and under), offensive putbacks, transition layups, and pick and rolls. She has a great motor and does a good job reading her post defender. Defensively, she makes hustle plays, rebounds well, and blocks shots.
Cierra Harris – 2020 – 5-8 – Guard/Forward- (Toledo, OH – OH Toledo Thunder 13)– Harris is a versatile guard/forward that can score in a variety of ways. She has a nice, strong frame that she uses to post up and attack the basket. Offensively she can call on mid-range jumpers, floaters, and convert layups (left/right hand finishes on layups). She is skilled and sees the floor well leading to good passes to open teammates.
Kayden Lawson – 2020 – 5-9 – Guard/Forward – (Beachwood, OH – OH Toledo Thunder 13)- Lawson is a skilled guard/forward that has a nice shot and will attack off the dribble. She will set up shop in the midpost and square up to go to work. She uses her size and athleticism for putbacks and transition layups. Defensively, she is solid on the boards and can block shots.