The War For The North brought talent from all over the Midwest to compete in the Chicago Area, and I was in the gym taking in the action on Friday night! These are seven of the prospects who stood out…
The War For The North brought talent from all over the Midwest to compete in the Chicago Area, and I was in the gym taking in the action on Friday night! These are seven of the prospects who stood out in the three games I saw.
Maks DePalo (6’7 2026 C, Full Package)- The ceiling is high for this 2026 post prospect out of Illinois. At 6’7 he was easily the tallest player on the floor, and he put that height to use on the defensive end. Within the first couple minutes of the game he had already blocked three shots, and he didn’t slow down much after that. He has an extremely long frame, but even more impressive is how he utilizes that length. Maks times his jumps well and does a nice job of going straight up to avoid fouling, rather than swinging his arms going for a big swat. Offensively he’s a talented passer who was key in breaking the opposing team’s press. DePalo also showcased touch around the basket, and did a nice job of gathering his balance even when being swarmed by defenders.
Gabriel Sularski (6’4 2026 G, Illinois Attack)- Illinois Attack was extremely impressive last night, and Sularski was one of many talented prospects on that team. Don’t let his size at 6’4 fool you, he’s definitely not a post player. Gabriel shared some time running the point for his team, while also excelling as a scorer on the wing. He has a smooth lefty stroke from beyond the arc, and fluid mobility that allows him to weave through defenders with the ball. Vocal leader defensively who’s not afraid to get on the floor for a loose ball.
Paul McNeil (5’8 2026 PG, Chapman Academy Gold)- Paul was producing from the very start last night. And by that I mean he took the opening tip and finished at the rim within seconds of the game starting. McNeil was the quickest player I saw on Friday, and he puts that quickness to use on both ends of the floor. He was a pest on the defensive end, not giving his man an inch of breathing room when they had the ball, picking up a few steals in the process. Paul was so good at sprinting up the floor for transition buckets, but could also break his man down off the dribble and attack in the half-court. Tough finisher who could also create for others.
Maceo Collins II (6’3 2026 F, Wisconsin Elite)- It was a tough night for Wisconsin Elite going up against a stacked team, but Maceo was a bright spot. At 6’3 he has good positional size combined with a strong frame and impressive mobility. He was dominating the glass on both ends of the floor, and that helped him pull in a few offensive rebounds that he immediately went back up with for two points. Didn’t mind doing the dirty work on both ends of the floor, and uses his frame well on defense to contest shots at the rim. Really intriguing prospect moving forward as he has the physical tools to excel in high school.
Danny Hourigan (6’1 2026 W, Full Package)- Danny was one of the top shooters I saw last night, and when you combine that with his length at 6’1, you get a dangerous offensive player. It didn’t matter if it was off the catch or dribble, Danny was ready to shoot when he got a few feet of space from beyond the arc. He knocked down a nice percentage of his shots which allowed his team to pull ahead in the second half and come away with a win over Mac Irvin.
Jake Sherman (5’9 2026 SG, Chapman Academy)- Speaking of shooters, Jake Sherman was hitting threes at a high level last night for Chapman Academy. The 5’9 guard did a nice job of running off screens and getting his feet set to immediately catch and shoot from the top of the key. Showed a nice understanding of which spots to get to off the ball, and with a high level point guard handling the ball, it led to some good looks for the Wisconsin prospect.
Jayden Wright (5’7 2026 PG, Illinois Attack)- Jayden Wright is a true floor general for Illinois Attack. He plays with poise well beyond his years, and it allowed him to make plays for his teammates without turning the ball over. He’s lightning quick and you can tell he’s always scanning the floor when he drives into the lane, allowing him to kick the ball out to an open shooter or dump it off to one of his forwards on the block. Defensively he was picking up early and pressuring the ball, making it difficult for the other team to get into their offense. Showed the ability to force a turnover and quickly turn it into two points going the other way.