NEW BERLIN — The 2023 Varsity Blitz hosted by 24:UP featured some of the top teams and prospects in the state on Sunday… Julian Alvarez Julian Alvarez 6'0" | SG Pius XI | 2024 State WI – 2024 – G…
NEW BERLIN — The 2023 Varsity Blitz hosted by 24:UP featured some of the top teams and prospects in the state on Sunday…
Julian Alvarez Julian Alvarez 6'0" | SG Pius XI | 2024 State WI – 2024 – G – Pius XI
Alvarez is going to have a nice season for Pius XI. As a sophomore, he averaged around 10 points per game, playing alongside Jaquan Johnson Jaquan Johnson 5'10" | PG Pius XI | 2024 State #238 Nation WI and Jaquell Chisom. The kid doesn’t look the part as sort of an undersized combo guard, probably more of a shooting guard, but can absolutely shoot the rock. Alvarez has a really quick trigger and forces defenders to crawl up on him. Alvarez can counter that a little bit and hit some tough pull-up stuff off the bounce. Alvarez has this energetic, sparkplug way about him too. He’s a connector offensively. Alvarez is always moving, which will tire out a defense and create great floor spacing.
Antwan Burns-Jones Antwan Burns-Jones 6'2" | SG Catholic Memorial | 2023 State WI – 2023 – G/W – Catholic Memorial
Didn’t even recognize Burns-Jones at first. He’s clearly grown and put on some muscle since last season. Burns-Jones was more of a combo guard throughout his career, but now has the body of a wing. The 6-foot-3 senior just dominated a Sunday morning game against Janesville Parker. Burns-Jones was everywhere on both ends of the floor. One sequence in particular, Burns-Jones blocked a 3-point shot and took it back the other way for a dunk. Burns-Jones, who was more of an attacker and slasher earlier in his career, is now shooting it as well as he has from the outside. Didn’t matter if it was early in possessions, transition, or of a pass or two, Burns-Jones was knocking his 3’s down. A prospect that’s capable of being an All-State pick in Division 3 and having a huge senior season, Burns-Jones is a Division 2 talent that’s still on the board and can help a scholarship program.
Solomon Garrison Solomon Garrison 5'10" | PG Homestead | 2023 State WI – 2023 – PG – Homestead
Not sure there’s a player in the 2023 class that’s grown on me more over four years. I continue to say it, if Garrison were 5-foot-11 or bigger, there’d be no shortage of options for him. The kid just gets the game of basketball and looks like a joy to play with and coach. You don’t have to ask him to give effort or do the little things. Even if Garrison is not scoring, you feel him on the floor. Love the passion Garrison plays with on both ends. If that ball comes into his possession, he’s flying up the floor or getting it ahead to a teammate instantaneously. Defensively, Garrison was just everywhere on Sunday. If you play with the ball around Garrison, expect to lose it. Every time an opponent made a mistake, felt like Garrison was there to bounce. A pure point guard that gets others involved, can get coast-to-coast in transition, and take over offensively when needed, Garrison could be a sneaky good pickup for a small school program.
Dominic Hill Dominic Hill 6'2" | PG Waukesha West | 2023 State WI – 2023 – PG – Waukesha West
A sleeper in the senior class that’s going to climb the rankings here soon, Hill does a great job of being the straw that stirs the drink for the Wolverines. A skilled and fluid ball handler that makes things happen off the bounce, just felt like Hill was at the center of everything West did well offensively. Hill does a great job of continuously applying pressure to the defense, getting into high percentage areas, and forcing defenses to start scrambling. On paper, the Wolverines don’t have the most loaded roster in the Classic Eight, but think they can definitely give the top of the league programs, because of Hill’s ability to run the show.
Carter Lavalle Carter Lavalle 6'2" | SG Waukesha West | 2024 WI – 2024 – SG – Waukesha West
In three games, LaValle averaged over 13 points per contest, pacing a very balanced attack for West. LaValle plays a little bigger than 6-foot-3 and has some shooting guard/wing hybrid ability. As a sophomore, LaValle averaged around seven points per game for a relatively young Wolverine squad. West used LaValle really well last season as a catch and shoot threat and LaValle was very effective when he can step into his shot. Starting to grow into that raw, lanky build, think you’ll see LaValle show a more well-rounded game and his length certainly allows him to defend multiple positions as well.
Luther Smith Luther Smith 6'1" | SG Sussex Hamilton | 2023 State WI – 2023 – SG – Sussex Hamilton
Smith is just a bonafide scorer that’s going to make you give something up as a defender. Against Pius XI, he scored or assisted 12 of the first 16 points. Smith also hit seven 3-pointers in the opener against Mukwonago. The 6-foot-1 sniper has in-the-gym range as a shooter, a very unique mid-range and fallaway game for his size, and the strength to take bumps and finish at the rim. Smith has never been an above the rim or super quick athletic guard, but he can hit so many types of shots to the point where his size has never really been an issue. One of the top unsigned seniors in the state, Smith continues to generate Division 1 interest.
Frenchy Stellato Frenchy Stellato 6'4" | SF SJNA | 2024 State WI – 2024 – SF – SJNA
A new name that emerged, Stellato has a nice skillset as a scoring wing. The 6-foot-4 junior has a smooth, confident stroke from 3-point range. If you don’t close with a hand up, Stellato will let it go. The lefty has some sneaky athleticism in transition and can bring the ball up the floor a little bit as well. Needs to get better on the ball in the halfcourt, specifically with his attacking decisions, but when he got into the paint, Stellato had some very nifty and unique footwork to evade defenders and get to the rim without the dribble. Overall, like the blend of size, athleticism, and outside shooting that Sellato possesses.