U.S. Open Championships: Sleeper Standouts
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MEMPHIS — A closer look at some of the top sleeper prospects from the 2023 U.S. Open Championships David Bolden David Bolden 5'10" | PG Nicolet | 2025 State WI – 2025 -PG – Nicolet (WI)/Power 5 Bolden’s just one…
MEMPHIS — A closer look at some of the top sleeper prospects from the 2023 U.S. Open Championships
– 2025 -PG – Nicolet (WI)/Power 5
Bolden’s just one of those guys that’s not gonna get his respect. No, he may not always score a ton of points, but I guarantee his coaches and teammates love going to battle with him, which is priceless. A true floor general that plays tough, physical defense, keeps the ball moving, and sets up his teammates for success, Bolden just doesn’t have an ego out on that floor. He puts the team and winning above all else and that’s evident in his decision making. Bolden is an exceptional 3-point shooter. When that ball gets swung his way, there’s no hesitation to let it go. Bolden plays stronger than his 5-foot-10 frame. When there’s an opportunity to attack, Bolden can go right into the chest of a defender, take a bump, and score against contact.
– 2026 – G – Orem (UT)/Utah Prospects
I don’t know that I’d call Felesi a sleeper as he holds high major offers as a sophomore, but in terms of where he may stand nationally right now, think he’s got top 50 potential. You watch him in high level contests and think, ‘this is a kid that can impact winning at the next level.’ The 6-foot-5 guard has a chance to be a total package type player. Able to play on and off the ball, Felesi creates for himself and others at a high level. He’s got explosive leaping ability in the open floor and an all-around skillset that will allow him to thrive in just about any system.
– 2025 – PG – Chi-Prep (IL)/Mac Irvin Fire
Just outside the top 25 in Illinois’ state rankings, Ford seemed to turn it up a level this week. At 6-foot-2, Ford has some intriguing length from the point guard position. He was able to create and get into tight areas. Also able to score in a variety of ways, Ford hit defenses with an unblockable floater, created off-the-dribble 3-pointers, and scored without numbers in transition at times. Very smooth on the ball, Ford has some deceptive athleticism and blow-by ability. He’s able to get on the hip of a defender consistently, get downhill, and score over the trees.
– 2025 – PG – Utah Prep (UT)/Utah Prospects
Mandaquit has some juice from the point guard spot. He’s got terrific positional size (6-2), excellent handles, and plus court vision. A playmaking floor general that’s in tune with the other four guys on the floor, Mandaquit can make some terrific decisions and passes with the basketball. I also love that when a teammate knocks down a shot, he’s the first one to give the high five. When Mandaquit gets two feet in the paint, you just don’t know what he’s going to do or where the basketball is going. He killed help defense all week with one-hand skip passes over the top and put it right in the shooting pocket. Mandaquit can certainly score the rock too. He’s the type of guard that will lull you to sleep and then turn on the gas. A high energy prospect that plays at a different pace, Mandaquit has an intriguing blend of athleticism and strength. Against Power 5, he came up big with an assist and a pull-up 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock to secure the win.
– 2025 – SF – Pewaukee (WI)
Momcilovic made some nice strides last season. He’s going to make more this winter. There’s a lot to like about the 6-foot-7 junior and I saw some positive signs in Memphis. In addition to gaining confidence in his shot, saw Momcilovic stick his face in the fan more around the rim and play stronger inside. He was a guy that has a tendency to hang around the arc. Liked that Momciloivc was more aggressive and sought out his own offense. He’s probably a Division 2 recruit right now, but talk to me in a year. With his size, versatility, and multi-dimensional skillset, there’s definitely D1 upside for the Pewaukee standout. He’s got a lot of his older brother in him in terms of being a mismatch nightmare. Just need to see it come out on a consistent basis.
– 2025 – PG – Lakota East (OH)/Midwest Basketball Club
I think this is a high major guard. At the very least, one of the top mid-major prospects in the Midwest, if not the country. I love the way Perry runs the show and can put a team on his shoulders. In crunch time, it was Perry who had the rock and he delivered time and time again. A 6-foot floor general with explosive handles, blow-by ability, and has the ball on a string, Perry can get wherever he needs to on the floor and applies so much pressure to a defense. He’s got terrific speed in the open floor, but is equally effective in the halfcourt and pick n’ roll sets. Put the ball in his hands and good things happen. Perry, more often than not, is going to get a teammate or himself a great look. He can shoot it too. Converting late in shot clock situations, Perry can take a defender out on the dance floor, and if he has to settle, will make shots under duress.
This is one where you kind of throw out the rankings. There’s a reason why Robinson was starting games for PGC this week in Memphis. The Racine Park guard is a relentless defender that brings constant energy. His teammates often fed off Robinson’s pressure and it led to some big runs. Robinson’s job is to get after people and make the offense uncomfortable. He was a star in his role every game that I saw. Robinson got rewarded too with a number of fast break opportunities. Think his offense fed off his defense as Robinson shot the ball well from 3-point range as well, giving PGC an unexpected lift at times.
– 2026 – G – Champaign Centennial (IL)/Mac Irvin Fire
Schilb is a prospect with a really good upside. At 6-foot-4, Schilb already looks like he’s going to grow to about 6-foot-6 or more based on his lanky body type and long arms. What’s scary, he’s a point guard right now with a two-guard skillset as well. Schilb is very advanced in a couple areas — basketball IQ and shot creation. You don’t see many guys who are unselfish and look to get their teammates involved, but also have that dangerous isolation scoring skillset, especially step-back or side-step 3-pointers like Schilb can do. Generally, they pick a lane. Obviously, Illinois tends to be a very deep pool of talent, but I would guess Schilb is a prospect that continues to rise year after year.
– 2026 – SF – Plainfield (IN)/Grand Park Premier
Smith is a high energy, all-around impact guy. You love the frame as a lanky, 6-foot-7 small forward with some bounce. He’s got different facets to his game, able to size people up in isolation, slash from the wing, post-up, and be a factor on the offensive glass. I like that he’s not reliant on his measurables. Smith has a reliable 3-point shot with some budding skill and doesn’t always feel the need to out-jump people or force something at the rim that’s not there. Smith is also a guy that could potentially guard four positions given his length and athletic ability. Not even close to growing into his body, Smith is probably a guy that will absolutely take off in a year or two.
– 2025 – SF – Northside Christian (OH)/Midwest Basketball Club
Vanderwarker changed the game for Midwest Basketball Club against Power 5 on Thursday. Although his team came up short in overtime, Vanderwarker’s defense set a tone and allowed Midwest Basketball Club to build a nice second half lead. Able to guard a strong, athletic power forward and a sharpshooting combo guard in the same game, Vanderwarker forced the opposition into tough shots and created a nice share of turnovers. At 6-foot-7, Vanderwarker looks like a nice plug n’ play prospect that can find his way onto the floor at the next level. He’s a solid 3-point shooter, can make things happen in transition, slash from the wing, play 1-on-1 in the post, and as previously mentioned, has quite a bit of grit on the defensive end. Vanderwarker has a number of different tools he can tap into. In today’s game that features so much pick n’ roll action and offenses trying to get mismatches, a guy like Vanderwarker has a lot of value on the defensive end with his ability to switch and guard multiple positions.