Team Capsules

Jesse Little

ST. LOUIS SOLDAN TIGERS, ST. LOUIS, MO .:

The Tigers make their 3rd appearance in the MIdwest Showdown Shootout. Coach Darvin Whitley features several returnees from last season’s 19-win campaign. The Tigers will be led by one of the top Sophomores in Missouri, 6’0” combo-guard Jesse Little who averaged 11 points per game as a freshman last season. Jesse will be joined in the backcourt by his twin brother, 6’0” So. James Little. The Tigers will also be showcasing 6’4” Jr. Eric Rogers and 6’5” Fr. Elijah Bishop who is regarded as one of the top incoming freshman in the St. Louis area.

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Alex Spence

MICDS RAMS, ST. LOUIS, MO .:

The Rams will be making their first appearance in the Midwest Showdown Shootout this year. Head Coach.Matt Hixenbaugh coming off an 18-9 season last year returns a strong nuclues led by 6'5 senior Alex Spence who averaged a team best 19 points per game last year and is beign recruited by several division schools. 6'4 sharpshooting junior Matt Roper averaged 11 points per game last year while junior point guard Austin Thompson is primed for a breakout season after averaging 6 points per game last year. 6'2 junior Preston Buchanan will also be counted on heavy this year.

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WHITES CREEK COBRAS, NASHVILLE, TN

The Tennessee Class AA semifinalist from last year makes its first appearance in the MIdwest Showdown Shootout this year. The Tennessean’s 2016 Boys Basketball Coach of the Year Carlton Battle led the Cobras to the District 10-AA champion and Region 5-AA runner-up Cobras and a 22-12 record, led by All-Midstate first-team selection Ruot Monyyong, and won eight of their final 11 regular-season contests while also reaching the state tournament for the first time since 2007. Monyong a supreme shot blocker is one of the premier post players in the Midwest and has offers from Mississippi, Louisiana Tech, and several other D1 schools.

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Malek Davis

CARDINAL RITTER COLLEGE PREP LIONS, ST. LOUIS, MO

Cardinal Ritter is making its 4th trip to the Midwest Showdown Shootout and is coached by legendary Randy Reed now in his 2nd year at Ritter after winning 3 state titles at McCluer North where he retired from. Coming off a 23-7 season that the Lions won a Class 3A district championship and State quarterfinal appearance the Lions look to return to prominence behind a strong cast led by 6'6 senior Xavier Womack who is a very athletic player who can play inside and out. Guards Jared Phillips a junior who is also a standout on the football field is a returning starter as is super sophomore Malek Davis. These two form a dynamic backcourt. Adding depth will be senior shooter Ryan Trice, 6'6 junior post Breon Mosby, 6'2 ultra athletic junior Ronald Welch, and 5'9 sophomore shooter Ryan Torrey.

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Torrence Whitfield

WHITFIELD WARRIORS, ST. LOUIS, MO

Whitfield High School and head coach Mike Potsuo are making its 4th appearance in the Midwest Showdown Shootout and is coming off a 25-7 season that saw them win a Class 3A district championship and make it the Class 3A State semifinals.
Leading the way for the Warriors is All State junior Torrence Watson who is coming off a stellar season last year that saw him average 19 points per game. Watson is ranked as a top 100 national recruit in his class and has offers from close to 20 D1 programs including: Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, St. Louis, West Virginia, Butler, UNLV, Marquette, Creighton and a host of others. Sophomores Luther Taylor a 6'4 athlete and 6'4 Cyris Alexander will be counted on for major contribution along with senior guard Jordan Crouch and junior Ameechie Ramsey.

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W.E.B. DUBOIS LIONS, MEMPHIS, TN

The Lions and head coach Jason Johnson make their first appearance in the Midwest Showdown Shootout and they bring in an experienced and fast past team that is fun to watch and puts up points. The Lions return 5 starters who are all seniors and can all put up points. 5'10 senior Chris Mitchell is a knock down shooter, while 6'0 senior Branson Bush is a a bigtime scoring guard that is quick guard and hard to contain off the bounce. 6'5 senior Josh Conrad is an athletic forward that shoots the ball extremely well. The Lions are a high scoring and fun team to watch.

Kale Catchings

CBC CADETS, ST. LOUIS, MO

Cadets march back into the Midwest Showdown Shootout for the 3rd time. Head Coach Justin Tatum has another strong team that should be right in the mix for another district and state championship run after going 20-9. Leading the way for the Cadets a high flying 6'5 junior Kale Catchings averaged 10 points per game last year. Catchings is know for his high flying dunks but has expanded his game and is one of the areas top juniors. 6'2 senior guard Sam Orf is a prime player this year for the Cadets and is being recruited by several D1 programs and has an offer already from SEMO. 5'10 senior Josh Nunn is primed to run the pg spot this year while 6'5 sophomore Josh Wallace is back after starting numerous games last year. Two prized freshman will wear Cadet uniforms this season in 6'2 point guard Caleb Love and 6'10 Davion Bradford, who both rank amongst the nations best. .

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CHICAGO NORTH LAWNDALE PHOENIX, CHICAGO, IL

Chicago North Lawndale High School will make its first appearance in the Midwest Showdown Shootout. Head Coach Lewis Thorpe is always in the thick of things with his team and this year is no different. Coming off a 22-8 season last year the Phoenix will be led by 6'3 senior Carlos Hines who has been deemed a possible Player of the Year candidate. Hines has offers from: Chicago State, Winthrop, and Milwaukee. Senior guard Martrell Barnes returns and 6-4 senior Leonard Capels have added to the team's success in the Red West Division. Look for help from three transfers, David Forrest, Steven Ross and London Stamps.

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WEBSTER GROVES STATESMEN, WEBSTER GROVES, MO

The Statesmen come in to this years Midwest Showdown Shootout for their 1st appearance and head coach Jay Blossom is one of the states most successful coaches and programs. Coming off a 26-2 season last year the Statesmen have high hopes for this year as they return a very strong nuclues that is headlined by 2 top 20 nationally ranked juniors in 6'9 Carteare Gordon and 6'3 Courtney Ramey. Unfortunatly Gordon will have to wait till 2nd semester to suit up due to transfer rules but the Statesmen will still have a lot of fire power. Ramey an all stater with more than 25 D1 offers from schools like: Illinois, Louisville, Texas, Florida, Purdue, Missouri, Arkansas, Ohio State, Iowa State, Creighton, Kansas State, and a host of others is a stat stuffer. Ramey averaged 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists a game last year. 6'0 senior Cam Potts is a stellar defender with a much improved offensive game. Potts is blessed with a deadly mid range game and incredible athletic ability. Two of the areas best shooters will be big for Webster this year in sophomore Ray Adams and junior RJ Wright. Transfer Isaiah Ford is a 6'2 senior with great scoring ability after averaging 24 points per game at previous school last year.

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D Jacobs

CHICAGO UPLIFT ACADEMY, CHICAGO, IL

Uplift marches into this years Midwest Showdown Shootout for their 1st appearance and as one of the premier small school programs in Illinois. Coach David Taylor who won a state championships for Uplift a couple of seasons ago is primed again this year with a loaded team. This years team will be led by the brother tandem of Demarius Jacobs and Markese Jacobs. Demarius averaged 19 points per game last year is a 6'3 senior that is signed to Southern Illinois and is a high flyer, while the younger Markese averaged 16ppg last year is a sophomore and ranked nationally top 50 in his class and is also highly athletic and reminds you of Russell Westbrook. 6'5 junior Toraze Dobbs averaged 12ppg last year while 6'1 senior Amari Lindsey averaged 8ppg last year. This team is athletic, talented, and deep.

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VASHON WOLVERINES, ST. LOUIS, MO

The mighty Wolverines led by head coach Altonio Irons is making it's second straight appearance in the Midwest Showdown Shootout. The Wolverines won the Class 4A state Championship last year and return the majority of its top players. Leading the way is 4 year varsity performers 6'9 Levi Stockard who has signed to Kansas State University and is a big body post player with a great touch around the basket and 5'11 Daniel Peanut Farris who is the engine to this team and doesn't shy away from the big moment. Farris holds offers from Eastern Illinois, UMKC, Central Michigan, and Oral Roberts. Seniors Koray Gilbert a high flying shooter, Casey Cody-Jackson the premier on ball defender in the state and guard Darren Huntley are all mainstays and all play vital roles. 6'8 junior Joe Reece might be the teams top prospect as he is a very versatile player and puts you in mind of a Durant type player. 6'1 sophomore Mario Mckinney is a bulldog that competes on both ends and is a very athletic player that loves to get out in transition. This team is premier team in the state of Missouri regardless of class and is favorite to repeat as Class 4A State champs.

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THORNTON TOWNSHIP WILDCATS, HARVEY, IL

Former NFL great Tai Streets brings in his Thornton High School team for their 1st ever appearence in the Midwest Showdown Shootout. The Wildcats are an athletic bunch with a lot of talent and deemed to be one of the top teams in Illinois this year. The Wildcats got a big boost when of the countries top guards moved back to Illinois and enrolled into Thornton in Alonzo Verge who is ranked #77 in the senior class nationally by ESPN. Verge, a 6-1 guard, captivated the area as a sophomore in 2015. He averaged 23 points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals as he led Willowbrook to a 21-8 record and its first conference title since 1972. He was named to the Sun-Times All-Area and All-State team. He then played his junior year at a prep school in Florida. 6'8 junior Orlando Allen is an athletic player that plays above the rim and is one of the top prospects in the Illinois junior class.

“I think this could be a special group if they play together and buy in,” Streets said. “We have some talented guys and a group of guys that can fill their roles. That’s a great combination.

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