Whitney Young Shootout Recap
Cliff Alexander
Cliff Alexander
Special to Scout.com
Posted Jan 23, 2012


CHICAGO, Ill. -- It was the battle of sophomore big men Cliff Alexander and Jahlil Okafor on Sunday night in the finale of the two-day Whitney Young Shootout while Paul White and Rashaun Stimage were also among the day's best.

Rashaun Stimage, PF, Farragut - A bouncy and athletic forward, Stimage put up a triple-double in a win over Hillcrest. Likely heading to a junior college, Stimage still has to improve when it comes to making an impact throughout the game. After a shaky third-quarter that saw a lack of effort and poor shot selection, Stimage made big-play after big-play on the defensive end using sound natural timing and getting quickly off the floor to make blocks and alter shots. Stimage is starting to become one of the more talked-about seniors in Illinois.

Devin Foster, SG, Curie - Low-majors looking for a hard-nosed guard that can slash might want to take a look. The younger brother of University of Detroit guard Donovan Foster, Devin is more a two-guard, but showed nicely in the win against Whitney Young, making quick and efficient moves after the catch to score from the mid-range, attacking the basket, or getting to the free throw line. His shot still has a bit of a funky release, but he's usually efficient with his shot selection, and knows how to attack.

Russell Woods, PF, Leo - Russell Woods had to work hard to notch his numbers on Sunday, in-part due to his teammate's inability to get him the ball on the interior. Still, the three-star power forward made the best of it, rebounding and getting putbacks and staying active as a shot blocker. Woods worked hard to establish post position on both blocks, and on one catch he spun and finished with his opposite hand (right hand).

Cliff Alexander, C, Curie - In the much-heralded matchup of Scout.com top-15 prospects in the 2014 class, Alexander showed in a big way. The stat line of 10 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks doesn't begin to tell how impressive Cliff played in stretches. He knocked in a face-up 15-footer with Okafor guarding, and also spun baseline, in a quick and fluid motion that left Jahlil stunned and resulted in a three-point play. Alexander uses his outstanding leaping ability to snare rebounds at rim-level, protect the rim, and finish easily with two hands.

Jahlil Okafor, C, Whitney Young - While Alexander probably got the better of Okafor, this game was still nothing to scoff at for Scout's No. 2 overall prospect in 2014. Although Jahlil didn't have his finest game, the little things like his ability to read collapsing defenses, make passes, and eat up space still stand out. He's such a load to handle on the inside that when he gets position, he is likely to score or get fouled every time while also securing a vast amount of rebounds. One area of improvement for Jahlil is going to be keeping the ball high, as he had a stretch of the second-half in which he lost a handful of balls as guards came in and poked away potential putbacks.

Paul White, SF, Whitney Young - When Whitney Young needed a shot in the arm, it was often White that delivered. Playing a tremendous overall floor game, White often had the ball in his hands, running the offense in a point-forward type of role. He's improved his handles and passing ability, already strong given his age and size, to the point where he can knife passes through traffic with either hand to find scorers. A four-star prospect, White is also more comfortable in his body and this has helped lead to a more aggressive and assertive role attacking the basket, rebounding, and blocking shots.

*Cliff Alexander claims offers from Michigan State, Illinois, DePaul, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, Tennessee, Indiana, Florida State, Providence, and Louisville. He's also recently heard from Kentucky, Miami and Marquette.

*Paul White claims offers from Arizona, Missouri, Ohio State, De Paul, Illinois, Northwestern, Providence, Xavier, and Iowa. Baylor and Michigan have also recently been in-touch.

*Assistant coaches from North Carolina, Arizona, Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida State, Iowa, Ohio State, Illinois State, and Indiana State checked out the action while Howard Moore of UIC was the only head man we spotted.


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 -by IlliniPlaybook.com  Jan 30, 2012

Contact Evan Daniels
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C Cliff Alexander (profile)
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