Team Rose Shootout marquee matchup: #1 Glenbard West(Glen Ellyn) vs #4 Hillcrest(Country Club Hills)
Glenbard West(Glen Ellyn)(8-0) vs Hillcrest(Country Club Hills)(7-0). This is the matchup of the shootout. Appointment television. Two undefeated teams. Team that has been #1 every week this early season. The other Big Tim's #1 team in the Chicago Area last season. Veteran senior leaden team, vs a reloaded junior laden squad. This matchup has it all, size, versatility, athleticism, a nasty 1-3-1 zone, a team that puts relentless pressure on you. Makes for a big time matchup. Here's some of the keys:
1) Can Hillcrest use their size to pound the glass and take advantage of empty spaces in the 1-3-1 zone? They have the size to do it with Juniors Darrion Baker(6'7") ,Matthew Moore(6'7"), Kaleb Valentine(6'7") and senior Marcus Glover(6'8"). They are big enough, athletic enough, and bouncy enough to take advantage. Problem is they are young.
2) Can Hillcrest hit enough three pointers to run Glenbard West out of that 1-3-1 zone? This might be a weakness as their only proven three point sniper is sophomore guard Isaiah Green(5'10). They have a big time slasher in senior guard Aa'Reyon Munir-Jones(6'2").
3) Can junior point guard Bryce Tillery(5'8") control the tempo of the game on both ends? He's very good at pressuring the basketball and they have the size, quickness, and athletes to give Glenbard West trouble and speed up the game.
4) Can Glenbard West control the tempo? Will they try to run with Hillcrest? They have the ultimate press breaker in 6'11" senior Gonzaga commit Braden Huff the #1 ranked player in the State for Class of 2022. He can handle, pass, and has good hands to catch the basketball, makes good decisions with the ball. They can hit threes from all positions and have proven an ability to handle pressure so far. They though have not seen the kind of athletes Hillcrest presents.
Keys will be if seniors Army commit Bobby Durkin(6'7") and Princeton commit Caden Pierce hit threes like they've been all year, and can Glenbard West control the glass out of that 1-3-1 zone. Does Hillcrest have another three point sniper or two to kill that zone? It will be hard for their small guards to shoot over 6'4", 6'6", 6'7", 6'9" and 6'11". Hillcrest will have to have a great day on the offensive glass. Also Pierce, senior guards Paxton Warden, and Jack Cardwell off the bench will have to handle Hillcrest pressure defense.
Prediction: Hillcrest has the size, speed, and athleticism to give Glenbard West trouble but I question their youth? Glenbard West has already played in some showcase games, Hillcrest has not till this game. While I would not be totally surprised if Hillcrest won(they have the talent to do so), I feel Glenbard West's senior experience, great teamwork, passing, and knockdown shooters from all over the court will help them survive and get the victory.