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The Official ZenMasterMike High School Basketball Blog

Over the past two years I have seen some amazing prospects leave their mark on the Chicago hoops scene. In the class of 2014, we were treated to the first class of dominant big men in Chicago’s basketball history. Cliff Alexander (formerly of Curie, now at Kansas) and Jahlil Okafor (formerly of Whitney Young, now at Duke) both proved to be too powerful and skilled to be stopped by anyone else in the city. Fast forward to present day, and it is intriguing to see how makeup of the class of 2015 stacks up to last year’s class.

The ’15 class is like the usual Illinois classes in that it stacked from top to bottom with talented guards who both show varying degrees of readiness for the next level. I’ll start my latest update with a guard from Morgan Park.

Marcus LoVett, Point Guard, Class of ’15, Uncommitted, Morgan Park

#1 Marcus Lovett, (Warren Skalski / For the Chicago Tribune)
#1 Marcus Lovett, (Warren Skalski / For the Chicago Tribune)

LoVett made his name at Providence high school in California before transferring to Morgan Park for his last two seasons of eligibility. LoVett is a left-handed guard with a slick ball-handling skills and a knack for scoring off of the pick-and-roll. In Morgan Park’s loss to rival Simeon, I kept a very close watch on LoVett and was able to breakdown his game.

LoVett is instant offense and I love how quickly he gets the Mustangs into their offensive sets. He is a guard who is adept at playing within a half court offense, but can also push the pace. With a team that doesn’t have incredible size, I could see how pushing the pace would be a good strategy for Morgan Park head coach Nick Irvin. However, against a Simeon team committed to playing to a faster pace it would’ve been wise to slow down the tempo.

I don’t know whether the fast tempo was a coaching decision or the players decision, but either way it resulted in sloppy moments like the one below. In this play, LoVett and fellow senior guard Charlie Moore both go for a loose ball and it winds up in the hands of Simeon forward Isaiah Moss. You can guess what happens from there…

While this play was at least somewhat LoVett’s fault, I think it was perhaps more of a testaments to Simeon’s pressure defense.

LoVett continued to stay aggressive though. And he used the pick and roll to give him space for his sweet mid-range jump shot. In this particular play, the Mustangs bring LoVett off a double screen, and it gives him enough space to score.

The exceptional quickness of LoVett is what helps his scoring attacks most, and while his handles are ridiculous it is possible he pounds the rock too much. His over dribbling sometimes makes the offense slow down, and it doesn’t always help create separation from his man (as shown below).

Overall Marcus LoVett’s performance in the loss to Simeon was up-and-down at first as he played carelessly on occasion, he ended up with an excellent 29 points. He followed up this great performance with a 26-point effort in a win against Bogan and their highly touted point guard LuWane Pipkins.While LoVett needs to work on his play-making skills and making quicker forays to the rim, he is obviously a dynamite scorer and a legit D1 high-major prospect.
This uncommitted senior reportedly has strong feelings for Illinois, but part of me would love to see him form an all-Morgan Park backcourt at DePaul with former 3A state champ Billy Garrett Jr.

Look forward to my next update, which will most likely be taking a look at separating the true contenders from the rest of the pack, and also taking a look back at some players who were formerly featured at the Chicago Elite Classic and are now poised for greatness.

Written by IVC Productions

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