With six seniors graduating, the focus has shifted. Now more than at any time in the past 5 years, we as Loyola Chicago fans are curious about who will fill our roster and fuel our next NCAA tournament run. We’ve seen Coach Drew secure four, 3-star recruits (Thomas, Quinn, Dawson, and Lewis) since taking over. I have full confidence that the 2023 class will be stocked full of similar talent.
All players listed have been extended an official offer by Loyola. I’ve dug through countless YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Hudl, and Instagram videos so you don’t have to. I hope you enjoy!
Class of 2023
Shey Eberwein – PG, 6’5”, The Woodlands, TX
3 star on 247, #25 overall in TX, #230 National
One of the things that pops off of Shey’s tape is that he embraces being a “big guard”. He isn’t afraid to back down smaller defenders in the post, he keeps the ball up after his gather step while driving the lane, and he can throw down some sick dunks as evident by his 2021 school district’s dunk championship. I think his ball handling skills are above average, but another thing that shines through in Shey’s tape is his ability to dribble with his off hand (left) and finish with his left hand in the paint. He may need to develop a bit more ball security as he moves up to the college ranks. Occasionally he can make lackadaisical passes, but possesses the ability to improve and become an excellent distributor. He has a nice jumpshot and an excellent release. One thing he may be able to improve is where his shot begins. Often he dips the ball a bit too low, which in turn slows down his release allowing for defenders to make up ground. If he can speed up the release, he has the ability to become a knockdown shooter from deep.
Joey Hart – SG, 6’5”, Linton, IN
3 star on 247, #8 overall in IN, #199 National
Something that surprised me about Joey Hart is his defensive prowess. This dude makes impressive plays on the defensive end. I can’t quite tell if it’s due to some abnormally long arms, his defensive awareness, or both. He already has a smooth jump shot with a high release point. He is right hand dominant, but likes to attack from the left side often. It’s especially evident on his dunks. Just like we learned that Lucas Williamson is a better dunker with his left, it seems Joey is as well. For a guard, he has a nice back to the basket game. He’s not afraid to low post or middle post and hit a turnaround jump shot. His ball handling skills are good and effective, although will need some improvement at the college level. He’s patient when he has the ball and will pass to teammates for better shot opportunities. I think his defensive ceiling is very high. He might be able to guard all positions 1-4.
John Blackwell – CG, 6’4”, Detroit, MI
3 star on 247, #4 overall in MI, #203 National
John Blackwell has the frame, size, athleticism, and basketball intelligence to be the starting point guard on a great mid-major team or a role player on a high major team, in my opinion. He plays on one of the best teams in Michigan this year, Brother Rice. He’s also faced off against Loyola ‘22 commit, Trey Lewis, once where Lewis’s team beat Blackwell’s team. John has a nice three point shot, and constantly seems to be in control of his body and his team as their lead ball handler. Blackwell plays alongside two other highly touted recruits in Xavier Thomas and Curtis Williams. That can be a double-edged sword. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if John benefits from having less pressure or defensive attention, or if he’s the captain of the ship. I believe that Blackwell makes Brother Rice’s team go. He hustles, he rebounds, he plays tough defense, and is a great passer. I think the most impressive thing he does well is move quickly and stay in control under pressure with the ball in his hands. Blackwell has the potential to develop into a well rounded player that will be tough to take off the floor, because he can do a lot of things very well.
Ty Pence – G/F, 6’6”, St Joseph, IL
3 star on 247, #5 in IL, #204 National
Ty is one of my favorite players that Loyola has offered in the ‘23 class. Ty is a true hybrid player. His body and mannerisms on the court are that of a wing, but his ball handling and unlimited shooting range are that of a guard. What’s clear to me is that Pence can shoot the absolute heck out of the basketball. He regularly pulls up from 25 feet. He’ll back out of double teams just to hit a three in two defenders’ faces. His athleticism is impressive as well. I wouldn’t say he’s a high flyer, instead I’d describe his athleticism as a controlled explosion. He has the body control in the air that usually only comes with age and maturation. He has great body control attacking the basket, but also has great body control while shooting jump shots. He often hits shots while contorting his body, taking fadeaways, or while being fouled. One thing that I’ve noticed is that he has a habit of leaning or fading away when he doesn’t need to. Hopefully that’s an easy habit to break before his senior year of high school or when he gets to a college campus. Ty has offers from high major schools including Illinois. He’ll be an impact player wherever he goes. We just hope he decides to come play at Loyola with his good friend Jalen Quinn.
Jack Janicki – SG, 6’4”, White Bear Lake, MN
Currently not ranked by 247 or Rivals
Janicki reminds me a lot of incoming Freshman, Jalen Quinn. Jack has all the gifts to be an outstanding D1 basketball player. He’s got legit range as a shooter. He can score at all three levels. His passing is very mature for his age. If there’s one thing he needs to work on, it’d be ball handling and ball security. Most sites have him listed as a shooting guard, but I wonder if he’d consider trying to lean more towards point guard duties. His offensive profile reminds me a little bit of Braden Norris. He seems to make really smart basketball decisions, and never seems to play outside of his abilities. While watching his film, I came across a game where his team had just lost the lead with around 5 minutes left. Here were his next 4 possessions: step in transition three, slick baseball pass across court to find an open three for his teammate, steal and hammer dunk, and lastly hit a dagger three in the eye hole of his defender. Jack will need to improve his quickness, toughness, and physicality on the defensive end in order to be above average on that side, but I’d never count this kid out.
Richard Barron – SG, 6’5”, Chicago, IL
Currently not ranked by 247
One of the things that jumps off the video of Richard Barron is his physicality. He looks like a linebacker on the basketball court. He’s got a body that would be ready to play college basketball right now. But don’t let his body fool you. Barron has some finesse to his game as well. He has a deep bag of floaters, mid range step backs, and a technically sound three point shot. Richard really embraces being a “big guard”. He’s got great toughness as well. He came back from a severe ankle sprain in his state semifinals to try to give his team a shot to win. They lost that game, but won the next day to secure third place. He often will use his size and strength to drive into the paint, and uses his impressive finesse and footwork to give himself open looks around the rim. One thing I think Barron will have to work on is how he executes some of his shots. Because he is a big guard, he often can shoot around smaller defenders rather than over them. Once he gets into College, he will have to adjust his game to shoot over guys that are his height or taller. Additionally, I enjoy watching him on defense. He is always locked in and looking to make a play. He will have to become a half step quicker in college in order to keep up with smaller guards, but he’s got the finesse to learn how.
David Tubek – F, 6’8”, Glendale, AZ
3 star on Rivals, #136 Nation
Tubek is one of the most difficult players for me to evaluate. His talent, potential, and athleticism is off the charts. On the other hand, his fundamentals, shot selection, and shooting form need some adjustments and progress. One thing is clear from Tubek’s tape. He is a gifted rebounder. He routinely boxes out, high points the ball, and out rebounds taller opponents. For a bigger guy, Tubek has some nice handles. I wouldn’t trust him to run the offense, but Tubek can bring the ball up in a pinch or help break a press. He probably has some of the highest potential of any guys on this list. If he can develop a more consistent three point shot, he’ll have game changing abilities on both sides of the ball. For a player that is ranked as a two star player on 247 Sports, his list of high-major offers is impressive. Tubek has offers from Texas, Kansas, and West Virginia. Tubek will have the ability to be an outstanding rebounder, shot blocker, and around the basket scorer at any level.
Sam Orme – F, 6’8”, Carmel, IN
3 star on 247, #5 in IN, #145 Nation
Sam Orme has a lot going for him. He seems to do everything really well. Sometimes the players who do everything really well, end up being your best players. To put it simply, Sam Orme does simple better. The two things that jump out to me about Sam is his height and length as well as his effortless looking three point shot. Those two attributes alone would get him a starting gig on any mid-major in the country. He can score from all three levels as well, not just from three. Sam is a gifted finisher with a soft touch around the rim. He excels at finishing with his dominant and off hand. In addition to those skills, Sam is a playmaking defender. He will need to bulk up in order to avoid being out physicaled, but even when Sam gets beat his athleticism and timing can help him still disrupt shots and passing lanes. Another thing that I enjoy about watching Sam play is that he doesn’t always need to have to ball in his hands in order to make a positive impact. He’s an effective slasher with great instincts to make a smart pass if need be in the lane. He knows how to be a great role player, if that’s what the team needs. I’d love to see Sam add some deception to his game with either pump fakes or jab steps to allow him to gain a step on defenders and use his length to get easy buckets.
Boden Kapke – PF, 6’11”. Victoria, MN
Not currently ranked by 247 or Rivals
Boden has the potential to be a “Modern Big Man” in every sense of the definition. He has the athleticism, shot blocking ability, and shooting range to fit the mold. Boden really shows off his athleticism on the fast break. Not only can he run and jump, but he makes good decisions and finishes around defenders rather than just trying to go through them. He has a good low post up game that should translate well to mid major basketball. Kapke can operate in the mid-post or top of the key, too. He’s a threat to shoot, pass, and dribble from mid range. He has great court vision and can often find shooters in the corners or on skip passes. One thing he’s going to have to improve is his ball security, especially when double covered. Additionally, I’d like to see him become a bit more aggressive when fighting for rebounds. He’s a great offensive rebounder, but can be outhustled by smaller opponents occasionally. Kapke has the tools to develop into a dominant modern big man. He’s got the physical tools to start on a mid major team today, if he could. It’s a matter of fine tuning and working hard to become even better for Boden.
Davius Loury – F, 6’8”, Chicago, IL
4 star on rivals, #98 in the Nation
Can I offer you an elite 3&D forward with huge untapped potential? That is Davius Loury. He plays for Kenwood Academy in Chicago along with a bevy of other top players in the state of Illinois. He plays as the second or third option offensively with guys like Dai Dai Ames and Trey Pettigrew taking lead ball handling duties. Davius has a pure jump shot form. Loury does a great job of offensive rebounding. He can hit from midrange, and uses his length and patience extremely well to get defenders off balance. Even though he’s impressive on offense, he really shines on the other end of the court. Loury can legitimately defend 2-4. If he can pick up a quicker first step and bulk up a bit, he will be able to defend 1-5 at the next level. He constantly affects shots, interrupts passing lanes, and fights for rebounds. I’m looking forward to watching his AAU season and senior year at Kenwood. I think he will pick up more offensive responsibility. I want to watch more of his 1 on 1 game, but I’m extremely high on this kid.
Matthew Reed – PF/C, 6’9”, Lewisville, TX
Not currently ranked by 247 or Rivals
Matt Reed impressed me with his playmaking abilities for a big guy. He can take defenders off the dribble to use his quick footwork and smart body positioning to get easy shots for himself and teammates. He has told reporters that he knows he’s not all that athletic. But because of that, Matt knows that he has to use good footwork and shot fakes in order to beat his defenders. Matt also has a complete game for a modern big man. He has a more than competent jump shot and three point shot as well. He can be a very effective point forward or center at the next level. His offensive game is ready for Mid-Major college basketball, but his defense needs some work. Because Reed is not the most athletic big, he lacks huge potential in defensive play making. He plays good one on one defense, especially in the post, but doesn’t make game breaking blocks. He’s a good offensive rebounder but needs to improve his tenacity on the boards to become an above average rebounder at the next level.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. There will be updates to the list roughly monthly, or if something drastic happens and it needs updating. Soon we will be unveiling a new way to evaluate high school players called “BuckScore”. An article will be posted next week explaining BuckScore along with some examples. Shortly after that, this list will be updated giving BuckScores to each player. It will be a scale that helps judge players current value as well as future value. Keep your eyes peeled for it. Go Blers!