It was a great weekend of basketball in Illinois as NY2LASPORTS.COM took in two major battles between top 25 teams. On Friday, St. Viator topped Benet in an East Suburban Catholic Conference battle as the guards of Viator had a hard time containing Benet senior center and Xavier commit Sean O'Mara, but ultimately hung on for the victory.
On Saturday, it was a matchup of the two top point guards in the state as Marian Catholic and Kentucky commit Tyler Ulis took on Stevenson and Jalen Brunson. Both point guards put on a show, but Stevenson used a major third-quarter run to build a 17-point lead that they wouldn't relinquish. Ulis did his best to put the Spartans within three points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough as the Patriots won the battle of top five teams.
Ore Arogundade -- 2014 -- G -- St. Viator
6'2" -- Arlington Heights, IL
The Drake commit had 23 points and was instrumental in St. Viator's big comeback home win over Benet on Friday night. Arogundade made the game-winning basket for the Lions and played very hard on both ends of the floor. The senior constantly makes big plays, is skilled enough to play a bit of both guard spots and will also knock in some tough shots.
Jalen Brunson -- 2015 -- PG -- Stevenson
6'2" -- Lincolnshire, IL
Brunson was fantastic and efficient in the win over Marian Catholic, scoring 32 points on 8-for-14 shooting while also grabbing seven rebounds and making numerous big plays. The lefty guard hunts his shot and looks for teammates and can do so much on the floor thanks to his tremendous basketball IQ. Brunson changes paces well and since he's able to stop on a dime and score from anywhere, he's always a threat to score.
Connor Cashaw -- 2015 -- SG -- Stevenson
6'5" -- Lincolnshire, IL
Cashaw continues his strong junior season as the guard put together a solid 20-point, 10-rebound effort in the win over Marian Catholic. Because of his improved handle and added strength, Cashaw is now able to get in the lane and make plays by attacking smaller wings. His jumper at times lacks consistency, but it usually looks pretty good coming out of his hands. Cashaw has also done a nice job rebounding from the wing for the undersized Patriots.
Sean O'Mara -- 2014 -- C -- Benet Academy
6'9" -- Lisle, IL
Huge game for O'Mara in a tough loss to St. Viator on Friday night. The Xavier commit had 39 points, 15 rebounds and four assists against St. Viator after posting an eerily similar statline of 39 points and 16 rebounds against Larkin the week before. Those are some huge numbers from O'Mara against top-25 caliber competition in both games. Although not a plus-athlete, O'Mara is very intelligent and skilled and Benet does a nice job of utilizing many different sets to get O'Mara touches.
ILLINOIS FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
T.J. Parham -- 2014 -- F -- Marian Catholic
6'7" -- Matteson, IL
An Army commit, Parham is a solid pick-and-pop forward that will be able to play on the outside a bit. Parham is also a solid rebounder and area defender, although he's a tad undersized to be a primary post player at the collegiate level. But because of his ability to shoot off-the-catch, Parham should be an interesting addition to Army because he brings some size and an ability to be an inside-outside threat.
Roosevelt Smart -- 2015 -- SG -- St. Viator
6'3" -- Palatine, IL
The smooth junior guard has a game that reminds me and some others of Saint Louis guard and former Foreman star Mike McCall and on Friday he had 23 points in the win over Benet. Smart does a great job creating his own shot and is a good knockdown perimeter shooter. The junior also does a nice job putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket as well and can operate a bit in the mid-range thanks to his pull-up.
Tyler Ulis -- 2014 -- PG -- Marian Catholic
5'10" -- Matteson, IL
The Kentucky commit had a tremendous 18-point fourth quarter on his way to 23 points, nine assists and five rebounds in the loss to Stevenson. Still bothered a bit by a sprained right wrist that is taped up, Ulis had difficulty finding his shot the first three quarters of the game, but heated up quickly and got going in the fourth quarter. Ulis is one of the best in America at setting up teammates as Ulis has exceptional vision and passing ability.