By Kaleb Carter
Nojus Indrusaitis is drawing eyes on a national level after an explosive sophomore season. But his prep career has taken him into Chicago, as the rising junior has a new squad.
The class of 2024 wing was previously part of a burgeoning young group at Lemont. Early June he shared his intent to transfer and has been playing with the St. Rita Mustangs since.
He’ll join an already talented group with power conference recruiting prowess from the likes of fellow rising juniors Morez Johnson, an Illinois commit, and James Brown.
After going 23-12 a season ago, Indrusaitis’ arrival places the Mustangs among the upper echelon of the state a season removed from a sectional finals appearance (a 75-68 loss to consensus Illinois top-10 squad Kenwood).
The Sun-Times’ Michael O’Brien actually had Lemont ranked higher in his 2021-22 end-of-season Super 25 rankings (Lemont at 13, St. Rita at 22). But Indrusaits’ presence makes St. Rita instantly superior to last season’s team in terms of talent on the floor.
“It was just an opportunity to play against the best, and getting better is my main priority,” Indrusaitis said. “My goal would be to be a better defender for next year.”
At the Ridgewood Live Event (June 24-26) and Riverside Brookfield Shootout (the weekend prior), Indrusaitis’ athleticism was on display. The lengthy 6-6 combo player, said he’s hit a growth spurt since last year.
The best junior prospect I watched at Riverside-Brookfield on opening day was easy: St. Rita junior Nojus Indrusaitis. The 6-5 guard has a chance to be pretty special on the perimeter.— Joe Henricksen (@joehoopsreport) June 18, 2022
2024 SG Nojus Indrusaitis (@i_nojus) will be attending St. Rita (IL) for the 2022-2023 high school season.— Samad Hines (@Samad_Hines) June 3, 2022
The 6-foot-6 wing averaged 22.6 PPG and 6.1 RPG with Lemont (IL) last season — will certainly add significant scoring for the Mustangs next season @sritabasketball.
The capable scorer recently picked up offers from Marquette, Missouri and Iowa. He’s held an offer from Illinois since last season, and has offers from DePaul and Maryland as well.
Indrusaitis said that needed chemistry with his new teammates will come through time spent together on the court.
“I want to have a good relationship with them,” Indrusaitis said. “(I’m) looking for the best opportunity like finding out where I could impact winning.”
Indrusaitis has been playing on the Meanstreets 16U AAU team, and is plenty familiar with teammate Brown.
“Our mindset is to win every time we step on the floor and be aggressive on defense,” Indrusaitis said. “Just being the best that I can motivates me.”
Some photos from the Ridgewood Live Event’s first day, Friday, on my insta. https://t.co/iGDMoMV4KR— Kaleb Carter (@Kaleb_M_Carter) June 25, 2022
Jordan Brown is an unassuming presence on the basketball court. But he should begin to draw eyes as Bloom reloads with a talented bunch of returners and transfers.
Bloom lost its top two scorers from a season ago in brothers K.J. and Gianni Cobb, as the pair transferred to Perspectives.
Brown is a 6-3 senior guard who facilitates aplenty and was able to step into big scoring role at times a season ago. He will have to more in 2022-23 as the top returning scorer.
Coach Dante Maddox Sr. said that while 6-7 senior center Michael Garner is the most vocal of those on the floor, he’s pushing Brown to take on a bigger role in that facet of the game.
“I’ve just been trying to use my voice,” Brown said. “I used to be real quiet because I was scared to talk. But as coach is trusting me more, I started to get comfortable with talking to my teammates.”
“Jordan is a 3.5 [GPA] student,” Maddox Sr. said. “High character, low maintenance and is selfless. He is about the team and has been raised right by his family. Family-oriented young man. He will help a program because he is a winner on and off the court.
Maddox also noted that Raeshom Harris, a 6-4 senior guard, will be key in helping new transfers adapt to the culture of the program, as will junior wings Jaden Clark (6–4) and Santana Flowers (6-5).
Transfers Elijah Livermore (sophomore point guard), and seniors Jayden Watson (6-6) and Lierre Collier (6-2) will contribute majorly.
Jordan Brown is the distributor, Jayden Watson is the finisher. The Class of 2023 pair connects here. Bloom looks GOOD, even minus the Cobbs (who transferred to Perspectives). pic.twitter.com/XOH0qK1zZL— Kaleb Carter (@Kaleb_M_Carter) June 24, 2022
Bloom 2025 SG Elijah Lovemore & 2024 SF Santana Flowers continue to emerge after putting themselves on map during spring. @greatandgritty— Scott Burgess (@scottybscout) June 25, 2022
At the Ridgewood Live Event, the Blazing Trojans trounced St. Charles North and handed New Trier a double-digit defeat, both of which Illinois-basketball.com was in attendance for. Bloom also defeated DePaul Prep and Normal West.
Brown said he has lofty goals for the season. To get there, he knows his shooting has to improve, and he’s confident the college offers will soon begin to roll in. Improving his shooting is his most immediate goal.
“I noticed throughout the course of last year’s season, teams having been making me shoot because I go the basket so much, so shooting 100,” he said.
Jordan Brown 2023 is a combo guard who has the big 3….character, grades and game. He should be on coach’s radar at all levels. He is ready for a breakout senior season. @joehoopsreport @scottybscout pic.twitter.com/a6Esb1nl24— bloomtwpboysbball (@greatandgritty) May 23, 2022
The offensive production isn’t in question for Waubonsie Valley 6-6 senior forward Jackson Langendorf.
The Langendorf name has been a feature of Aurora-area hoops the last few years. His brother Carter, once an all-DuPage Valley Conference player, is now playing at Concordia University.
Jackson Langendorf was an all-DVC player and second team Naperville Sun all-area while averaging 11.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game as a junior. At Ridgewood, he showed off an array of back-to-the-basket moves in the post, as well as some face-up looks to mid-range depth. He’s already taken time to add to his offensive game this offseason.
“I thought I had a good [junior] season, but there was a lot more I could’ve done and it was my first varsity season so I definitely learned a lot,” the rising senior said. “This year I definitely feel like I’ve gotten stronger and more athletic and will improve upon both those things throughout the rest of the summer. I’ve also sped up my shot and cleaned up the mechanics, so I’m feeling a lot more confident in that. And I feel like I’m really versatile, so I’m pretty excited about what I and the team can do this season.”
Hasn’t been my focus, but can’t help appreciating the back-to-the-basket looks I’ve seen from Waubonsie Valley’s Jackson Langendorf against Marist. He’s a 6-6 rising senior.— Kaleb Carter (@Kaleb_M_Carter) June 24, 2022
Meanwhile, GBN leads Larkin 28-15 at half. Cohen with a pair of 3’s, 2’s and some free throw. pic.twitter.com/LYk2Z6o6Gt
Congratulations to Jackson Langendorf on being named to the DVC All-Conference Team! Proud of his growth this year, and I know this is just the beginning for him. @athleticswvhs @jglangendorf pic.twitter.com/jJq4rxTgWT— Waubonsie Valley Basketball (@WVHS_hoops) February 18, 2022
Where Langendorf knows he needs to be part of something bigger is on the defensive side of the ball in the second year under coach Andrew Schweitzer.
“We have such long close outs we’ve got to be able to contest while not letting guys just get in the lane,” Langendorf said. “But one of the other biggest things is communication. Again that’s important in any defense but because our defense is always changing — due to personnel or play style of the other team — we really have to communicate. For me, the biggest things to make us successful is playing physical and keeping the ball out of the post when we can, then contesting shots in the corners and definitely rebounding.”
Teammate Treshawn Blissett, a junior 6-5 forward, also garnered attention at Ridgewood.
Treshawn Blissett stood out for @WVHS_hoops. The 6’5 wing has good size, length, and athleticism which enables him to be a presence in the paint and good wing defender. Blissett doesn’t force it offensively, but showed the ability to score from all three levels.@TreBlissett3— Midwest Hoops Spotlight (@MHS_Boys_) June 24, 2022
For the weekend, the Warriors lost to Glenbrook North, Riverside Brookfield and Marist, but found themsleves in lower-scoring games, seemingly to their liking. Before Ridgewood, the Warriors had blossomed at Normal West’s shootout, which included a 16-point win over Rock Island.
“The summer has been going really well for us,” Langendorf said. “We went 4-0 last weekend at Normal West, and we’ve been spending a lot of time in the weight room and getting more athletic. As a group this offseason we’re working on getting even better at our defense because it’s our second year playing it as a program and it’s so unique. And we’re also working on sharpening up our offense of course, but I’d say our biggest priority besides the X’s and O’s has definitely been the weight room.”
6:30 Results/MVP— Midwest Crossroads Showcase (@MWCrossroadsSho) June 19, 2022
Waubonsie Valley 42 Rockford Auburn 39 - Jackson Langendorf (WV)
Rock Island 57 Hononegah 42 - Terrmell Akers (Rock Island)
Boylan 72 Carterville 52 - Tristian Ford (Boylan)
Carmel Catholic 49 Central Catholic 44 - Kaleb Jackson (Carmel) pic.twitter.com/6gL9A1EqsW