Class Of 2016 Player Watch: Donovan Oliver

By Roy and Harv Schmidt

October 10, 2012

2:00 P.M. CST

The Quad City Elite Hoops Showcase which took place two and a half weeks ago in Bettendorf, IA featured a good array of underclass talent from the Quad Cities area, with top prospects from both Illinois and Iowa in attendance.  It included standouts such as 6'7 2014 wing forward and University Of Wisconsin commit Ethan Happ from Rockridge High School in Taylor Ridge, IL as well as 6'4 2015 2-guard Jerry Myles from Davenport West High School in Davenport, IA.  Myles already holds scholarship offers from the likes of Iowa, Iowa State and Creighton.

From an Illinois standpoint, one player who immediately caught our attention was 6'4 2016 wing Donovan Oliver from Kewanee, IL.  In fact, Oliver appeared to be as naturally skilled as anyone who participated in the showcase event.  As a result, he has us talking.

Upon first glance there is no question that Oliver undoubtedly passes the look test.  He has a tremendous build for a player his age and when laying eyes on him one would think that he is actually older than he is.  But it does not end there--Oliver also showed that he has the game to match.

Oliver is extremely active on the glass as he has good hands and does a good job of establishing position on the block.  Defensively, Oliver is a good shot blocker due to his athleticism and great sense of timing.  He overpowers his opponents down low and as a result that is where he does most of his damage as of now. 

However, Oliver also showed that he has a nice mid-range pullup shot as well as ball skills, including the ability to handle the ball and pass effectively on the break.  This will obviously translate well in terms of tracking his future progress.  Unless he were to have a huge growth spurt, Oliver figures to project as either a 2 or a 3 down the road.

Above all else, Oliver seems to have an outstanding feel for the game.  He clearly ranks among the top prospects that we have seen to this point from the 2016 class in Illinois, along with 6'5 wing Ben Coupet Jr at Simeon and 6'6 power forward Alonzo Chapman at Morgan Park.  There is certainly reason for high school hoops fans in the Quad Cities region to be excited, because all indications are that Oliver is going to be a good one.


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