Three-Pointer: Rashaun Agee’s rise, the impact of coach Pat Ambrose and some Pontiac talk

Bogan's Rashaun Agee (12) goes up for a dunk. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Bogan's Rashaun Agee (12) goes up for a dunk. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

There is a senior (Bogan’s Rashaun Agee) who is making the most of his final season, a coach (Stevenson’s Pat Ambrose) who just wins and plenty of high-level talent at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Here is this week’s Three-Pointer.

No. 1

There hasn’t been a senior who has helped his recruiting stock more in the first four weeks of the season than Bogan big man Rashaun Agee.

The 6-7 senior had an up-and-down junior campaign and his play in July on the club circuit didn’t warrant much attention and interest from college coaches.

However, he’s played with a chip on his shoulder in leading Bogan to an impressive 8-1 start.

Agee has been sensational to start the season, including in Bogan’s two biggest games of the year. He scored 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in a loss to Morgan Park. He then went for 27 points and 15 rebounds in a win over Simeon last week.

Always regarded as a player who played hard, ran the floor and was active on the glass, Agee’s offensive game has taken a big step forward.

College coaches will see an improved Agee who is playing with more confidence as they evaluate one of the top uncommitted prospects remaining in the Class of 2019 over the next three months. He knocked in a pair of three-pointers and several mid-range jumpers in the win over Simeon.

No. 2

Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose continues to shine as one of the elite coaches in the state.

Stevenson won at a ridiculously high rate over a four-year stretch with superstar Jalen Brunson and Division I talents Connor Cashaw and Justin Smith.

Ambrose maximized that star-studded talent. His teams averaged 29 wins over those four years with three top three finishes in Class 4A, including a state championship in 2015.

But Ambose won before Brunson, Cashaw and Smith –– the Patriots finished fourth in the state back 2007 –– and he continues to win since.

Stevenson has been one of the more consistent programs under Ambrose, who is now in his 20th season and won his 400th career game last month. The Patriots have never had a losing season under Ambrose and have won 17 or more games 17 of the last 19 seasons and are well on their way to doing so again.

Stevenson lost its best player, Ambrose’s son, Matt Ambrose, early in the season to a broken finger. He was averaging over 14 points a game. But the Patriots have survived and are 8-2 on the season and will get the junior guard back either in late December or early January.

No. 3

It’s not too early to talk about the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.

The premier holiday tournament in the state will tip off Dec. 27 and once again will feature a loaded 16-team field.

The top teams in the latest Super 25 basketball rankings, No. 1 Bloom and No. 2 Curie, and state-ranked Danville headline the field. All three are unbeaten on the season.

When you add No. 9 ranked Benet, No. 17 New Trier and state-ranked Bloomington, the top six teams at Pontiac are currently a combined 56-4.

And then there is Simeon, the program that’s won 13 Pontiac titles in the last 20 years and six of the last eight. No one playing in Pontiac will be overlooking the Wolverines despite the uncharacteristic start to the season and injury to sophomore star Ahamad Bynum.

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