The Mac Irvin Fire (IL) narrowly missed out on Peach Jam a year ago, and they’ll be on a revenge tour in 2019. On paper, head coach Mike Irvin has his best overall lineup in years. The Fire has skill and athleticism at all five positions, and they have plenty of star power at the top of their rotation in junior Adam Miller and sophomore Michael Foster Jr. Mac Irvin always has a supremely entertaining squad to watch, and they’re hoping the high-flying fun will turn into more wins in 2019.
Miller (247 No. 28) is a blue-chip recruit in the 2020 class, and he’s going to be their go-to option on the offensive end of the floor. The 6-foot-4 Miller averaged 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Morgan Park (IL) in 2018-19, helping the Mustangs to a 28-5 record. Miller is the lone returner from last year’s squad, and he made an impact after returning from injury to start the season. Miller averaged 15 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists for the Fire in 2019, often deferring to Kentucky-commit Kahlil Whitney.
The addition of Foster (247 No. 4) gives the Fire two bonafide superstars to start the season. Won Player of the Year in the Milwaukee City Conference for Washington (WI) high school, averaging 18.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, and 2.9 assists in 26 games. Foster is a nightmare for the opposition in the post and is equally as dangerous while operating in transition. There’s a reason he’s ranked 4th in the country by every recruiting service - he’s a dominant prospect, and affects a game in numerous fashions. Miller and Foster will be contenders for All-EYBL honors with every session, and they will more-than-likely team up to lead a winning product.
Mac Irvin junior Adam Miller (247 No. 28)
Four guards will play alongside Miller, led by junior guard Sincere Parker. The 6-foot-4 playmaker averaged 18.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.9 steals in 38 games for Rockford East (IL), helping lead his squad to the 4A State Semifinals. Parker is the prototypical Mac Irvin Fire guard - athletic, long and loves to get out in transition. Parker was recently offered by New Mexico and figures to stack up offers with a strong spring.
The Fire’s backcourt will also be assisted by 6-foot-4 freshman guard Amari Bailey. A super-athletic lefty dripping with star potential, Bailey left his home state to play at Sierra Canyon in Los Angeles. He’s coming back home to play grassroots and will play significant minutes for the Fire. Bailey didn’t have many plays called for him on a star-studded Canyon team, and he found a way to make an impact. It’s safe to say he will do the same for the Fire, as will Miller’s teammates at Morgan Park, Marcus Watson Jr (6-foot-1). Watson should provide a scoring punch. Junior Micah Schnyders is arguably the Fire’s best option from the perimeter, and he should see plenty of open looks during his minutes on the floor. Schnyders averaged 14.3 points, four rebounds and two assists for Lincoln-Way East (IL) during the 2018-19 high school season, and the 6-foot-3 guard has to make a name for himself in a reserve role.
5⭐️ Michael Foster Jr showed off a little bit of everything at @bayloryouth this weekend
Much like Miller, Foster won’t leave the floor very often for the fire. He will be joined by five other big men that are set to contribute. The most important complement to Foster is the other out-of-state prospect on the Fire’s roster, 7-foot big man Ryan Kalkbrenner. The junior will play huge minutes for Irvin, and he is primed for a huge breakout campaign. Kalkbrenner averaged 13.9 points and 7.6 rebounds during the high school season for Trinity Catholic (MO) and he’s landed on the radar of several high-major schools as the EYBL starts up. 6-foot-9 athlete Seryee Lewis is expected to see a jump in his recruitment, and the junior will see ample minutes to prove his worth at the Division I level. 6-foot-5 sophomore Brandon Weston is the only other underclassmen on the roster, and he should slide in the rotation nicely as he is teammates with Miller, Burrell, Lewis, and Watson on Morgan Park. There’s a reason Weston is playing up a grade level with the Fire, and it’s safe to say he will leave an impact on the rotation.
(photo credit: @BaylorYouth/twitter)
The Fire desperately needs a return to Peach Jam after sitting out the preview couple. During their struggles, the Fire has consistently failed to defend at a high level, an issue that they intend on fixing in 2019. The move to a 24-second shot clock plays in the Fire’s favor, as they will play one of the most uptempo brands of basketball in grassroots. Miller and Foster have the makings to be a dynamic duo, and with a good amount of talent spread across the roster, it would be a good bet that the Fire return to North Augusta.