Updated: Jun 11
To conclude an event-filled summer, CrossRoads Elite Invitational provided an opportunity to get an early look at some of the nation's top underclassmen all under one roof. Taking place at the YMCA Farha Sports Centers in Wichita, Pro Insight was on hand to cover the three-day event. In between games, we caught up with Matas Buzelis of Brewster Academy (NH) and Mac Irvin Fire (IL).
Equipped with a long build and a dynamic skillset, Buzelis made it known from the jump that he was the top player in a talented group of prospects at CrossRoads. Flashing the total package on both ends of the floor, Buzelis ran the show over the weekend by punishing defenders from range, making smart plays in transition, initiating the offense, locking up on defense, and finishing at the rim. It was a productive way to cap off the summer for the #10-ranked player in the class of 2023 via ESPN. Look for him to carry that momentum and swagger into his junior season at Brewster Academy this fall.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Buzelis discussed his background, his basketball journey, his recruitment update, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Matas Buzelis, from Willowbrook, Illinois:
Pro Insight: Your little brother is participating here this weekend as well, right? How’s he played?
Matas Buzelis: He did good. He glued the team together and he helped us a lot, just rebounding and playing defense. He’s going to be a freshman at Hinsdale Central High School.
PI: What are your current measurements?
MB: I’m 6’8” 185 pounds. I think my wingspan is 6’9”.
PI: Where does that height come from?
MB: I think it’s from my mom. She’s taller, she’s like 6’1” and that’s tall for a girl.
PI: You’ve grown a few inches recently — talk about that a bit.
MB: Yeah, last year I think I was 6’6” or 6’7” tall and I just grew again this year up to 6’8” to 6’9”.
PI: Describe your game — what are some of your strengths?
MB: I think I can pretty much do everything on the floor: I can rebound, shoot, I make my teammates better, I share the ball really well, and get everyone involved.
PI: What about some improvement areas?
MB: I think I can definitely get stronger. This year I’m just going to work on getting stronger all-around. Working on shooting, also...just getting a consistent jump shot is a big thing for me.
PI: You’ve been shooting the ball well this weekend — what aspects of the shot do you want to improve?
MB: Probably catch-and-shoot and off the dribble — those are the main things for me.
PI: What are some underrated aspects of your game?
MB: My vision of the floor, that’s probably the biggest one. I played PG for my team, both at Brewster Academy and Full Package AAU.
PI: How did it go earlier this summer with the Lithuanian National Team?
MB: Yeah, I got invited there, but it was very difficult to go there during COVID-19. It kind of ruined the whole thing, so maybe this year.
PI: How did this past season go for you?
MB: I went to Brewster the second semester of the school year. It helped me improve my game and playing against the top players is going to help me to get better and better.
PI: Talk about your basketball journey — how have you gotten to where you’re at today?
MB: So I’ve been working with my coach, Dimitry. We’ve been working in the gym the past year. I knew I had to improve my all-around game and get stronger, but I’m happy with my progress. I’ve put in a lot of work.
PI: What’s the update with your recruitment?
MB: I recently got offered by Florida State and College of Charleston. I’m not really sure what the future holds, trying to figure it out still. I’ve got a little more time.
PI: Do you have any upcoming visits?
MB: Yeah, I’m going on a visit to Wake Forest around September 1st and to Florida State around September 30th.
PI: What are you looking for in your school of choice?
MB: Probably the biggest thing for me is to create a bond between my coach. It’s bigger than basketball for me, so making a bond with the coach [is big]. Also someone who can develop.
PI: What are your thoughts on possible overseas or pro options?
MB: I think it’s just good for whoever it fits. If they think if they’re good enough to go there then they should go there and earn money and all that.
PI: What are some of your off-court interests?
MB: I don’t really have a hobby, just basketball. Focused on that.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
MB: #Flashy. I think that describes my game on and off the court [laughs].
PI: If you were to wake up with $10 million in your bank account — what would be your first purchase?
MB: Buy my family a new house. And buy my grandma a new house, too.