Monday, December 25, 2017


December 28th, 2017

1st Round Pairings
West Aurora vs Warren 9:00am
3 Curie vs Niles West 10:30am
5 Oak-Park vs Lockport 1:00pm
5 Bloomington vs Joliet West 2:30pm
Benet vs Peoria Manual 4:00pm
2 Danville vs Plainfield North 6:00pm
1 Simeon vs Pontiac 7:30pm
St. Charles North vs Bloom 9:00pm

Our view of the field seems slightly down from a year ago, but the Pontiac event represents our state’s top Xmas venue. The Tournament will mark the debut of Pontiac’s first-year Coach Durrell Robinson a Danville native. We seeded our thoughts on the Top 5.

Players to follow: 
Talen Horton-Tucker – Simeon, Messiah Jones – Simeon, Xavier Pinson – Simeon, Ahmad Bynum – Simeon, Zion Young – Simeon, Chris Payton – Bloomington, Chris Pugh – Bloomington, Kendle Moore – Danville, Maurice Commander – Curie, DaJuan Gordon – Curie, Tyree Martin – Curie, Jaden Gasby – Curie, Camron Donatian – West Aurora, Isaiah Fuller – Oak Pk, Dashon Enoch – Oak Pk, Chase Robinson – Oak Pk, Anthony Roberts – Oak Pk, Kyle King – St. Charles North, Brandon Ellis – Warren, Colin Crothers – Benet, Keshawn Williams – Bloom, Donovan Newby – Bloom, Tommy Ferriter – Lockport.

December 27th, 2017

1st Round Pairings
Whitney Young vs Longwood 8:30am
Downer’s Grove North vs St. Joseph 11:00am
Proviso East vs Bogan 5:30pm
Uplift vs Providence St. Mel 9:30am
Fenwick vs Proviso West 12:30pm
New Trier vs Hillcrest 4:00pm
Elgin-Larkin vs Kenwood 2:00pm
Orr vs Morton 7:00pm

Notes: A quality venue, doesn’t have a wealth of individual star attraction the individual star attraction that Pontiac has, but does bolster some very good programs: Young, Orr, Bogan, Fenwick, St. Joseph, Proviso East, Elgin-Larkin, Kenwood; while Uplift has an opportunity to redeem itself from a slow start. Break-out player might be East’s senior guard-Quinlan Bennett. Orr’s Chase Adams will dazzle audiences, while Larkin’s Jalen Shaw will display what his bright future could look like in a few years. Markese Jacobs of Uplift carries the weight of a 6,000-pound elephant. He’s got to get himself into a groove where he can just play and get rid of all the other on-court theatrics. Lately his on-court demeanor does not display the type of leadership this undermanned team needs right now. Fenwick’s D.J. Stewart will garner some close viewing. Chicago Bogan could be a dark horse with their contingent scrappy players. Chicago Orr 

December 27th, 2017 

1st Round Pairings
DePaul Prep vs Crete-Monee 9:30am
Homewood-Flossmoor vs Stevenson 11:00am
St. Rita vs Westinghouse 12:30pm
Maine South vs Richards 2:00pm
Glenbrook North vs Rockford Auburn 3:45pm
Bolingbrook vs Up-Englewood 5:15pm
Hinsdale Central vs St. Charles East 7:00pm
Marian Catholic vs Lincoln Park 8:30pm

Notes: DePaul Prep should not look past Crete-Monee, they’re 1st round opponent. Crete has an exciting left-hander Tyrese Hunt and fellow senior guard Josh Evans, these guys can play. The cream of the crop suppose to be Bolingbrook, but H.F. or Marian Catholic should up-stage last year’s Tournament Champion. Lincoln Park will be the most entertaining team in the field. The Lions bolster an athletic squad that are young and inexperienced, but fun to watch.

December 28-30th, 2017

1st Round Matchups
This will be a hot North-Suburban destination, we are anticipating a really good vibe after the 1st set of games. Expect large crowds with an elegant flair. Quite a few notable players with a considerable amount of buzz will fill this event. Look for some really good match-ups in the quarters and semifinals.  This is the place to be later in the week. Top players to follow: Damaria Franklin – Niles North, Drew Peterson – Libertyville, Jerry Hernandez – St. Viator, Trey Calvin – St. Viator, Peter Lambesis – St. Viator, Bryant Brown – Waukegan, Anthony Sayles – Notre Dame, Troy D’Amico – Notre Dame, Dusan Mahorcic – Notre Dame. 

Niles North vs Vernon Hills 9:00am
Buffalo Grove vs Dundee-Crown 10:30am
Prospect vs Maine West 12:15pm
Geneva vs Niles Notre Dame 2:00pm
St. Viator vs Glenbrook South 3:45pm
Waukegan vs Deerfield 5:30pm
Wheeling vs Fremd 7:15pm
Grayslake Central vs Libertyville 8:45pm

December 26th, 2017

1st Round Pairings
Schaumburg vs St. Ignatius 9:00am
Wheaton North vs Downers Grove South 10:30am
Metea Valley vs Glenbard East Noon
Hinsdale South vs Rolling Meadows 1:30pm
McHenry vs Conant 3:30pm
Riverside-Brookfield vs St. Patrick 5:00pm
Stagg vs Minooka 6:30pm
T.F. South vs York 8:00pm
Oswego vs St. Laurence 8:30am
Lyons vs Palatine 10:00am
Andrew vs Lake Forest 11:30am
Waubonsie Valley vs Brother Rice 1:00pm
Nazareth vs Batavia 3:00pm
Highland Pk vs Carl Sandburg 4:30pm
Providence Catholic vs Timothy Christian 6:00pm
Elk Grove vs Naperville North 7:30pm

North: A cluster-frick of teams, Schaumburg’s frosh Chris Hodges will be on-hand, Brother Rice sleeper Junior Marquise Kennedy will draw a wave of viewers.

December 27th, 2017
In Bloomington-Illinois Wesleyan Shark Center
Wheaton-Warrenville South vs Plainfield South 9:30am
Thornwood vs Mahomet-Seymour 8:00pm
Rock-Island vs Rockford Lutheran 5:00pm
Normal vs Springfield High 6:30pm
North-Lawndale vs Zion Benton 1:30pm
Chatham Glenwood vs Metamora 10:30am
Joliet Central vs Normal U-High Noon
North Chicago vs Rockton-Hononegah 3:00pm

Notes: A Tournament that seems to be sagging this time around. Zion-Benton, Metamora, and Joliet Central Should provide some excitement. Freshman Amar Augillard (Zion) has been impressive thus far. North-Lawndale could surprise!

December 28-30th, 2017

1st Round Matchups
Mundelein vs Mount Vernon 8:30am
Germantown, TN vs Alton 10:00am
Confluence vs Cahokia 12:30pm
Belleville West vs Collierville, TN 2:00pm
Champaign Central vs Lausanne 3:30pm
Evanston vs O’Fallon 6:15pm
Centralia vs Salem 7:45pm
Marist vs Arlington, TN 9:15pm

Notable players area to see: Tim Finke – Central, E.J. Liddle – West, Amir Spann – Mt. Vernon, Morgan Taylor – Marist, Khaillied Terry – Central, Lance Jones – Evanston, Jahiem Holden – Evanston, Matthew Hall – Evanston, Connor Enright – Mundelein, Malachi Smith – Belleville West, Kevin Caldwell – Alton. 

At Rich South
December 26-30th, 2017

This event will draw some of the hippest fashionable south suburban dudes you can find. They haven’t wondered in the gym all season, but they will come at you with a lot of hip yada yada so you have to have your social cues sharp. The speakers will be booming with tracks from migos-travis scott-hustle gang..
Clark/Johnson winner vs Gary Bowman 8:30am
Chicago Leo vs Michigan City, IN 10:00am
Rich Central vs Hammond High 1:00pm
Rich East vs Farragut 2:30pm
Rich South vs Marshall 4:00pm
Romeoville vs Chicago Ag. Science 5:30pm
Morgan Park vs Butler Charter 7:00pm
Thornton vs Hope Academy 8:30pm

At Collinsville H.S.
December 28-30th, 2017

1st Round Matchups
Same vibe! The East boogie cats will come over in full force supporting their flyers. Junior standout 6-6 Terrence Hargrove and Old Dominion recruit, Joe Reece will have fans on the edge of their seats with their high wire act. We’ve always enjoyed this venue, now the twins from MacArthur-Armon & Amir Brummett will have spectators scratching their heads at some of their antics, they are talented pair. 
Springfield Southeast vs Granite City 9:00am
Decatur Eisenhower vs Oakville, MO 10:30am
Lincoln vs Hazelwood East 1:00pm
Quincy vs Belleville East 2:30pm
East St. Louis vs Urbana 4:00pm
Collinsville vs Riverview Gardens 6:30pm
Edwardsville vs Althoff 8:00pm
Decatur MacArthur vs Rockford East 9:30pm


“After making our rounds the first month of the season, I have a distinct viewing on who the top teams in the area are. Every couple of weeks we will create a short capsule on them.”

1. Simeon – our consensus; they have multiple weapons lead by Mr. Basketball candidate Horton-Tucker. The Wolverines have already popped St. Louis Chaminade, Morgan Pk, and Bogan. They have since dropped a couple of games in Florida finishing 4th. The Pontiac crowd awaits where the Wolverines are a consistent draw.

2. Whitney Young – play-off/big game seasoned cast. The trio of Javon Freeman, Xavier Castenada, and Myles Baker can slice n dice with anyone, they’re short-handed up-front this go around, but still a well-coached group. Dropped a tough road game in double ovt versus exciting athletic Lincoln Park squad.

3. Curie – redeemed themselves well with a victory at home versus Morgan Pk after ragged win over St. Rita at the Rose shoot-out. They have talent, it just hasn’t jelled yet. The condors could be dangerous at Pontiac.

4. Niles North – a potent offensive team, they sent-out four dudes that can score. Senior swingman Damaria Franklin spearheads the attack, along with point man Dravon Clayborn. Lanky sophomore guard Aquan Smart is the real-deal. Freshman forward Jalen Butler is a wiry defender, he can cover multiple slots at six foot six. Clayborn has to clean-up his miscues if they are going to be taking seriously. At Wheeling they will be tested immediately.

5. St. Viator – “yep, I’m rolling with them”; they are a dark-horse candidate, even though Lake Forest tripped them up on the road a few weeks ago. Juniors, Jerry Hernandez and Trey Calvin give them one of the best back-courts in the area. Senior Peter Lambesis provides solid leadership. Viewers can follow them at the Wheeling Classic over the break. We love soph Connor Kochera. Don’t be surprised if they win the title there.

6. Oak-Park – “Matt’s gang is for real.” Isaiah Fuller plays at Eisenhower Expressway Pace and resembles a stout defender. Junior tandem Dashon Enoch and Chase Robinson can score. The unsung sleeper is Anthony Roberts. This squad should be un-defeated going into Pontiac.

7. Morgan Pk – this clan tends to rise to un-chartered challenges. The mustangs off to a slow start, mainly because the schedule early on fashioned with a inexperience core and the eye injury to U.A.B. recruit 6-8 Tamell Pearson has hurt them. “I’m rolling with them late season. I would be surprised if they did not win the McDipper holiday deal.”


LINCOLN PARK 96 WHITNEY YOUNG 91 2 OVTsAt L.P – Friday, December 22nd

About an estimated three hundred spectators packed the tiny Lincoln Pk gymnasium up-on Armitage to witness a double over-time thriller. This was probably one of the more entertaining games I’ve saw around these parts in years. This was extra special because it was two of the Chicago Public Leagues finer academic schools colliding head on, which once was a customary match up before the conference re-alignment occurred about 10 years or so ago. The two Programs were intertwined through the former competitive Red-West Conference. I recall some memorable match-ups between the schools when Lincoln Pk was a perennial conference challenger for a period of 4-6 years under Mike Thompson, the Montgomery brothers, Jonathan Henley, and Courtney Bell era. The cracker box gym was the place to be with it’s up-close intimate viewing which held such top-notch ball games regularly. Returning to the present, this ball-game was played at a frenzy pace, both teams went after one another with avenges, it took a 43-point effort by Lincoln Park’s junior guard Chris Roberts “the rubber band man”, to hold off the top ranked Dolphins. Roberts was un-believable with an array of acrobatic off-balance spin moves that left the standing room only crowd in a climatic rush. Meanwhile, the Lions stand out, 6-6 senior Terrence Shannon was saddled with foul trouble, he eventually fouled out in the 1st over-time with 14 points. Junior, Bill Flowers registered 10 markers for the Lions. Young’s Javon Freeman was splendid, the Valpo recruit was sleek & surgical recording a cool 22 points, Matt Lottich’s Program at Valpo nabbed a jewel of a prospect. Junior big guard Myles Baker “once again” displayed to on-lookers that he is a legitimate mid-major plus recruit, finishing the night with 22; after the Proviso West Xmas Tournament, he likely could see his stock soar. Forgotten senior Justin Boyd was real good, he had 22 points, South Florida recruit, Xavier Castenada went for 10. He wasn’t himself, he seemed discombobulated most of the night, which anyway belong to the Roberts & Co.. Long-time Public-League followers would have enjoyed this affair filled with drama (from the scorer’s table to fatigued game officials). “You can bet players from both teams will harness this game as a memorable outing.”

EVANSTON VS ZION-BENTONTuesday, December 19th

This match-up had the makings of some traditional old-school battles, both squads filled a roster with some of the area’s top under-classmen. Unfortunately, the Zee Bees wandered out as if they were mentally shut-off for the Xmas break. Hopefully Coach Bobby Worthington will re-group his troops before they head to the State Farm Classic in Bloomington. You can easily get tattooed early at that venue if you come-out un-inspired. Evanston’s young contingent was careless with the ball at times, but still managed a 20-point victory. Their freshman trio of 6-3 Jaylin Gibson, Isaiah Holden, and sharp shooter Blake Peters, continue to contribute significant minutes as first year youngsters; top-flight juniors Lance Jones and back-court mate Jaheim Holden form a terrific duo. We would love to see them get tangled up in a North suburban rumble with St. Viator’s junior backcourt tandem of Jerry Hernandez and Trey Calvin, that’s front-seat viewing. Evanston’s Jones, regarded as a Top 5 or 6 prospects in the 2019 Class has to improve his outside shooting! For some viewers like myself, I was bummed out that Zion’s exciting 6-5 sophomore Damontae Taylor did not dress, due to a school related incident. He along with freshman stand-out Amar Augillard have promising futures on the hardwood. Augillard suffered through a off-night offensively. His game must grow into more of just hoisting-up shots.

A couple of weeks ago the 10th Annual Team Rose shoot-out was good; the two-day affair gave teams the perfect platform to showcase where their profile stood at this juncture in the season. Unfortunately, majority of the teams failed to elevate their play/status at this entertaining venue. Most of the squads’ struggles were symptomatic of young & inexperience or just hadn’t found a groove yet in early December. But several games drew the attention of many who attended the 2-day event such as Brother Rice-Kenwood tilt; Hillcrest-Romeoville (marred by bad officiating); Danville-Chicago Orr had a down to the wire finish; Providence St. Mel-Hope Academy was a close one. All in all, Tournament directors did a really good job.

Friday, December 8, 2017


“It’s some bad dudes in this class”

Ahmad Bynum 6-1 PG Simeon – “Already pushing for quality clock time, No. 1 prospect in the class. Will Bynum’s nephew.”

Ismail Habib 5-10 PG Lincoln Park – “Slick & composed; handling himself well under duress.”

Khaillieo Terry 6-4 F Champaign Central – “Mega athleticism, put-on a light weight dunk-fest versus Morgan Pk at Chicagoland Classic.”

Anthony Sayles 6-2 G Niles Notre Dame – “Quite impressive at the DePaul Prep Thanksgiving Classic. Already can score consistently.”

Jalen Butler 6-5 F Niles Notre Dame – “I could not believe the body on this 14-year-old lad. Good defender who can guard multiple positions. Offensive game coming.”

Chris Hodges 6-7 F Schaumburg – “This kid is for real! He can score and plays with a sense of assurity.”

Darrion Jones 6-0 PG Chicago Bogan – “Reliable sources says he has stardom scripted across his chest- a fearless competitor. A varsity starter on a talented team.”


Labeled often as a sagging class over-all, but there are several sleeper- dudes within the group.

1. Drew Peterson 6-8 F MM Libertyville
“This slender versatile performer averages above 25 per outing. Rice, Miami-Ohio, and Elon in the picture. He would be an excellent fit for Rice.”

2. Xavier Pinson 6-3 PG MM Chicago Simeon
“This St. Pat’s transfer comes off-the-bench, most observers know he’d average over 20 markers if he hadn’t departed the North-Side. New Mexico may have some interest soon.”

3. Dannie Smith 6-4 G/F MM Chicago Orr
“Has his game in high-gear now, opposing coaches, as well as his own gloat over his abilities to make shots & play tough D. Good student, will see him at Mt. Carmel.”

4. Quinlan Bennett 6-3 G MM Proviso East
“History of the East Program is on his side. This slithery talent with a smooth mid-range game is just returning from an injury he played with all summer. He has sparkled his last outing. We are quite high on him.”

5. Jalen Shaw 6-10 C MM Elgin-Larkin
“This kid’s fast start has made my thoughts become a reality. Academically, Jalen has some work to do, he likely could end up in prep-school if he doesn’t make grades late. By 2019 we could find his development taking on a journey to success. Remember Richaun Holmes a 76ers 2nd year player and a Lockport Alum who was a late bloomer.”

6. DeAndre Heckard 6-2 PG MM Romeoville
“Has the hooper look to go with some promising game. Central Michigan’s Kevin Gamble has watchful eye on him.”

7. Raekwon Drake 6-5 PF LM+ Orr
“Terrific hops, under-size with limited offensive skills, he could be effective in the right setting though. We will view him Sunday at Mt. Carmel.”

8. Eddie Creal 6-3 G LM+ Romeoville
“All signs indicate he could blow-up by mid-season, especially if his academics are in order. He makes plays at both ends, mid-range game potent. We like his potential. We’ll see him Sunday.”

9. Ryan Davis 6-8 PF LM+ Conant
“The burly fella seems to need a light lid under him at times, but he does show flashes of a skilled four-man. Mac, Horizon, Summit, and Patriot Leagues have shown interest.”

10. Cardell McGee 6-2 PG LM+ Springfield Lanphier
“Playing with a wealthy of confidence & leadership. Has academic work to complete. We’ll see him in the next week or so.”

11. Zion Young 6-2 G LM+ Chicago Simeon
“This leaper will have to demonstrate early on what kind of talent he has with off-the-bench minutes. He could blossom into a really good 2-way threat at the next level.”

12. Terrence Shannon 6-6 G/F LM+ Lincoln Park
“If this kid doesn’t opt for football, his hardwood potential could be enormous. The lefty can play multiple positions, including PG. He’s very composed and has an un-flappable demeanor as well as a high I.Q.; Scores from long distance or mid-range. Has mid-major offers in football.”

13. Demaria Franklin 6-3 G/F LM Niles North
“Has some offensive punch, shoots-it deep, athletic around the rim, needs polish & better understanding of how to play. Does have talent! All tournament at DePaul Prep Thanksgiving Classic.”

14. Isaiah Fuller 6-1 G LM Oak-Park
“Off to a rousing start. He sparkled at the Chicagoland Classic, his speed and quickness as well as his defense opened some eyes.”

15. Morgan Taylor 6-2 G LM Marist
“Very good player, the leader for an un-assuming cast. He can get you buckets in a flurry.”


“This is how we would face them off”

Northwestern vs Loyola-Chicago
At Gentile Arena
“This game would be billed for supremacy with neighboring bragging rights at stake up on the far North-Side. Loyola looks to be a headed for a special season – off to a 9-1 start. While forward Aundre Jackson could be a NBA pick in June, he’s surrounded by a contingent of versatile players who trust their system. C.C.’s cardiac crew and their celebratory ways are now seeking to rekindle the magical path towards another NCAA berth. This would be one heck of a game to see.”

DePaul vs Southern Illinois
at Wintrust Arena in Chicago
“The SIU Alums would come out in droves for this affair, it would be a sea of maroon looming the arena. The 5-3 Salukis against an early battle-tested 4-4 surging DePaul squad now playing well after an early tough schedule. Eli Cain and Tre McCallum starting to hit a groove. SIU has three or four talented players so this match-up would be interesting rumble.”

Illinois vs Bradley
in Peoria, IL
“The Illini faithful would pack the place. Standing room only an hour before game would be anticipated. Brad Underwood has created a culture of tenaciousness, his group competes at a high level. LaRon Black and Kipper Nichols are for real. Bradley bolstering a 7-2 mark, likely a year away from being a perennial power again in the Missouri Valley. This game would bring out the “who’s who” in Central Illinois and with emotions running high on the court and in the stands, this would be a nail-biter.”

Illinois State vs Northern Illinois
in Dekalb, IL
“Red bird fans travel in full force, that might be an added incentive to drive the Huskies student-body away from their social binges. ISU plagued by some injuries have a 4-4 record. The 5-4 Huskies have one of our state’s more entertaining players to watch with guard- Eugene German. NIU has allowed several games to slip away late, which seems anxiety heightens and decision- making becomes sketchy during the 2nd half of games for Monty’s crew.”

Eastern Illinois vs UIC
At Pavilion in Chicago
“This would be a re-cap of last season’s Sunday matinee, in which wintery weather conditions, contributed to a low turn-out in attendance. Eastern popped the flames by 15. UIC has a number of guys shelved by injuries, but has managed to forge a 3-5 mark presently. Dikembe Dixson, a pro prospect, is staring to hit his stride after an injury cut-short his sophomore campaign. EIU senior point-guard Cornel Johnston is worth the price of admission. This would be exciting up & down affair.”

Western Illinois vs Chicago State
at Western Hall in Macomb, IL
“Billy Wright has his leathernecks roaring to a 6-2 start, this arena would be rockn’ with Chicago State invading Macomb. Let’s do a visual of a Saturday night tilt that would foster a drove of miscellaneous students who claim to be from the Chi. The D.J. would have tracks blasting from the speakers such as: Jay-Z (the story of O.J.), We don’t luv em (Hoodrich-Pablo Juan), Pick-it-up (Famous Dex), Shinnit. The fans would spend most of the game in a frenzy watching this down-hill track-meet.    All in fun, let’s get back to the present!”


A happening place to be this upcoming weekend

(Saturday, December 9th, 2017)
12:15 Farragut vs Joliet West
1:30 Uplift vs Evanston
3:00 Kenwood vs Brother Rice
4:30 Hillcrest vs Romeoville
6:00 Mount Carmel vs Von Steuben

(Sunday, December 10th, 2017)
11:00am Walter Payton vs Crete-Monee
12:15 Hope Academy vs Providence St. Mel
1:30 Westinghouse vs Longwood
3:00 Chicago Orr vs Danville
4:30 Chicago Curie vs St. Rita

Being one of our state’s reliable gate keepers of College and High School hoops, my unshakable faith often buoys optimism when it comes to area programs. Lately, my thoughts have had me mindful of how the ultimate hoop junkie with a profound interest in our state schools would love to digest a week-end of match-ups in late November featuring respective schools going toe to toe in a one game slate. “Too bad my thoughts can’t create a reality this time, especially in an era driven by revenue conscious institutions.

Friday, November 17, 2017


“These kids have entered their respective schools with a tremendous amount of buzz and hope. While you can bet our town is excited about the potential of a few these youngsters. Chicago might be coming-up again some say!”

• Ahmad Bynum 6-1 PG Simeon – “Excitement looms over his talents.”

• Tevin Smith 6-5 WG Danville – “Cold-blooded in many ways.”

• Anthony Sayles 6-0 G Niles Notre-Dame – “Drawing Derrick Rose comparisons.”

• Amar Aguillar 6-4 G/F Zion-Benton – “Seen enough of him to be convinced.”

• Nick Petty 5-11 G Peoria Manual – “Already a confident leader with a shrewd floor game.”

• Ismail Habib 5-8 PG Lincoln-Park – “His game & demeanor is a throwback resembling former Chicago stand-out guards. According to some long time hoop followers, he’s got the right temperament.”

• Chris Hodges 6-7 F Schaumburg – “Lefty has big-time potential.”

• Kevin Miller 5-5 PG Morgan Park – “Fearless competitor, enjoys the lime-light.”

• Jalen Butler 6-5 F Niles North – “A stud already solid scorer & rebounder.”

• Kimarhi Wilson 6-0 PG Carmel – “Coming off a huge summer.”

• Isiah Daniels 6-2 PG Peoria Richwoods – “Blazing speed & quickness, strong with the rock.”

• Narvell Meadows 5-9 PG Chicago Prosser – “Surgical with the rock sees the floor well & can score.”

• Troy Pilon 6-5 F Niles Notre-Dame – “Has versatility & toughness.”

• Tai Walters 5-7 PG Homewood-Flossmoor – “Un-assuming general, very effective floor game.”

• Jalen Gibson 6-2 G/F Evanston – “Punishes defenders attacking the rim.”

• Darius Duff 6-1 G Waukegan – “We love his potential, can score & distribute.”

Imari Bailey 6-2 G Skinner West

“Mad game, can get thirty markers in any contest.”


“We are hoping that several of them can burst on the scene next spring 2018 with a reputation labeled as highly touted. Most of them play in programs that do a fine job at turning over un-tapped talent & teaching core fundamentals.”

• Jamari McClendon 6-2 G Chicago Hope Academy
“Envision a player, who will have the ability to play on both-sides of the ball, competes every night, has strong leadership ability & can score. His teammates enjoy playing with him. That’s how we size this kid up.”

• Jason Kent 6-1 PG Oak-Forest
“A transfer over from the Down-Struttin Tinley Park Program. He’s a skilled prospect with a pretty good understanding of how to play. Unfortunately, he will have to pave his way through with hard work & good off-season environment to display his superb floor game.”

• Kyndall Davis 6-4 WF Homewood-Flossmoor
“Cagey south-paw with a silky-smooth game and he’s an emerging prospect who might have to perform a role in the shadows of others this season, but look for him to make his mark soon.”

• Alijah Nelson 5-11 PG Glenbard East
“The Nelson/Hall back-court will be a topic conversation soon. This kid can play in space well, creating opportunities for himself & his mates. Reliable perimeter shooter. He will be well coached & prepared for challenges.”

• Liam Dillion 6-5 F Walter Payton
“Another rising talent. If he’s thirsty enough with his work ethic, we could see a versatile wing develop who can shoot on the perimeter & post-up smaller defenders. Liam has that kinda repertoire now.”

• Matthew Lesch 6-3 G Chicago Taft
“Wiry innovator, not fearful of the moment, exhibits offensive ability. Hopefully the recent coaching change won’t throw off his hardwood growth.”

• Chris Conway 6-8 PF Naperville Central
“Front-courter with promising future. We will see more of him soon; western suburban sources say he’s a fine prospect.”

• P.J. Edwards 6-3 G/F Springfield Lanphier
“Swing-man with some size & versatility. P.J. has a chance to be a very good player. Skills are solid; it will be fun watching his development.”

• Ja’Quan Davis 6-1 G Chicago Bogan
“Tough slashing-penetrating player. Has length to go with tools that may accelerate his development. Out-side shooting coming along.”

• Amir Spann 6-3 G Mount Vernon
“Coming off of an eye-popping freshman season where he averaged double-digits in scoring & flashed the kind of promise that the locals there lust for.”

• Sincere Callwood 6-5 F Simeon
“This young talent will likely spend his time on the sophomore level because of the in-flux talent on the Wolverine’s roster. All-around abilities were on display at Pangos Midwest Camp last month, West-Coast writer Frank Burlison loved his game.”

• Nate Santos 6-6 F Geneva
“Has played well this summer & fall, this up-coming season on the varsity will allow us observers to watch his game closely.”

• Brandon Weston 6-4 G Lake-Forest Academy
“Without a doubt, this wiry athlete is un-disputably a Top 5 talent. Since his recent arrival from Wisconsin he’s been missn from our board. Played extremely well at Pangos, according to several writers covering the event.”

• Josh Ivory 6-6 PF Peoria Manual
“This big-fella also plays football, but reliable sources have indicated he could develop into a formidable force on the hardwood. New coach, Willie Coleman has several talented youngsters to work with.”

• Elliott Sieger 6-1 PG Whitney Young
“Had a wonderful freshman year as a spot-up shooter. Now he’s more of a focus for the opposition, we noticed recently his efforts in transitioning to a ball-handler/distributor. A player to watch.”

• Micah Schnyders 6-3 PG Chicago Christian
“Was shelved most of the fall with an injury so the surveillance sources missed him. Soph campaign awaits with achievable expectations.”

• Lorenzo Coney 6-0 G Elgin-Larkin
“Caught this confident offensive player at a work-out & he surprised us with the ability to drain jumpers & find his way to the rim. Coney has those intangibles to blossom into a contributor immediately.”

• Seryee Lewis 6-8 WF Kenwood
“Operates at a sleek pace. Not overly athletic, but knows his way around the floor by utilizing his ball skills & length. Promising prospect.”

• Jackson Connor 6-5 F Marion, IL
“Impressive athlete with the ability to become a high-scoring threat before his High-School career closes. A rising talent who is a part of Southern Illinois fab four, James Baltz (C’Dale), Amir Spann (Mount Vernon), Carlos Keen (Sparta), and Lamontay Daughtery (Duquoin).

• Martice Mitchell 6-8 F/C Bloom
“Slender lad, very raw, has promise; fundamentals need developing under the right tutelage. We are hoping he rises in the next year.”

• Beau Bailey 6-3 G/F Dixon
“Tough kid who thrives in a system setting. Can score at a high-clip. He’s an un-known gem to most people out-side of the Rockford area, in which last season he was player of the year in his conference.”

NOTE: If there is someone we might have over-looked above, we will visit them next month during the school season.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017



“A few may commit during the season, while some have academic work to complete. We have an outlook with a positive vibe that many of these youngsters will flourish.”

NAME                 HT         POS      LEVEL                 SCHOOL

  • Tim Finke                          6-7        F            MM           Champaign Central
    “Expect him to be chippy, besides who remembers July?”
  • Xavier Pinson    6-3        PG         MM                    Chicago Simeon
    “He rolled the dice, coming over from St. Pat., now, let’s see it pay huge dividends. He’s really talented.”
  • Drew Peterson  6-8        F            MM                    Libertyville
    “The right situation/system he would thrive huge, academic setting await.”
  • Cardell McGee  6-2        PG         MM                    Springfield Lanphier
    “He will be out to prove he can play PG effectively and manage his squad.”
  • Quinlan Bennett             6-3        G           MM                    Proviso East
    “Watch his game go into another gear, Conference USA please come in.”
  • DeAndre Heckard          6-2        PG         MM                    Romeoville
    “The talent is there; it needs to be turned-over; core fundamentals.”
  • Ryan Davis                       6-8        SF          MM                    Conant
    “Currently available, needs to silence critics with a strong season.”
  • Jalen Shaw                       6-10     C            MM                    Elgin-Larkin
    “Huge up-side. His game has started to demonstrate sound passing and ball handling for someone his size.”
  • Raekwon Drake              6-5        PF         MM-LM+          Chicago Orr
    “Needs consistency; undersized stud who can be effective at right setting.”
  • Zion Young                       6-2        G           MM-LM+          Chicago Simeon
    “Let’s see how he plays in the crowded rotation.”

“A list of sleeper-types on a trek to success entering their senior campaign. They possess a certain swag for their last go-around.”

NAME                 HT         POS      LEVEL                 SCHOOL

  • Peter Lambesis  6-4        G/F       MM-LM+          St. Viator
    “Lefty swingman, he’s a modern day Mike Riordan clone; a winner!”
  • Eddie Creal                       6-3        G           MM-LM+          Romeoville
    “He’s got game & he’s tough, his potential could create comparison to former Crane Alum Tony Allen, a 14 year NBA Vet. Transferring over from Joliet Central is a high risk gamble. I’m betting on him.”
  • Ben Wolf                           6-8        C            LM+-LM            Naperville Central
    “Enforcer type, could blow-up by season’s end.”
  • Brandon Ellis      6-3        WG       LM+-LM            Warren Twp
    “Graceful Athlete, rapidly rising, needs to display grit & toughness.”
  • Camron Donatian          6-3        G           LM+-LM            West Aurora
    “Athletic/competitive & a leader, he will be playing with a chip.”
  • Matt Myers                      6-4        WG       LM+-LM            Willowbrook
    “Watch his value increase; excellent shooter.”
  • Kaleb Thornton 6-0        G           LM+-LM            Bolingbrook
    “Needs the right system, thrives in a downhill traction.”
  • Isaiah Fuller                     6-1        PG         LM+-LM            Oak Park
    “Superb quickness, now understanding the moment without emotions.”
  • Dontia Johnson 6-8        F            LM+-LM            Romeoville
    “A red-shirt D1 candidate who could blossom into a standout.”
  • Morgan Taylor  6-2        G           LM+-LM            Marist
    “Expect some huge nights for him, ultimate student/athlete.”
  • Terrence Shannon         6-6        F            LM+-LM            Lincoln Park
    “Rugged, constantly in attack mode, has to slow down and read situations as to where he can utilize his weapons.”
  • Demaria Franklin           6-3        G/F       LM+LM              Niles North
    “A capable scorer has been lost in the shadows, now it’s time to shine.

“We aren’t judging or attempting to frame a certain level for our next group. Merely indicating they should be viewed closely.”

NAME                 HT         POS      LEVEL                 SCHOOL

  • Orlando Allen    6-6        F            LM+-LM-           Thornton
    “Slithery/cagey performer we should see a hot start from him.”
  • Chase Adams     5-6        PG         LM                      Chicago Orr
    “New environment brings restored spirit and outlook.”
  • Treavon Martin              6-7        PF         LM+-LM            Chicago Curie
    “Has to bring-it nightly, has always teased us with potential.”
  • Tyree Martin     6-7        F/C        LM                      Chicago Curie
    “Competitive rejecter/rebounder; plays a huge supporting role.”
  • Justin Boyd                       6-4        G           LM                      Young H.S.
    “Un-song system type-winner, high character kid.”
  • Barlow Alleruzzo            6-8        PF         LM                      De La Salle
    “Lookin’ for a well-rounded stat line, has the potential to do it.”
  • Dannie Smith     6-4        G/F       LM                      Chicago Orr
    “Capable of making big plays and shots.”
  • Naseer Turner   6-6        F            LM                      Chicago Kenwood
    “Good athlete-poised for a break-out season.”
  • Javari McClendon          6-3        G           LM                      Chicago Hope
    “Well-rounded talent, wears a chip on his shoulder.”
  • Bakari Simmons              6-6        F            LM                      Chicago Simeon
    “Lefty could be a late bloomer, has to earn his minutes this round.”
  • Isa McGuire                     6-9        F/C        LM                      Chicago Lindblom
    “Un-assuming athlete, intriguing prospect; needs academic environment.”
  • Devonire Glass  6-8        F            LM                      Chicago Simeon
    “Will play in a deep rotation, gives his team length and depth.”

“Most of these guys are being recruited by Division 2 and 3 while some are hopeful for a D1 experience, after countless campus visits. In the end- a smaller setting could be a more meaningful opportunity.”

NAME                               HT         POS      SCHOOL

  • R.J. McGee                                     6-5        F            Kenwood
    “Certain nights he shows what his potential could be.”
  • Javion May                                     6-1        G           Hope Academy
    “Very good athlete, look for a breakout year.”
  • Jalen Chaver                                  6-2        PG         Thornwood
    “Has composure, makes plays & skilled. New environment.”
  • Paul O’Leary                                  6-9        C            Lemont
    “Potentially could blossom into a fine player at the next level.
  • Cameron Blackmon       5-11   G           Joliet Central
    “Excellent motor, his game is emerging. Played well in ISL Classic.”
  • Ryan Kutsor                                   6-4        WG       Lake Zurich
    “Good shooter & well rounded performer. Walk-on candidate, D1.”
  • Jalen Hodge                                   6-1        PG         O’Fallon
    “Good athlete, jet quick, learning to utilize his strengths.”
  • Kyle King                                         6-6        F            St. Charles North
    “His play can be sparkling and unappreciated.  A player to watch.”
  • Kenny Strawbridge                    6-3        WG       Rockford Lutheran
    “Needs to have a chip on his shoulder & play with a purpose all season.”
  • Justin Hardy                                   6-5        F            St. Charles East
    “A challenging July, should re-energize his game & make-up.”
  • Anthony Lynch               6-2        G           Elgin-Larkin
    “A down- hill threat, capable of making shots on perimeter.”
  • Brandon Whiteside        6-2     G/F       Glenbard South
    “Tough summer, but has game & out to prove it.”
  • Robert Harvey                6-3        G           Hillcrest
    “Needs a solid season, did not have the summer he hoped for.”
  • Dave Pinskus                   6-6        F            De La Salle
    “ Versatile threat starting to come into his own as a player & leader.”
  • Joshua Rosenborough  5-10     PG         Thornwood
    “Played well at ISL Classic; he’s tough & distributes to his mates.”
  • Kenny Pittman                6-4        WG       Chicago Simeon
    “This shooter will have to earn his minutes on a deep squad.” 

“Rarely does anyone openly fest-up when it comes to this category, but for now I think we will start here.”

  • Deonta Brown  6-3        F            Peoria Manual
    “Can plat-out play. Will need to lead some talented youngsters.”
  • Jalen Washington           6-5        G           Al Raby
    “Up-side potential is enormous; talent needs to be turned over.”
  • Amir Brummett              6-3        PG         Decatur Macarthur
    “Emotional, but has major game.”
  • Armon Brummett          6-3        G           Decatur Macarthur
    “Awfully talented, needs to avoid all the capers & shenanigans.”
  • Toraze Babbs     6-5        PF         Chicago Uplift
    “Support player who can contribute heavily while staying in the moment.”
  • Vashawn Sims   6-2        G           Rich-East
    “Had a good spring/summer under the radar, looking for a good season.”
  • Jaden Gasby                    6-4        F            Curie
    “Good player, he will play in a supporting role coming over to Curie.”
  • Kevin Caldwell   5-11     PG         Alton
    “One of our state’s most dynamic, exciting talents. Juco should be his route. Had a big time football season.”
    We will do a brief breakdown of this group


“Based on recent Fall/Summer performance”

*Francis Okoro                                        
*Markese Jacobs                                     
*Ciaran Brayboy
*E.J. Liddle                                                
*Chris Payton                             
*Evan Taylor
*Terrence Hargrove                 
*Lance Jones                              
*Jerry Hernandez
*Bryant Brown