Thursday, May 14, 2020



• James Dent 6-4 LM+ 41 Springfield Southeast
“Can really light-it-up on the perimeter, averaged 19 points a game. We need to see him a little more, we know he’s well coached.”

• Tommy Williams 6-3 LM 42 Belleville West
“Plays some PG, competes at a high level, average athlete, shoots it ok, rebounds extremely well from the guard slot. Regarded as one of the top players in the Metro East. Summit League, Metro Atlantic, & North East Conference would be an ideal fit for him. (They ain’t listening to me).”

• Ethan Roberts 6-4 LM+ 43 Hersey
“Transplant from Tennessee, averaged 13 per game, displayed really good all-around feel. Has shown he could be an effective player in the right system. We’re still learning more about him & his game.”

• Jeffrey Oakley 6-5 LM+ 47 Chicago Perspective
“Raw talent came into his own as an offensive threat. We need to see more of him.”

• Gary Johns 6-8 LM+-LM 49 Westinghouse
“Smooth left hander has deep range on his J. Slender fellow could have a huge up-side. He is a perfect example for a player who needs someone to help with his development, particularly for turning over un-tapped talent. 15 years ago, some Coach would have transformed his game. Potential Red-Shirt candidate. (Now, let me quarterback this scenario that could play out with him.) By his junior or senior year in College, he could land in the transfer portal.”

• Rasean McMiller 6-2 LM+LM 51 Rich Central
“Starting to come into his own, has a scoring combo guard. Has a ton of interest from mid-majors, we just need to see him a little bit more.”

• Brandon Hall 6-5 LM 52 Thornton
“Was always viewed as a promising prospect his first two years. His junior campaign, he seemed to have back-pedaled in terms of his progression. He will be on alert.”

• Dylan Ingram 6-5 LM 54 Chicago Simeon
“Mid-to-late season we started to see some of the fruits of his growth as a player. Big body performer plays on the perimeter where he’s an outside threat as a shooter. Rising prospect.”


There is a wealth of talent among this cast. This is our position with the most quality depth. Curiously in today’s climate, how many of these dudes will be prepared to play right away at the next level.


• Bryce Hopkins 6-7 HM 2 Fenwick
“Already given a pledge to Louisville; No.1 player in the Catholic League averaged near 25 per game; versatile performer with a good skill set. His length on the perimeter allows him to score in bundles.”

• Ahmad “Black Cat” Bynum 6-2 HM 4 Chicago Simeon
“Committed to DePaul months ago. Had a stellar outing during the City Finals where he drained six treys against Morgan Park in the Championship game, which was instrumental in Simeon’s victory.”

• John Poulakidas 6-5 HM 5 Neuqua Valley
“Wiry prospect with un-orthodox style that keeps defenders off balance. Reliable outside threat, we witnessed him sting the nets for 49 vs Bolingbrook in January. We can envision his game at Stanford or a Notre Dame situation.”

• Louis Lesmond 6-5 MM+ 6 Niles Notre Dame
“Possesses a wealth of ability, at times he showcases a smooth sleek floor game where his athleticism can overwhelm defenders, then he has these tendencies to take a back seat during big game settings. He has the tools to put it all together.”

• Isaiah Barnes 6-6 HM 7 Oak Park/
“All indicators clearly have him heading into the Public League to team up with Black Cat Bynum at Simeon, which should potentially make for an exciting high-scoring back court tandem. Barnes is a smooth performer with excellent length on the perimeter. Has a binder of high-major offers. Averaged 18 a game last season.”

• Tevin Smith 6-5 MM+-MM 10 Danville
“Has the ability to put the ball in the basket at a high rate. Good athlete. He’s just been plagued by the injury bug. Missed significant time during the season, reportedly re-injuring his knee. Smith has offers from Oregon, DePaul, and nearly the entire Missouri Valley with SIU out front.”

• Jakobi Heady 6-6 MM+-MM 15 Hillcrest
“Swingman clone has the ability to stretch the floor with his splendid outside shooting ability. Heady is a dangerous athlete in the open floor where he has the ability to flush over defenders. Viewed as one of the hidden gems of the Class.”

• Jaiden Lee 6-5 MM 19 Joliet West
“Wiry wing is recognized as one of the top shooters in the Class. As the season progressed his ball handling improved, he attacked more off the dribble. His future is at wing guard, he registered modest numbers (13 points) for a talented team. His game is on the rise, look for his value to soar as well. Academics has also improved.”

• Ben Schwieger 6-5 MM 20 Waubonsie Valley
“Lively athlete came into his own over the course of a season until an injury shelved him for large portion of time. Reliable outside shooter, the rising prospect still managed to average close to 16 point an outing. He just picked up an offer from Rice University and Loyola-Chicago recently, & an offer from UIC.”

• Josh Smith 6-3 MM 21 Oak Park
“Sleek athletic combo guard has some explosiveness to his game. This spring circuit was slated to be his platform to illustrate his overall scoring prowess. Smith led the Huskies in scoring, averaging 18 per contest. He has several mid-major offers.”

• Ola Ajiboye 6-8 MM 22 Chicago Von Stueben
“High academic kid boasts an excellent motor & good all-around skill set. Shoots from a distance fairly well, does have some versatility to his game where his jump-hook is his go-to weapon. Ola has drawn considerable interest from Northwestern (no offer yet), St. Louis, Detroit, UIC, ARK-Little Rock, & Chicago State have offered.”

• Jalen Houston 6-0 MM 24 Hyde Park Academy
“Scoring off guard had the ball put in his hands from the opening tip. Most times he responded effectively averaging close to 22 per outing. Some questions have been raised about his ability to transition over to a lead guard exclusively. Jalen has a straight-line blur of speed. Missouri Valley schools have shown interest.”

• Jaehshon Thomas 6-3 MM 25 Whitney Young
“Ended the season with a sparkling outing in Young’s upset victory over Simeon in the Sectional Finals right before COVID-19 put play on hiatus. Thomas has some pop to his game, now he will be one of the main go-to weapons for Young next season.”

• Amar Auggilard 6-5 LM+ 26 Zion-Benton
“Talented offensive player, high volume shooter, isn’t fearful about hoisting-up a tough shot during a huge moment in a game. His shot-selection can often be viewed as a lack of discipline, that is why it’s all important that he operates in the right system Collegiately. Averaged over 20 last season.”

• Julius Rollins 6-5 MM 27 Hillcrest
“Good look’n prospect has a floor game that’s on the brink of creating for others. His play resembles a hooper who could be a key contributor in the right system. Needs to improve his outside shooting. Has offers from Toledo, Oakland, & Northern Michigan.”

• Blake Peters 6-1 MM-LM+ 28 Evanston
“Ultimate winner & gamer has a sprucy three-year winning percentage; clutch outside marksmen thrives in a big game setting. Has College ready shooting ability & mental make-up. Has a recent offer from Lehigh and strong interest from Patriot League foes Holy Cross and Loyola-Maryland. U.M.K.C. offered in February. We wouldn’t rule out a preferred walk-on opportunity at Northwestern.”

• Devon Ellis 6-5 MM-LM+ 30 Conant
“Un-heralded prospect with College ready frame was the primary focus for opponent’s defenses all year, but still managed to go for 17 markers a night. Very talented athlete, does possess some offensive abilities, needs to improve his outside shooting. Devon can be lethal attacking the rim. Has plenty of mid-major interests.”

• Jaylin Gibson 6-3 MM-LM+ 31 Evanston
“Tough do-it-all combo guard with winning intangibles. Has a remarkable 3-year winning percentage & was on the verge of adding some more Ws before play was halted. Solid ball-handler capable of making big shots & plays. Has offers from U.W. Milwaukee, Drake, Detroit, & Chicago St.”

• Jaden Terrell 6-7 MM 34 Wheeling
“Left hander is a superb athlete, somewhat of an unknown on the City scene. Excellent three-point shooter played well enough to garner offers from Arkansas Little Rock & Detroit. A promising prospect.”

• Gary Clay 6-3 MM 35 Rich East
“Rapidly emerging prospect, very good student-carts a 4.0 GPA. Led his team in scoring with 17-point average. Silk-smooth prospect can handle & distribute well enough to play some PG, drains jumpers on perimeter consistently. A two-way threat.”

• Bennie Slater 6-5 LM+-LM 37 Springfield High
“Smooth operator with wiry frame, averaged 16 points & 9 rebounds. Needs to improve his outside shooting. This summer was pegged as an opportunity for him to showcase his under-radar game for College Coaches & evaluators.”

• Jack Mielke 6-6 LM+-LM 40 Downers Grove North
“Under the radar performer who left a lasting impression on opponents last season with his ability to drill three-pointers. Old-school jump shooter recorded 70 threes while shooting an impressive 40 percent from the arc. Averaged nearly 15 a game. Big-time student.”


Fort Wayne, Ind. guard Luke Goode gave University Illinois a commitment recently. He is in the Class of 2021 ranked in the Top 100 by rivals. The 6-6 guard had offers from Northwestern, Iowa, Stanford, Xavier, Michigan State, Maryland, and Louisville.

Former Whitney Young/Seton standout Javon Freeman left Valparaiso after two seasons. He will head to the North Side to play for Dave Leitao’s DePaul Program. The six-foot three guard averages 19 points and 6 rebounds last season, shooting 28% from three.

6-8 Anthony D’Avanzo prepped at Niles Notre Dame, averaged 15.8 markers & 8 boards per outing last season at D2 Lewis University. D’Avanzo will take his blossoming game to Southern Illinois in Carbondale where his outside shooting will be a plus for the Salukis. His game has really taken a leap after mostly playing in the interior during his High School years.

Libertyville’s native Drew Peterson decided to spend his remaining 2 years at the University Minnesota. Peterson averaged near 11 pts & 6 rebounds last season at Rice University. With Pitino on the hot seat, the 6-8 wing could be back in the portal next spring.

Teyvion Kirk spent last season sitting out at Colorado State after suiting up his first two seasons at Ohio University. The Joliet’s native elected to come home and play at UIC for first year Coach Luke Yaklich. The Flames recently received a pledge from 6-6 forward Zion Griffin who played sparingly at Iowa State the last 2 seasons.

Other notables are landing in the Big 10 had former Fenwick guard Mike Smith leaving Columbia, heading to the University of Michigan, and Patriot All Leaguer and former Conant standout Jimmy Soto taking his floor game to Ohio State.

Glenbrook South’s heart-throb Dominic Martinelli has agreed to a preferred walk-on situation at Northwestern. The six-foot five throwback left hander thrilled North Suburban crowds this past season averaging 26 points nightly and amassed over 2000 points in his career.


Former Shepard H.S. and the Illinois Warrior standout Mike Smith was named a Head Coach at Perspective High School, formerly known as Calumet. Look for Smith to be an instant splash at the South Side School that plays in the White Division for now. Smith played College ball at UIC and St. Francis in Joliet.

Glenbrook North’s Dave Weber, often recognized as one of the top Coaches in the State, has retired after 25 years at the North Shore school. He guided his Spartans to a Class AA State Title in 2005 led by standout Jon Scheyer, also a former Illinois Warrior star. Weber won over 400 games at GBN, he will be replaced by St. Viator’s Quin Hayes.

St. Laurence recently named Byron Burt, a 25-year old North-Sider who played under Porter Moser at Loyola, its new Coach. Burt coached the last 2 seasons at his Alma Mater Mather H.S. where he finished with 13-16 record last season. He went 8-1 in the White North Conference. Jimmy Sexton seemed to have revived the St. Laurence Program a few years ago, has moved on to restore some relevancy into the sagging Evergreen Park Program, in which he will. Last season the Vikings under Sexton finished 15-17. Burt will grow up swiftly in Burbank, he has his work cut out for him.

After sustaining an illustrious career at Morgan Park Nick Irvin has resigned. He will churn out the next chapter of his Coaching resume on the Collegiate level at Western Illinois as an Assistant to Rob Jeter. Kudos to him.

Oak Park’s Matt Maloney has decided to resign as a Head Coach at the West Suburban school. Some consider the OPRF situation to be a gold mine of a job, supposedly with a ton of talent neighboring near the school boundaries. Maloney leaves with 224-108 record in 12 seasons. He was an Assistant at the school for 13 seasons. We wish him nothing but the best…


In the mist of a global pandemic that seems to linger on and on, we are also faced with an ever-growing epidemic with the College transfer-portal. Amusingly vast majority of players today love to post or make announcements to where they are heading, which only transitions into an unforeseen temporary destination. This short run merely illustrates most of these young men tend to be more exuberant over this excessive platform/stage than working on their game…

Chicago lost one of our legendary Coaches a week ago Landon “Sonny” Cox passed away at age 82. Coach Cox compiled a career record of 503-89 in 20 seasons while capturing three State Championships in 1986, 1990, and 1993. He had a second-place finish in 1987 losing the title game to a strong East St. Louis Lincoln Team. Coach leaves an everlasting memory with all of us.