Hundreds of seniors in Illinois still hope to make a statement in their final seasons. For some of them, they may not get a chance to show college coaches what they have to offer in games. But hopefully all of those seeking to play in college are able to find a fit.
Today I am detailing a number of uncommitted senior prospects throughout the state who could be Division 1 or Division 2 players. You can click on player names to go to their profile. A majority of the profiles have highlight videos as well.
Anthony Sayles (6’2 PG, Notre Dame College Prep)
You can’t teach the leadership skills that Sayles provides. A serious dual-threat quarterback prospect, coaches may be wondering what he plans to do in college. From a basketball perspective, he is an explosive floor general that gets into the lane at will and scores in traffic. Sayles will be a plus defender in college with the strength to guard either backcourt spot. His ability to affect winning in so many ways is what will make him a valuable player at the next level. Sayles has offers from Southern Illinois, Loyola Chicago, Toledo, and Western Illinois.
Noah Reynolds (6’3 PG, Peoria Note Dame)
Reynolds is a complete player with an efficient, mature game. He can overwhelm opposing guards with his combination of quickness and strength, or separate from defenders and knock down jumpers. Reynolds doesn’t need to dominate the ball to control the game, willing to set up teammates and defend at a high level. The lefty guard has a number of Division 1 suitors, including IUPUI, Bradley, and North Dakota State.
Ethan Roberts (6’5 PG/SG, Hersey)
A sharpshooting combo guard with good length and passing prowess, Roberts was a Division 1 prospect hiding in plain sight as a junior at Hersey. He is capable of being a volume scorer when necessary, but projects as a guard that makes plays within an offense and knocks down threes at a high rate. Roberts can handle the ball in pick-and-rolls and use his size to pick apart defenses. He recently picked up an offer from Army, holds an offer from Southern Indiana, and has a number of mid-major schools on his trail.
Jaehshon Thomas (6’1 PG, Whitney Young)
It’s hard to believe that Thomas doesn’t have a long list of offers. He is a knockdown shooter, tough playmaker, and a proven winner throughout his time at Whitney Young and Aurora Christian. Thomas has a smooth outside shot that will extend past the college three-point line. He isn’t a big lead guard, but he is strong with the ball and competitive. He is a Division 1 point guard.
James Dent (6’6 SG, Springfield Southeast)
The wiry slasher from SSHS excels in the open floor. Dent had an All-State season as a junior where he averaged 19.4 points a game. He uses his athleticism in all areas of the game, rebounding and defending well at his position. Dent would be a productive D2/LM D1 prospect.
Christian Henry (6’1 PG, St. Rita)
On a young St. Rita team, Henry should be the leader and orchestrator. He had a good junior year but still remains relatively underrated. Henry is a shot-maker at the point guard spot that can make something out of nothing with the ball. He will shine in late-shot clock situations and is able to make good reads off the dribble. I see him as a strong option as a D2 lead guard.
Kimahri Wilson (6’1 PG, Carmel)
Wilson is a quick point guard that can make plays for himself or his teammates. He has the ball on a string, breaking down defenders with his handle. Wilson is a good mid-range scorer off the dribble, a trait that should benefit him when he probes in pick-and-rolls. Over the last few years, Wilson had been offered by Illinois-Chicago and Wisconsin Milwaukee. The productive Carmel guard also has interest from Southern Illinois and UAB among others.
Jaiden Lee (6’4 SG, Joliet West)
With so many departures at Joliet West, Lee may be thrust into a workhorse role as a senior. His shooting ability and length as an off-guard would have shown. But he benefited from a summer with the Illinois Hoopstars. Lee was offered by SEMO and Des Mois Area Community College.
Kai Evans (6’3 SG, Bolingbrook)
Evans is a freak athlete that can jump out of the gym. He is always good for a few highlight reel plays a game. Very physical and explosive, he can barrel through the lane and finish. Prior to last season, he was offered by Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Western Michigan, and Chicago State.
Damian Zivak (6’5 SG, Barrington)
Zivak has been very effective at Barrington for a few years and has a college-ready body. He is a shooting guard that has vision, footwork, and the handle to create in space. Zivak has a big upper body but is light on his feet with the ball in his hands. Smaller D1s and D2 schools have shown interest.
Isaiah Holden (5’10 PG, Evanston)
Incredibly quick, tough, and smart, Holden knows how to set the pace and break down defenses. He can shoot from the perimeter off kick outs and has good touch on his floater. He manufactures looks off screens or in 1-on-1 situations. Holden is a tenacious point guard who will make winning plays in college.
Amarion Savage (6’1 SG, East Aurora)
Savage is a jet with the ball in his hands, capable of blowing by top-level defenders with ease. His shiftiness opens up his offensive game where he can shoot off the dribble or absorb contact at the rim. He is a very explosive leaper as well, which aids his finishing ability. Savage can harass ball-handlers with his speed on the defensive end. He has the game to translate.
Trey Baker (5’9 PG, Mundelein)
Baker is an elite leader on and off the court. He can get his own shot off the dribble, using his speed and pace effectively. Baker can heat up in a hurry and go on shooting barrages. His grit, playmaking, and scoring punch have attracted Division 2 interest. Maryville has offered Baker so far.
Aryton Temcio (6’4 SG, Glenbard South)
Temcio is a swiss-army knife that has a projectable frame and some untapped athleticism. He can initiate offense or be a shot creator on the wing. He’s long for a 6-foot-4 player which benefits him defensively and he has good bounce with a running start. Division 2 Truman State has offered Temcio.
Tommie Williams (6’4 PG, Belleville West)
A rangy guard with a quick first step, Williams is the type of guard that could earn playing time early on in his college career. At 6-foot-4, the long-armed guard is a disruptor on the ball or in the passing lanes. He is comfortable creating offense to get to his mid-range game. Williams is a tough guard that can play all three spots on the perimeter. There is no question that he is a scholarship-level talent.
Grant Newell (6’7 SF/PF, Whitney Young)
Newell is long and agile at 6-foot-7. Capable of playing the three or four, the Whitney Young mainstay can space the floor and attack closeouts. He is a versatile defensive player that rebounds out of his area. He was offered from DePaul as an underclassmen and picked up offers from Wisconsin Milwaukee and Western Illinois last year. Newell is the best forward available in the state and would be a nice late addition to a mid-major program.
Quani Rudd (6’6 SF, Mt. Vernon)
Rudd has the prototypical length and size that you look for in a wing. Long, lean, and a fluid athlete, Rudd can knife through the lane and finish above the rim with ease. He also has soft touch out to the three-point line. As he adds strength, he will be able to develop into a solid, switchable defender. He was offered by SEMO and SIU Edwardsville prior to his junior season.
Hamahrie Bowers (6’5 SF, Hillcrest)
The power wing is a versatile player that should be able to defend multiple positions. Bowers is an showtime finisher who can play through contact on his drives. He is a player that could benefit from a big senior season, but he has shown enough to warrant some looks in the near future.
AJ Smith (6’7 SG, Metro East Lutheran)
A bit under the radar, Smith is a bouncy athlete that has a developed frame and scoring upside. He has a solid perimeter game and is able to assert his will on drives. Smith doesn’t receive a ton of publicity, but he has the game that will blossom at the right program. He has been offered by SEMO.
Connor Davis (6’5 SF, Neuqua Valley)
Davis is a highly efficient and multi-purpose wing that does just about everything well. He can shoot it well off the catch, score off straight line drives, or beat defenders with hard cuts away from the ball. Davis is a solid defender and rebounder as well, using his 6-foot-5 size to his advantage. Division 2 Quincy has offered him thus far.
Connor Jenkins (6’7 SG, Lincoln Way West)
Jenkins is a tall two-guard that has a smooth game. Standing at 6-foot-7, he is a mismatch for smaller guards that he can shoot over and a penetration threat against taller, slower defenders. Jenkins shows good elevation on his jumper that will be an asset going forward. He has gotten primarily D2 interest with offers from Quincy, Wayne State, and Converse.
Reggie Ward (6’6 SF, Curie)
A hyper-athletic wing that has a prototypical body and slashing game. Ward is a senior with a ton of upside on the perimeter. He really knows how to get to the rim, but has a workable outside shot as well. The body and bounce are there for Ward to continue to grow.
Justin Guernsey (6’6 SG, Pleasant Plains)
Guernsey is a sweet shooting 6-foot-6 guard that is relatively unknown throughout the state. He has great length to go along with a compact shot from three. Able to handle the ball to attack closeouts or free himself up with cuts, Guernsey should be able to keep defenses honest. Guernsey has been offered by NAIA University of Saint Mary’s and should be a scholarship two guard.
Taijon Barry (6’4 SG/SF, Eisenhower)
Barry’s game is all about versatility. Eisenhower’s do-it-all wing can pass, rebound, and score in bunches when needed. His defense is just as impactful, able to shut down multiple positions with his activity. Barry could act as a big guard or defend wings at the next level.
James Ogrodnik (6’8 SF/PF, Lincoln-Way Central)
Ogrodnik is a promising forward with quickness, athleticism, and shooting ability. He’s more of a wing than a true post, comfortable facing up and attacking the basket where he has elevates well at his size. Ogrodnik is a player that is just scratching the surface of his potential.
Devon Ellis (6’5 SF, Conant)
Ellis is a power wing that can jump out of the gym. He is tough to keep out of the lane when he gets a head of steam, often welcoming contact and finishing plays. His spot-up jumper is solid and will be a useful tool as he runs into longer defenders in college. Ellis has D2 appeal.
Landon Zurliene (6’4 SG, Fairfield)
The springy 6-foot-4 wing can score in a hurry with his outside shooting and touch inside the arc. Zurliene brings length defensively to cover ground and contest shots. As he progresses to college, he will be able to hang his hat on his scoring ability with the chance to become a plus two-way guard. Zurliene has been offered by Quincy, McKendree, and Rend Lake.
Matas Deksnys (6’7 SG, Lockport)
Deksnys has been opening some eyes over the last few months with his effortless outside stroke and length. He is a legitimate guard with a ton of size for the position. One of the purest shooters in the state, he has a college-ready skill with the measurements to translate to either wing spot.
Odin Lium (6’7 SF, Oswego East)
Lium has a smooth jump shot and a good combination of size and skill. He’s mobile and fluid with the ball, attacking in straight lines for layups and dunks. Lium shows potential as a rebounder and help defender as well. 6-foot-7 players with as much range as Lium aren’t easy to find.
Ola Ajiboye (6’8 PF, Evanston)
The Von Steuben transfer is set to add a strong interior presence to a deep Evanston team. Ajiboye is still developing his skillset, but has projectable physical tools that have gained the attention of college coaches. He is mobile for a 6-foot-8 big and incredibly long. Defensively, he can really make an impact as a help side defender. There are flashes of some face-up skills as well. Marist, North Carolina A&T, and Farleigh Dickinson are among the programs to have offered Ajiboye.
KJ Debrick (6’8 C, Springfield Lanphier)
Debrick’s defense is going to translate to any level. He has great reach and timing as a shot blocker and sends back multiple shots every game. He will benefit from a college strength program to allow him to bang with more mature bigs. Marist has offered the Lanphier center.
Jaylen Bryson (6’10 C, Champaign Centennial)
Bryson is one of the taller and longer centers in the state. A plus run-and-jump athlete, he is an ideal rim runner that can protect the rim. He is a long-term prospect, but there is a lot to like about where he will be a few years from now with how hard he plays. UMass offered Bryson last spring and he should be a prime mid-major candidate for schools looking to fill a frontcourt spot.
Nathan Hall (6’8 PF, Collinsville)
Hall is a lanky four that stretches the floor and can protect the rim. He’s a modern four that has comfort handling the ball and running in transition. Hall has been offered by NAIAs Governor’s State University, Kansas Wesleyan, Missouri Baptist, and Division 3 Iowa Wesleyan.
Kevin Bozeman (6’7 PF, Downers Grove North)
Part of a deep front line at DGN, Bozeman should have a huge senior season with added strength and a growing perimeter game. He plays hard and can disrupt the game with his length. His potential as a finisher in the pick-and-roll game should add to his appeal. Bozeman has offers from Governor’s State and Merchant Academy.
Devon Vanderheydt (6’7 PF, Washington)
Washington’s versatile combo forward is probably going to be a stretch four at the next level. But he creates a mismatch with skill on the perimeter and a nice outside shot. Vanderheydt is also a good leaper around the rim that can genuinely defend the three and four. He should be a really solid D2 or NAIA player.
Grant Johnson (6’6 PF, Naperville North)
Of all of the forwards in the state, Johnson is one of the more underappreciated talents. He can sky above the rim and shoots it with range on his jumper. Johnson plays with high energy, constantly crashing the glass. He is a bit undersized at the four but he is a player that I would expect to be a target for D2 schools who value athleticism and shooting from their forwards.
Troy Glover (6’8 PF/C, Glenbard West)
Height and athleticism don’t grow on trees. Glover has impressed over the last few months using his near 7-foot wingspan to anchor defenses. He has excellent closing speed to make up for mistakes. His offense is still developing but his rim protection may garner some Division 2 suitors after his play recently.
Ben Randall (6’7 PF, Hersey)
Randall is an explosive forward that can play above the rim and stretch the floor a bit. He’s got decent size for a four man, but his athleticism allows him to protect the rim and rebound effectively. There are a number of D2 schools that will be interested in Randall’s upside.
Julian Campbell (6’7 C, Palatine)
Campbell is a wide-bodied center that has good feet and touch. He is hard to move off of his spots, burying defenders in the paint. Campbell’s shooting ability will allow him to pick-and-pop when he’s given space. He’s got serious size, length, and hands. Campbell is a prospect that could shine in the right system.