The 2022 North Suburban League featured a number of teams that were considered in the top 25 of the state. There is a lot of talent leaving in the 2021 class, but there are some younger stars who will be back next year.
I know it has been said many times, but Mundelein was a team that no one would have wanted to play in the state tournament. Point guard Conor Enright (Drake) and big Scottie Ebube (Southern Illinois) leave as two of the most decorated players in school history. The competitiveness and poise of Enright will fit in well for a talented returning group at Drake. Ebube has a college-ready frame at 6-foot-7 with power, athleticism, and energy. Southern Illinois is improving exponentially and Ebube will be a big part of that development.
5-foot-9 guard Trey Baker (Maryville) was regularly one of the leading scorers for the Mustangs. He provides immediate scoring punch with his quickness off the bounce and shooting. You can’t put a value on his leadership either. Fellow senior wing Jack Bikus was a selfless piece that knocked down open shots, got downhill for finishes, and provided elite rebounding and defense from the wing. Going forward, keep an eye on springy 2023 forward Chris Martin to become a more well-known prospect and 2022 guard Ty Moenning to lead the backcourt.
Lake Forest is in good hands over the next few years with 6-foot-6 2023 guard Asa Thomas. One of the elite shooters in the class, Thomas improved his off-the-dribble game and showed more of his all-around impact. I would expect a good number of Division-1 programs will be reaching out to him in June. Deerfield transfer Walt Mattingly (Hillsdale) wasted no time acclimating to the Scouts. The 6-foot-7 senior is a fluid wing that moves well with the ball and has a promising pull-up game. He was a big addition for Hillsdale. 2021 guard Jack Malloy took a nice step into becoming a tough scorer for Lake Forest as well.
Of all of the teams in the conference, Stevenson may have the most upside. The 2021 combo 5-foot-10 point guard Evan Ambrose and 6-foot-7 big Darius Clemons should both be able to play in college. Ambrose missed some time this year, but he is a quintessential point guard with a tight handle, good vision, and a fearless mentality. Clemons had a breakout year utilizing his size and footwork on the block to average double figures. The returning prospects give a good foundation. I am impressed with 2022 guard Evan Porto’s ability to shoot on the move and get open off the ball. He is a good decision maker who has Division-3 appeal.
2023 Josh Thomas and 2024 Christian Uremovich could be special. Thomas is a very athletic 6-foot-5 wing that has shown an ideal combination of fluidity and strength. As he becomes more consistent creating off the dribble, he will be a problem over the next two years. The same could be said for Uremovich, who has the potential to defend one through five and create easy offense in transition and on the offensive glass. He probably isn’t done growing either. With his length and quick-twitch athleticism, Uremovich is on track to be one of the most promising players in the 2024 class.
The Bonder brothers at Libertyville will be a frontcourt force next season. 2022 Chase Bonder was one of the best players in the area. His efficiency is off the charts from multiple spots on the floor. He is a good mid-range shooter that can pop out to the arc for threes. But he is also a tough interior presence with a good second jump and the length to score in traffic. He is one of the most underrated forwards in the 2022 class, but that will change over the next few months. Cole Bonder, a strong 2023 big, can also stretch the floor with his jumper or bang in the post. Cole is a good screener that can play either spot in high-lows. His growth will take some pressure off of Chase next year.
Amar Augillard is one of the best available scorers in the 2021 class. The Zion Benton wing has a number of moves to use his strength to create space. He is one of those players that is wired to score and should be able to be a microwave early on in college. Western Illinois, Grambling State, Chicago State, and Green Bay have offered him. 2024 point guard Jeezy White is an electric playmaker that has some of the most creative handles in the state. He is still adding strength, but he can shoot with range off the dribble and shake defenders to break down the defense. The NSL will have a tough time dealing with him over the next three years. At Warren, slashing 6-foot-5 combo forward Cooper Stacey is a 2022 to keep an eye on after he had a productive year.