Aareyon Munir-Jones (6’2, Hillcrest)
Munir-Jones defends at such a high level and can knife up defenses off the dribble with his speed and body control in the paint. Hillcrest has used him both on and off the ball which is a combo guard role he may be accustomed to in college. Munir-Jones will be at The Big Dipper tournament at Rich.
Adidas Davis (6’5, Buffalo Grove)
It’s been a great start to the year for the wiry lefty. Davis is getting around 18 points and 10 rebounds a game in a leading role for Buffalo Grove. He has range past the college line and has shown a heightened level of athleticism and strength this year. His rebounding, passing, and length defensively are all projectable skills that should garner plenty of interest from coaches. Davis and Buffalo Grove will be at the Wheeling tournament.
AJ Redd (6’4, Saint Ignatius)
A long point guard with size, Redd can run an offense and make plays that most high school lead guards struggle to complete. When he gets into the teeth of the defense, he can score over or around length. Ignatius has played a tough schedule to start the year but Redd has stood out so far. He has the talent to be a Division 1 prospect.
Alex Forowycz (6’2, Lake Forest)
Division 3 coaches looking for a gem this winter should head to a Lake Forest game to see Forowycz. He is a true three-level scorer with good lift and balance on his pull-up and a smooth three-point shot that he makes at a high clip. His movement, activity, and IQ off the ball lead to finishes in transition and from cuts. He’s already been over 20-points on multiple occasions this season. Forowycz and the Scouts will be at the York tournament next week.
Amarion Nimmers (6’2, Rock Island)
You won’t find many players as explosive and exciting in the open court as Nimmers. He is a blur with the ball and gets well above the rim. When Nimmers is knocking down jumpers, he’s going to get whatever he wants offensively. Last week, he broke Rock Island’s single-game scoring record with a 45 point performance.
Asher Jackson (6’5, Carmel)
Averaging 20 points a game so far this year, Jackson has taken a big leap. Known for his strength and athleticism, Jackson is making the most of his frame while connecting on more outside shots. He passes the eye test as a 6-foot-5 that has flashed playmaking ability and defensive upside. It should just be a matter of time before more coaches take a deeper look at Jackson.
Davontae Hall (6’2, Hyde Park)
When Hall has the ball, he is in full control. Easily one of the top point guards in the city, he’s able to handle pressure and beat it with his ball skills. He has a physical play style on his drives to play through contact and ca shoot it off the dribble. Hall has been offered by North Carolina A&T and has a number of other D1 programs that have shown interest.
Darius Duff (6’3, Lake Forest Academy)
Duff continues to get better and is leading a new-look LFA team with around 15 points a game. Blessed with high-level athleticism, he works to find good angles to get downhill to score or draw fouls. Defensively, he has the ability to be a menace on the ball and in the passing lanes. Duff’s jump shooting has progressed into a true threat, creating problems for defenses. Blackburn College has offered him and his current play could attract D2/NAIA programs still looking to add guards.
DJ Bates (6’1, De La Salle)
I’m not sure how Bates keeps getting left out of the conversation for top point guards in the class, but he is a problem for any opposing team. The burst that he possesses on the move is a difference-maker. He finds the De La Salle bigs well, but is a scoring point guard who can get hot quickly. Bates makes things go.
Evan Porto (6’2, Stevenson)
Porto is rock solid with the ball and lights out from beyond the arc. He can shoot it on the move or in spot-up situations and has a toughness and poise about his game. Stevenson has leaned on him this year, looking to his leadership and scoring to set the tone. Porto should be a valued recruit at the Division 3 level.
Gavin Sarvis (6’2, Burlington Central)
Sarvis is a strong, explosive two-guard that excels at breaking down defenders and scoring in traffic with contact layups or short pull-ups. With good form and an uptick in attempts from three, he is shooting over 50 percent from behind the arc and hitting stop-and-pop shots. His defensive instincts and potential as an on-ball defender add to his upside. He has a number of D3 suitors and is trending towards getting more D2/NAIA attention.
Jaylen Drane (6’1, Simeon)
Once viewed as the top point guard in the class, Drane is still an effective, exciting floor general with mid-major ability. He has Simeon clicking early this year with a nice balance of playmaking and slippery ball-handling leading to drives. A number of schools have been involved in his recruitment and his game should be even more effective in college.
Jeremiah Jones (6’4, Marian Catholic)
Jones is one of the premier defenders in the state, regardless of position. He can own a game entirely with his ball pressure and anticipation. But that’s not to take away from his offensive impact. Jones has been relentless getting to the rim and attacking closeouts. He’s one of the best available two-guards in the area.
Jonah Hinton (6’2, Naperville Central)
Hinton is starting to get some well-deserved notice for his production and college potential. His handle is tight and his change of pace puts defenders on skates. Hinton has a deep bag of finishing tricks and knows how to create space for his jump shot. McKendree and Lewis have offered so far and other Division 2 programs are likely to follow.
Marquel Saleek (6’1, Willowbrook)
Saleek can really go. He had a 20-point triple-double earlier this year and has been terrorizing teams in multiple facets of the game. As defenses start to key in on him more, he should be able to shine even more as a facilitator. Saleek has been offered b Purdue Northwest so far.
Mike Vuckovic (6’0, Hoffman Estates)
An energetic point guard that can collapse a defense or knock down perimeter shots, Vuckovic has the quiet confidence that can bring a team together. Whether he is operating in ball screens or going to work in isolations, he has the ability to create consistently off the bounce. Vuckovic could be a high-end offensive weapon at the D3 level.
Lane McVicar (6’5, DeKalb)
McVicar has been the focus of DeKalb’s scouting report but still finds ways to contribute to winning. He has legitimate size and athleticism for a combo guard with an advanced mid-range game. McVicar shoots it well from three and defends with an edge. He has a PWO offer from NIU and has been targeted by a number of Division 3 programs. He’s a D2/D1 level player and has shown that this year.
Orlando Thomas (6’4, Rolling Meadows)
Now standing at 6-foot-4, Thomas is a long-armed two-guard that has a shooting mindset. The lefty can stroke it from three out to 25 feet and has looked better making acrobatic layups in traffic. I like his defensive upside as well, showing tenacity and lateral quickness. Starring on a talented Meadows team, Thomas is playing like a scholarship-level guard.
Owen Schneider (5’10, Prospect)
Schneider is a superb athlete with high-IQ and playmaking prowess. Having a 40-plus inch vertical allows him to score effectively in the paint with stop-and-pop jumpers and finishes around the rim. That will translate well to college along with his ball-hawking defense and catch-and-shoot game. Schneider will have plenty of Division 3 options and should get some D2 looks as well.
Paxton Warden (6’4, Glenbard West)
One of the breakout seniors so far this year, Warden has been great in a lineup full of Division 1 recruits. He’s a good 3-and-D prospect at the Division 2 level with athleticism and versatility defensively and a quick trigger from distance. His growth to a strong 6-foot-4 has contributed to an increased comfort attacking off the dribble. He will be at the York tournament, one that the Hilltoppers will be favored to win.
Sebastian Blachut (6’2, Lake Park)
Blachut is rangy, bouncy, and very competitive. So far this year, he has shown good shake off the dribble and the tough, off-balance finishes that make him a difficult cover when going downhill. Blachut plays with physicality and has plus instincts as an on-ball defender. He’s going to be a high-ceiling Division 3 recruit.
Trent Tousana (5’11, Batavia)
Averaging 20 points and five assists to this point, Tousana is a difference-maker with the ball in his hands. He’s a threat to shoot as soon as he crosses half-court, with effortless range and a nice change of pace. Tousana makes all of the prerequisite passes off the dribble that you need to be a productive college lead guard. He’s another player that has a mix of Division 2, NAIA, and Division 3 appeal.
Tye Banks (6’3, Lanphier)
Banks, a bruising and experienced combo guard, is making a statement this year. Often overlooked as a star outside of the Chicago area, he is a hard-nosed penetrator that seeks out contact. He has shown flashes as a three-level scorer and remains an above-average rebounder at the guard spot. There is no question that Banks is going to find a way to be successful at the next level and has the high academics to help his cause.
Vito Lagioia (6’0, Lake Park)
Lagioia has been a big asset for the Lancers. He has multiple 20-plus point games already on the heels of his creativity and shooting ability from 15-to-18 feet. It doesn’t take long for him to get hot and he’s a dangerous scorer with a head of steam. Lagioia has interest at the Division 2 and Division 3 programs.
Yogi Oliff (6’2, Niles North)
Oliff may be the best available pure point guard in the state. His vision and ball-handling are uncommon, weaving through defenses and passing teammates open. There is an ease and calmness about his game that gives coaches the confidence to put the ball in his hands and let him work. As he has shown on multiple occasions, Oliff is more than capable of scoring in bunches. Army has offered him and plenty of high-academic Division 3 schools are in pursuit.
Caleb Hannah (6’5, Orr)
Orr is off to a good start and Hannah is a large part of that. With the projectable, lanky frame that coaches want in a wing, Hannah meets the physical trait check. Hannah has solid form from the outside but is really a force when attacking closeouts. Hannah has Division 2 and NAIA programs who have targeted him.
Fernando Perez (6’3, Larkin)
Having a strong start to the year, Perez is putting it all together and showing why he is a four-year varsity player. He’s long, but most importantly relentless defensively, leading to steals and deflections. Perez recently flirted with a triple-double and has lived off transition, mid-range, and hard drives. He plays to win and has the talent to travel.
Gabe Madej (6’6, Fenwick)
Madej has transformed his body over the last year and is quicker, more explosive, and still able to bully smaller opponents. The sweet-shooting wing is in a leading role this year at Fenwick and has to carry a heavy load. But his mid-post game and face-up moves will give him opportunities when he is run off fhe line. Madej is a very high-academic floor-spacer with great size and strength.
Jeremiah Talton (6’6, Quincy)
Talton has been dominating the competition, especially in conference play where he is averaging around 27 points a game. He just understands the game on both ends. Whether it is shooting off the catch, defending all five positions, or making the extra pass, Talton is more than willing and capable. He looks like the ideal rotation piece for a Division 1 program. Western Illinois has offered so far.
Julian Triffo (6’6, Maine South)
Playing more of a big role for Maine South, Triffo goes into games as the interior centerpiece. He handles double teams on the block, but is still averaging around 20 points a game with timely assists and constant rebounding. At the next level, Triffo’s game projects well as a wing/combo forward spreading the floor, switching defensively, and using his footwork to get open looks in the paint. Triffo is a workhorse who is likely to draw more high-Division 3 interest and could be in for Division 2 looks.
Matthew Volkening (6’6, Marengo)
Marengo is a smaller school, but Volkening is the real deal. He is a highly-skilled scorer that has a compact jump shot that he can make from multiple angles. A legitimate 6-foot-6, he moves well off the ball and is elevating above the rim better this year. Highly ranked Indiana Wesleyan (NAIA) offered him and I could see low-majors and D2s doing their due diligence.
Max Love (6’5, St. Charles North)
Love has continued to develop into a key piece of the North Stars long-term success. 6-foot-5 is good size for a wing, but his arms are even longer than that, giving him an advantage in the passing lanes. It’s easy to see why coaches want to get him on campus, shooting the ball with an easy stroke and slashing to the rim off kick outs.
Nick Harrell (6’6, Tinley Park)
One of the impact transfers at Tinley Park, Harrell is a defensive stud. It doesn’t matter what perimeter spot needs to be locked up, Harrell is up for the assignment. His spot-up shooting and ball skills show plenty of flashes with more development in college. Look for Harrell to get heavy interest from Division 2 programs, though he is a definite Division 1 wing defender.
Ty Rogers (6’7, West Aurora)
Leading a big turnaround season for West Aurora, Rogers is making the most of his senior year. You don’t see many 6-foot-7 players who can put the ball on the ground and get to their spot for pull-ups like he can. There is defensive potential and some passing instincts that could help Rogers as he matures. Division 2 programs have been involved.
Zach Royster (6’7, Lindblom)
A bit of an unheralded prospect in the Chicago area, Royster is a do-it-all wing with room for growth. He has a projectable body and has been piling up double-doubles this year. Big wings with his combination of ball-handling, spot-up shooting, and toughness tend to have pretty good college upside.
Chase Bonder (6’7, Libertyville)
Bonder is a player that just produces. He can beat defenders to the glass, score off face-ups, and seal smaller players on the block. Bonder can stroke it with his feet set, making him a valuable option as a pick-and-pop player. His energy and comfort on the perimeter should play well in dribble handoff actions as well. Division 3 programs looking for a difference-maker in the frontcourt should see Bonder.
Christian Meeks (6’6, Homewood Flossmoor)
Meeks grabs rebounds and dunks in traffic like a 6-foot-10 big. It’s the constant aggressive and activity in the paint that makes him an impressive prospect. You know what you are going to get on both ends and his jump shooting has taken nice steps. Meeks picked up an offer from UT Martin in the summer.
Colin Schuler (6’8, Peoria Notre Dame)
Part of a big frontcourt at PND, Schuler runs rim to rim, goes up strong, and shows some nice touch. Schuler is a great outlet in the punch spot or in high ball screens where he can get a head of steam and finish off lob passes. The promise that he shows putting the ball on the ground has boosted his stock. Wayne State has offered so far and other D2 programs will likely follow suit.
Conrad Luczynski (7’3, Bartlett)
Yes, 7-foot-3. But Luczynski isn’t just big. He is one of the best passing big men in the state, flirting with a few quadruple-doubles so far. His post passing, area rebounding, and rim protection are all elite. Luczynski has shown exponential growth as a scorer, dunking everything in the paint and showing some ability to step out and make a jumper. Even without an offer at this point, I feel confident in saying that Luczynski will have a Division 1 offer before it’s all said and done.
Damarkus Bean (6’8, Metro East Lutheran)
Bean just got back from an injury, but he was a standout over the summer with the Southwest Jets. He is a powerful, athletic big capable of using his frame and length to dominate around the lane. As Bean gets back into form, he should be a difference-maker for Metro East. Missouri Southern, Concordia Nebraska, and Concordia Michigan have offered so far.
Dominic Commisso (6’9, Hononegah)
Commisso has been piling up offers over the last few months as coaches have been able to see his development. Now at 6-foot-9, the agile forward is a double-double threat that blocks shots and outruns guards in transition. There will be coaches from many levels trying to get a look at Commisso over the next few months.
Elliot Lowndes (6’10, Cobden)
Lowndes has good feet and moves pretty well for 6-foot-10. But he is just scratching the surface of what he could be in a couple of years once he bulks up and the game slows down a bit. He’s been very effective for one of the top 1A programs in the state in Cobden. After gaining some exposure playing for the Illinois Bears this summer, Lowndes should be on some radars.
Emondrek Ford (6’8, Bloom)
Ford is the best shot-blocker in Illinois. His timing, quick leaping, and length lead to volleyball spikes at a high clip. If he needs to switch out on guards, he can contain them and use his closing speed to erase mistakes. Ford has used that quickness well on the offensive end as well to live off of putbacks and dump-off finishes. He may be more of a long-term prospect, but coaches looking for a true rim protector should contact Ford.
Ethan Marlowe (6’8, St. Charles North)
A returning All-State player that causes problems with his guard skills, Marlowe should be hitting his stride for the second half of the season. He can operate as a wing or four-man without giving up much defensively, relying on his shooting, handle, and size to create mismatches. The talent is there for Marlowe to get Division 1 and Division 2 contacts.
Garrett Bolte (6’7, Hinsdale South)
Bolte is averaging a smooth 20 points and 10 rebounds as the focal point for Hinsdale South. As a multi-faceted forward with power, athleticism, and perimeter skills, Bolte always has an answer for different types of defenders. The improvement and offseason work has been evident in the quickness of his release and isolation game. Bolte is also a stout defender who blocks multiple shots a game. Wayne State, Olivet Nazarene, and Roosevelt are the latest offers.
Koen Derry (6’6, Galesburg)
Bringing two-way impact to a strong Galesburg team, Derry has that nose for the ball that you need to succeed as an undersized four. He’s a strong kid that is springy around the rim. At 6-foot-6, Derry can play the three or four and use good footwork and anticipation to defend both spots. As he continues to develop, Derry’s straight-line drives will get more fluid. He’s definitely a scholarship-level forward.
Kyle Thomas (6’10, Benet)
Thomas, a St. Joseph’s transfer, may be the best remaining big in the state. There are some things you can’t teach, and size and athleticism are two of them. Benet has been a perfect home to showcase his game, acting as a defensive anchor and interior finisher that initiates the break with outlet passes. Thomas has a ton of talent for a coach to work with in college.
Nate Boldt (6’10, Barrington)
The tools are apparent with the 6-foot-10 Barrington big. Boldt has a soft touch with three-point range to go along with long arms and shot-blocking ability. While still adding strength, Boldt really thrives rolling to the rim, catching in traffic, and finishing. He may be a prep school target, but I wouldn’t be shocked if some schools came in with offers to work with his potential.
Timaris Brown (6’5, St. Patrick’s)
Brown remains from a team that lost a majority of its production. But the big-bodied combo forward is showing nicely so far. Even in some bigger games, he has been a strong finisher who is capitalizing on open mid-range shots. Brown is a solid athlete that has a nice skillset to push in transition and set up teammates.
Xavier Lewis (6’7, TF South)
Lewis had a terrific summer with Y&R, playing a small-ball five and owning the paint in the process. His college position will probably be the four, which should be fine defensively with how well he moves his feet, covers ground, and contests shots. Offensively, he has shown a 15-foot jumper and is growing as a three-point threat. But his impact as a lob threat is worth noting.