This was one of the the toughest weeks to choose 10 players of the week with so many big performances. But we picked 10 names that made statements this week.
Braden Huff (6’11 PF, Glenbard West 2022)
Huff made a case (once again) that he is the best player in the state. A 31-point outing against a nationally recognized Whitney Young team was the marquee game. He was so efficient and dominant in that showcase game. Earlier in the week, he had games of 18 and 19 as well in limited time during some blowout wins.
Bryce Tillery (5’9 PG, Hillcrest 2023)
Diggy is known as a floor general who dictates tempo and gets others easy looks. But he’s increasingly showing that he can get his own and he did just that when he scored 32 points in a game this week. A big shot maker with composure, he was terrific.
Cade Pierce (6’6 SG, Glenbard West 2022)
This is the first week that teammates have been players of the week, but Pierce was also so good during the week. His 25 points against Whitney Young felt like more, living in the paint and using his slick footwork, length, and athleticism as needed. His defensive activity caused turnovers all over the place. Pierce started the week with a team-high 19 points for the undefeated Hiltoppers.
Damari Wheeler-Thomas (6’0 PG, Larkin 2022)
In what was the biggest game in the conference so far, Wheeler-Thomas went off for 38 points. He had his way and knocked down six threes. Clearly one of the top points guards in Illinois, he is the type of floor general that can take over games in March.
Jackson Munro (6’8 PF, New Trier 2022)
Munro may have had the best week in the state with two impressive 25-point games and a monster 30 point, 13 rebound game. He is too skilled for most bigs and too big for many quicker defenders. Dartmouth won big here.
Lidell Miller (6’5 PF, Morgan Park 2022)
The focal point for Morgan Park, Miller put on some huge games highlighted by a 37 point, 13 rebound performance. He followed that up with 19 points and 15 rebounds. The big man continues to control the paint and step out from time to time (5 threes in 37-pount outing).
Macaleab Rich (6’6 SF, East St. Louis)
Rich took the Salem Invitational by storm, winning MVP and catching some attention for his physical presence and athleticism. He had a 30-point game where he had 10 rebounds and four blocks. At times, he can look like a man amongst boys.
Nick Martinelli (6’8 SG/SF, Glenbrook South 2022)
Competition matters. Martinelli was a the difference for the Titans in a three-point win over Simeon with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Earlier in the week he had a 26-point game as well. He continues to look like a Mr. Basketball candidate who you can count on to step up in big games.
Owen Freeman (6’10 C, Bradley Bourbonnais 2023)
Freeman is quietly putting up numbers that few centers in the state can touch on a regular basis. With games of 17/9, 18/17, and 17/11, his domination was evident. He’s the best center in the class and has looked good enough to be in the conversation for the top junior in the state.
Ryan Cohen (6’4 SG, Glenbrook North 2023)
Cohen is a dangerous three-level scorer that can get to the rim when needed. But when he gets going from the perimeter, it’s a problem for defenses. He had games of 20, 23, and 25 points off seven threes this week against good competition. GBN’s leading scorer is showing well.