2021-2022 Season Awards

With the regular season over, we are releasing our awards for the year. We appreciate all of the submissions and messages on players to consider and decided on the following breakdowns:

  • 4 All-State Teams & Player of the Year with 40 Honorable Mentions
  • 2 All-Defensive Teams & Defensive Player of the Year with 10 Honorable Mentions
  • Sixth Man of the Year with 4 Honorable Mentions
  • All-Newcomer Team & Newcomer of the Year
  • All-Energy Team & Energy Player of the Year
  • Coach of the Year with 9 Honorable Mentions
  • 4 All-Senior Teams with 10 Honorable Mentions
  • 4 All-Junior Teams with 10 Honorable Mentions
  • 3 All-Sophomore Teams with 10 Honorable Mentions
  • 3 All-Freshman Teams with 10 Honorable Mentions

Awards take into account a number of factors including a player’s impact on team success, competition faced, and individual stats among other things. Some stats will be provided later in the week from teams, so we will update the post with the numbers as they come in.

Player of the Year: Braden Huff (Senior F, Glenbard West)

Stats: 17 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.5 bpg, 62% FG, 40% 3PT, 78% FT

Huff was the catalyst for a Glenbard West team that went undefeated against a stacked slate of in-state teams. He was often the best player on the court too, scoring efficiently on the block (70% from inside the arc), hitting threes at a high clip, and handling and playmaking in the open court like a point guard. Not bad for a 6-foot-11 forward that can defend on the wing or block shots above the rim.

Huff often sat long stretches in the fourth during their blowouts, but was dominant in every marquee matchup, including big games against California powerhouse Sierra Canyon (their only loss), Glenbrook South, and Whitney Young. He is committed to Gonzaga.

All-State First Team

Braden Huff (Senior F, Glenbard West)

Ty Rodgers (Senior F, Thornton)

Stats: 18 ppg, 16 rpg, 8 apg, 3 spg, 3 bpg

Arguably the most impactful two-way player in the state, Rodgers averaged near a triple-double. But his impressive numbers don’t tell the full story. His unselfishness, competitiveness, and physical presence on both ends have given Thornton a real chance to make it down state. Rodgers projects as an immediate contributor at Illinois next year.

Jaden Schutt (Senior G, Yorkville Christian)

Stats: 26.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.1 spg, 52% FG, 39% 3PT, 85% FT

A well-known shooter that has developed into a premier three-level scorer, Schutt gave defenses nightmares with his combination of athleticism, IQ, and skill. He has a near 50/40/85 shooting line even though he often faces double teams and constant attention. Schutt will look to add a state championship to his resume before playing at Duke in the fall.

Nick Martinelli (Senior G/F, Glenbrook South)

Stats: 22.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.8 apg, 67% FG, 35.3% 3PT

It’s a given that Martinelli will find a way to fill up the scoring column. Has eclipsed over 1,000 career point in less than three full years. We saw a nice jump in his shooting volume and advanced vision as a playmaker when the inevitable help came. Martinelli legitimately played all five positions and still found new ways to affect the game as one of the top wings in the state. He is headed to Elon.

Ben VanderWal (Senior F, Timothy Christian)

Stats: 26.4 ppg, 10 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.4 spg, 2.3 bpg

VanderWal has put Timothy Christian on his back on a regular basis. He’s had numerous 30-plus point games, poster dunks, and big shots for the Trojans. The 6-foot-7 Furman commit is also one of the few players in the state to average over two steals and two blocks a game while also taking 25 charges. VanderWal is always in attack mode and has displayed winning traits all year.

Jackson Munro (Senior F, New Trier)

Stats: 17 ppg, 9 rpg, 4 apg, 2 bpg, 64% FG

Built in the mold of a modern four man, Munro facilitated the proficient New Trier offense with his passing ability and shooting. Sagging defenders fell victim to his court vision, but he was more than comfortable dribbling into postups and fall away shots. He’s been on a tear over the last nine games, averaging 24 points, 10 boards, and five assists over that period. Munro is committed to Dartmouth.

Trey Pettigrew (Senior G, Kenwood)

Stats: N/A

The Nevada recruit has been a model of consistency for Kenwood. After being an All-State player as a sophomore, Pettigrew returned to Illinois with a bang, highlighted by a 45 point game earlier this year. The shooting confidence and finishing ability have made him a tough cover for any type of defender. Pettigrew is headed to Nevade next year.

AJ Casey (Senior F, Whitney Young)

Stats: N/A

Over the last month, Casey has reminded everyone how good he is, leading the Dolphins to a CPS championship. There might not be a better transition dunker than Casey and his slashing ability is second to none at 6-foot-8. He’s been a steady double-double threat that has been a stalwart defensively. Miami (FL) is getting a player on the rise.

Justin Mullins (Senior G, Oak Park River Forest)

Stats: 25.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2 bpg

Even though OPRF has been up and down this year, Mullins has been special. He has showed maturity and skill while flashing the athleticism that made him intriguing in past year. Mullins gave them an interior presence as well with his rebounding and shot-blocking prowess around the rim. He will be going to Denver to play next year.

Robbie Avila (Senior F, Oak Forest)

Stats: 24.7 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 4.1 apg, 2 bpg, 42% 3PT, 84% FT

Avila just surpassed 2,000 career points and will leave Oak Forest as the best player in school history. The 6-foot-9 big man thrived off of his playmaking ability, light feet on the block, and limitless shooting range. He compiled big games night after night without getting sped up or deviating from his game. Avila is committed to Indiana State.

All-State Second Team

Jalen Quinn (Sr. G, 2022)

Stats: 24 ppg, 7 rpg, 4 apg, 3.5 spg

Another player who went over 2,000 career points, Quinn was great once again this year. The biggest change has been in his ability to space out and knock down jumpers. That has opened up even more driving lanes and allowed for him to shine at what he does best. Loyola will be glad to see him suiting up over the next few years.

Ty Pence (Jr. G, St. Joseph-Ogden)

Stats: 24 ppg, 8 rpg, 2.3 apg

Pence was a show-stopper for SJO throughout the year. The level of difficulty on some of his shots were high, but they were quality shots for him. In games against larger schools, he flashed his competitive edge and fearlessness. He’s a gifted downhill driver that skies above the rim for finishes in traffic. It’s no wonder why high-major coaches were flocking in to see him produce.

Darrin Ames (Jr. G, Kenwood)

Stats: 24 ppg

Ames battled with injuries throughout the season, but was incredibly dynamic for the games that he played. While Kenwood was facing their early season gauntlet of highly ranked teams, Ames hit big shot after big shot off the dribble, averaging around 20 points a game on the year. He produced as a playmaker and on-ball defender as well.

Cade Pierce (Sr. G, Glenbard West)

Stats: 12.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4 apg, 3.3 spg, 4.7 defpg, 52% FG, 37% 3PT,

Pierce is an all-around guard that has been an all-around menace for opposing teams. He averages nearly five deflections at the top of that daunting Glenbard West zone while turning steals into dunks at the other end. The three-year point guard delivered pinpoint passes on the move, found creative ways to get to the rim, and shot around 37% from three. Princeton got a steal.

NJ Benson (Sr. F/C, Mt. Vernon)

Stats: 22 ppg, 11 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1 bpg, 1 spg

There probably hasn’t been a ton of statewide coverage on Mt. Vernon, but Benson’s production has not gone unnoticed. The Missouri State recruit played with a constant motor and added layers to his game. I think the scary part is that he’s just scratching the surface after averaging 22 and 11 this year.

Nojus Indrusaitis (So. G, Lemont)

Stats: 22.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg

Indrusaitis is a true bucket getter that does so many little things at a high level. He can go for 20 points in the blink of eye, using his footwork, ball-handling, and compact shooting release to light it up from around the court. His willingness to take on varying defensive assignments at 6-foot-4 and commit to shutting guys down was noteworthy. Indrusaitis looked like one of the top sophomore guards in the country.

Damari Wheeler-Thomas (Sr. G, Larkin)

Stats: 18.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.7 apg, 3.1 spg, 2.69 Ast/TO

Wheeler-Thomas won Upstate 8 Player of the Year on the heels of a masterful season on both ends of the floor. Don’t let the 6-foot listing fool you because he plays as tough and aggressive as any guard around. He has been a relentless on-ball defender that has a seasoned pull-up game and unshakeable handle. Wheeler-Thomas is signed to North Dakota State.

Jonah Hinton (Sr. G, Naperville Central)

Stats: 21 ppg, 5 apg, 5 rpg

It wasn’t always the case that Hinton was recognized as an elite guard in the state. But the work clearly showed this year, being a unanimous conference MVP and effortlessly getting to his spots. Hinton has that ability to take over games with his shot-making on the move, going for 41 points on his senior night. Hinton will be playing at reigning-Division 2 champion Northwest Missouri State next year.

Conrad Luczynski (Sr. C, Bartlett)

Stats: 18.4 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 3.2 apg, 4.3 bpg

Height doesn’t always guarantee results. But in this case, the 7-foot-3 senior made the most of his advantage, erasing or affecting every shot in his area, grabbing rebounds at the rim, and surveying over defenders to find cutters and shooters. Did I mention the power dunks in traffic? Luczynski has shown so much growth with his finishing and overall feel that it’s hard to believe he is still on the market.

Owen Freeman (Jr. C, Bradley Bourbonnais)

Stats: 19 ppg, 10 rpg, 5 apg

Sometimes the game looks too easy for Freeman against opposing bigs. He’s just so smooth and decisive with the ball, that sometimes it’s hard to believe that he’s only a junior. The Iowa commit has welcomed doing the “boring stuff” like running the floor, boxing out, and rotating extremely well. That is worth noting because his skill set for a 6-foot-10 player is hard to find. If you don’t believe me, just ask his opponents.

All-State Third Team

Will Grudzinski (Sr. G, Barrington)

Stats: 19.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1 spg, 41.7% 3TP, 81 3PM

Grudzinski earned MSL West Player of the Year after his second consecutive year of imposing his will on both sides of the floor. The Wash U recruit shot the lights out from three while showing plenty of comfort elevating in the mid-range for stop-and-pop jumpers. Often an underrated defender, Grudzinski uses his 6-foot-6 frame well to cover ground and contest shots. He was reliable all year.

Cam Christie (Jr. G, Rolling Meadows)

Stats: N/A

The MSL East Player of the Year a season after his brother Max won it, Christie took his game to another level. There was so much more creativity and confidence off the bounce from the junior guard, playing on or off the ball to manufacture offense. Throughout the state, he was among the best one-on-one scorers.

Asa Thomas (Jr. G, Lake Forest)

Stats: 17 ppg, 7 rpg, 3 apg, 1 spg

Thomas has clearly surpassed the label of just being a “shooter”. At 6-foot-7, he did a great job of crashing the glass and finishing over the top of defenders. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still one of the premier shooters around, hitting 85 shots from deep at a 40 percent clip. He won conference player of the year as well.

Tavari Johnson (Sr. G, Lyons)

Stats: 20 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg

As quick as they come off the dribble, Johnson is a smooth operator that has that rare combination of pace and an elite next gear. There were games where he simply dribbled around defenders for easy finishes. Even at 5-foot-11, Johnson explodes above the rim with ease and scores well from 15 feet and in. The Akron commit’s vision and passing feel out of ball screens opened up open looks for the Lions all year.

Mikell Jones (Sr. F, Michelle Clark)

Stats: 26 ppg, 8 rpg, 3 spg

Jones stays in go-mode. He compiled a huge statistical season for Clark, but the way he did it stands out. A big, bruising 6-foot-4 forward, Jones bulldozed defenders on the break, got to the paint in the half court, and turned steals into easy points. He has a real shot to lead Clark to Champaign this year.

Bobby Durkin (Sr. G, Glenbard West)

Stats: 12.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.4 apg, 2 spg, 3 defpg, 54% FG, 44% 3PT, 90% FT

The 50/40/90 slash line is considered elite, even among NBA circles. How about nearly 55/45/90? That’s what Durkin has done so far this year, torching the nets from the perimeter off the catch or off the bounce. Durkin is a very cerebral guard that was often responsible for breaking tight pressure using his body to shield off defenders. His anticipation and IQ defensively shouldn’t be overlooked either. He’s the top uncommitted prospect in Illinois.

Macaleab Rich (Jr. F, East St. Louis)

Stats: 19.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.5 bpg, 1.4 spg, 54% 3PT

Rich was a human highlight reel that mixed excitement with efficiency. You don’t see a ton of 6-foot-7 kids that are built like linebackers and able to jump out of the gym like the Flyers wing. He understands how to use his athleticism and excels applying defensive pressure and scoring on the break.

Jaylen Drane (Sr. G, Simeon)

Stats: N/A

Drane was Simeon’s top dog all season, leading the Wolverines to a finish that has them as the favorites to win 3A. There was a stretch in the middle of the season where he was scoring 20 points with regularity and delivering in every big moment. Drane came into Simeon with high expectations and this season he was one of the top guards in the city.

Zach Cleveland (Sr. F, Normal)

Stats: 15 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 54% FG

Cleveland has that dog mentality that you can’t teach and is a large reason why Normal is a consensus top-10 team in 4A heading into the playoffs. He is very explosive around the rim, hammering in dunks and skying for rebounds in crowds. The top Liberty recruit poses a mismatch for opposing teams with how well he handles and passes on the move and his willingness to bang on the block when needed.

Cooper Noard (Sr. G, Glenbrook South)

Stats: 16.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.0 spg, 89 3PM, 42.2% 3PT

A true marksman that exemplifies toughness, Noard has been highly efficient despite the face guarding and defensive attention that his shooting demands. He is still on pace to hit 100 threes, currently hitting 42 percent of his long balls. Noard’s impact on the team’s confidence can’t be quantified. He communicates, competes on the glass and defensively, and leads by example. Noard has committed to Cornell.

All-State Fourth Team

Jakeem Cole (Jr. G, Leo)

Stats: 19.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.3 apg, 51% FG, 83% FT

Cole showed up when Leo needed him most this year. He broke defenders down and knifed to the lane at will to get open shots for himself and teammates. The 5-foot-11 guard was able to hit set shots from three and turned defense into offense well. Cole was named the Chicago Catholic League Player of the Year after leading Leo to a conference title.

Jake Fiegen (Jr. G, New Trier)

Stats: 16 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg, 70% 2PT, 47% 3PT

There probably isn’t a better catch-and-shoot player in the state than Fiegen. Most defenses know that, but he still is shooting around 47 percent. Fiegen has taken nice strides towards maximizing his athleticism and physical frame, driving it more frequently, outrunning opponents in transition, and proving to be a stout defender.

Donovan Jones (Sr. G, Solorio)

Stats: 24.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 6.8 apg

Jones was somewhat under the radar despite his excellence as a playmaker. Playing this year at 6-foot-2, Jones was able to use his size and feel for the game to create advantages. Jones has good touch on his floater but was a force attacking the rim aggressively as well. Few players scored at the rate of Jones while still creating such quality looks for teammates.

Jake Hamilton (Jr. G, Sacred Heart Griffin)

Stats: 16.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.7 spg, 49% FG

The athletic, heady lefty is going to be a handful for teams in the 3A playoffs. Whether it’s a physical drive to the rim or a short pull-up from 15 feet, Hamilton applies pressure going downhill. He brings some of that football toughness to the offensive glass and defensive end as well, jumping passing lanes and shedding boxouts well. Hamilton has been one of the most productive juniors this year.

Lidell Miller (Sr. C, Morgan Park)

Stats: 19.6 ppg, 15.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.2 bpg

Miller was the definition of a load. Wide bodied and strong, he bodies players on the block and carved out space to get offensive rebounds. He was the highest volume rebounder behind Rodgers, pulling in a ridiculous 15.8 boards a game. Miller has some range and passing ability out of the post as well. In most games, he was simply too big and too strong.

Xavier Amos (Sr. F, Whitney Young)

Stats: N/A

A Northern Illinois recruit, Amos had games where he was nearly unstoppable in the paint. He plays on the perimeter and from the mid-post well with his comfort putting the ball on the ground and scoring in the teeth of the defense. His jump shot has progressed nicely and provided an added bonus for a player that is so effective as a rebounder and versatile defender.

Christian Meeks (Sr. F, Homewood Flossmoor)

Stats: 18 ppg, 8 rpg

Meeks’ motor never stops. And that’s a large reason why he was such a monster this season. Now holding multiple Division 1 offers, the 6-foot-6 forward punishes rims and cleans the glass with vigor and excitement. He had one of the best individual week stretches in the state over the Holidays as Homewood Flossmoor rolled top competition multiple nights in a row.

Jeremiah Talton (Sr. F, Quincy)

Stats: *Conference Play* 20.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 46 3PM

Talton recently committed to New Orleans after earning the offer on the heels of a year where he became the all-time leader in three-point makes for Quincy. Averaging over 20 points a game while shooting 45 percent from three doesn’t happen often. His ability to draw charges, block shots, and cause turnovers add to his value as a top-level defensive player at 6-foot-6.

Davontae Hall (Sr. G, Hyde Park)

Stats: 19.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.8 apg, 40% 3PT

One of Chicago’s top guards, Hall always gave Hyde Park a chance if not an advantage. He’s a different type of shot creator with how well he can shift defenders and jump over crowds to finish. Hall has been really good from three this year as well, making it tough to choose which sword to die on as an opposing team. There’s just that extra layer of toughness that relies amplifies his apparent skillset.

Bryce Moore (Sr. G, Carmel)

Stats: 18.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.0 apg

Moore has consistently been around 20 points a game this year in his fourth varsity season where he went over 1,000 career points. There was a time where defense was his calling card. While he’s still an elite defensive stopper, his jump shot and handle have become cleaner and serious weapons to his repertoire. Niagara is going to love his complete game.

Honorable Mention:

Aaron Onesimus (Sr. G, Schaumburg Christian) – 30 ppg, 7 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2 spg

Ahmad Henderson (Jr. G, Brother Rice) – 15.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.6 spg, 80% FT

Amarion Nimmers (Sr. G, Rock Island) – 24.5 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 apg

Antoine Glasper (So. G, Collins) – 26.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 6.3 apg, 3.6 spg, 52% 3PT

Ben Vandigo (Sr. G, Scales Mound) – 18.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.8 bpg, 63% FG

Brady Kunka (Jr. G, Benet) – 11.5 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 56% FG, 38% 3PT

Brock Harding (Sr. G, Moline) – *Conference Play* 19.2 ppg, 4.9 apg, 37 3PM

Cam Cleveland (Sr. G, Leo) – 15.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3 apg, 3.1 spg

Chikasi Ofoma (Jr. F, Curie) – N/A

Christian Jones (Sr. G, East St. Louis) – 15.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 6.7 apg, 2.0 spg, 46% 3PT

Cole Certa (So. G, Bloomington Central Catholic) – 20 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.5 bpg, 87 3PM, 40% 3PT

Cooper Koch (So. F, Peoria Notre Dame) – 16 ppg, 7 rpg, 4 apg, 2 spg, 1 bpg, 57% FG, 49% 3PT, 85% FT

Dalen Davis (Jr. G, Whitney Young) – N/A

Davius Loury (Jr. F, Kenwood) – N/A

DeAndre Craig (Jr. G, Mt. Carmel) – 21 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg

DJ Bates (Sr. G, De La Salle) – N/A

Dylan Arnett (Sr. F, DePaul Prep) – 12 ppg, 6 rpg, 2 bpg

Ethan Marlowe (Sr. F, St. Charles North) – 14.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2 bpg, 1 spg, 33% 3PT

Garrett Bolte (Sr. F, Hinsdale South) – 20 ppg, 10 rpg, 3 apg, 1.7 bpg, 2 spg

Gavin Sarvis (Sr. G, Burlington Central) – 14.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.5 apg, 3.6 spg, 48% FG

James Brown (So. F/C, St. Rita) – 12.1 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.3 apg, 71% FG

Jeremiah Jones (Sr. G, Marian Catholic) – 15.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.2 spg

Joshua West (Sr. G, Westinghouse) – 22.3 ppg, 8 rpg, 6 spg

Julian Triffo (Sr. F, Maine South) – 18.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.6 apg, 51% FG, 39% 3PT

Kyle Thomas (Sr. C, Benet) – 12 ppg, 7 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.5 bpg

Mantas Zilys (Jr. G, Naperville Central) – 19 ppg, 7 rpg, 3 apg, 1 spg

Matthew Volkening (Sr. G, Marengo) – 24 ppg, 8 rpg, 4 apg, 3 bpg, 2 spg

Mekhi Lowery (Jr. F, Oswego East) – 14 ppg, 8 rpg, 3 apg, 3 spg, 2 bpg

Mike Vuckovic (Sr. G, Hoffman Estates) – 18 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg

Miles Rubin (Jr. F, Simeon) – N/A

Morez Johnson (So. F, St. Rita) -13.7 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 1.4 bpg

Patrick Robinson (Sr. G, Oswego East) – 13.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg

Rich Barron (Jr. G, St. Ignatius) – 15.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.3 spg, 37.1% 3PT

Ryan Cohen (Jr. G, Glenbrook North) – 18 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg

Ryan Duncan (Sr. G, Chicago U-High) – 17 ppg,2.7 rpg, 7.2 apg, 1.9 spg, 56% FG, 44% 3PT

Terrance Jones (Sr. G, Longwood) – 19.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.2 spg

Timaris Brown (Sr. F, St. Patrick) – 17.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.7 bpg

Sam Lewis (Jr. G, OPRF) – N/A

Tyler Fawcett (Sr. F, Wheaton Warrenville South) – 14.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Wes Hunt (Sr. F, Peoria Christian) – 19.4 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2.9 bpg, 63% FG, 36% 3PT

Defensive Player of the Year: Ty Rodgers (Sr. F, Thornton)

There were a couple of close competitors for this award, but Rodgers has shown a different level of rim protection and defensive impact that has dictated the outcome of games. He has delivered game-changing blocks, rangy pass interceptions, and key one-on-one defensive stops. And he’s leading the state with 16 boards a game to go along with three blocks and three steals.

All-Defensive First Team

Ty Rodgers (Sr. F, Thornton)

Cade Pierce (Sr. G, Glenbard West)

Emondrek Ford (Sr. F, Bloom)

Sulaiman Agiste (Sr. C, Michelle Clark)

Jeremiah Jones (Sr. G, Marian Catholic)

All-Defensive Second Team

Mekhi Lowery (Jr. F, Oswego East)

AJ Casey (Sr. F, Whitney Young)

Damari Wheeler-Thomas (Sr. G, Larkin)

Conrad Luczynski (Sr. C, Bartlett)

Joshua West (Sr. G, Westinghouse)

Honorable Mention:

Bryce Moore (Sr. G, Carmel)

Kyle Thomas (Sr. C, Benet)

Jeremiah Talton (Sr. F, Quincy)

Zeke Williams (Sr. G, Naperville North)

RJ Davis (Jr. G, Glenbrook South)

Jimmy Rasmussen (Jr. G, Geneva)

Owen Schneider (Sr. G, Prospect)

Sonny Williams (Jr. G, Notre Dame College Prep)

JJ Hernandez (So. F, Glenbard North)

Ross Robertson (Fr. F/C, South Beloit)

Sixth Man of the Year: Miles Rubin (Jr. F, Simeon)

Rubin would start on most teams in the state. When he comes in the game for Simeon, the game changes. He is the second leading scorer and top rebounder for the Wolverines despite regularly coming off of the bench. His length and activity adds a different dimension to the class 3A favorite.

Honorable Mention:

Karlo Colak (Sr. G/F, New Trier) – 10 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg, 46% 3PT

Jaheem Webber (So. C, Normal) – N/A

Jackson Niego (Jr. G, Lyons) – 6 ppg, 4 apg, 3 spg

Sam Driscoll (Jr. G, Benet) – N/A

Newcomer Awards: top players who spent their first full season on varsity

Newcomer of the Year: Terrence Jones (Sr. G, Longwood)

Stats: 19.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.2 spg

After missing his entire junior year due to cancellations, Jones came out this year with a vengeance to make up for the missed time. He averages close to 20 points a game and has been on a scoring rampage for Longwood while rebounding as well as any 6-foot-2 guard in Illinois. It’s the all-around impact of the wiry guard that really stands out.

Newcomer Team:

Terrence Jones (Sr. G, Longwood)

Jeremiah Fears (Fr. G, Joliet West)

Stats: N/A

Fears went to work as a floor general and long-range shooter from day one. Pulled in numerous Division 1 offers in the process.

Nik Polonowski (Jr. G/F, Lyons)

Stats: 13.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 0.5 bpg

He became a great secondary option for the Lions and emerged as one of the top wings in the area. Polonowski showed versatility, athleticism, and a silky outside shot.

Niko Newsome (So. G, Bloomington)

Stats: 15.7 ppg, 6 rpg, 3.5 apg

Newsome excelled around the rim but displayed a ton of projectable tools that gave opposing teams trouble on both ends.

Jason Jakstys (So. F, Yorkville)

Stats: 14.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.6 bpg

The 6-foot-8 sophomore flashed so much upside on the perimeter. He became a walking mismatch.

Alex Engro (Jr. G, Loyola)

Stats: 12 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 apg

An All-CCL guard, Engro led a gritty and steady Loyola team with his tough shot making and court presence at point guard.

Angelo Ciaravino (So. G, Mt. Carmel)

Stats:13 ppg, 7 rpg, 2 apg

Ciaravino hopped onto the scene with a bang, earning all-conference and being the second leading scorer.

Isaiah Green (So. G, Hillcrest)

Stats: N/A

Continually stepping up in big games, Green has been a dangerous two-way threat for Hillcrest.

Brad Longcor (Fr. G, Quincy)

Stats: *Conference Play* – 15.0 ppg, 3.1 apg, 28 3PM

A freshman name to remember. Longcor is advanced offensively for his age as a 6-foot-3 playmaker.

Ross Robertson (Fr. F/C, South Beloit)

Stats: 16.0 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 98 blocks

The South Beloit big man dominated games with his physicality and touch. Already among the top posts in 1A.

Energy Awards – players that exemplify toughness and high energy

Energy Player of the Year: Ty Rodgers (Sr. F, Thornton)

It’s rare that a star player, let alone a top-100 national recruit, would be considered for an award like this that highlights players who welcome the dirty work. But Rodgers has been so active, energetic, and mentally tough enough to sacrifice his own point totals for the betterment of the team. If you watch him play, I’m not sure you can give this award to anyone else.

All-Energy Team

Ty Rodgers (Sr. F, Thornton)

David Williams (Sr. G, Peoria Notre Dame)

Christian Meeks (Sr. F, Homewood Flossmoor)

Bryce Tillery (Jr. G, Hillcrest)

Ryan Renfro (Sr. F, Glenbard West)

Lane McVicar (Sr. G, DeKalb)

RJ Davis (Jr. G, Glenbrook South)

Sebastian Blachut (Sr. G, Lake Park)

Marieon Anderson (Sr. G, Rock Island)

Fernando Perez (Sr. G, Larkin)

Coach of the Year: Jason Opoka (Glenbard West)

Part of this selection comes from the fact that Opoka went out of his way to add the toughest matchups possible, including national powerhouse Sierra Canyon, a game where the Hiltoppers almost pulled out a win. Yes, they have talent, size, and a lineup of five players who will be Division 1 commits. But that usually comes with egos and separate agendas. I haven’t seen that come to the surface. What I have seen is one of the most stifling, disciplined defenses in recent memory and a team that could go down as one of the top teams (private or public) in IHSA history.

Honorable Mentions:

Jamal Thompson (Leo), Phil Ralston (Glenbrook South), Jamere Dismukes (Hyde Park), Tom Kleinschmidt (DePaul Prep), Ryan Velasquez (Oswego East), Mike Healy (Wheaton Warrenville South), Gene Heidkamp (Benet), Peter McBride (Hoffman Estates), Erik Kudronowicz (Scales Mound)

All-Class Awards:

Senior of the Year: Braden Huff (Glenbard West)

All-Senior First Team:

Braden Huff (Glenbard West)

Ty Rodgers (Thonrton)

Jaden Schutt (Yorkville Christian)

Nick Martinelli (Glenbrook South)

Trey Pettigrew (Kenwood)

All-Senior Second Team:

Ben VanderWal (Timothy Christian)

Jackson Munro (New Trier)

Justin Mullins (OPRF)

AJ Casey (Whitney Young)

Robbie Avila (Oak Forest)

All-Senior Third Team:

Damari Wheeler-Thomas (Larkin)

Jalen Quinn (Tuscola)

Jonah Hinton (Naperville Central)

Cade Pierce (Glenbard West)

Conrad Luczynski (Bartlett)

All-Senior Fourth Team:

NJ Benson (Mt. Vernon)

Bobby Durkin (Glenbard West)

Tavari Johnson (Lyons)

Cooper Noard (Glenbrook South) Jaylen Drane (Simeon)

Honorable Mention:

Mikell Jones (Michelle Clark)

Will Grudzinski (Barrington)

Zach Cleveland (Normal)

Donovan Jones (Solorio)

Bryce Moore (Carmel)

Xavier Amos (Whitney Young)

Christian Meeks (Homewood Flossmoor)

Jeremiah Talton (Quincy)

Davontae Hall (Hyde Park)

Lidell Miller (Morgan Park)

Junior of the Year: Ty Pence (St. Joseph-Ogden)

All-Junior First Team:

Ty Pence (St. Joseph-Ogden)

Darrin Ames (Kenwood)

Owen Freeman (Bradley Bourbonnais)

Macaleab Rich (East St. Louis)

Cam Christie (Rolling Meadows)

All-Junior Second Team:

Asa Thomas (Lake Forest)

Jake Fiegen (New Trier)

Jake Hamilton (Sacred Heart Griffin)

JaKeem Cole (Leo)

Dalen Davis (Whitney Young)

  • Davis has been a strong playmaker all year for Young, setting the table with his low-turnover decision-making. When called upon, he has delivered as a scorer and has a lot of the intangible you look for in a point guard.

All-Junior Third Team:

Ahmad Henderson (Brother Rice)

  • Henderson is a repeat All-Chicago Catholic league selection that has put together a number of premium performances throughout the year. You just feel confident when he is handling the ball, and that control has allowed Henderson to shine as a scorer and passer.

Mekhi Lowery (Oswego East)

  • In the midst of a breakout year, the toolsy wing has been a factor across the board for Oswego East. On top of switching across all five positions defensively, Lowery has refined his ball skills and mid-range game to lead the one-loss Panthers in scoring.

Brock Harding (Moline)

  • Accepting more of a shoot-first role this year, Harding is staying in attack mode and taking and making a high volume of threes. His advanced court sense leads to double-digit points produced off of his assists.

Ryan Cohen (Glenbrook North)

  • Cohen recently was named as a repeat all-conference pick after averaging around 18 points per game. He moves well off the ball and is a very adept scorer out of the triple threat with a variety of ways to score.

DeAndre Craig (Mt. Carmel)

  • Craig is another CCL all-conference player that was the key behind the long-standing undefeated streak to start the season for Carmel. The 6-foot-1 guard drives with force and passes with flair on the move. If they go deep in the tournament, he will be the catalyst.

All-Junior Fourth Team:

Brady Kunka (Benet)

  • Acting both as an efficient slasher and reliable spot-up shooter (38 percent from three), Kunka has gotten it done for Benet. He’s a big guard that muscles his way through contact and can be counted on to make hustle plays.

Miles Rubin (Simeon)

Mantas Zilys (Naperville Central)

  • One of the highest scoring second options in Illinois, Zilys is averaging around 19 points, He is 6-foot-5 with a clean stepback, balanced pull-up, and explosive first step. Zilys has been great so far.

Rich Barron (St. Ignatius)

  • Barron shared the wealth with a couple of other Division 1 recruits, but when it was time to move the needle offensively, Barron was the guy. He had his best games against the best competition, spacing the floor and attacking closeouts. He is a mid-major recruit

Sam Lewis (OPRF)

  • Silky smooth and increasingly aggressive this year, Lewis was the Yin to Justin Mullins’s Yang

Honorable Mention:

Davius Loury (Kenwood)

Nik Polonowksi (Lyons)

Wes Rubin (Simeon) – N/A

Mekhi Cooper (Bolingbrook) – N/A

Grant Fridley (Wesclin) – 17 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3 apg, 3 spg

Ben Oosterbaan (Hinsdale Central) – 18 ppg

Alex Engro (Loyola)

Ethan Kizer (Metamora) – N/A

Bryce Tillery (Hillcrest) – 12 ppg, 2 rpg, 4 apg, 3 spg, 1 tpg

Dylan Schmidt (Johnsburg) – 18 ppg, 8 rpg, 2.6 apg

Sophomore of the Year: Nojus Indrusaitis (Lemont)

All-Sophomore First Team:

Nojus Indrusaitis (Lemont)

Morez Johnson (St. Rita)

  • Averaging a strong double-double, the Illinois recruit has flashed star potential on both ends.

Antoine Glasper (Collins)

  • Glasper is a blur in transition and has quietly had one of the best seasons of any point guard in the state by limiting turnovers and scoring or distributing in bulk

James Brown (St. Rita)

  • Another high-major recruit, Brown is automatic on his rim runs, post-ups, and face-up attacks, shooting over 70 percent from the field

Cooper Koch (Peoria Notre Dame)

  • Koch has been a face-up nightmare with his three-level scoring ability and proficiency out of the high-low game. Will be a national name sooner rather than later

All-Sophomore Second Team:

Cole Certa (Bloomington Central Catholic)

  • One of the highest scoring sophs in the state, Certa is a big-time shooter that has started to utilize his long 6-foot-4 frame to score inside, playmake, and defend more frequently

Carlos Harris (Curie) – N/A

  • Harris has been Curie’s best player for stretches this year with his crafty finishing, natural scoring instincts, and competitive energy.

Jason Jakstys (Yorkville)

  • Jakstys got better as the year went on, becoming more aware of just how gifted he is as at 6-foot-8. When he has been aggressive, there hasn’t been an answer.

Niko Newsome (Bloomington)

  • He has developed into one of the best players in the Bloomington area already. Incredibly explosive as a straight-line driver and finisher with shooting chops

DeKwon Brown (Limestone) – N/A

  • Brown has been a high-usage floor general capable of putting up 30-points and flirting with double-digit assists. He has great body control and speed to put to use.

All-Sophomore Third Team:

Isaiah Green (Hillcrest)

  • Green has been really impressive in just about every aspect. He’s a pest on the ball defensively and an athletic presence off the bounce. On a team of upperclassmen, he has shined in the open floor and operating in space

Kelton McEwen (Bartlett) – 13.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.7 spg, 44% 3PT

  • A unanimous all-conference pick, McEwen showed why he is a top shooter in the state while commanding the offense, finding driving lanes, and causing turnovers defensively.

Nolan Sexton (Evergreen Park) – 15 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg, 65 3PM, 35% 3PT 84% FT

  • Returning as a top option from Evergreen Park, Sexton showed noticeable improvement inside the arc. He’s still an NBA-range shooter that will be over 70 threes by year end.

Gianni Cobb (Bloom) – 10.2 ppg, 7.4 apg, 3.3 spg

  • A standout playmaker with a few triple-doubles on the year, Cobb has an innate feel for creating offense and using his quickness to be a disruptor.

Angelo Ciaravino (Mt. Carmel)

  • Ciaravino opened a lot of eyes with his length, athleticism, and skill. The 6-foot-4 wing was named all-conference as the second leading scorer and a versatile weapon.

Honorable Mention:

Luke Williams (Naperville North) – N/A

Jakob Blakley (Larkin) – 12.7 ppg, 2 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.3 spg, 71 3PM

JJ Hernandez (Glenbard North)

Braeden Carlsen (Wauconda) – 10.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2 apg, 1.5 spg, 41% 3PT

Josh Fridman (Glenbrook North) – N/A

Malachi Johnson (Rockford Guilford) – 13.9 ppg

Troyer Carlson (Kaneland) – 14.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.5 spg, 39% 3PT, 76% FT

Jaheem Webber (Normal)

Tommie Aberle (Lake Forest) – 12 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg

Camden Lathos (Conant) – N/A

Freshman of the Year: Jeremiah Fears (Joliet West)

Fears came in with high expectations and will wrap up the season as an accomplished freshman that looks primed to reach his potential. Tempo was controlled by the 5-foot-11 point guard and he knew when to look for his shot, which has range extending past the NBA line. Fears handled pressure like an upperclassmen and was a consistent pest on the ball defensively.

All-Freshman First Team:

Jeremiah Fears (Joliet West)

Ross Robertson (South Beloit)

  • Robertson was a rebounding machine with multiple 20/20 games. He was the most productive post player in the freshmen class this season

Brad Longcor (Quincy)

  • Longcor’s skill and poise are years ahead of schedule. He connected on a high volume of threes and weaved into the lane to score or be a playmaker. His future is bright.

Derek Bishop (Mundelein) – 12.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.0 apg, 83% FT

  • It was an instant impact from Bishop, earning all-conference honors and drawing tough defensive matchups to slow down his ability to create shots off the bounce.

Marshall Gehrke (Antioch) – 13 ppg, 5 rpg, 2 apg, 1.2 spg

  • Gehrke has flown under the radar, but he leaned on his athleticism and motor to lead Antioch in points and rebounds. The power dunks and hard drives should continue.

All-Freshman Second Team:

Reid Olsen (Niles North) – 11.2 ppg, 40% 3PT, 66 3PM, 90% FT

  • Olsen led Niles North in scoring and torched the nets from three despite being face-guarded, grabbed, and bumped off the ball. He’s one of those unshakeable scorers.

Melvin Bell (St. Rita) – 8.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 36% 3PT

  • Bell starts on a talented St. Rita team and is currently third in scoring and second in assists. The bouncy freshman is a slithery downhill driver that will be a Division 1 player.

EJ Breland (St. Patrick) – 9.6 ppg, 2.5 apg, 2.1 spg, 40 3PM

  • With 40 threes, Breland broke the St. Pats freshman record for triples in a single season. He also has grown comfortable handling the ball and staying active on the ball.

Bryce Heard (Kenwood) – N/A

  • Heard really stepped up while Darrin Ames was out and showed what the future holds. The 6-foot-5 guard has an effortless stroke and that fluid athleticism that you can’t teach.

EJ Mosley (St. Laurence) – 11.2 ppg

  • Leading the youth movement for St. Laurence, Mosley was fearless as a scoring threat from the early going. Moseley can light it up from the perimeter when given space.

All-Freshman Third Team:

Sean Reynolds (DeKalb) – 9.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.4 apg, 37% 3PT, 92% FT

  • Reynolds runs off screens and gets square on the move like a senior. He was named all-conference after giving DeKalb a consistent option as a three-point marksman.

Yasir Irby (Evanston) – N/A

  • Irby does a lot that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, including his relentless defense. Irby lacks some size, but he shows a lot of heart driving into the trees to playmake.

Ian Miletic (Rolling Meadows) – 7 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 apg, 2 spg

  • The wiry 6-foot-5 guard has helped Meadows with his versatility to shoot, defend, rebound, and pass at above-average levels. He’s going to be really good.

Antonio Munoz (Whitney Young) – N/A

  • Munoz gave glimpses of excellence this year around the rim. While he didn’t always see time against some opponents, Munoz’s impact when he played was clear.

Khalil Jones (St. Laurence) – 8.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 4.3 apg

  • Another St. Laurence freshman on the rise, Jones can really pass the ball. He’s comfortable setting guys up and looking for his own shot after rotations.

Honoarable Mention:

Jackson Hupp (Hersey) – 8.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 apg

Joey Hernandez (St. Viator) – 6 ppg

Jacob Rice (St. Laurence) – 6.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg

Jack Weigus (Hinsdale South)

Terrence Smith (West Aurora)

Keshaun Vaval (Romeoville) – 9 ppg

Damion Porter (Fenwick)

Drew Rodgers (Deerfield)

Amari Edwards (St. Rita) –

Josiah Calvin (St. Viator) – 7 ppg


  1. Numbers won’t tell you how impactful Soph Jaheem Webber was this year! Coming off the bench on a senior laden squad and led the conference in blocks, had about 30 dunks, was a defensive nightmare for opposing teams. He’s right there with the Chicago bigs in this class if not a bit more polished. He’s gonna be vital in Normal making a huge run of the playoffs!

  2. I’m jimmy Rasmussen grandfather and I want to thank you for mentioning him in your awards.he is a highly motivated kid and this helps even more so thank you.

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