Joe Henricksen’s top 12 junior prospects

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With National Signing Day approaching for the Class of 2014, college coaches are turning the page and turning up the heat in pursuit of the next wave of prospects in the junior class. Here’s a look at the top dozen prospects in Illinois in the Class of 2015.

1. Charles Matthews, 6-5, PG/SG, St. Rita

Big, long, versatile guard who has received plenty of national attention. With his size and length, Matthews has the capability to affect games in multiple ways.

2. D.J. Williams, 6-7, SF, Simeon

An exciting talent who looks the part as an ideal wing with size and skill. Growing, developing and still putting his entire talented skill package together.

3. Jalen Brunson, 6-2, PG, Stevenson

Competitive point guard with instincts, IQ and a high-level scoring ability, particularly as an effective perimeter shooter. Underrated strength allows him to take a pounding and absorb contact from defenders.

4. Aaron Jordan, 6-4, SG, Plainfield East

So much to like with Jordan, including his size on the perimeter, consistency, temperament, character and shooting ability. A talented shooting guard with a prototypical skill set for the position.

5. Glynn Watson, 5-11, PG, St. Joseph

Shifty with some speed and kick in the open court as one of the few true point guards in the class. Watson will effectively run a team in the halfcourt and make decisions in transition and is an efficient on-the-ball defender.

6. Brandon Hutton, 6-5, SF/PF, De La Salle

Highly undervalued in the class. Blessed with a terrific athletic body and a big-time motor that rarely turns off. Strong combo forward who attacks the glass and can take contact around the basket.

7. Ed Morrow, 6-6, PF, Simeon

Despite being an undersized four-man at this point, Morrow is still always around the basketball, finishing at the rim, a factor on the glass and willing to do the dirty work.

8. Luwane Pipkins, 5-9, PG/SG, Bogan

Exudes toughness while playing aggressively and with confidence. Those attributes show with the way he plays the game. Comfortable as a mid-range and long-range shooter.

9. Roosevelt Smart, 6-2, SG, St. Viator

Makes the move from Palatine to St. Viator this season and brings a solid mid-range game with an ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc.

10. Christian Williams, 6-4, SG, Decatur St. Teresa

Solid summer, along with his physical attributes, increased his reputation and stock in the junior class. Big-bodied guard with enough skill to play both guard spots.

11. Prentiss Nixon, 6-0, SG, Bolingbrook

Nixon is already one of the better scorers and shooters in the junior class in Illinois. Continues to try to make strides with his overall floor game and show that he’s more than just an undersized two-guard.

12. Jordan Ash, 6-1, SG, St. Joseph

Possesses physical and character attributes you like in that he’s athletic off the floor, has some strength and plays tough and hard.

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