Henricksen: Last look at the Class of 2015

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The Class of 2015 is moving on, with a dozen players headed to high-major conferences –– the Hoops Report doesn’t see that many in this group –– and a total of 46 Division I recruits.

This year’s senior group is solid, but it more resembles the Honda Accord rather than a Mercedes in the auto industry. It’s not going to go down as one of the all-time great classes, but rather a dependable, reliable group with some great production.

Here is a final look at the City/Suburban Hoops Report’s top 20 prospects in the Class of 2015.

1. Jalen Brunson, 6-2, PG, Lincolnshire (Stevenson)

Finished career as one of the most decorated prep players in state history. The McDonald’s All-American, who is headed to Villanova, scored 2,682 career points while winning a state championship and taking a total of three Stevenson teams to Peoria. This big, strong, savvy point guard was not only an ideal scoring point guard, but he’s a winner and the ultimate competitor.

2. Marcus LoVett, 5-11, PG, Chicago (Morgan Park)

The hype began the moment he arrived in Chicago and the dynamic talent lived up to it. While the St. John’s commit was a showman, there was also a lot of substance to his game. Electric with the ball in his hands, LoVett was dazzling in the open court –– with the pass and off the dribble –– and showed he had an all-around game at the point guard position.

3. Charles Matthews, 6-6, WF, Chicago (St. Rita)

A big-named player since the day he entered high school. He put his team on his back and carried it during his senior year. Matthews, who is headed to Kentucky, competed at a higher level and was consistently productive in all facets of the game, finding ways to score and fill a stat sheet. But Kentucky is a different animal. The long, active and versatile Matthews has the potential to be an elite defender at the next level.

4. Glynn Watson, 5-11, PG, Westchester (St. Joseph)

There may not be a player among the top 10 in this class that improved more over the past 12 months than Watson. His progress since last summer has been very impressive. The Nebraska recruit added to his game with an improved, cleaner jump-shot. He was the catalyst for the Class 3A state champs, averaging 15 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

5. D.J. Williams, 6-7, WF, Chicago (Simeon)

While a lack of consistent productivity still plagued Williams as a senior, the skill set, size and upside remains for a player who hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. Williams, a solid ball handler for his size and an underrated passer, will likely be able to play multiple positions at Illinois. But, unfortunately, this one does scream boom or bust.

6. Ed Morrow, 6-7, PF, Chicago (Simeon)

Athletic, bouncy and extremely productive, what wins you over with Morrow is his blue-collar, lunch-bucket mentality. Morrow’s motor never quits. With that energy, along with a knack for always being around the ball, his relentlessness on the glass should translate at Nebraska in time.

7. Luwane Pipkins, 5-9, PG/2G, Chicago (Bogan)

Helped take Bogan basketball to another level and the program’s first-ever city championship. A tough, competitive scoring guard with shooting range beyond the three-point line. An inner-confidence allows Pipkins to play at a higher level and overcome some of his deficiencies. The UMass recruit can also disrupt things on the defensive end.

8. Aaron Jordan, 6-4, 2G, Plainfield (East)

The Illinois recruit is a player with size and shooting ability. Although he’s not a pure shooter, Jordan must be accounted for on the perimeter as a space-the-floor shooter. While not a player with a whole lot of upside and projects as a role player at the high-major level, the high-character Jordan did score over 1,400 career points, averaging 18.6 points a game as a senior.

9. Roland Griffin, 6-6, WF/PF, Aurora (West)

Physically gifted combo forward shows flashes of being a monster Missouri Valley Conference recruit for Illinois State. He uses his big, powerful body to get to the basket, while his developing perimeter jumper –– from mid-range and out to the three-point line ––will need to continue to gain more consistency. Huge upside.

10. Christian Williams, 6-5, PG/2G, Decatur (St. Teresa)

A player who wasn’t talked about enough due to playing for a Class 2A school in central Illinois, which he led to a 2A state championship. Extremely versatile and smooth with terrific perimeter size, Williams, who is headed to Iowa, has a whole lot of room to continue his growth as a player.

11. Admiral Schofield, 6-5, WF, Zion-Benton

A big-bodied wing who was an underrated player in the Chicago area this past season as he averaged 24 points, 11 rebounds and nearly 5 assists a game. As the Tennessee recruit’s skill level and jumper improve, so will his minutes on the floor for the Vols. This physically imposing wing plays with a blue-collar mentality.

12. Isaiah Moss, 6-5, WF, Chicago (Simeon)

The Iowa recruit went from a streaky shooter to an efficient spread-the-floor shooter who also has some size and athleticism to go with his perimeter shooting ability. Strides still need to be made with his overall game, along with some additional seasoning, but Moss began to blossom as a senior and became a bigger offensive weapon.

13. Obediah Church, 6-8, PF, Springfield

While not real skilled, Church is a springy, bouncy athlete inside who impacts the game with his physical attributes. Church can really run, constantly beating other bigs down the floor and finishes in transition. A quick leaper off the floor, he’s a rim-rattler, shot blocker and rebounder. Missouri State nabbed a good one.

14. Tyler Hall, 6-4, 2G, Rock Island

The potential is there that Montana State secured the biggest recruiting gem and steal out of Illinois in this class. A player the Hoops Report could never figure out why he wasn’t recruited at a higher level. He’s a sweet-shooting 2-guard with lanky size, a fluid stroke and range. Hall, who is comfortable shooting off the catch or dribble, is an underrated passer as well. He averaged 17.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists a game as a senior and was completely overlooked from a recruiting standpoint.

15. Joseph Toye, 6-7, WF, Chicago (Whitney Young)

This long, agile athletic wing transferred back from La Lumiere and put together a solid senior campaign. Toye’s versatility as a rebounder, slasher, defender and secondary ball handler is what sets him apart from many of the prospects in this class.

16. Connor Cashaw, 6-3, 2G, Lincolnshire (Stevenson)

Steady, reliable senior year playing as Jalen Brunson’s running-mate. The Rice recruit was a central figure in Stevenson winning 91 games over the past three years and, quietly, scoring nearly 1,700 career points. Over the past year he’s developed a nice combination of shooting and finishing off the dribble on the offensive end.

17. Jordan Ash, 6-2, 2G, Westchester (St. Joseph)

Northwestern recruit was a key player for a state championship team. Ash is an uber-athlete off the floor and, as a result, is an effective finisher at the rim. Already a willing defender, Ash’s continued improvement with his jumper will go a long way in his progression as a player. But major strides will need to be made in order to impact at high-major level.

18. Evan Boudreaux, 6-7, PF, Lake Forest

When it comes to pure productivity, there are few who can top Boudreaux. He averaged 23.9 points and 13.2 rebounds a game for a 28-win team –– and finished his career with a whopping 2,077 points and 1,296 rebounds. He’s tough, strong, can play a rugged style around the basket and competes at a high level. Boudreaux should prove to be a steal for Dartmouth in the Ivy League.

19. Joshua Stamps, 6-4, 2G, Chicago (Curie)

A sniper on the perimeter with smooth jumper and terrific range on his shot, Stamps is a prototypical high-volume long-range specialist. He continues to get better and more comfortable putting it on the floor.

20. Gavin Block, 6-5, WF, Lincoln

He never received his due for all he does as a player –– and the career he had. A jack-of-all-trades wing, the ultra-skilled Block can handle the ball, pass and shoot the three. Plus, he’s a stuff-the-stat-sheet player who does many things well to help a team win. This Ohio recruit, who lacks ideal athleticism, has a terrific basketball I.Q. and helped lead Lincoln to a state runner-up finish in 3A as a junior.

Outside the Top 20 …

Most Overlooked Outside the Top 20

Nate Navigato, 6-7, PF, Geneva

Yes, Navigato was recruited at the right level –– first signing with Buffalo before ultimately landing at Toledo –– but there should have been more interest, especially with the March he put together. Navigato can space the floor with his shooting ability and, throughout state tournament play, showed he had ice in his veins in big moments.

Best Signing Outside the Top 20

Matt Rafferty, 6-7, PF, Hinsdale (Central)

Forget about what he isn’t or what he can’t do, all this kid did was produce throughout his high school career in a big way. Rafferty found the right level and perfect fit for the next level, which is a big win for both Rafferty and Furman.

Most Intriguing Outside the Top 20

Kain Harris, 6-3, 2G, Chicago (St. Rita)

While he had an up-and-down few years between Morgan Park and St. Rita, the strong, athletic guard showed enough flashes to excite what he could become and is bonafide top 25 prospect. The Tulane-bound Harris is an intriguing prospect due to his scoring potential and upside.

Biggest Unknown Outside the Top 20

Daniel Soetan, 6-4, 2G/WF, Chicago (Uplift)

He wasn’t the biggest name or the leading scorer for the Class 2A state champs. And he’s well down the City/Suburban Hoops Report player rankings, but keep an eye on the progression of this long, lanky, versatile perimeter threat. Headed to Quakerdale Prep, Soetan opened eyes late in the season with his talent and upside. It will be interesting to see how far this late bloomer comes in the next couple of years.

Follow Joe Henricksen and the Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport

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