2016-17 Basketball Preview: The Twitter Previews

SHARE 2016-17 Basketball Preview: The Twitter Previews
BBKOB_CST_123115_27_58361201.jpg

Benet’s Jack Nolan (21) moves past a Joliet West defender. | Patrick Gleason For The Sun-Times

Please send info on your team to mobrien@suntimes.com. I’ll tweet out a preview on every team that sends in the information on my Twitter account, @michaelsobrien. One big change this year: all Illinois schools are eligible, not just schools in the Sun-Times coverage area. Please include the following:

School:

Coach:

Cell Phone:

Outlook for this season:

Top Returning Players (Position, Height, Year in school):

Top Newcomers (Position, Height, Year in school):

Top teams in your conference:

Players on your team and in the conference to consider for the list of the area’s best:

Interesting story idea about your team:

The Twitter Previews

Addison Trail: Addison Trail: Returns 3 starters from 14-win team, 6-6 Goshen College commit Colton Noel, guard Jack Kalbas. Watch 6-5 Michael Williams.

Ag. Science: Solid backcourt with Jamal Henderson, Chris Calhoun. three starters back from conf. champs. 6-8 Myles Jordan provides size.

Antioch: 6-5 SR Reece Eldridge (a “Porzingis-type”), soph G Dan Filippone provide strong backbone. Hoping to win new Northern Lake conf.

Argo: “Retooling” year. Graduated all 5 starters. Will turn to JR point guard Jalen Cobbs and 6-4 JR Tory Turner.

Benet: Likely Super 25. Gene Heidkamp has molded Redwings into one of the state’s top programs. Jack Nolan, Liam Lyman, Justin Enochs return

Bloom: Young, promising. Jalen Lee is back, Austin Richie is in. 3 freshmen on varsity w/Dante Maddox Jr., Donovan Newby, Keshawn Williams.

Bolingbrook: One of the most talented teams in the state. Too much firepower to list it all. Added 6-6 Morgan Park transfer Malik Binns.

Bradley-Bourbonnais: Rebuilding season, no one back that played meaningful minutes. JR Christian Straw can score, some size w/6-5 Aaron Byrd

Brother Rice:Stocked with guards that can handle and shoot, conf. title the goal. Josh Niego, Mike Shepski, Brendan Coghlan lead.

Butler:The best Noble conf. team ever, featuring Marvin Nesbitt (Missouri-KC), soph shooter Teon Nesbitt, SR Faheem Muhammed. Tough sked.

Carmel:Johnny Roeser, one of state’s top sophs, leads talented soph group including Zion Kilpatrick, Lukas Galdoni, Evan Myers, Jalen Snell

Chicago Military:Small, but hoping to make noise in conf. SR’s Davion Mahon, Arthur Colson will lead for new head coach Marvin Jordan.

Clemente: 5 of top 6 back w/Richard Labon, Jamaul Perdue, Joe Rhymes. Teshawn Stokes came out of his shell this summer, has college interest

Conant: Peoria expectations after losing in super. All the pieces w/standout PG Jimmy Sotos (Bucknell), 6-9 Ryan Davis, 6-7 Mike Downing.

De La Salle: Three-year starter Stone Parker is the key. Four 6-7 guys w/Javion Caldwell, Davis Pinskus, Nick Martorina, Te’Jaan Ali.

DeKalb:Lost 4 starters from 25-win team. Reloaded with SR’s Cole Tucker, Darvon Sisson (6-6) and JR’s Mikey Vilet (6-4), Marcus Bobo (6-4).

DePaul Prep:Go watch Soph Perry Cowan this season. Nice mix of seniors led by Fred Nunez. Tough schedule, should be a fun team.

Dixon:New coach Nick Oraham takes over. No returning starters, squad is young. Soph Beau Bailey should be one of the top scorers in conf.

Downers Grove South:Likely preseason Super 25. Sharpshooter Denis Alibegovic, guard Tyree Spencer return. TJ Clifford is an unsung star.

Eisenhower: Lost top 5 players, will look to improve as season rolls on. 6-4 center Michael Basta leads, transfer PG Taron Windom will help.

Evergreen Park:Conference title is the goal. 7 seniors return including 6-10 Mike Drynan, 6-3 Kyree Hannah, guards John McDonald, Dan Smith

Fenger: New coach is Stephen Collum. Young, hope to contend in Blue-South. Watch freshman Donovan Taylor.

Fenwick:Likely Super 25 w/standout seniors Jamal Nixon, Jacob Keller. Last season’s soph team was 25-0, beat Simeon and Morgan Park.

Foreman: Brian Rose takes over program. 6-6 SR Greg Kester returns. High hopes for sophmore guards Roshankie Walker, Ramonte Walker.

Glenbard East: Promising. 6-3 SR Mike Finley (15 pts, 8 rebs) is back, along w/PG Kenny Adams. Depth and experience, conf. title contender.

Grayslake North:One of last season’s fun stories. SR Jamal Thomas, JR James Connolly return from 24-4 squad. Watch frosh Ryan Connolly.

Harlan: Walter Woghiren (former Morgan Park asst.) takes over the program. Marshawn Moore top returner, watch 6-6 JR DeMarcus Gilmore.

Harvest Christian: Made noise this summer w/talented transfers Andre White (Loyola), JJ Flores (Huntley), Brennen Woods (Hampshire).

Hillcrest: Super 25. Returns 7 from 23-6 group. Led by SR Marcus Garrett, JR’s Jalen Hughes, Bobby Harvey and athletic soph Isaac Stanback

Hinsdale Central: Strong group of seniors, including Chris Eck, Thomas Misiunas and Fred Hoiberg’s son Jack. Focus will be defense.

Homewood-Flossmoor: Lost some to graduation, transfer, but core intact with 7 SR’s including Jeffrey Boyd, Nick Holmes, Jarret Tribble.

Hope Academy: Jordan Doss, Javion May, Javari McClendon back from 20-8 squad that lost in sectional final. Class 1A state contender.

Huntley: Young and not much size, but really good chemistry will help. Matt Seng, Michael Parks, Stephen Browne the top returners.

Illiana Christian: Lost some guards, good size back from team that went 21-7. 6-5 Bo Hofstra, 6-8 Sam Vree, 6-0 Ethan Beezhold lead the way.

IC Catholic: Extremely deep, fast. Guard heavy, lacking size. Big things expected from 3-yr starter Austin Reed. Could be a force in 2A.

Jacobs:High expectations w/several starters back including 6-9 SR Cam Krutwig (Loyola), SR Mason Materna, JR’s Ryan Phillips, Nik Balkcom

Johnsburg:New gym, new conference. Lost starting guard to football injury. Hoping to compete with SR Warren Nusser (6-5), Bryce Jordan.

Joliet Catholic: Senior dominated, plenty back from 21-win squad. Junior Aidan Tyrell, transfer Dexter Spencer will fill gaps. Decent size.

Joliet Central: Three starters back, including very underrated Jose Grubbs and football star JoJo McNair. Jason Bingham is back from West

Joliet West: Spotlight season. Trevian Bell, Teyvion Kirk, Elijah Ward, Eddie Creal, Tabyous Casterberry return. Rough sked. 4A title hopes.

Juarez: Most experienced team in 3 years. Shooting for a top 2 finish in Blue West led by Jordan Lowery (17 mpg) and Charles Parker.

Julian: Troy Caldwell takes over, hopes to bring program back to prominence. Good experience back, high hopes for 6-4 soph LeAndre Townsend.

Kenwood: Super 25. Two starters (Manny Patterson, Dave Hunt) back for Red Central champs. Deep and talented, city/state title contenders.

Lake Forest:Should be solid. Guard-led for a change. 3 starters back, SR’s Justin McMahon (top-notch PG), Brian Stickler, Reed Thomas.

Lake View: Most everyone back, White North title the goal. 6-4 Jaylin Brown, 6-6 Ronald Brown, 6-3 Tomas Teklegergis lead. Tougher sked.

Lake Zurich: Bears have become a solid threat every season. Michael Bens, Ryan Kustor return. Freshman Will Tucker is one to watch.

Lakes: Good mix of returners, newcomers. Will be competitive in new Northern Lake County conf. SR Kyle Rohr top player, watch SO Brad Cherry.

Lane: Red North title goal. Marques Barnes, 6-6 Calvin Keyes are college prospects, high hopes for 6-3 JR Michael Thomas. Long team overall.

Larkin: Lost star Christian Negron for season w/injury. Still recovering from that devastating blow. 6-9 Jalen Shaw and Anthony Lynch lead.

Latin: Soph Ysrael Hernandez, last season’s leading scorer, returns. Watch 6-6 soph Jackson Tanner, played well at Pangos. Conf. title goal.

Libertyville: Should improve on 16-win season behind 6-7 Drew Peterson, a high-major prospect. Only 3 seniors, young team overall.

Lindblom: Up to Red Central. PG Jalen Carter the only returning starter but a big year is expected from D1 prospect Isa Maguire, a 6-10 JR.

Lockport: Much improved w/depth, size. strength. SR Matt Smietanski (D3 interest) and 6-6 JR John Meyer lead the way. Watch soph Jacob Karli

Longwood:White South underdogs. SR Terrance Lacey returns, transfers Jenzel Steward (Hyde Park), Zach Henderson (Bogan) join.

Loyola:Best team since ’14 sectional champs. Won Morris Shootout. Starters Ramar Evans (Maryville), Julian DeGuzman, Matt Lynch return.

Luther North:Almost everyone back from 19-9 squad. Conf. title possible, hopes for deep run in 1A. JR Tyrell Pettis, SR Joey Hoffman lead.

Lyons:Should be much improved after a tough season. Three starters back, some size. Could play 5 Niego’s w/Connor, Noah, Nolan, Kyle, Grant

Maine South: 4 cons. 20+ win seasons. Milos Liljak, Nick Foldvary return, young group overall. 6 of top 10 are jrs/sophs. Upgraded schedule.

Marian Catholic: JR’s Chase Adams/Brandon return as starting guards. Size w/6-8 TeeAaron Powell and another Ulis! 5-10 Ahron is a freshman.

Marian Central:Competitive in ESCC. 6-8 SR Sam Ohlrich impressed when healthy last season. Jack Moscinski, AJ Golembiewski play big roles.

Marist:Intriguing team. JR PG Maurice Commander is the real deal. Fellow G Morgan Taylor has 6-8 Justin Brown, 6-7 Bobby Hawkinson as well

Morris: Four starters back. Deep football run may delay things, 8 of 12 play football. Matt Shaw (14 ppg, 40% from three) leads the way.

Morton: 4 key returners, should be very interesting team. Soph Detalian Brown is one to watch and don’t worry, there is a Belcaster (Vinny).

Nazareth: New coach Sean Pearson aiming for conf. title. Christian Payne, Josh Oglesby lead. Freshman Tagen Pearson will contribute.

Niles North: Just 3 SR’s, but very talented. JR Damaria Franklin is exciting. Three sophs will play and keep an eye on freshman Aquas Smart.

North Lawndale: Super 25 team led by Carlos Hines, Martrell Barnes. Added 2 transfers, Steven Ross (Marian Cath), David Forrest (Foreman).

Northtown: Favorites in Chicago Prep w/JR CJ Casey, 6-5 SR Jeremiah Paprocki and soph Jalen Lee. Robert Blaylock can shoot the lights out.

Northridge Prep: Undersized, hope to challenge for conf. title. Led by Joe Thursby, Kiko Mason, Sam Thorton. Watch soph Jonathan Evans.

Notre Dame:Possible Super 25 squad. Tons of size experience w/6-6 Chris Heinechen, Matt Stritzel, 6-7 Jeameril Wilson, 6-9 Sean Johnson.

Oak Forest: 61 wins the last 3 years and six grads playing college ball. But only one starter (6-4 SR Jake Jones) returns this season.

Oak Lawn: Experienced. Competitive in South Suburban Red. SR Rashad Johnson is underrated, has school record for 3’s in a game and season.

Oak Park:Possible Super 25. 5 of top 7 return. SR’s Cameron Gross, Jared Scott, soph Dashon Enoch all impressed last season. Size and depth

Orr: 6-5 JR Raekwon Drake is one of the state’s truly fun players to watch. Plenty of young talent, big city and state title goals.

Oswego:Talented starters Jaylen Jones, Elijah Winston return from sectional final squad. Several freshmen, sophs expected to contribute.

Payton: Two leading scorers gone, but plenty happening. New gym, moving up to White North after winning first conference title.

Peoria Quest:Went 35-11 this summer. 2 top scorers, top rebounder back. SR Chaz Sardin, Jaylon Huff lead. Big expectations in Class 1A.

Perspectives-MSA:Lost Marquan Williams to Seattle, 6-7 Jaquan Lawrence to Bogan. Sharpshooter Stephon Jones, scorer Dre Lightfoot return.

Phoenix Military: Up to Blue West. Scoring machine Greg Boyle, 6-6 soph Khalid Herron return. Frosh Jacorie Franklin will contribute.

Plainfield East: Small, athletic and fast. Skilled by inexperienced. SR PG Vinny Tarello runs the show. High hopes for soph wing Collin Reed

Prospect: Will crack Super 25 eventually. Experience, size, chemistry, shooters. Frankie Mack, 6-6 Matt Szuba lead, watch JR David Swedura.

Prosser: New coach. Expecting big seasons from Jaquan Martin, Jakeenan Martin, Justin Slowikowsk. Added William Bynum from Evanston.

Providence: 2 starters return in 6-1 Jake Schutter, 6-3 Mike Drew. Good soph class led by Adam Taylor. Expect them to be tough by March.

Raby: Interesting group w/smooth PG Tywon Henderson and fellow JR’s Jaylin Washington, Bobby Frierson. Watch out for soph Miante Atkins.

Reavis: Very solid, exp. and some size. Could win SSC Red behind Brantrell Seymore (17 pig last season), 6-5 Marc McClinton, Sami Hajjar.

Rich Central: Four-year starter Glen Abram and 6-5 Bijhan Merrill return. PG Cameron Greer is steady, watch smooth sophomore Chance Love.

Ridgewood: Won first ever sectional last season. Zach Rzewnicki is one of the area’s underrated stars. 8 seniors back, should be very solid.

Riverside-Brookfield:Starters Jalen Clanton, Henry Trelenberg return. Sharpshooter Ryan Cicenas is one to watch. New gym floor this season.

Robeson: White Central title is the goal. Malik McToy leads the way. Size w/6-6 Shamond Garrett (freak athlete) and 6-6 Zach Chamber.

Rockford Jefferson: Fast team led by talented guard Quillin Dixon and 6-4 My’Quion Garrett. Freshman Corzanos Maxwell will contribute.

Romeoville: Very talented, young. DeAndre Heckard, Dontia Johnson, Michael Salter return. Watch Kahlil Blakney, frosh Destin Whitaker.

St. Benedict: New coach, no starters back but had a positive offseason. High hopes for Anthony Bradley, Jimmy Tran, Dallas Hilton.

St. Charles East: Young. Will play fun, fast-paced style. Led by 6-5 Justin Hardy. Lots of shooters including Zach Robinson, Nate Ortiz.

St. Ignatius:Hard to gauge. Matt Monroe takes over program. SR’s Trey Mack, 6-11 Robbie Lindland back. Talented JR class will contribute.

St. Patrick:Possible Super 25 w/several key guys back in Jalen Nelson, Laurence Merritt, Keishun Thomas, Xavier Pinson. Also some size.

St. Viator: Young. Most difficult sked in school history. 6-8 Addison Lubert, Marc Clark, Drew Soukup back. Watch soph Jeremiah Hernandez.

Sandburg: Returns SR Chris Toth, JR guards Jason and Jake Pygon plus 6’7 transfer Barlow Alleruzzo. Had a successful summer.

Schurz: Hoping to win conference. Very big things expected of 6-4 JR Jaland Mitchell and 5-6 SR Malik Mables.

Stagg: Possible Super 25 at some point. John Contant (possible breakout star), Josh Strama, Tom Kazanecki return. Watch soph Martin Macenis.

Stevenson: Super 25 team. 6-6 Justin Smith (Indiana) a top POY candidate. SR’s Aidan O’Connell, Willie Herenton, Eric Zalewski return.

Taft:Back in Red North. SR’s Izaiah Sanders, Stefan Domic return. Big things expected from 6-6 newcomer Piotr Gago. Conf. title the goal.

Thornton:Alonzo Verge is in Harvey. Big year ahead for the Wildcats. 6-8 JR Orlando Allen is multi-talented. Watch SR Christian Andersen.

Tilden: Good size returns. 6-4 David Nichols leads the way. Terrence Boykin (son of rapper Bump J) will likely start at PG as a freshman.

Tinley Park: Young team, may have growing pains early but nice potential w/good young guards. Chris Edwards, 6-5 Brelyn Moore lead the way.

U-High: 4 starters back from reg. champs. Jameel Alausa (Yale) becoming a known force but watch out for 6-6 SR Oliver Maciak.

UP-Englewood: Could open some eyes, hoping to win White South. Jayden Gasby, Fred Cleveland can both play. Watch freshman Anton Bloxton.

UP-West: 6-2 captain Kenneth Williams runs things along w/JR Larry McCoy. Watch guard Robert Henry and Jirah Graham.

Vernon Hills: Interesting group w/athletic PG Jack O’Connell and fellow SR’s Jack Forester, Chris Mariella. Watch freshman Dylan Webb.

Vocational: Lost 9 from last season but has plenty of young, coachable talent w/junior Lester Reed, soph Jacquan Binion, soph Malik Tiffith

Von Steuben: Bounce back year on tap behind Ralphy Cruz (averages a triple double), Edward Nwakaego, Justan Mcnair. Watch SR Donovan Maxey.

Waubonsie Valley:New coach Jason Mead (from Dixon) takes over the program. Rebuilding year. Keep an eye on 5-10 soph guard Eric Cannon.

Waukegan:Possible Super 25 thanks to top-notch SR Carson Newsome (Wis-Milwaukee) and soph class of Bryant Brown, Jordan Brown, Ja’Dyn Brown

Wells: Experienced team. Junior Antwone Lampkin billed as the “Charlie Moore of the Blue Division.” Sked upgraded, conf. title the goal.

West Aurora: Second year for coach Brian Johnson, nearly everyone is back. JR Camron Donatlan could be a star, leads talented junior class.

West Chicago: Drake recruit Tai Bibbs, 6-3 Devonte Pascal lead an intriguing squad. Watch JR Alan Mahmic, scored big for sophs last season.

Westinghouse:Finally a veteran squad w/7 SR’s. Coreyoun Rushin is a difference-maker, Dexter Reed lockdown defender, Jocke Fields solid G.

Westminster Christian: 11 consecutive winning seasons. 4 starters back from 19-win squad. 6-5 JR Ben Versylus can play, team has size.

Wheaton North:Promising. All 5 starters back from 18-win squad. SR’s Luke Anthony, Rowan McGowen lead the way. Watch 6-6 JR Josh Sorenson.

Wheeling: Experienced backcourt of TJ Best, Jalen Dennis returns, inexperienced elsewhere. Watch soph Michael Best. MSL East has improved.

Woodstock:Avg. 17 wins the last 4 seasons. Lost 4 starters, could be competitive in conf. SR’s Matt Shook, Josh Turner, Blake Brainard lead

York: Young w/four sophs in top seven. 6-4 Jordan Gray, 6-2 Nick Trapani top returners. Trying to win fifth consecutive regional title.

Yorkville: Drastic improvements expected. 7 seniors back from 11-win team. 3-yr starter Austin Avery leads, some size w/6-6 Jason Lewan.

The Latest
The Cubs radio analyst, a Southwest Side son, spent a day reliving his past — and the emotions came flooding back.
At least nine people died nationwide and an estimated 11,500 were injured last year in accidents involving fireworks, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers has been off the job since June 7 and no talks are scheduled.
A team spokesperson said the franchise stuck with White, who is now the voice of LIV Golf, because they felt it wasn’t appropriate to judge where he chose to work outside the club.
Early lines for October matchup in South Bend reveal professional bettors’ thought process.