Coaches and/or athletic directors, please send info on your team to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll tweet out a preview on every team that sends in the information. You can follow along on Twitter @michaelsobrien or read the previews here. All Illinois schools are eligible, not just schools in the Sun-Times coverage area. Please include the following:
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 2019 Twitter Previews
Addison Trail: Three-year varsity player, perimeter threat A.J. Carlson returns with emerging 6-7 junior Robert Roszkiewicz. Many holes to fill, will be a lot of opportunities for newcomers.
Ag. Science: Four starters return from an 18-win team. Very fast, will be fun to watch. Six players were on the football team. Corey Jones, Eli Jones, Isiah Jones, Jaden House and Dan Davenport form the core.
Argo: Hope to stay relevant in the vastly improved South Suburban conference. Consistent shooting and size remain an issue. Cincere Colbert (60 threes last season) and promising soph Shallah Davis return.
Barrington: Good pieces in place with senior point guard Aaron Sarkar and scorers Connor Keenan, Dylan Keenan, Damian Zivak. Should play at a fast pace, has some decent size. Junior Liam Kibby, a 6-1 small forward, shoots well.
Belvidere North: Expectations are high. Returns every player in the program from a team that set the school record for most wins (16). Seniors Anthony Espensen, Zach Reidenbach lead the way. Watch for 6-4 soph Donavyn Sayles.
Bradley-Bourbonnais: Goal is .500. Gabe Renchen (15 pts), Jason Hartsfield, Jakson Elliot return. Coach Alex Renchen likes the program’s young talent, including 6-4 soph Mark Robinson, 6-7 freshman Owen Freeman.
Brooks: Back in the Red. Lawrence Johnson takes over as coach. Nice pieces in place with guards Isaiah Tolbert, Milan Williams and 6-6 sophomore center Kyle McElroy. High expectations for 5-9 soph guard Jamareon Dale-Cunningham.
Brother Rice: No star to replace Marquise Kennedy, but plenty of depth and shooting. Deandre Hagan, Luke Moustakas, Conor Glennon, Colin Campbell return. Watch soph Nick Harrell. Set a school record for threes made last season (278). Will continue that trend.
Buffalo Grove: Set school record for threes last season (229) and most of the shooters return. Promising 6-5 sophomore Kam Craft averaged 20 pts and is joined by 6-3 Nate Cole and twin brothers Tyler and Sloan Kipley. Will play fast.
Bulls Prep: Strong core returns, but still no regulation court/practice space. Very tough nonconference slate (ND, Loyola, Benet and more). Andrew Little, Dwayne Washington, Jalen Kimbrough return. Watch newcomers De’Marion Owens, Justin Strange.
Carmel: Kimahri Wilson is one of the area’s top point guards. The junior averaged 16.5 pts, 4 assists last season. Kylen Beals is another returning starter. Soph Bryce Moore and junior Syone Usma will have increased roles. Possibly one of the area’s smallest teams.
Chicago Christian: Return 3 starters and sixth man from 20-win team. Leading scorer/rebounder is 6-4 senior Brian Anderson. Ryley Bulthuis is the leader, point guard. Johnny Dieck and Tom Schaff had strong sophomore seasons. Good size with 6-5 Justin Lowe, 6-6 Hunter Sperling.
Clemente: Time to pay attention. Colleges are missing out on jet-quick junior point guard Trey Spires (16 pts, 5 rebs, 5 assists) and junior scorer Terrell Taylor (scored 33 vs. Westinghouse, shot 37% from 3). Goal is a 3A regional title.
Curie: Super 25. Eight players return from the team that finished third in the state and won the city. Ramean Hinton (SEMO) is one of the state’s best players. Armond Williams, Elijah Pickens, Savion Williams will have increased roles.
Danville: Durrell Robinson, formerly at Pontiac and a Danville grad, takes over as coach. Junior Tevin Smith is a force. 6-5 senior Robert Stroud and juniors Nathaniel Hoskins, Devin Miles are also returning starters. Watch sophs Camarion Halthon, Martez Rhodes.
DePaul Prep: Graduated a lot, but a strong core returns with seniors Lance Mosley, DJ Shower, 6-9 junior Brian Matthews and soph Ty Johnson. Juniors are interesting, including Rasheed Bello, Cam Lewis, Jabari Sawyer (Imari’s son). Also watch 6-9 soph Dylan Arnett.
Deerfield: One of many teams that will benefit from dropping to 3A. Very intriguing group led by 6-11 senior Brandon Lieb, 6-7 junior Walt Mattingly and senior Joey Shapiro. Will contend for CSL North title and could do serious damage in 3A, depending on sectional placement.
Downers Grove North: No experience returns but junior class has lost a total of three games as freshmen and sophs. Shooter Nate Demos has good size around him with 6-6 Jack Mielke, 6-5 Kyle Engstler and 6-6 Kevin Bozeman.
Downers Grove South: Conference champions three of the last four years. Young but tall, should improve as the season progresses. Check out the size w/6-9 Lukian King, 6-6 Michael Rheintgen, 6-5 Kobe Jones and 6-4 Chris Gory.
Dunbar: Plenty of experience and leadership back from a team that lost in the sectionals. Seniors La’Ron Owens, Terrance Marshall, Amari Brown return. Sophomore Isaiah Robinson played as a freshman last year. Watch soph Jerrell Edwards.
Dyett: Returns everyone from 23-5 team including Drequan Williams, Mikco Burns, Tyre Dawson, Jarrett Rhone, Jamarris Cleggett. Watch the development of 6-10 soph Tavarious Vinson.
Eisenhower: A lot back from 17-win team. Goal is South Suburban Red title. Jemel Jones averaged 17 pts, 5 assists, 6 boards last season. Cameron Braggs, Ndulu Diaka, Bryson Lewis also return. 6-4 Tajon Barry, 6-7 Keon Mitchell top newcomers.
Elk Grove: Winless in MSL East the past three seasons but starting backcourt of Mark Matos, Brandon Burns returns. Top newcomers are Mauro Garay and Roderick Fowler, will go 11-12 deep.
Elmwood Park: Hoping to build off the success of last year after finishing with the second most wins in 20 years and playing for a regional title. Three starters back in Jordan Diaz (chance to become school’s all-time leading scorer), Michael Stranski and Julian Davila.
Farragut: Senior Daniro Bolden returns from his injury. Expect Derrick Clark to turn some heads. Junior Malik Williams is a winner and promising sophs Mikwon and Mikell Jones gained valuable experience last season. No star, but a very solid group.
Fenwick: Likely Super 25. Very young team with high expectations. Louisville recruit Bryce Hopkins is a game-changer. Soph class is loaded with talent including Trey Pettigrew, Kaden Cobb, David Gieser, Gabe Madej, Max Reese and Eian Pugh.
Foreman: Hoping to improve on 5-4 White-North record and compete for title. Seniors Delmarion Williams, Anthony Edwards and Jashawn Covington bring a lot of experience to the backcourt. Keep an eye on sophomore Alex White.
Fremd: Seniors Jake Schoffstall and 6-5 Kayman Hopkins are returning starters last year’s team that went 22-5 and won MSL and regional titles. Coach Bob Widlowski will look for leadership from a senior heavy group to navigate through a tough schedule.
Glenbard East: Returns starting backcourt of DaRon Hall and Deon Cook. Hall is a two-year starter and Cook was the football player of the year in the Upstate 8. Both were all-conference last season. Junior class will add plenty of depth.
Glenbard West: Graduated 90% of the offense. Senior Diallo Phillips and 6’9 soph Braden Huff will lead a young team. Tons of size with 6-5 Aidan Murphy, 6-6 Danny Mulcare. 6-3 soph Cade Pierce has a familiar last name. Should be an interesting team.
Grant Park: Fresh off first regional title in school history. Only two seniors, 6-5 Andrew Fulk and Christian Niedfeldt, but junior class is very good led by Clayton McKinstry and Troy Reynolds.
Grayslake North: Freshman guard Dominic Jankowski is expected to make an instant impact. Three starters return from a 17-win team, Tony Hines, Jamon Thomas and Jason Donohue.
Hersey: Strong senior group led by point guard Scott Rogowski will be helped by talented junior class. The Huskies will need to defend at a high level to make things interesting in the upstart MSL East.
Highland Park: Point guard Zach Fagenholz, 6-5 Val Oplchenski are returning three-year varsity players. 6-4 senior Isacc Griswold, juniors Billy Rudman, Nate Fleisher also return. Challenging schedule including the Jack Tosh Tournament.
Hillcrest: Super 25. Solid nucleus back with Mar’Keise Irving, Kenton Wright, Julius Rollins. Jakobi Heady, Hamahrie Bowers, Jaden Houston ready to step up. Talented freshmen Bryce Tillery, KJ Cobb will provide nice depth.
Hinsdale South: 6 of top 7 players, 80% of scoring is back. 6-4 guard Billy Durkin, a clutch specialist, and 6-7 Aaron Tims are three-year varsity players that will lead on and off the floor. Both have younger brothers on the varsity. Move to 3A is a major opportunity.
Homewood-Flossmoor: Super 25 team. Good size inside and decent depth at all positions. RJ Ogom has All-Area potential, Joel Watts transferred from St. Rita. Josiah Palmer is a reliable guard and 6-8 junior Chad Readey is a breakout candidate.
Hope Academy: Class 1A state title is the goal. 6-7 William Schultz and Demarcus Forbes return. Watch out for junior Jordan Fenderson and senior Tyrell Hilton.
Huntley: 10 seniors return including 3 three-year varsity players in Ryan Sroka, Ryan Crosby and Uchenna Egekeze. Hoping to improve on last season’s 18 wins. Sroka and Egekeze could hit the 1,000 career point mark this season.
IC Catholic: Possibly the school’s toughest schedule ever (Fenwick, Benet, York and more). Leading scorers Zach Jordan and Chauncey Lee return. Dom Gaudio is a 3-year varsity player. Johnny Falduto, Danny Cronin bring leadership and intensity.
Indian Creek: Won 20+ the last three seasons. Back in Class 1A after a year in 2A. A lot returns, including senior Cooper Larsen and juniors Drew Gaston, Cameron Russell, Michael Lampson and Brennen McNally.
Jacobs: Jaden Henderson, leading scorer last year, is back with Andrew Balkcom. 5 sophs played varsity last year and all return including James Hayes, Zach Leahy, Robert Pennel, Max Stec. Will have a chance in very competitive Fox Valley conference.
Johnsburg: Seven seniors graduated including McHenry County’s all-time leading scorer Zach Toussaint. 6-3 Joey Comstock is the only starter back. Junior Josh Notrianto played significant minutes. Strong freshman class could help on varsity this season.
Joliet Central: No returning starters, but Larry Thompson’s teams have been remarkably consistent and competitive. They will build around two seniors, 6-4 Kennell Sutton and 6-7 Kee Hargrow.
Jones: Transition season after graduating six seniors. Returning starters Rron Thaci, Amen Ausar will lead young team. Junior Niko Rosich will be a key factor in quest to win the White-West.
Julian: First-year head coach Steve Parham will lean heavily on soph guard Deqwon Hargrove with help from 6-5 Jerwaun Wilkerson and senior guard Daylen Fox. Look for senior Willie Williams and 6-3 junior Laurence Phillips to be key role players.
Kankakee: Very interesting. Apparently more talent than the last two seasons (Kays were 43-14). Senior Lavell McIntosh leads the way and Deylon Johnson has transferred back. Watch juniors Rashard Harris (6-4), AJ Storr (6-5) and Willie Strickland (6-5).
Lake Park: Possible Super 25. Four starters back from 23-win regional title winners. Luke Sgarbossa, 6-5 Trevor Montiel are a top-notch duo. Newcomers 6-5 Joey Harrington, 6-8 Alex Burzawa will add more size.
Lake Zurich: Three-year starter Will Tucker will step up and lead. Noah DeLuga had a nice offseason and center Evan Bajerski, guard Joey Lococo will need to make big contributions.
Lakes: Solid group of three-year varsity players in Leighsean Triplett, Chance Andell, Tylor Gunther. Improved depth this year with Garrett Klein, Matthew Pawlak, Chris Selig and a talented group of juniors.
Lane: Louis Perona, Eric Stemper, Rashad Harries all played significant minutes for last season’s 18-win team. Demanding schedule with Proviso West Tournament, Chicago Elite Classic, Team Rose and Red-North/West.
Larkin: Very young, plenty of talent in the younger classes. Should compete in conference with everyone, but nonconference schedule is very difficult. Senior Jashon Johnson Neals, soph Damari Wheeler-Thomas return. Soph Fernando Perez is one to watch.
Legal Prep: Deep and experienced, looking to contend for White-West title w/8 seniors led by 6-7 Governors State recruit Johnathan Oden. 6-5 Cory Nunn, guards Derrick Summerville, Kyle Walker and Pierre Brown could have breakout seasons. Keep an eye on freshman Damarjay Binion.
Leo: Will be a force in Class 1A. State title is the goal. 6-6 senior Kendale Anderson, Kevin Drumgoole and 6-6 Tim Howard return. Guard Terrance Ford transferred in from Orr. Fred’s brother, Cameron Cleveland is a soph and will contribute.
Libertyville: Hoping for breakout seasons from seniors Jackson Watson, Will Moore, Patrick Graham and junior Blake Ellingson. Young and inexperienced otherwise. 6-4 soph Chase Bonder is one to watch.
Lincoln-Way Central: Junior guards Sean Curran, Matt Maloney, and Mike Maloney are three-year varsity players. Junior wings Nick Tingley, Ryan Kraft and James Orgrodnik all saw major minutes as sophomores. Should compete for SWSC Red title.
Lincoln-Way East: Point guard J’Heir Jones returns along with 6-8 Sean McLaughlin (Northwestern football), 6-5 Ryan Sierocki. 6-9 senior Nate Seputis adds size upfront. Athletic juniors Ryan Sucha (6-5, Cam Mallory (6-4) provide size, athletic ability, and shooting in backcourt.
Lincoln-Way West: Very good size with 6-7 senior Andrew Pyles and much improved 6-6 junior Connor Jenkins. Will be competition daily for playing time, quite a few guys that are right around each other in terms of ability.
Lindblom: Ten seniors back from 25-win team. The goal is to stick in the Red. Myles Twyman, Marshun Williams, Na’Shawn Howze all averaged double figures last season.
Lockport: Graduated 88% of its scoring but a talented group of underclassmen has arrived. 6-5 Tommy Ferriter is the only returner. Senior Timmy DiCristofano can shoot. 6-5 Matas Deksnys, Angelo Vassilakis, 6-6 Scott Szymkowiak and soph Ethan Gallagher are the top newcomers.
Loyola: Veteran team, 8 seniors will contribute. Bennett and Jordan Kwiecinski provide size, defense. Will Pujals and Matt Enghauser are excellent shooters. Matt Mangan (standout receiver) brings toughness. Junior Vaughn Pemberton is a breakout candidate.
Maine South: No starters return for the first time in 13 years. Hawks have won 17+ every year since 2008. Hoping to steadily improve throughout the season. Guards Casey Clark, Sean Gallery will run the show. Nice size with 6-7 senior Nick Ostojic and 6-5 junior Marko Anderson.
Manteno: Will contend for Illinois Central 8 conference title and regional title. Behind senior Trevor Moisant (17 pts, 4 rebs, 4 assists) and Robbie Wesselhoff. Three players could shoot 40% or better from three.
Marshall: Tough Xavier Johnson, three-year varsity guard Dashaun Glover and 6-4 Brandon Cavanero return. E’Nari Thomas could turn some heads this season.
Mather: Nine players are back, led by seniors Javaris Stfort, Tim Odeyungbo and ace defender Calvin Desormeaux. Uplift transfer Mickael Allen and Northtown transfer Brandon Adorno are big additions. Looking to “raise some eyebrows” this season.
Mundelein: Super 25. Heightened expectations. They return a nucleus of 3 juniors from last season’s 20-win team. Junior Conor Enright (Drake), 6-8 Scottie Ebube and Jack Bikus are the foundation. Tough schedule should have them battle-tested for playoffs.
Naperville North: Tom Welch is gone but there is strong senior leadership with Myles Barry, Casey Fuller, Michael Imhoff, Riley Thompson and Ali Yazici. Junior Grant Johnson and soph Zeke Williams are two to watch.
Neuqua Valley: Best team in awhile. 7 return that started multiple games, 70% of scoring, rebounding back. Junior John Poulakidas is one of the state’s elite shooters, has more than a dozen D1 offers. Connor Davis, Mark Gronowski, Patrick Hoffman, Max Rivera are all experienced.
New Trier: The starting five and three key reserves graduated. John Carragher is a versatile player that will impress. Ian Burns is a long guard that can shoot.
Niles North: Perennial contender has a strong foundation in Aquan Smart (East Tennessee State) and 6-5 junior Jalen Butler. Yogi Oliff, Lennox Manroe also return. 6-6 junior Max Tuck provides more size. Keep an eye on soph Giovanni Milam Pryor.
Niles West: Hard to remember when the Wolves had this kind of size. 6-7 senior Adnan Seferovic and 6-6 soph Lucas Vidrean are matchup problems. Senior guards Andrew Pabst, Haris Mackic return from team that made regional final as a No. 13 seed.
North Lawndale: Great mix of experience and exciting young players. Daveon Rogers, Javantae Brackens, Jamar Wilkins return. Everyone is talking about freshmen Ronald Chambers and Damarion Wyatt.
Northridge: Replacing five of top eight. Guards Temi Creppy, Dan Kane and forward Kevin Thursby played significant minutes. Juniors Sean Flood, Andrew Brockmeier expected to step up Knights are 65-24 the last three seasons, will contend in ISL again this season.
Notre Dame: Super 25. Four starters (Jimmy Murphy, Jason Bergstrom, Anthony Sayles, Troy D’Amico) and 80% of scoring returns. Louis Lesmond transferred from Evanston. Very tough nonconference schedule.
Oak Forest: Possible Super 25. 6-6 senior Jayson Kent, 6-4 senior Juan Avila are both college players and 6-9 soph Robbie Avila had a tremendous freshman season (14.5 pts, 6.7 rebs, 5.6 assists). High expectations for senior point guard Devin Tolber.
Oak Lawn: Best team in years, but south suburbs are loaded. Big-time scorer Sami Osmani and point guard Trey Ward are back. Kevin Swatek rebounds, has a nose for the ball. Senior guard David Reyes stepped up over the summer.
Oak Park: Less experienced but it is a reload, not a rebuild. 6-6 junior Isaiah Barnes, junior Josh Smith, 6-8 senior Justin Cross and senior Kyren Gardner will all play in college. High expectations for several sophs and freshman Christian Marshall.
Ogden: Promoted to the White-West, but graduated six key players. Young, developing roster with some size returns, led by juniors Keyonta Ellis and Mike Nelson as well as sophomore big man Daquan Aaron. Ahmad Muhammed has transferred in from Hope Academy and will contribute.
Oswego: Four starters return from a 16-win team. Should be competitive in the Southwest Prairie. 6-9 Connor McCance (Northern Michigan), Jack Kahoun (Trinity International), Joey Niesman and Kobe Adams will lead. AJ Freund, Kevin House, Brady Peterlin will provide depth.
Oswego East: Intriguing group. 6-7 Sam Schultz, Rithik Ganesan, Grayson Goetz, Jalen Tucker all return from 24-win team. Talented 6-6 senior Will Wolfe transferred in. Will be very competitive in Southwest Prairie.
Pana: Hoping to improve on last year’s top three finish in the SCC. Great depth, team is hungry after winning a regional. 6-4 senior Jonah Lauff is a great shooter, 6-3 junior Andrew Ambrose is tenacious on the glass. Wes Kile, Drake Spracklen, Bryce Edmiston also return.
Payton: Quinn Peterson took a position at Mizzou, Phil Gary takes over as coach. Underrated senior star Jabari Chiphe (16 pts, 6.5 rebs) is back along with 6-6 Liam Dillon and Eamon Glascott. Watch 6-6 soph Henry Boyer and freshman Luke Newhall.
Plainfield Central: Won 8 of last 11, looking to build on first winning season (16-14) since 2012. Starters Brandon Shoemaker, Tavari Johnson, Javari Johnson return. Two sets of twins! The Johnson’s and Mekhi, Malik Lunford.
Plainfield North: Starters Cooper Bridges, 6-8 Colin O’Rourke, Christian Lucas return from 15-16 squad. Goal is to compete for the Southwest Prairie West title. O’Rourke has committed to Wisconsin-Parkside, underrated big that missed 16 games with an injury last season.
Prospect: Always a force in the MSL. No starters back for the first time in 13 years. Nine seniors return though, along with junior Owen Schneider.
Providence: 70% of the scoring graduated but dynamic, underrated backcourt of Joe Alfirevich and Luke Pell are back. Good size with 6-5 Lucas Porto and 6-6 Jameson Geers. Younger players need to step up and fill roles.
Raby: New coach Ivan Danzy has high-scoring senior guard Lester Bradford back and is planning to compete for the White-West title.
Reavis: Leading scorer Kareem Hajjar and two other starters return. Keep an eye on 6-6 junior Essa Elshahawy. Good group of multi-sport seniors hoping to compete in very good South Suburban Red.
Rich East: Rockets want to win 17+ games and sectional title. 6-8 senior Christopher Smith, 6-6 senior Joshua Hamilton return. High expectations for juniors Gary Clay Jr., Devontae Blevins. Tough schedule (Chicago Heights Classic, Big Dipper, Team Rose and Romeoville shootouts).
Richards: High expectations for experienced group led by Albert Jones, KaJuan Wines, Anthony Taylor and Antwan Jones. Burton Harper transferred from Shepard, Daniel Mordi from St. Rita. 6-4 soph Deven Jiles could be a good one.
Ridgewood: Will be led by 6-5 Kevin Czyzweski and 6-2 John Duszynski, two of seven seniors returning from last year.
Riverside-Brookfield: Graduated top 7 from last season but added transfer Paul Zilinskas from Richards. 6-5 Jamir Truman, Nate Schoditsch, Dylan Meehan, Luke Gentile top returners. Should be a great shooting team again, made 304 threes last season (8th most in state history).
Rockford Boylan: Very dangerous again this season. Anthony Brown, Johnny Close, John Starck, Jack Fulling, Dayvion Foreman all return from 20-win team. The Thanksgiving tournament is back and features St. Charles North, Marshall, Crane and Julian.
Rolling Meadows: Junior star Max Christie, one of the state’s top prospects, is joined by his brother Cameron. Could be a slow start if football team has a deep playoff run, guard Daniel Sobkowicz and forward Sean Nolan play both sports. Very young team.
Roosevelt: New coach DeAndre Evans hopes to become a contender in the Blue North. Sophs Daveon Myles, Ronald Dunbar are top returners. Mather transfer Savion Wilson, a senior, will lead the way.
St. Charles East: Nine players back (three starters) from 18-win team. Plan is to play even faster than usual with a pressure defense. Will go 10 deep with smart, skilled kids.
St. Edward: Not much size and leading scorer Erik Hill is out indefinitely with a knee injury but keep any eye on him when he returns. Looking to grind it out until then with Jackson Godfrey, JP McGuire, Sebastian Oquendo.
St. Ignatius: Moving to 3A. Four starters, 70% of offense is back from a 14-win team, led by leading scorer Daniel Florey (12 pts, 33% 3FG). Solid senior group but relatively young with two sophs (AJ Redd, Kolby Gilles) and several juniors in the rotation.
St. Laurence: Averaged more than 70 points a game the last two seasons. Undersized but fast. Seniors Finn Walsh (13 pts, 6 assists) and Trey Davis (15 pts) are back. Darius Wilson, a 6-4 junior, could have a breakout season.
St. Rita: Roshawn Russell takes over as coach. Guard Alec Millender, 6-8 Connor Serven, Christan Henry return. 6-6 senior Kevin Murney will have an expanded role. Kaiden Space, 6-5 Solomon Mosley, 6-6 Darrion Baker (DI offer already) will all contribute as freshman.
St. Thomas More: Should finish in the upper half of Illini Prairie and contend for 1A sectional title. Soph Dawson Magrini, Averi Hughes, Parker Jackson are top returners. Three impact transfers added as well.
St. Viator: Connor Kochera becomes the focal point. Will need Michael Huene to be a force in the paint. Mike Campagna, Owen Hickey could take some of the pressure off Kochera. Hoping to get Jack Mahoney back by Christmas.
Schaumburg Christian: Six of last year’s top eight are back including leading scorer David Rodriguez and point guard Rishe Paridas. Sophomore Aaron Onesimus will be a major contributor after logging minutes as a freshman. Will play in the WWS MLK Tournament.
Schurz: Goal is to win the White-North and a regional. Senior guard Nakyel Shelton averaged 18 points, 5 assists, 5 boards. Is a very good shooter. Seniors Louis Abraham, Kaevon Anderson will also be key.
Senn: Expectations are high to win the Blue-North after an 8-2 conference finish last year. Seniors David Edaghese and Kevin Tagbae will lead the way. Look for Darion Williams and Genaris Williams to have breakout sophomore seasons.
Solorio: All the top players return from best season in school history. Soph Donovan Jones is a budding star. 6-2 senior Sincere Key does a lot and juniors Jordan Hill, Amarion Fields picked up important experience last year.
Spring Valley Hall: Back to back 20-win seasons, lost regional final the last three years. Hope this season is to win that regional. Only one starter is over 6-0 but several good three-point shooters including Trez Rybarczyk, Bryan Fuentes, Cole Wozniak.
Sullivan: Finished 23-7 last year and won first state playoff game in more than 20 years. Looking for White-North title and promotion this season. 6-4 senior Joe Tianen, junior Ross Freeman, 6-7 Kenny Akinola return. Watch freshmen Ephraim Chase, Ramone Randolph.
Taft: Returns 75% of scoring from 13-18 team. Four starters back, led by 6-4 guard Matt Lesch and Chino Garcia. Joseph Rodriguez, a 6-4 soph, was a big scorer on the freshman level. Goal is to finish above .500 and win the White-North.
Thornton: Possible Super 25. Four starters back, Derrick Williams, DeMarco Minor, Brandon Hall, Ari Brown. 6-6 Donald Coats, Sean Burress transferred in. Joined the Southland conference, hungry and hoping to make a statement.
Tinley Park: Coach DJ Brown stresses how young his team is, says it will progress and grow. But expectations are huge now that 6-8 soph AJ Casey, the state’s top young prospect, has transferred in from Simeon. 6-6 Yitonis Nash is the key senior.
Vernon Hills: Ten seniors back, four starters including leading scorers Ryan Jacobson and Jack Barszcz. Tony Brown, who missed last season, will give a big boost. 6-5 Michael Moore is good in the paint and a threat from three. Hard workers, coachable group.
Waubonsie Valley: 6-5 SR Marcus Skeete and 6-5 JR Ben Schwieger return. Goal is 20+ wins, conference and regional title. Adri Malushi, Justin Starks, Isaiah Smith, 6-5 Carter Langendorf, Mason Marinelli are the top newcomers.
West Aurora: Joining the Southwest Prairie conference and will be a perennial contender. Senior Kevin Balfour was all-conference and defensive POY in the Upstate Eight last season. Guard Logan Mont and senior forwards Dimitrios Bazos, Axel Motola return as well.
Westinghouse: All starters, key players return from conference/regional champs. The House is back in the Red. Devin Davis is an underrated star. Ryan Brown, Kier Jordan also back. Solid newcomers too in 6-6 soph Martell Webb, 6-7 junior Gary Johns, junior Dwayne Walton.
Westlake Christian: ICC champs lost 5 key seniors off a group that went 53-20 the last 2 years. Pieces in place to make another run. Eight freshman so lack of experience early in the season will be challenging. Not very tall but will make up for it with team speed.
Wheaton North: Looking for seventh consecutive winning season. 6-4 senior Garrett Horner is an All-Area caliber player. Xander Mueller (Northwestern football recruit) brings toughness. Newcomers will need to adjust to expanded roles quickly.
Wheeling: Young and inexperienced. Juniors Joe Jordan and Solomon Hudson played big minutes last year and provide great leadership. Senior Christian McLaughlin can shoot it and senior Javen Reid has improved. Newcomers will need to adjust to expanded roles quickly.
Woodstock: Made 275 threes last season, 15th best total in state history. Shooting graduated, will replace with size including 6-6 Nick Weber, 6-7 soph Ryan Steponaitis. Two other sophs, Javier Garay-Vasquez, Uplift transfer Jeremiah-Betts-Moses, will play significant roles.
York: Nate Shockey (North Dakota recruit) and Jeff Grace are returning players with experience from last season’s 29-5 team. A number of new faces competing for playing time at the other positions. Should be competitive in the West Suburban Silver.
Yorkville: Seven players return from a rebuilding year, led by seniors Jack Marker, Brandon Ducoing and Zak Konecne. Top scorer Cole Yearsley leads a junior class that played significant minutes as sophomores.
Yorkville Christian: Hungry after an Elite 8 finish last year, goal is the Class 1A state title. This team can shoot it. 6-5 Jaden Schutt is one of the state’s top sophs. Transfer Micah Schnyders can finish at the rim and shoots well. Keep an eye on 6-3 freshman Brayden Long.