Dandy dozen: Early look at top teams for next season

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Homewood-Flossmoor’s Trace Williams (5) tries to cut off the lane from Bloom’s Dante Maddox Jr. (12) (12), Tuesday 03-05-19. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times

With the 2018-2019 season in the books, it’s never too early to look ahead. Here are a dozen teams (listed alphabetically) who will surely be heard from next season.


2018-2019: 26-4, lost in 4A sectional semifinal.

Key losses: Losing the inside senior tandem of Emani Burgess and Kevin Vance will be felt.

What’s back: The heralded Class of 2020 in Chicago Heights, which includes 6-9 Martice Mitchell and guards Keshawn Williams, Donovan Newby and Dante Maddox, will finally be seniors. It’s the season they’ve been waiting for, and the Blazing Trojans will be in contention to be preseason No. 1.


2018-2019: 30-4, lost in 3A state championship.

Key losses: The 1-2 punch of guard Jordan Booker and all-state big man Rashaun Agee departs.

What’s back: Antoine Bloxton exploded on the scene late in the year and returns. Kyndal Davis, Darrion Jones, 6-8 Tremear Fraley and 6-8 Kennedy Brown are all back and will have bigger roles.


2018-2019: 35-2, lost in 4A state semifinal.

Key losses: There is a lot of production to replace. Sun-Times Player of the Year DaJuan Gordon is off to Kansas State and the trio of Damari Nixon, Trevon Hamilton and Justin Harmon had big senior years.

What’s back: Ramean Hinton, a 6-4 high-energy wing, put together an outstanding junior season. The sophomore team reached the the city championship game this past season.


2018-2019: 32-5, lost in 4A state championship.

Key losses: Veteran guard and leading scorer Lance Jones graduates, along with under-appreciated guards Jaheim Holden and Ryan Bost.

What’s back: The sophomore class will be a year older and better, led by sharpshooter Blake Peters, promising 6-5 Louis Lesmond, 6-3 Jaylin Gibson and guard Isaiah Holden.


2018-2019: 21-10, lost in 3A sectional semifinal.

Key losses: Dylan West had a productive senior season and his size and presence inside will need to be replaced.

What’s back: There is firepower with sophomores Mar’Keise Irving, Kenton Wright and 6-5 Julius Rollins all back after gaining a ton of varsity experience.


2018-2019: 27-5, lost in 4A sectional semifinal

Key losses: The Spartans will lose some size and length in senior Chris White and a defensive presence in senior Breion Hill.

What’s back: A talented junior class features all-stater Ahron Ulis in the backcourt. The trio of guard Joe Green, who had a breakout season, 6-5 Elijah Jones and Yemi Elitulo are all back.


2018-2019: 29-5, lost in sectional championship.

Key losses: Rim protector Karl Jones and 6-4 wing DeShawndre Washington will have to be replaced.

What’s back: The top-ranked junior prospect in the state is back in high-scoring guard Adam Miller, a top 25 prospect in the country. His running mate in the backcourt, jet-quick junior Marcus Watson, also returns. In addition to “what’s back” is what’s coming as it’s expected that transfers Brandon Weston, a 6-4 wing, who attended Lake Forest Academy, and 6-8 Seryee Lewis from Kenwood — a pair of Division I prospects — will be eligible at Morgan Park next season.


2018-2019: 19-12, lost in regional championship.

Key losses: Personnel losses were minimal for coach Kevin Clancy.

What’s back: Anthony Sayles, an athletic guard, and versatile 6-6 Troy D’Amico, a standout face-up shooter with size, are two of the top sophomores in the state. Also returning are 6-3 shooter Jason Bergstrom and guard Jimmy Murphy.


2018-2019: 20-15, lost in 4A super-sectional

Key losses: Leading scorer Antonio Reeves and point guard Kejuan Clements move on.

What’s back: Arguably the most star-studded young group of players in the state is back, including super sophomore guard Ahamad Bynum and a pair of big-time freshmen –– 6-9 AJ Casey and point guard Jaylen Drane.


2018-2019: 27-6, lost in 4A super-sectional.

Key losses: Steady point guard Luke Chieng graduates.

What’s back: There are a lot of pieces returning, led by 6-3 junior Matthew Ambrose on the perimeter. Robert Holmes provides size a 6-5 and put together a nice junior season, while guard John Ittuounas and wing Matt Kaznikov are returning starters. Sophomore point guard Evan Ambrose gained varsity experience.


2018-2019: 27-6, lost in 3A sectional semifinal.

Key losses: Lance Jackson and Billy Rappold were productive, under-appreciated seniors for the Vikings the past season.

What’s back: Do-it-all Jeremiah Williams will be the focal point after an all-state junior season. Finn Walsh and Trey Davis are a pair of junior guard with scoring capability.


2018-2019: 25-8, lost in Class 4A sectional championship

Key losses: Myles Baker, a jack-of-all-trades guard, and unheralded 6-6 Keenon Jones graduate.

What’s back: DJ Steward, a high-major college prospect and top 100 talent nationally, is an elite player. Steward will combine with Tyler Beard to form one of the best tandems in the state.

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