Ranking the seniors: The top 10 college prospects in the state’s Class of 2021

This wasn’t the normal off season for high school players to strut their stuff.

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Fenwick’s Bryce Hopkins (23) and Rolling Meadows’ Max Christie (12).

Fenwick’s Bryce Hopkins (23) and Rolling Meadows’ Max Christie (12).

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

This wasn’t the normal offseason for high school players to strut their stuff. Thus, there hasn’t been a ton of movement with the player rankings in the Class of 2021.

Here is a look at the top 10 college prospects in the class.

1. Max Christie, 6-6, Rolling Meadows

The Michigan State-bound guard has put up massive numbers since his freshman year, including a junior campaign last season in which he averaged 24 points and 10 rebounds a game. Blessed with size, length and tremendous versatility on the perimeter, Christie is among the top 20 players in the country. But what makes him even more intriguing as a prospect is he appears to be a highly-ranked player who still hasn’t reached his ceiling.

2. Bryce Hopkins, 6-6, Fenwick

Following his de-commitment from Louisville, the talented hybrid forward is among the top available players in the country. A top-40 talent nationally who has been ultra-productive throughout his career, Hopkins brings a blend of power and finesse on the offensive end. He can overpower you physically in getting to and finishing at the basket or step out and play some point-forward with his skill level.

3. Ahamad Bynum, 6-1, Simeon

Explosive athletically and a dynamic weapon offensively, “Black Cat” can put pressure on the defense with his shooting and in getting to the basket off the dribble. The DePaul recruit can score in bunches with his take-over offensive abilities.

4. Louis Lesmond, 6-5, Notre Dame

There is just so much talent in Lesmond that it’s impossible not to see — from the skill level to the bonafide shooting ability and the sneaky athleticism. Lesmond led one of the state’s best teams in scoring as a junior with 16.5 points a game. In what may turn out to be the recruiting steal in the class, Harvard landed a good one.

5. Isaiah Barnes, 6-7, Simeon

A player who bloomed a little later than others in the class. Barnes brings a physical profile, including size and high-level athleticism on the wing, that brought on double-digit high-major offers this past spring. The Michigan commit can wow with a dunk and step out and make a three.

6. Chris Hodges, 6-8, Schaumburg

A player who has continued to make strides since being a ballyhooed prospect as a freshman. A mobile post player headed to Wisconsin, Hodges has some old school big man in him. He’s developed a back-to-the-basket game, including a jump-hook, to go with improved footwork and an emerging step-back, mid-range jumper.

7. Troy D’Amico, 6-7, Notre Dame

There is so much to like in this Southern Illinois recruit. He competes, brings a blue-collar approach to the floor and is highly productive — he averaged 15.6 points a game last season on less than 10 shots a game. D’Amico will battle around the basket, handle the ball and knock down a three-pointer as an ultra-skilled 4-man.

8. TY Johnson, 6-2, DePaul Prep

A big-time scoring threat with the ball in his hands. Last season he averaged 22 points a game. He’s a devastating offensive weapon as he’s electric in the open floor and has outstanding range shooting the basketball. Johnson has buried 115 three-pointers the past two seasons. This is a player who could continue to rise in the rankings as his senior year plays out. A huge recruiting get for Loyola.

9. Ben Schwieger, 6-5, Waubonsie Valley

A classic high upside player with the physical attributes, including length, terrific bounce and a still developing body, that excites you when projecting long term. Whether showcasing above-the-rim finishing ability or a jumper that is smooth out of his hand and will only get better, the Loyola-bound Schweiger is just starting to scratch the surface of the player he will be.

10. Anthony Sayles, 6-1, Notre Dame

A point guard who is all about the right things as a player and leader. A physically imposing guard with strength and a college-ready body, Sayles remains one of the top uncommitted prospects in the state. He defends, handles the ball and scores when needed while his perimeter jumper continues to improve.

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