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The high school basketball Twitter previews

280-character previews of every high school basketball team in the state that submits information.

Huntley’s Ryan Sroka (14) and Uchenna Egekeze (32) react during a playoff game against Cary-Grove last season.
Huntley’s Ryan Sroka (14) and Uchenna Egekeze (32) react during a playoff game against Cary-Grove last season.
Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Coaches and/or athletic directors, please send info on your team to mobrien@suntimes.com. 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:

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 2021 Twitter Previews

Argo: COVID-19 has had a major impact. All the returning seniors needed to pick up jobs and won’t be playing basketball. 6-4 junior Shallah Davis averaged 15 ppg and returns. Keep an eye on 6-4 junior Will Adams and soph Davonte Evans.

Bartlett: A few players opted out due to football but the Hawks have a 7-1 junior, All-Conference selection Conrad Luczynski. That’s not a typo. Seniors George Betevis, Clark Lewis and junior Ian Smith return. Keep an eye on freshman Kelton McEwen.

Belvidere North: Extremely young after graduating the top eight from last year. It’s all about newcomers Ethan Andre, Evan Horgan, Jake Effler and Aaron Winters.

Bishop McNamara: Very young, interesting squad. Soph point guard Jaxson Provost led in assists and was second in scoring last season. JR Nolan Czako and 6-5 Andrew Arseneau also return as starters. Watch JR Colton Provost, B-B transfer Grant Fouts and Cam Link.

Breese Mater Dei: Six seniors back from 30-5 Class 2A state qualifier, led by 6-5 Mitchell Haake. Carson Loepker takes over at point guard. Expect big contributions from Tyler Jasper, Alden Moss, Parker Johnson and Cameron Kreke. Senior class waited their turn, now ready to go.

Brother Rice: More length and depth than usual with 6-7 Luke Moustakas, 6-5 Garrett Greene and 6-4 JR Nick Harrell. Cullen Cosme is a tough leader and winner. Sophomore Ahmad Henderson could be a breakout player to watch. Bobby Frasor says it will be a fun team to coach.

Buffalo Grove: Junior Kam Craft set the school record for points in a season last year. He’s a star and is joined by seniors Steph Harris and Kyle Brosnahan as well as what may possibly be the best name in basketball, junior Adidas Davis.

Chicago Christian: Johnny Dieck is hoping to eclipse the 1,000 point mark. Tom Schaaf is back after battling injuries and 6-5 senior Brady Loerop should build on a solid junior season. Goal is to top the conference for a second consecutive season (tied with R-B last year).

Clemente: Most of the scoring and rebounding returns, led by seniors Trey Spires and Terrell Taylor (both are future college players). Senior Deandre Westmoreland and junior Dante Brown will make major contributions. Goal is to to win the White-West.

Crystal Lake South: Gators return soph Cooper LePage, senior Brock Jewson and 6-5 junior Isaiah Kirkeeng. Backcourt will provide stability for the new faces. Junior Arnav Jain should make an immediate impact.

Danville: The tantalizing combo of 6-5 senior Tevin Smith and 6-4 senior Nathaniel Hoskins is a terrific foundation. Senior Michael Moore and 6-5 soph Oshawn Jones Winslow also return. Two freshmen, Emerson Davis and Liam Houpt, will contribute.

Deerfield: Big hole to fill with Brandon Lieb now at Illinois. High expectations for JR Luke Woodson, SR’s Quinn Halpern and Zach Friedman. Jr’s Oliver Nitsun, Cooper Venamore, Sam Schecter, and Aidan Galvan are ready to contribute along with transfer Oscar Januskevicius.

DePaul Prep: Super 25 team with five players already committed to colleges, TY Johnson, Rasheed Bello, 6-10 Brian Mathews, Cam Lewis and Imari Sawyer’s son Jabari Sawyer. And don’t forget promising 6-10 junior Dylan Arnett. The Rams are loaded.

Downers Grove North: All but one starter back from 14-win team. 6-5 Kyle Engslter, 6-6 Kevin Bozeman, 6-6 Matt Schellback hold down the front line. Seven guys will see time at guard and one the wings. Deep and experienced team.

Downers Grove South: The entire starting five returns. Jake Dimovski, Kobe Jones, Kyle Fenner, 6-7 Nathan Waterman and 6-7 Michael Rheintgen. They are joined by a group of juniors that had success at the soph level. Mustangs will play uptempo.

Eisenhower: Significant experience back from a 23-7 team. A lot of size. All-Conference wing Taijon Barry leads the way with four-year starter Deontate Sutton. Keep an eye on 6-7 SR Keon Mitchell and juniors Amario Mizzelle, Alonzo Powe. Conference championship is possible.

Elk Grove: Brandon Burns is the only starter back, so there are a lot of minutes up for grabs. Sophs Josh Mottley (hit game-winner against Von Steuben in regionals last season), Garrett Ewen will start along with juniors Jaden Alberson, Kevin Periaswamy.

Evergreen Park: No returning starters. SR’s Nolan Bruce and Christian Carvajal can shoot and Devin Green is a defensive whiz. Freshman Nolan Sexton and junior Malik Kelly are expected to step in and make major contributions. Will play fast and shoot threes.

Fenwick: Super 25 team. Kentucky recruit Bryce Hopkins is a force and he’s surrounded by talented young players including David Geiser, Max Reese, Gabe Madej, Eian Pugh, and Denium Juette. There are four scholarship football players on the team.

Francis Parker: Planning to build on a 17-win season. Senior Nick Skok anchors the squad. There are high expectations for soph playmaker Payton Pitts, soph scorer Simon Weisserman and athletic junior Jackson Antonow.

Fremd: 6-4 SR Jack Walsh (Wyoming football recruit) is the only starter back. Expect big contributions from Ryan Saxe (IL Wesleyan football recruit) and two quick and talented junior guards with familiar last names to the program in Chris Smyros and Eli Schoffstall.

Geneva: Size and experience, as usual. Vikings will be a load behind Nathan Valentine, 6-9 Dylan Fuzak, 6-7 Chris Suger. Seniors Quin McNeive, Brian Wrenn also return. Expect contributions from newcomers Ryan Husky and Daniel Alworth.

Glenbard East: Al Biancalana takes over from veteran Scott Miller. Three starters are back from a 22-win squad, 6-4 SR LaDonus Rogers, Joe Hamilton and Jack Rivas. Nick Janega, Sean Banks and Terrance Spencer will contribute. Watch newcomers Dylan Crowe and Jordan Rech.

Glenbard North: 6-5 senior Jacob Bonnema and senior Matt Murray return as starters. Also keep an eye on juniors Payton Bowser, Donald Davis and senior Julianne Pamfilo.

Glenbard West: Super 25 team with tons of size and all five starters back. 6-9 JR Braden Huff is a high-major prospect, 6-5 JR Caden Pierce has D1 offers and 6-6 SR Aidan Murphy has committed to Carnegie Mellon. The sky is the limit in Glen Ellyn the next two years.

Glenbrook North: New coach Quin Hayes has a young group overall, led by senior Jeremy Gertz and junior Blake Lidskin. Sophomore Ryan Cohen and 6-5 freshman Patrick Schaller will both be key pieces.

Glenbrook South: Possible Super 25 team. Starters Cooper Noard, Justin Leszynski and Nick Martinelli all return from 29-win team. Key reserves Matthew Rosenberger, Drew Maytum are also back. Junior group that joins is skilled.

Grayslake Central: Senior guard Amarion Coleman is set for a big season. Fellow seniors Colin O’Malley and Zoel Martinez will provide toughness and leadership. Juniors Nate Ulrichs, Brendan Whalen and soph Dennis Estepp will make an immediate impact.

Hersey: Some good size and seven seniors with experience. 6-5 Ethan Roberts, 6-4 Griffin Ginder, 6-7 Ben Randall and point guard Andrew Wagner are the headliners for the Huskies.

Homewood-Flossmoor: Senior Chad Readey and junior Christian Meeks will provide bulk and experience. Seniors Tai Walters, Kenton Pryor and Marist transfer Daniel Reed are ready to break out. 6-7 sophomores Miles and Wes Rubin could be the key.

Huntley: Graduated a lot but the junior class was 31-0 as sophs. Junior Ben Ahmer and senior Daniel Cruz are the top returners. Aiden Wieczorek, Adam Guazzo, Nate Ary are newcomers to watch.

IC Catholic: Seniors Johnny Falduto, Danny Roberto, Michael Hilgart return to lead a balanced, gritty group with depth and athleticism. Darius Ezell sat out last year after transferring and will make an immediate impact. Antonio Richardson and John Hilgart will get big minutes.

Indian Creek: It could be another special season. Starters Drew Gaston, Cam Russell, Brennen McNally, Michael Lampson all return from 35-1 Elite 8 team. Lampson made more than 80 threes last season. Also watch athlete Brennen McNally, and new starter Davis Stryker.

Jacobs: Returns four three-year varsity players, led by senior guards James Hayes, Robert Pennel and Zach Leahy. Junior Nick McCoy, soph Jackson Martucci and 6-6, 220 lb frosh Grant Stec are up and coming with a chance to be good.

Johnsburg: Young and inexperienced but future is bright. Senior Josh Notriano leads the way and 4 sophs start, including Dylan Schmidt, who has improved tremendously and shows D1 potential. Soph Jacob Welch (a major OL football prospect) is the best 3-pt shooter, which is neat.

Jones: Starters Niko Rosich (18 ppg), Max Marco (14 ppg) and Eric Minogue (13 ppg) return along with Preston Crockett, Tommy Cleland and Ro Franklin. Underclassmen Ethan Samuels and Keenan Houlihan can shoot the three.

Kankakee: Two starters return from 27-4 team, All-Conference 6-4 point guard Rashard Harris and 6-5 forward Willie Strickland. More size with 6-5 Joeron Hill and 6-8 Jalen Maddox. High-scoring guard Amarion Osbourne has transferred in from Chicago. Big things expected.

Lake Park: Junior heavy but the group won 23 games as sophs. Point guard Vito LaGioia, and guard Sebastain Blachut (who does back-scratching windmill dunks) will lead the way. That sounds fun.

Lake Zurich: Fairly young with only 4 returning seniors. Patrick Tauras and Justin Kutsor are experienced and Bryce Cison, Kyle Miller provide leadership. Watch JRs Nick Pezzella, Brady Sykes.

Lakes: Great group of seniors back including two returning starters, Jake Sanders and Branden Nava. Matthew Wiechert logged big minutes last year and Michael Gardiner is ready to step in at a guard spot. Watch newcomer Ethan McGruder. Not much size, but will play fast.

Legal Prep: The Wildcats are in rebuilding mode after 11 seniors graduated. 6-4 SR LaMarcus Nunn and soph Damarjay Binion will lead the way. Keep an eye on soph Keyontae Sykes. Will be scrappy and defensive-minded.

Leyden: Solid group of seniors back from a 17-win team. Will be led by junior Jio Garcia, who can really score. Seniors Matt Espinoza, Adrian Kaczmarek, and Jonathan Chavez will have increased roles. High expectations for sophs Christian Lopez and Andrew Mann.

Libertyville: Good mix of experience and talented underclassmen. Last year’s top scorers, senior Blake Ellingson and junior Chase Bonder, are back. Marc Michelotti and James Steinhaus bring quickness and ball handling. Watch sophs Jack Huber, Cole Bonder and Nik Raic.

Lockport: Matas Deksnys is a load. The 6-7 senior broke the school record for threes last season, shot 47% from long range. Super cool to have three brothers on the team in Angelo, Alex and Niko Vassilakis. Tons of size with 6-6 Scott Szymkowiak and 6-8 Braeden Goebbert.

Loyola: All the starters are gone from school best 30-4 team but Ramblers reload with underrated (in basketball at least) Vaughn Pemberton, scorer Scotty Dean and defensive whiz Jalen Axibal. Tommy Zipprich and Perrion McClinton round out a very athletic lineup.

Marist: Coach Tim Trendel is not sure what to expect, but says the team can be talented. Starters Alex Knight and Jabari Hill return. Watch soph Xavier Sulaiman and juniors Josh Ellison, Sebastain Drag. On the small side, will need to develop cohesiveness and chemistry.

Minooka: Will lean on 6-5 Jordan Boe, 6-4 Jake Faron, Ricky Hill and Trevor Hudak to set the tone. Juniors Darren Anderson and Adrian Manning are the top newcomers. More experienced than the past few seasons.

Morton: Looking to improve on 20+ wins and regional title. SR’s Jesus Perez, Joshua Dowdell and JR Eliseo Gonzalez all return. High expectations for soph Dakari Durham, who will play a big roll.

Naperville North: Grant Johnson, a 6-6 senior, and junior Zeke Williams return as starters for a squad with great chemistry and senior leadership. Good shooting group, will need to focus on defense and rebounding. Freshman Luke Williams should get some varsity minutes.

Neuqua Valley: Likely Super 25. Yale recruit John Poulakidas (18.5 ppg) and 6-5 Connor Davis (14.5 ppg) provide an excellent foundation. Key reserve Nick Porter can shoot and will step up this season. 6-6 SR Zach Davis had a great off-season and will provide meaningful minutes.

New Trier: The one returning starter, Ian Burns, is likely out for the season after undergoing ankle surgery. Senior Will Geis, juniors Jackson Munro and Josh Kirkpatrick are the players to watch. Soph Jake Fiegen will contribute.

Niles North: Senior class is deep and used to winning, juniors are athletic and tough. 6-5 Jalen Butler, Liam Graham, Yogi Oliff all return. Keep an eye on newcomers AJ Harris, Pervis Brunson, Dejour Stevens. Team should shoot it well.

Niles West: Young and inexperienced. School district hasn’t allowed any contact practices since last season ended. 6-6 junior Lucas Vidrean, Aidan Flowers and Moses LeBlanc will lead .

Northridge: Sean Flood and Andrew Brockmeier are the two seniors back from last season’s 27-win team. Junior Owen Coleman will step up after coming off the bench. Jack Spingola and Jack Brown will move into bigger roles.

Notre Dame: The top-ranked team, we’ve done two stories on them already. But everyone that sends info gets a tweet! Troy D’Amico, Louis Lesmond and Anthony Sayles are back. Frank Lynch and soph Sonny Williams step into the starting lineup.

Oak Forest: This season everything will go through 6-9 forward Robbie Avila, who is a must-see if you are a high school basketball fan. Junior Drew Pagnusat also returns. Newcomers expected to step up include Eli Lipsett, Dane Boe and Fred Robinson.

Oak Lawn: Retooling a bit, but the cupboard is not bare. Experience returns with Rodney Washington, John McGowan, 6-6 Ryan Kennelly and Nicco Reyes. Glenbard East transfer Rafael Bou is eligible. He’s strong and athletic and can shoot. Keep an eye on 6-5 junior Davion Lawrence.

Orion: Seven seniors are back from 21-win squad, led by guard Cade Weiss, 6-4 Will Dunlap, 6-3 Josh Spranger and 6-3 Adam Burgert. Keep an eye on 6-4 junior Chance Stropes.

Oswego East: Limited experience, but AJ Johnson, Antonio Hughes, Odin Lium are strong senior leaders. Good junior class is led by Patrick Robinson, Devon Oregon, Jared Badie. Keep an eye on soph Mekhi Lowery.

Pana: Hoping to improve on last year’s conference championship and 25 wins. Great depth, tenacious group led by around the rim game changer Andrew Ambrose and scorer Lane Funneman. Brenden Schoonover, Colin Schmitz, Kyle Kuhn, Drew Hackler are the new guys to watch.

Peotone: New coach Todd Zasadil returns 9 rotation players from last year’s team. Seniors Ben Balmer and Tristan Weglarz will lead the way along with a talented group of underclassmen. Hoping to have a bounce back season and compete in the Illinois Central 8.

Plainfield Central: New identity after all 5 starters graduated. Seniors Eben Ivy, Kameron Flowers are back. Lincoln-Way West transfer Jacob Vassalla has joined and keep an eye on 5-6 soph Bryce Shoto.

Prospect: Junior guard Owen Schneider led in assists and was third in scoring last year. Senior Chase Larsen is one of the MSL’s top defenders and can score. Both are receiving D3 interest. Seven seniors are back and two sophs, Alex Georgakas and Frank Covey, will contribute.

Providence: Expect some growing pains, but the talent in junior and soph classes is promising. SR Luke Denny, JR’s Jimmy Arentz, Owen Moran are the top returners. Keep an eye on newcomers Jack Wajda, Sean Meeks and Hampton Dauparas.

Providence-St. Mel: Should be much improved from last season. The freshmen and sophs that were forced to play and contribute on last year’s team are a year older and should be better. 6-6 soph Sherod Dent and junior Titus Ervin lead the way.

Raby: Looking to improve on the first 20-win season in school history. Eight seniors graduated but junior Jalen Monroe and soph Zion Oliver picked up valuable experience last season. Watch for 6-5 freshman Shavez Rodgers.

Rich: The new combined program of Rich Central, Rich East and Rich South has a solid foundation with seniors Gary Clay Jr. (16 ppg), 6-6 Devonta Blevins (13 ppg) and Semaj Greer (11 ppg). Keep an eye on Donovan Johnson and Tyler Jones.

Riverside-Brookfield: Junior JP Hanley, a tremendous shooter, is the only starter back but expectations are high. Talented juniors Joevonn McCottry, Joe Gilhooley and Cory Baker will all be big pieces this season. Seniors Julian Colon, Mike Bloodgood will contribute.

Rockford Jefferson: Graduated 4 key seniors from squad that tied the school record for wins. 6-6 Antonio Leavy, Latrell Graham and Robert Harden are the top returners. Junior group has great chemistry and high energy.

Rolling Meadows: Four starters are back from last year’s 20 win team including MSU recruit Max Christie, Cameron Christie, Daniel Sobkowicz, and Orlando Thomas. Overall large group of returning players make this one of the most experienced teams in school history.

Romeoville: Senior-heavy team led by 6-5 Lindenwood commit Trayton Trice. Plenty of size with 6-8 SR Andrew Ambrosia and 6-5 Tyler Johnson and Ramiro Esquivel Uresti.

St. Ignatius: Possible Super 25 team. Things are happening on Roosevelt. 24-9 last season with an epic playoff run. Three starters (Parker Higginbottom, AJ Redd, Kolby Giles) are back along with John Digenan, Richard Barron and Will Horak.

St. Laurence: Darius “Sumo” Wilson and Aaron Wofford are the top returners for new coach Byron Burt, who has been very impressed with the work ethic of his new team. Sumo (Army) and Wofford (Western Michigan) are football recruits, as is Jalen Hamilton (Dayton).

St. Patrick: Super 25 team. Core group has been together a long time, won 24 games last season. Senior Nick Galati is healthy again and joined by Olivet recruit Caleb Corro, 6-6 Michael Hamilton and hot college prospect Timaris Brown, a 6-5 soph. Should be a fun team to watch.

Senn: Ten players return from team that earned promotion to the White-North. Still young though, led by juniors Genarris Williams (16.4 ppg) and Darion Williams (14.8 ppg). Keep an eye on promising soph Temitope Osinowo.

Streamwood: Serious experience with four three-year starters that all averaged more than 10 points last season. The team poured in 72 per game. Zach Marquez, Kyle Maybrun, Jakobe Strong lead the way and newcomer Kody White should make a big contribution.

Streator: Wow, the Bulldogs are big. Two 6-6 guys and a 6-8. They also won 20 games last season. Deep and talented senior class. Keep an eye on 6-6 junior jumping-jack Jack Haynes.

Taft: A mix of upperclassmen and new faces. 6-6 twins David and Danny Loch will have a major impact. Expect 6-5 JR Joseph Rodriguez to lead in scoring/rebounding. Keep an eye on two freshmen, Harper Krolak and Joseph Childers. Goal is to compete for White-North title.

Thornton: Three players return from the 32-win group, including Brandon Hall (East Tennesse State) and Sean Burress. Three transfers have joined. Darius Robinson (Rich South), Reggie Williams (Bowen), 6-4 Jeremiah Timberlake (Thornwood).

Timothy Christian: Several quality players back from 28-5, final four squad. SR wing Josh Harris is closing in on 1,000 points. 6-6 JR Ben VanderWal led in rebounding last year and will score more this season. Ben Jones, Trey Keizer, Marija Marinkovich will be major contributors

Tinley Park: Star AJ Casey left for Young but three starters return in juniors Keon Richardson, Malachi Haythorne and Aa’Reyon Munir-Jones. Will push the pace offensively. Expect newcomers Maurice Evans, Dante Cobbs, Jordan Luckett to make an impact.

Vernon Hills: Will rely heavily on junior class, which won 19 games as sophs. 6-5 JR Erik Rimas is strong in the post and good from three. SR Josiah McDonald is an excellent slasher. Puzzle will be finding the pieces to put around those two.

Waubonsie Valley: Loyola recruit Ben Schwieger has an experienced group of fellow seniors around him, including Adri Malushi, Isaiah Smith, Justin Starks and Carter Langendorf. Junior Tyler Helbing was called up to varsity in January and should have a larger role this season.

West Aurora: An entirely new team with a nice combination of size and athleticism. 6-8 SR Jon Dowd and juniors Isaiah Siler, Kenyon Weekley lead the way. Watch 6-6 junior Ty Rogers.

Westlake: Returns 90% of scoring from last year’s 22-win team. Seniors JP Pontarelli, Matt Lesniewski, and Brant Perry will be influential leading a young group.. Looking for the junior and soph class to make strides.

York: New coach Mike Dunn returns 5 key contributors from last year’s 29-win team including four-year starter, all-con selection Jeffrey Grace and Junior Nick Hesch. 6-6 senior Denton Rhode and Cornell football recruit Luke Malaga are much improved.

Yorkville Christian: Three contributors back from 24-win team. Should be a Class 1A force and one of the area’s most interesting teams. 6-5 JR Jaden Schutt made 130 threes last season, is a big-time recruit. Also keep an eye on 6-3 soph Brayden Long and 6-3 JR Elijah Fisher.