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 2021-22 Twitter Previews
Ag. Science: Tied for White-South title in 2019 and 2020 and looking to win it outright this season. Senior Justin Sadder averaged 18 points last season and senior Shawn Frison is an excellent shooter. Sterling Chears, Vijay Barner are the top newcomers.
Antioch: Former DePaul Prep assistant Sean Connor takes over as coach. Five juniors that played varsity last year return in Nathan Young, Kyle Glassman, Joe Neumann, Jake Mallek, Jordan DeVaughn. Watch 6-3 freshman Marshall Gehrke.
Argo: Everyone returns from last season. Hoping that good chemistry and work ethic translate to success. 6-5 Will Adams averaged 13 and 9 . Moe Abukhadra is a D3 caliber guard and Evan Shelton is a strong shooter. Point guard Damian Munoz is the best leader in the program.
Austin: Should be a force in the White-West. Senior Tyjuan Freeman is a four-year starter, averaged 17 last year. High hopes for two newcomers, 6-5 sophomore Jeffrey Hall and speedy junior point guard Quavadis Temples.
Barrington: Should be one of the area’s better teams. Four starters return from MSL West champs. 6-6 senior Will Grudzinski and Daniel Hong lead the way and are joined by 6-9 Nate Bolt, guards Evan Jno-Baptiste and Nick Bordenet.
Bartlett: Soph Kelton McEwen, senior Ian Smith and 7-2 senior Conrad Luczynski are returning all-conference players for the defending Upstate Eight champs. Luczynski is believed to be the tallest player in the state.
Batavia: Four starters return. Point guard Trent Tousana is a three-year starter. Joined by AJ Sanders in the backcourt. Two Wisconsin-Parkside recruits, 6-7 Ethan Ivan and 6-9 Austin Ambrose, provide some nice size. Should be competitive in the DuKane.
Beecher: The first outright conference championship in 20 years and the school record of 22 wins are both within reach. Top three scorers return in Duane Doss, Mitch Landis and soph Adyn McGinley. 6-5 junior Rio Llamas is a major addition to play with the three guards.
Belvidere North: Four starters return (Ethan Andrew, Aaron Winters, Jacob Bucher, Evan Horgan). Had a very successful summer. Good chemistry. Top newcomer is 6-0 sophomore guard Adam Brown.
Bishop McNamara: A long football run could make an impact. All 5 starters back including junior Jaxson Provost, Nolan Czako, Frank Fouts, Al Smith, Colton Provost. Not big, but can run, score and guard full court.
Bremen: New coach Matt Humphrey takes over a group with a lot of seniors returning including Tyshawn Hayes, Cameran Wheatley, 6-5 Masson Eubanks, 6-4 Demarco Mason, 6-8 Amir Gause.
Brother Rice: Junior Ahmad Henderson, one of last season’s breakout stars, returns. He will have an increased scoring roll. Nick Niego could have a big year and 6-5 Khalil Ross and Jayden Watson provide skilled length. Majority junior group will be together the next 2 seasons.
Buffalo Grove: Many players stepping into new roles. Kam Craft has transferred but last season’s sixth man Adidas Davis, a 6-3 senior, has improved. Identical twins Josh and Kyle Grote and seniors Jacob Heinrich, Alex Beihoffer, Peter Baker are the key guys.
Bulls Prep: Plan is to secure a fifth Noble League title and make noise in the state tournament. Casey Mobley, Kameron Pointer, 6-6 Tyshaun Oliver return. High expectations for two 6-3 sophomores, Jalen James and Melvin Dower.
Chicago Academy: Four senior starters return, led by guard Anthony Zepeda. Keep an eye on point guard Noah Salman. This group has finished 9-1 and 17-6 the last two seasons. Will push for promotion.
Chicago Christian: Finished above .500 the last 6 seasons and streak should continue. Evan Ortiz is the only returning starter. Junior Brock Brown could be one of the conference’s stop shooters. 6-4 junior Luke Jelderks is an excellent rebounder. Heading to Orlando for xmas.
Clemente: New coach Greg Fleming says the goal is to win the White-West. Tough schedule on tap with games against Farragut, Clark, Curie and Fenwick. Just one player returns from last year’s team.
Comer: A young team with good size and speed. Senior leader Curtis Smothers averaged a double-double last season. He will team with junior Tyrone Price to try and win a Noble League championship.
Crystal Lake South: Returns a trio of double-digit scorers in Cooper LePage, Isaiah Kirkeeng and Arnav Jain. Brady Schroeder, Zach Peltz, Nate Stewart and Cam Miller are also back.
Danville: Competitive schedule should help Vikings improve as the season progresses. 6-5 all-conference junior O’Shawn Jones-Winslow returns as well as senior Martez Rhodes and junior Johnny Ireland. Keep an eye on freshman Jayvaughn “Diddy” Robinson.
Deerfield: Five seniors return who started games last season, led by All-conference point guard Luke Woodson. Big things expected from seniors Oliver Nitsun, Aidan Galvan and Sam Schecter. Cooper Venamore is the glue guy. Watch for junior Jacob Cohn and 6-7 freshman Drew Rodgers.
DeKalb: Good experience returning along with an infusion of youth should be a nice combination. Lane McVicar, Tyler Westberg and Demarria Davis are all back. Junior Darrell Island and freshman Sean Reynolds are the top newcomers.
DePaul Prep: This group waited its turn behind last year’s accomplished seniors. 6-9 Dylan Arnett is a Milwaukee recruit. Guard Trevon Thomas will open some eyes. 6-6 guards Payton Kamin and Jaylan McElroy are intriguing sophs.
Dyett: Went 8-1 last season and are ready to win the White Central again. Eagles have won 20+ games every season since reopening in 2016. Tavarius Vinson, a 7-1 senior, leads the way. Keep an eye on newcomers Vijay Wallace, DeAndre Nobles, Malik Johnson and Neveah Clinkscales.
Eisenhower: Young and inexperienced with just one starter returning. Will have highs and lows with some very talented sophs including Zion Carr, Darrion Pippen, Ayipey Salinas, AJ Abranms. Seniors Alonzo Powe, Amarrio Mizelle, Aaron Bey expected to provide leadership.
Elk Grove: Young and undersized with only 2 seniors on the team. Will try to play half court. Having a successful fall. Top returners are Josh Mottley, Jaden Alberson, Joe Martorano, Garrett Ewen. Left York holiday tournament and will play at Maine East’s tournament this season.
Elmwood Park: Hopes to rebound from a challenging season. Senior guard Frank Guiglio is the only returning starter. Senior Kian Movagh returns after oping out last season and will be counted on tremendously. 6-4 senior Rolando Gallegos could be a force on both ends of the court.
Evergreen Park: An up-tempo offense that will rely on creating offense from defensive pressure. Sophomore Nolan Sexton averaged 16 points and shot 40% from three as a freshman. 6-4 senior Malik Kelly averaged a double-double last season and will lead the way.
Farragut: Sophomore point guard Jonathan Calmese is a rising star. Juniors Justin Pickens and Eric Powell return along with 6-4 soph Jemari Pickens. 6-4 freshman Tayvion Gaiters will play varsity and is one to watch. Admirals getting it done in the classroom with a 3.4 team GPA.
Fenger: Looking to win the White-South and contend for the Class 1A state title they were so close to in 2020. 6-4 guard Lonnel Strickland, point gurad Isaiah Hall and 6-5 junior Jordan Rowls return.
Fenwick: Coach Tony Young has a solid returning core with 6-3 senior Denium Juette, 6-5 senior Gabe Madej and 5-11 senior TJ Stephenson. Damion Porter Jr., a 6-3 freshman, is the top newcomer.
Francis Parker: Slightly undersized but looking to compete in the ISL. Young with just two seniors, Jackson Antonow and Sam Laser, in the starting five. Sophs Sam Forst and Connor Elligan are the top newcomers.
Fremd: The consistently competitive Vikings have a nice group returning. All-conference guards Eli Schoffstall and Chris Smyros are joined by senior Archie Cox, juniors Caiden Suchy and Ryan Sammons and a handful of others with some varsity experience.
Glenbard East: No starters return, expect them to get better as the season advances. 6-4 senior Tyrese Buffkin could have a breakout year. Seniors Isaiah Calvin and Jordan Rech will contribute and juniors Jack Ryan and Troy Cooper are coming off solid summers.
Glenbard West: Possible preseason No. 1 behind POY candidate 6-10 Braden Huff (Gonzaga), 6-6 Caden Pierce (Princeton), 6-8 Ryan Renfro (Army), 6-4 Paxton Warden, 6-7 Bobby Durkin (Army) has transferred in from Hinsdale South. 6-4 Kent Buchholz is the top junior.
Glenbrook North: Leading scorer and All-CSL junior Ryan Cohen returns with 6-5 sophomore Pat Schaller looking to be a force inside. Seniors Grant Kosla and Blake Lidskin bring experience. Watch sophomore point guard Josh Fridman.
Grant Park: Soph coach Matt Russell takes over a varsity group that graduated 90% of its scoring. Top returners are forwards Sawyer Loitz and Wes Schneider. Could be a breakout season for 6-6 junior John Kveck.
Grayslake Central: Deep roster with good mix of returners and exciting newcomers. Nathan Ulrichs, Dennis Estepp, Brendan Whalen lead the way. Juniors Kai Taylor, Michael Monahan and Jake Gibson will make an immediate impact.
Grayslake North: Will compete for conference title with three starters back and a deep bench. Defensive whiz Joseph Valera, Jacob Donahue and shooter Dominic Jankowski return. Big things are expected of freshman guard Jayden Hunt.
Harvest Christian: Should be contenders in the NAC. Will be led by junior Ben Lothery, who averaged 18 points last season. Fellow juniors Antonio Wilder and Daniel Winkelman will join him in the backcourt. Sophs JJ Gonnam, Caleb Callahan, Kaden Meeker are the top newcomers.
Hersey: Athletic, deep team of versatile, multisport athletes who compete hard at both ends. Should grow into a solid defensive team. Look for youth to help carry scoring load.
Hinsdale South: New coach Ashraf Amaya has experience back from a team that has won conference 4 of the last 5 years. 6-7 senior Garrett Bolte, Deon Bomar and Lucas Duffy are the top returners. St. Rita transfer Elijah Fields is a big addition and watch 6-5 soph Brendan Savage.
Hoffman Estates: Returning a lot of experience. Twin guards Mike and Nick Vuckovic will pace the Hawks offensively. Good size on the wing with 6-4 seniors Darien Irvin and Luka Sparavalo. DJ Wallace, a 6-7 junior, will open eyes with skill and athleticism.
Homewood-Flossmoor: Senior Christian Meeks is the only returning starter. Nashawn Holmes, Luis Acevedo and Lee Marks are primed for breakout seasons. Keep an eye on junior Jayden Maxwell.
HSA Southwest: Undefeated and won the first conference title in school history last season. Rebuilding now and will depend heavily on the Payton brothers, soph Kaivon and senior Kevin. Isaiah Earnest also returns.
Hubbard: Basically the same team as last season. Guards Arion Johnson, Jumario Johnson and Asean Johnson all return. They are not related. Arion is a terrific shooter, Jumario is an athlete with potential.
Huntley: Nine seniors, a hard-working group with good depth. Senior guard Aiden Wieczorek is a high-level D3 player. Ben Ahmer led in scoring last season. Adam Guazzo, Nate Ary, Chet Andrews, Ian Ravagnie, Noah Only, John Kramer also all return.
Hyde Park: Returns 84% of its scoring, assists and rebounds. Remember the name Davontae Hall. The senior could be the city’s breakout star this season. Camron Willford, Damarion Morris, Malik Jenkins are back and 6-5 guard Byron Hobbs Jr. transferred in from Lindblom.
IC Catholic: Nice balance of senior leadership and young talent. Seniors John Hilgart, Antonio Richardson, Augie Wassman, Liam Johnson are three-year varsity players. Junior Kal Kilgast could have a breakout season. Sophs Aidan Johnson and Jake Gallagher will make a big impact.
Jacobs: Backcourt should be a strength with senior guard Nick McCoy returning along with junior guard Jackson Martucci. Senior guard Isiah Jackson could have a huge impact along with 6-4 senior Avery Ross. 6-4 soph Grant Stec (major football recruit) will be improved.
Johnsburg: Implemented Loyola Marymount’s 1990’s system last year and averaged 73 ppg. Should get faster and better this season. Junior Dylan Schmidt (averaged 19), 6-6 Jacob Welch, Ian Boal, Luke Conroy, Joe Wolff, Jake Metze are the top returners.
Jones: Hopes to use experience to compensate for a lack of size. Ro Franklin, James Mattar and twins Devin and Jordan Boston were key contributors last year and return. Junior Keenan Houlihan and sophomore Ethan Samuels will contribute immediately.
Julian: Has a chance to be promoted, led by returning seniors Genesis English and Demetrius Tulloch. Juniors Darrell Brown and Larry Carthans will be next in line. Three sophomores will play varsity and have a chance to be special.
Kankakee: 6-3 guard Pierre Allen and point guard Nate Hill will lead the way. Tomele Staples also saw significant minutes last season. Keep an eye on sophomore guard Larenz Walters. 9 football players are on the team, could delay things.
Lake Forest Academy: New group that will need to get some games under their belt. Players from six different countries Darius Duff, Michael Nowak, Shaedon Simpson return. Top newcomvers are 6-8 Sano Rutatika, 6-6 Simon Weisserman and guard Rashad Smith.
Lake Park: Four starters return, Vito LaGioia, Sebastian Blachut, Matt Zakic and Desmond Horton. 6-4 soph Tommy Rochford is the only big, has nice touch and footwork. Horton is an excellent football player and qualified for state in the long jump and triple jump.
Lake View: Looking to be competitive in the White North behind senior wing David Robinson and Aziz Bayoudh. Two freshman, Daniel Loza and Nicholas Rogers, will be key players.
Lake Zurich: The Bears return a pair of players that earned major minutes last spring in 6-2 senior Nick Pezzella and 6-3 Brady Sykes. Aleks Popovic and Brendan Powers also return. Sophs Jon Fleaka and Nick Popovic should contribute as well.
Lakes: Young, but 3 juniors played meaningful minutes last season. Good athleticism and strong outside shooting. Will need to develop depth. Senior guard Ethan McGruder and 6-6 junior Brock Marino are the top returners. Juniors Tyson Dewey, Cade Primack will have major roles.
Larkin: Chance to be very good. Not big, but North Dakota State recruit Damari Wheeler-Thomas and Fernando Perez are four-year varsity players. Jamarion Stubbs and Dontrell Maxie are hard-nosed. Soph Jacob Blakely could be a special player. Elite shooter and a great ball handler.
Legal Prep: Senior guards Davon Gram and Tyler Ford lead a team hoping its team defense will make it a CPS White-West contender. A lot will depend on juniors Anthony Wilson and Jaquan Smith and the development of sophs Wayne Flowers and Jamal Craig.
Leo: Special group that could surprise. All five starters return, including Cam Cleveland, Tyler Smith, JaKeem Cole and Christian Brockett. 6-5 junior Jarrod Gee Jr. (Jerry Gee’s son) and 6-5 soph TaVariyuen Williams are the top newcomers.
Lincoln-Way East: Rich Kolimas is starting his 22nd year as coach. He has a talented, but young team with only two seniors. Good size with 6-6 George Bellevue, 6-5 Kyle Olagbegi, 6-6 soph Mac Hagemaster. Keep an eye on 6-2 junior Tylon Tolliver, an excellent scorer.
Lockport: Seven players return from 12-4 squad. Could contend for conference and regional titles. Ethan Gallagher and Anthony Munson are the top guys. Niko and Alex Vassilakis can both shoot well and Khari Carpenter had an excellent summer. Keep an eye on soph leaper Jalen Falcon
Longwood: Reloaded after losing six seniors that went on to play college basketball. Panthers didn’t play last season. Senior guards Terrence Jones and Da’Qwon Hargrove lead the way along with junior Kamarr Evans and 6-6 sophomore Jeremiah Johnson. Four transfers have joined.
Loyola: Good group of seniors with depth. Looking for 5th straight regional, third Sweet 16. Should grow into a good defensive team. Max Garcia is the only returning starter. 6-5 Connor Casper can score on all 3 levels. Junior Alex Engro, a scorer, should have a breakout season.
Mahomet-Seymour: Luke Koller, a 6-9 senior, anchors the middle. Strong junior class led by Blake Wolters, Ben Wagner and football standouts Wyatt Bohm and Quenton Rogers. Dream Eagle and Nolan Nierenhausen provide senior leadership. Should be the favorites in the Apollo.
Manteno: Won 3 of their final 4 games last season with two freshmen starting. 6-3 senior Manny Carerra will be a matchup problem for many teams and 6-4 soph guard Nicky Johnson should take a major step forward after a good summer.
Marist: Brian Hynes takes over as coach. Young team. Juniors Xavier Sulaiman, Leirre Collier, Mason Ross will lead the way with senior Sebastian Drag. Two freshmen will be on varsity, 6-3 forward Achilles Anderson and guard Marquis Vance.
Marmion: Four-year starter Sean Kavanaugh leads a group heavy on juniors and sophs. Soph Trendell Whiting could make a big leap this season. 6-5 Trevon Roots, 6-4 Jabe Haith provide length and athleticism. Former Indian Creek coach Joe Piekarz takes over.
Metamora: Returns all the starters from 15-4 squad. Should be deeper this season. Shot 41% from three last year and expecting to be better. 6-6 D1 prospect Ethan Kizer leads the way. Luke DeFrance, Drew Tucker, Zack Schroeder, Tyson Swanson round out the lineup and can all shoot.
Minooka: Senior heavy team with a lot of experience back from last season. Senior point guard Ricky Hill Jr. is primed for a breakout season. All-state football player Trevor Hudak averaged 14 points and shot 40% from three last season. Track star Darren Anderson also returns.
Momence: In the mix for River Valley title in first year back after leaving in 2005. Starters Jaden Walls, Haven Roberts, 6-7 James Stevenson Jr. return.
Montini: Connected group that could surprise. Versatile 6-4 senior Andrew Stokes, Estevan Moreno (Notre Dame baseball commit), Vincent Burger and Ned Kalata will play big roles. Emory Marshall, a junior from St. Joseph, has transferred in.
Mount Carmel: Will compete for CCL title behind star guard Deandre Craig, much improved 6-6 Elijah Jointer and guard Eddy Lyons. Myles Griffith also returns. Ciravino brothers, Anthony and Angleo, could be the difference-makers. Deep, with the best freshman class in a decade.
Mundelein: Graduated top six, so there are questions to be answered. 6-6 Chris Martin and guard Tyler Moenning are three-year varsity players. Two football players, Omari Rhinehart and Brock Paluch, will make an impact. Freshman guard Derek Bishop should establish himself.
Naperville North: Graduated 4 starters. Returning starter is senior Zeke Williams. Sophomore Luke Williams (Zeke’s younger brother) played on the varsity last year as a freshman. 7 players will join team after fall sports (5 football/2 soccer). Good senior leadership.
Nazareth: Senior forward Dominic Trelenberg will lead the way for a strong junior class that includes Matt Uphues, Declan Foley, Kharon Cotton, Anthony Cullotta and Rocco Solano. Keep an eye on talented sophomore Talen Pearson.
Niles North: Chance to be good but will take lumps early. Deep senior class with Yogi Oliff, AJ Harris, Dejour Stevens and Pervis Brunson. Deepest talent ever at frosh/soph level.
Niles West: Three key seniors returning in Moses LeBlanc, Aidan Flowers and 6-6 Lucas Vidrean. That core is expected to step up this season. Sophomore Davee Flowers is the top newcomer.
North Lawndale: Could be much better than people realize. Talented junior guards Damarion Wyatt and Ronald Chambers return. 6-6 junior Aidon Parker and 6-5 senior Vincent Mayes provide size. Keep an eye on 6-2 sophomore guard Tyshaun Moore.
Notre Dame: An awful lot graduated but talent remains. Junior Sonny Williams and senior Mac Ross are three-year varsity players. Bryce Coleman, a 6-6 junior, has transferred from St. Rita. Good size with 6-5 Yann Kouotou, 6-6 Sherod Dent and 6-10 soph Stefan Cicic.
Oak Lawn: All-conference backcourt of John McGowan and Nicco Reyes returns. 6-6, 265 pound senior Davion Lawnrence will present some matchup problems. Very deep with several returning seniors. Soph guard Corey Lee has a chance to be a special player.
Oak Park: First full season under coach Phil Gary, who says the Huskies will look to play in transition more. Senior Justin Mullins (6-5) and junior Sam Lewis (6-6) are skilled and experienced. 6-9 senior John Vincent and guards Max Murray and Raimon Yarbrough also return.
Oswego: All-conference guard Max Neisman and 6-6 football recruit Deakon Tonelli return along with five other seniors and a strong junior class. Caleb Wright, Kyle Zeck, Fabiain Cruiel, Mark Melton will all contribute. Soph Jordan Brooks should make an impact.
Oswego East: A competitive and experienced group returns. Leaders Patrick Robinson and Mekhi Lowery have a solid group of players around them including seniors DeVon Oregon, Darren Oregon, and Gavin Garcon. Juniors Ryan Johnson, Tyler Jasek and Joey Patti will provide depth.
Palatine: Only one starter back (6-4 junior Tyler Swierczek). But Grant Dersnah, Sam Millstone and Bobby Widlowski all logged good minutes last year. 6-5 sophomore Connor May is a versatile player that should be productive.
Pana: The goal is big-time hardware. Senior Brenden Schoonover is a lightning quick quard and pickpocket. Senior Colin Schmitz is an excellent shooter, Kyle Kuhn is the glue guy and rebounder. Devon Peebles and Max Lynch are talented juniors.
Payton: Will be competitive each night and challenge in the White-West. Seven returning seniors including point guard Julian Villegas. Strong junior class includes 6-6 forward Nate Raub.
Peoria: Goal is to win the Big 12 and make a state run. Five seniors return including Lerone Allen, Nate Moore, Staishaun Kelly, DaShawn Wells and Cesse Cain. 6-6 junior Eli Love is also back and watch for 6-2 freshman LeShawn Stowers.
Perspectives-Leadership: Goal is to win the White-South and move up to the Red for the first time in school history. Jaquwan Payton, Jabari Sanders and Daniel Winters return from 8-2 squad. Newcomers Matthew Neal, Tim Handy, Jalen Hudson-Kittler will contribute.
Perspectives-MSA/Joslin: Goal is to win the White-West and be promoted to the Red for the first time in school history. Deep, led by senior trio of Keshan Ramsey, Deon Cox, Darrion Mason. Four of the six seniors on the team have attended Perspectives since seventh grade.
Phoenix: New coach Kejuan Skanes may be the youngest in CPS. Goal is to win the Blue-West behind 6-4 senior Jamon Gooden, junior Ki’Aon Williams and seniors James Riggs, Allen Duncan and Julian Morales. Freshmen Willie Smith III and Cameron Mack will make an impact off the bench.
Plainfield Central: Returns 7 players including junior guard Bryce Shoto and senior guard Donovan Brown. There’s a trio of big men in 6-7 Luke Cervelli, 6-5 Colin Bailye and 6-5 Marquese Dotson. Group has a high basketball IQ and a good worth ethic.
Plainfield North: Should be exciting with returners Mason Delaney, Demir Ashiru and Drew Czarnik. Strong backcourt. Newcomer Grant Zak, a 6-4 senior, is long and athletic.
Plainfield South: Seniors Zander Tubbs, Tim Ward and junior NOlan Gerdich are all straight-A students and keys to the Cougars’ success this season. Senior Kenyi Callahan is a great rebounder and defender, fuels the team’s intensity and defensive attitude.
Plano: Top five players return from last season. Senior Mason Accidentale averaged 20 points and made 56 three-pointers in 17 games last season. 6-5 Tristian Canfield adds some size.
Pontiac: Young but talented. Senior Kodi Davis returns along with 6-5 junior Logan Barnett, last season’s leading scorer. Michael Kuska, who started as a freshman last season, leads a talented sophomore class. Future is bright.
Prospect: Brad Rathe, a longtime assistant at the school, takes over. Point guard Owen Schneider was one of last season’s breakout surprises. He’s will be joined in the backcourt by junior Alex Georgakis. Frank Covey and Owen Walter will need to transition quickly from football.
Providence: Veteran group with 11 seniors, led by three-year players Jimmy Arentz, Owen Moran, Jack Wajda. Depth and versatility will be the strength. Keep an eye on 6-6 junior Collin Moran. Can score at all levels and has a high upside.
Raby: Looking to compete for the White-West title. Lost last season’s leading scorer but three-year starter Jalen Monroe and a host of seniors return along with junior guards Jajuan Folks and Dorian Perry.
Rantoul: Solid senior core back with Marcus Lee, Avontay Anderson and Angel Soto. 6-6 junior Jacksen Adkins is looking to make a name for himself. Keep an eye on freshman guard Conner Smith.
Reavis: Will be young, undersized and inexperienced. Coach Nick Bouhoutsos isn’t sugar coating things. Bryan Duron is the only returning starter. Sophomores Gabe Herrnanez and Oswaldo Rodriguez will contribute.
Richards: All-conference guard Santiago Rios returns along with Ladarius Kelley, Monte Storey and Travis Garmon. Two transfers from Corliss, Deven Jiles and Lavelle Nash, will step in and help immediately.
Riverside-Brookfield: Could be a big year. Bulldogs return the four leading scorers from 11-2 squad. Excellent shooting team, small but skilled. Seniors JP Hanley, Joevonn McCottry, Cory Baker, Joe Gilhooley lead the way. High expectations for 6-5 soph Will Gonzalez.
Rolling Meadows: Cameron Christie moves into the spotlight. The 6-5 junior has Orlando Thomas, Foster Ogbonna and Lukas Paisley back with him. Keep an eye on 6-6 Mark Nickolich-Wilson, 6-6 Tsvet Sotirov and 6-5 freshman guard Ian Militec.
Romeoville: Young and athletic, led by junior guard Troy Cicero Jr., a Joliet Central transfer. Expect breakout seasons from soph Meyoh Swansey, freshman Keshaun Vival. Jordan Armstrong, Jacob Fruty, TJ Lee, Jaquise Warren, Kedrick Howard, Corey Jones are key contributors.
St. Charles East: The shooting of 6-6 Rahul Gor and 6-5 Trent Warren coupled with the motor of AJ Gaca and a strong junior class should make the Saints very competitive.
St. Charles North: Looking to win third consecutive regional. Plenty of size with 6-5 Max Love, 6-4 Jude Love, 6-4 Ned Hayes. Need to get solid guard play from senior Justin Hughes and junior Mason Siegfried. Unselfish group that has played together for years.
St. Edward: Top newcomer Michael O’Brien, a 6-0 junior, will clearly lead the Green Wave to glory. My unrelated namesake is surrounded by four returning starters in Jacob Breier, Robert Wilson, Ben Zielinski and Kaden Dawson. Should be Metro Red contenders.
St. Francis: Rock solid backcourt with two three-year starers, 6-3 seniors Sebastian Miller and Brendan Yarusso. Jack Brennan, Sean Kilian, Nik Rowlan, Colin Kiesler return and football players TJ McMillen and Blake Lawson join the team after a season off.
St. Ignatius: Athletics revival is in full swing on Roosevelt. Could be a special season. AJ Redd, Kolby Giles, Richard Barron, Jackson Kotecki all return. Size, talent and experience. Miles Casey, a senior guard, returns after a year off. Emmet O’Schaugnessy is back from injury.
St. Joseph-Ogden: 6-6 junior Ty Pence has multiple D1 offers and is joined by seniors Evan Ingram and Andrew Beyers. Soph guard Logan Smith will contribute. Scoring isn’t an issue. Defensive improvement will be key to making a postseason run.
St. Patrick: Big group graduated, but very talented senior Timaris Brown returns. Seniors Sergio Rivera and Bryant Handley and junior Andrew Ayeni will be key players. Guard Brandon Adorno transferred in from Mather. Keep an eye on freshman EJ Breland.
St. Viator: Lions will play at a faster pace according to second-year coach Michael O’Keefe. Eli Aldana (15 points, 4.5 assists) was one of the most productive sophs in the state. He’ll be joined by fellow juniors RJ Gamble, Dillon Schmidt and Hunter Duncan (La Lumiere transfer).
Sandburg: New coach John Daniels takes over. The Eagles will be led by senior point guard Ty Binns and scorer Ryan McPolin. Junior Om Shukla is an excellent shooter and sophomore Paulius Mizeras is one to keep an eye on.
Somonauk: Seeking first regional title in 30 years and going for Little 10 tournament and regular season titles. Returning 55 ppg from last season. Alex Krejci, Brendan Roberts and Brock Zimmerman are excellent athletes. Jaden Werchman and Coleton Eade are the top newcomers.
Streator: Defending I8 champs looking to repeat and more. Deep senior class led by 6-6 Jack Haynes and guard Jack Starkey. Both are four year varsity guys. 6-2 sophomore Christian Benning showed flashes of brilliance as a freshman last season.
Thornton: Michigan transfer Ty Rodgers is a top 50 national player and POY contender. He joins 6-7 Kelsey Tarver and guards Montreal McCullough, Vincent Rainey, Wadell Bell. Should be a fun season in Harvey.
TF South: Xavier Lewis, a 6-6 senior, with five D1 offers, leads the way along with 6-5 senior Jalen Dale. Lewis has been an under-the-radar star in the area, is a four-year varsity player. Top newcomers are soph point guard Sam Townsend and junior shooter Caleb Newman.
Timothy Christian: Furman recruit Ben VanderWal is one of the state’s top seniors. He does it all, scores, rebounds and defends. Two juniors, 6-3 Trey Keizer and guard Kyle Steiner, will play vital roles. Big things possible with so much experience back from 14-2 squad.
Tinley Park: Possibly the most talented team coach DJ Brown has had in his 15 years. Guards Keon Richardson and Malachi Haythorne are joined by 6-7 Westinghouse transfer Martell Webb and 6-6 Brother Rice transfer Nick Harrell. Keep an eye on 6-7 junior Amarion Johnson.
Tuscola: Loyola recruit Jalen Quinn is one of the state’s top seniors. 6-3 forward Haven Hatfield also has loads of experience. Seniors Preston Brown, Thomas Brown, Rajan Patel, James Parsley also return. High expectations for this Class 1A team.
Vernon Hills: Took some lumps in February but earned experience. Senior point guard Max Brusso is the spark plug. 6-5 forward Erik Rimas is a three-year starter and physical presence. Justin St. Louis, Nick Heiser, Milan Raval round out the hard-working returning core.
Vocational: Expecting to make a splash in the Public League. Four returning starters, led by 6-4 senior Lashawn Pollard who averaged 15 and 14 last season and should improve. Point guard Coyne Turner and 6-5 Travon Franklin are keys. Keep an eye on soph Valentino Code.
Waubonsie Valley: Tyler Helbing is the lone returning starter. Seniors Ashton Baula, Jacob Razo, Samy Ennassiri, and Caleb Neal will provide leadership. Juniors Shoi Rathi and Jackson Langendorf should produce immediately. A talented sophomore group will be in the fold as well.
West Aurora: The Blackhawks might be back. Four starters return and the talent level is high again with 6-7 senior Ty Rogers, a healthy Isaiah Siler, 6-5 Kenyon Weekly and St. Rita transfer Josh Pickett.
Westinghouse: Six key players graduated and one transferred. Warriors will be talented but young. Josh West, Damarion Seaton and 6-4 junior DJ Butler will lead. Keep an eye on sophomore Askia Bullie, a transfer from Kenwood.
Wheeling: 6-3 senior Aima Igiehon is the only returning starter for second-year coach Tom Antosz. Keep an eye on 5-11 senior guard JJ Kaspar, 6-3 senior guard Elijah Hutchinson and his brother, 6-4 junior Josh Hutchinson.
Woodstock: Looking to bounce back from 0-13 season. Senior point guard Javari Garay is back after a year off and will be the top player. Deep team with good core of seniors and solid juniors. 6-5 sophomore Spencer Cullum will be a difference maker.
York: Returns two three-year varsity players in Drew Kircher and Nick Hesch along with sixth-man Alex Sherman. 6-5 junior Adam Hardek and 6-5 senior Aiden McGovern provide some size. Braden Richardson and AJ Levine are promising sophomores.
Yorkville Christian: Duke recruit Jaden Schutt and the Mustangs have their sights set on the Class 1A state title. That’s just fun to type again. Champaign in March. Brayden Long, KJ Vasser, Tyler Burrows, Jehvion Starwood and Elijah Fisher all return as well.