Six juniors that opened eyes in April
There are new high school basketball players on the radar, those who are set to try and impress college coaches in the coming months and set to make a significant impact next season as seniors.
There are new basketball players on the radar, those who are set to try and impress college coaches in the coming months and set to make a significant impact next season as seniors.
They may not be of the high-profile variety with high-major interest or an endless list of offers, but they’ve done enough this spring to impress.
Justin Mullins, Oak Park
The rangy 6-4 wing shined for the Huskies this past winter as an under-the-radar junior. He grew a few inches, popped off a 30-point game and finished the year averaging 15 points, seven rebounds and two steals a game.
Now he’s one of the fastest-rising prospects in the Class of 2022.
Mullins does more to excite you the more you watch him play. While he showcases a pretty multi-dimensional game with an ability to get to the rim and make a shot from the three-point line, he also does a lot of little things to impact his team.
Mullins has established himself as a scholarship player at the Division I level who is blessed with a high ceiling and untapped potential.
Cooper Noard, Glenbrook South
It was a breakout junior year for Noard who put up 18.1 points a game for a 16-2 team. He really made his mark from beyond the arc where he shot 42 percent while making 52 threes in just 17 games.
A 6-1 shot-making guard with deep range, Noard can shoot it off the catch or pull up off the dribble. He also brings a competitive spirit to the floor and plays with some spunk.
Bryce Moore, Carmel
The improvement Moore has shown over the past year is considerable. He’s a player who gets better and better while showcasing exciting physical profile that should draw the attention of Division I coaches this summer.
A slasher to the rim with length and athleticism, the 6-4 Moore is a versatile defender capable of guarding multiple positions — and fill a stat sheet. This past season he averaged 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists a game.
If the perimeter jumper goes from erratic to consistent, Moore will really elevate himself as a prospect.
Jackson Munro, New Trier
A super intriguing 6-8 big man with length and mobility, the junior has a developing game that continues to get better.
Munro had an impactful junior season for the Trevians and has played well for Fundamental U this spring. He moves well, gets off the floor and has touch around the basket with solid footwork and a little step-back jumper.
Munro, who has the potential to emerge as a scholarship player, also shows hints of being able to handle the ball and face up and knock down perimeter shots.
Bobby Durkin, Hinsdale South
The 6-5 wing is a flat-out shooting threat. Whether he’s knocking down wide open threes off kick-out passes or hitting contested shots, Durkin is one of the better shooters in the class.
In addition to his shooting prowess, Durkin is as crafty of a player as you will find. The shooting and craftiness helps offset the athletic limitations. He has exhibited his elite shooting this spring on the club circuit with Breakaway.
Durkin will be a hot commodity among all small college programs and a player who could grab the attention of Ivy League programs with his outstanding academics.
Yogi Oliff, Niles North
There are those who just know how to play the game and, in particular, the point guard position. That’s Oliff.
This smooth 6-2 point guard motors the ball up the floor in transition pretty effortlessly and sees the floor well while offering some flashy playmaking. He’s a fun player with true talent.
If Oliff, who is already a solid Division II prospect, can show he can consistently knock down perimeter jumpers
And a Class of 2021 riser …
KJ Debrick, Springfield Lanphier
While he is going the prep school route and will reclassify to the Class of 2022 next year, the 6-8 big man was an eye-opener at the Prep Hoops Chi-Town Tip-Off.
In a year where so many players took a step back or their development stagnated due to the limitations of the past year, Debrick is a player who clearly improved. He looks like a different player than the last time watching him play. Both his game and body came out better on the other side of the year-long basketball battle with the pandemic.
Debrick, who has bulk and a large wingspan, has reshaped his body, become assertive and more comfortable offensively. Throw in a workable perimeter jumper for a 5-man, and it’s easy to see Debrick becoming a valued mid-major target going forward with the year of prep school ahead of him.