11 players who raised their stock this season

A look at the best players throughout the state from this past season, including plenty who raised their stock and status.

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Mount Carmel’s Angelo Ciaravino (33) shoots the ball over De La Salle.

Mount Carmel’s Angelo Ciaravino (33) shoots the ball over De La Salle.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

A look at all the best from individual players throughout the state from this past season, including plenty who raised their stock and status.

Best player: Braden Huff

Like so many of the postseason accolades being handed out from this past season, it’s Glenbard West once again when it comes to the best individual player.

Huff, the skilled and versatile senior heading to Gonzaga, was his best in the biggest games. And has been noted so many times this season, Huff is a generational-type talent in how he plays the game at his size.

Too bad the national evaluators and recruiting services failed to take notice.

Runner-Up: Ty Rodgers

The Illinois commit transferred in from Michigan at the start of the school year and simply carried a Thornton team that would have otherwise struggled.

The Wildcats finished 23-6 behind the stat-sheet-stuffing play of Rodgers, a rugged, athletic and unselfish star.

Biggest senior stock riser: Amarion Nimmers

The Rock Island guard was an afterthought after playing very little off the bench for the Illinois Wolves in the spring and summer on the AAU circuit. But he was a star all winter long, earning Division I offers and interest.

The 6-2 guard was a record-setting player at a school with a long and established basketball history. He broke the single season record for points in a season with 744 and single-game record with 45. He also finished as the second all-time leading scorer in school history with 1,369.

Runner-Up: Bobby Durkin

What a senior season the Hinsdale South transfer put together for state champion Glenbard West.

The 6-6 Durkin settled in with the Hilltoppers and became the most consistent scoring threat behind Player of the Year Braden Huff.

His state tournament run, which included a record-breaking performance in the state semifinals with seven three-pointers and 30 points in the win over Bolingbrook, has opened eyes. Both Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois have offered with other Division I interest still simmering.

Honorable mention: Jonah Hinton

A no-namer coming into the season — at least outside the DuPage Valley Conference — Hinton remained one of the most overlooked players in the area, even after a spectacular senior season.

But it was enough to skyrocket up the City/Suburban Hoops Report player rankings and land an offer from the best Division II program in the country.

Hinton, who averaged 20 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists, offers a blend of scoring ability in the backcourt while also making others around him better. The 6-1 guard is headed to Northwest Missouri State, a program that is shooting for its eye-opening and impressive fourth Division II national title in the last six years.

Coach Ben McCollum, a hot name this spring in the Division I coaching hiring cycle, won titles in 2017, 2019 and 2021 and is 31-5 this year and in the Division II Elite Eight.

Most underrated senior: Will Grudzinski

This was an all-area type caliber player who simply was overlooked as the season played out. Fortunately, Grudzinski and his Barrington team made a deep run and the 6-7 wing was seen by everyone in the State Finals in Champaign.

Time and time again the versatile Grudzinski came up big, especially down the stretch of the regular season and into state tournament play.

He averaged nearly 20 points and chipped in five rebounds while knocking down 102 three-pointers for a team that finished third in the state.

Grudzinski shined in the state semifinal loss to Young, scoring 24 points with four three-pointers. He scored 23 points to beat Rolling Meadows and combined for 51 points in two regional wins.

Grudzinski is quite the steal for Division III Washington University in St. Louis.

Biggest junior stock riser: Miles Rubin

The jump the 6-8 Rubin has made since his days at Homewood-Flossmoor, and even since his arrival at Simeon last June, has been impressive.

A defensive presence around the basket with his size, length and instincts, Rubin continued to show off an emerging offensive game over the course of his sophomore campaign. He finished the season averaging 15.5 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Runner-Up: Wesley Rubin

While his game and body are both different, the twin brother of Miles Rubin was right with him as a stock-rising player in the junior class.

Wesley Rubin shows some skill and footwork with a bigger body as he averaged 13 points and six rebounds.

Honorable mention: Brock Harding

The pure point guard from Moline opened eyes on the recruiting front while playing last summer with Mid-Pro Academy on the AAU circuit. But the 5-11 Harding only enhanced his stock and growing rep with a standout junior season for the Maroons.

Harding knows how to play and has a great feel for making his teammates better, though he continues to unlock his own offensive game. The junior point guard put up impressive numbers a true floor general, averaging 19.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists for a team that went 28-5.

Biggest sophomore stock riser: Angelo Ciaravino

DeAndre Craig, a junior guard and bonafide all-state caliber player, is the catalyst for the Caravan. But Ciaravino is an up-and-coming player and prospect in the sophomore class.

The 6-5 sophomore was instrumental in helping Mount Carmel to a 28-5 record as he averaged 12.5 points. He chipped in eight rebounds and four assists while shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc.

Ciaravino is a fast-rising prospect in the class and should make significant strides between his sophomore and junior seasons.

Runner-Up: Shaheed Solebo

A complete unknown heading into the season, the Lane sophomore emerged in the Public League as a bonafide prospect by the midway point of the year.

While the overall numbers might not jump out at anyone — he finished the season averaging 12.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.6 steals — the super intriguing Solebo took off in the second half of the season.

Since holiday tournament time in December, Solebo averaged 18 points. In three January games against ranked opponents, the 6-4 Solebo had 22 points and eight rebounds against Orr, scored 21 points against Clark and 17 against Young.

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