Homewood-Flossmoor’s Jayden Tyler leads list of breakout rising juniors

Tyler is among a host of young players who are in the midst of making a name for themselves in the Class of 2025.

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Jayden Tyler plays last season.

Jayden Tyler plays last season.

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Learn the name: Jayden “JD” Tyler.

Homewood-Flossmoor’s Tyler isn’t a player with press clippings or raging college interest. He hasn’t played on a big stage yet. A little over eight months ago, I had never heard of Tyler.

Nonetheless, this right here is an emphatic stamp of approval for the 5-10 rising junior point guard.

There isn’t even a fleeting flicker of doubt that Tyler isn’t among the better prospects in the Class of 2025. In fact, he’s climbed steadily in the CitySuburban Hoops Report player rankings after an impactful sophomore season and a clear, take-the-next-step spring.

With all the negative local talk of stars leaving the state, having a fresh face and a new talent to talk about is needed and welcomed with open arms.

Very few noticed this past season, but Tyler was the most important piece to coach Jamere Dismukes’ 18-win team, particularly as an offensive weapon. He had games of 31 and 22 points while averaging 14.2 points a game for the Vikings.

This spring he’s played an age group up for Meanstreets Blue Smoke in the EYCL, Nike’s Elite Youth Champions League. As a rising junior playing with players a year older, he led the team in scoring with 14.1 points a game in 15 EYCL games.

But why the hype is coming is due to how he plays. Tyler is an expeditious playmaker who plays fast but in control, using dribble hesitation and basketball speed with the ball in his hands to dictate tempo. He can blend scoring and playmaking.

In his first season at Homewood-Flossmoor, Dismukes quickly saw what he had in his rising young player. Tyler didn’t start the first handful of games for the Vikings, but he was still one of the team’s best players in those games and was soon inserted into the starting lineup.

“He controls the game, controls his speed and never gets sped up,” Dismukes said. “You can’t get up in him. His best ability is getting by you.”

And that’s where he’s going to be a difficult problem for defenses, whether it’s in the halfcourt or the open court.

Tyler can force the action in transition or be effective in ball-screen actions. He can pull up and hit floaters, stop on a dime and bury a mid-range jumper, or he can get to the rim and finish with a craftiness, even at his small, slender size.

“His IQ is so high,” Dismukes added. “For a 15-year-old to have that high of an IQ is impressive. He’s just really poised and crafty.”

Where Tyler goes from here after a terrific, yet quiet, sophomore season is clear to see. With the natural talent and feel he possesses, along with the confidence he’s gained over the past seven months, Tyler is set to emerge as one of the higher-impact players in the area as a junior next season.

Dismukes raves about his up-and-coming guard’s work ethic and says it’s “off the charts.”

“He wants it and is driven,” Dismukes said.

Others in the Class of 2025 finding their way, making a name

Tyler is among a host of young players who are in the midst of making a name for themselves in the Class of 2025.

In terms of overall talent, it’s a class sorely lacking high-level stars, particularly with the departure of Joliet West’s Jeremiah Fears and St. Rita’s Melvin Bell to prep schools, and the Division I depth is awfully shallow.

But here are a few other players in the Chicago area who are set to open eyes this summer and next season.

EJ Mosley, St. Laurence

There is quite a bit of young talent in coach Byron Burt’s program right now. But the 5-11 point guard is the best of the bunch in the eyes of the City/Suburban Hoops Report.

Plus, he’s one player in the class who has produced at a high level as he’s already scored 741 career points. This past season he averaged 14.3 points and 2.5 assists while shooting 43 percent from three.

Mosley can score in a variety of ways. He can get where he wants on the floor and can shift gears in doing so with sneaky athleticism and burst.

Arden Eaves, Thornwood

Another player in the class whose City/Suburban Hoops Report ranking is superior to the attention that he’s received thus far.

The long, sleek 6-4 guard was an impactful sophomore in the south suburbs this past season, averaging 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists for the Thunderbirds. With an undeniable upside and an offseason playing with Meanstreets, the production and confidence will only increase. And with a smooth game and shooting stroke, the interest will as well.

Makai Kvamme, DePaul Prep

With the success DePaul has had –– and being a starter on a Class 2A state championship team –– there is a little more name familiarity with Kvamme than others in the class.

But look for the impact of this smooth 5-11 point guard to be much greater as a junior this coming season after averaging 5.5 points and leading the team in assists. His feel for the game already stands out.

Al Brooks, Hansberry

A player who has put up significant numbers over the past year, albeit coming against inferior talent. Brooks plays in the Noble League Blue for tiny Hansberry on the city’s southwest side and doesn’t compete in one of the higher-end club circuits.

While there is still a whole lot of raw in his game and development, there is no denying the upside in the long, wiry, 6-7 forward who can put it on the floor and play with some 4-man versatility.

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