Big Tim's Class of 2024 Top 10 players for Illinois Volume 3!!!!
Spring and Summer basketball have come and gone. The high school season is right around the corner. Some things about this list has changed, some have stayed the same. Top 3 players in the class are from one school as one transferred in. Here we go:
1) Morez Johnson Jr, St Rita (Chicago)(6'9" forward)- Illinois commit had an uneven Spring but really took his game to another level in the Summer with his high school team. He had multiple double/doubles at the Nike Peach Jam Finals in July. His mid range game has gotten better, as has his scoring and finishing around the rim. His two end play which includes his defense is what keeps him at this spot. Rim protecting, rebounding at a high rate. Guards the pick and roll effectively and slides his feet well. Can take a rebound coast to coast and score on Euro step finishes at the basket. Needs to work on passing out of the post and will need a three point jumper but his work ethic will help with that. Plays for Meanstreets on Nike EYBL Circuit. 247 composite rank is 43rd in America. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r61SO9RcfOw&t=27s.
2) James Brown, St Rita (Chicago)(6'10" forward)- Has extended his range out to the three point line. Scores in the paint with either hand, can take the ball off the defensive boards and take it coast to coast and score. Improved rebounder and rim protector. Guards the pick and roll well and moves his feet to prevent needless fouls. Has picked up high major offers over the past few months. Played very well in the Spring and maintained a high level in the summer with his high school team and at the Nike Peach Jam Finals. Plays for Meanstreets on Nike EYBL Circuit. 247 composite rank is 29th in America. https://www.verbalcommits.com/players/james-brown-il. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwUE0hinHBY.
3) Nojus Industraitis, St Rita (Chicago)(6'5" wing)- Transferred from Lemont to give St Rita a Big 3. Big time three point shooter who can get to the basket and finish with Euro step around defenders, or dunking on them Improving mid range game. Has become a better on ball defender and a good rebounder. Good vision to make passes to the post or to other shooters. Won a gold medal in Euro Basket 16U playing for Lithuania. Plays for Meanstreets on Nike EYBL Circuit. 247 composite 71st in America. https://verbalcommits.com/players/nojus-indrusaitis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ_3Js3aSkQ.
4) Cooper Koch, Notre Dame (Peoria)(6'8" wing)- Iowa commit as a legacy recruit, his dad JR played there. I first saw him in Fort Wayne, IN and saw immediately he deserved to be in these rankings. Knock down shooter from three point range off the catch and shoot, or off the dribble, can score in the post on a variety of moves over either shoulder. Good ball handler who can rebound the ball and take it coast to coast. Can make a play for himself or his teammates hitting them with passes on the wing. Plays for Indiana Elite on 3SSB Adidas Circuit. 247 composite 80th in America. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTPtOhMa3ao.
5) Cole Certa, Central Catholic (Bloomington)(6'5" combo guard)- Had an outstanding Spring and Summer on the travel circuit. Grew 4 inches and saw his game jump to another level. Excellent three point shooter one of the best in the state. He can hit it off the bounce or catch and shoot. Has the ball handling to get his shot off in the mid range with two dribble pull-ups. Can run point and set up teammates with good passes into their shooting pockets. Scores with either hand on drives to the basket, loves to use the backboard and play the angles. Can defend all three wing spots. Received a bunch of offers from his summer play. Plays with Illinois Wolves Under Armour Circuit. Not ranked by 247 composite nationally. https://verbalcommits.com/players/cole-certa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFa24L749zM.
6) Chris Riddle, Kenwood Academy (Chicago)(6'6" wing)- Moved back in state from AZ Compass Prep in Arizona. Big bodied wing uses his strength to get to the basket and finish. Uses nice Euro step to get around defenders in the paint. Has an improving mid range shot as well as from three point line. Rebounds well on the defensive end of the court. Puts defensive pressure on wing players on the ball. Changes ends of the floor very well. Plays for Mac Irvin Fire on Nike EYBL Circuit. 247 composite 103rd in America. https://www.verbalcommits.com/players/chris-riddle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eCOKGAE-eI.
7) Mike Jones, Chi-Prep (Chicago)(6'6" wing)- Explosive wing who can drive to the basket off the bounce and finish with nasty dunks over defenders. Also has a nice spin move in the paint off the bounce to score at the rim. Rebounds at a high rate on both backboards, changes ends of the floor quickly. Has developed a 15 foot jumper and can hit the occasional three point shot. Transferred from Rockford Auburn. No recorded offers yet. Plays for Team Rose on 3SSB Adidas EYBL Circuit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX1PHy1pmRY.
8) Jaheem Webber, Normal Community(6'9" forward)- Big bodied forward who has improved his range on his jumper. Hits 15 foot jump shots at a consistent rate as well as scoring with his back to basket with either hand. Nice jump hook over either shoulder and rebounds at a high rate on both ends. Loves to dunk anything within miles of the rim. Passes well out of the post and is an agile rim protector. Plays for Illinois Wolves on Under Armour Circuit. Not ranked by 247 composite nationally. https://verbalcommits.com/players/jaheem-webber. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWuLMper5bo&t=51s.
9) Dekwon Brown, Central (Peoria)(6'3" point guard)- He can run a team as a floor general as well as scoring from three point range. He can take you off the bounce and finish at the rim as well as with floaters from mid range. Has become a better defender and can guard all wing positions. Plays for Team FVV(Fred Van Vleet).Not ranked 247 composite nationally. https://verbalcommits.com/players/dekwon-brown. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RShzeIHfV6I.
10) Josh Pickett, Aurora (West) (6'5" combo guard)- Can run point as well as play off the ball, this versatile talent can hit threes in bushels. He can do it off the dribble as well as catch and shoot. Passes the ball into the shooting pocket for other wings as well as feed the post. Versatile defender who uses his long arms to get steals off the ball and get into passing lanes. High academic young man and very intelligent. Plays for Mac Irvin Fire on Nike EYBL Circuit. Not ranked 247 composite nationally. https://verbalcommits.com/players/josh-pickett. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8Fkbs1W8OU.
On the cusp:
Angelo Ciaravino, Mount Carmel (Chicago)
Tristan Ford, Chi-Prep (Chicago)
Lee Marks, Mount Carmel (Chicago)
Meyoh Swansey, Romeoville
Jonathan Calmese, Farragut Career Academy (Chicago)
Max Johnson, Oak Park River Forest
Isaiah Green, Kenwood Academy (Chicago)
Carlos Harris III, Curie (Chicago)
Calvin Robins Jr, Kenwood Academy (Chicago)
Jack Reimer, North (Downers Grove)
Payton Kamin, DePaul College Prep (Chicago)
Jaylan McCoy, DePaul College Prep (Chicago)
Kristopher Hills, Christ The King (Chicago)
Demarion Brown, East St Louis
Shaheed Solebo, Lane Tech (Chicago)
TaVariyuan Williams, DeLaSalle Institute (Chicago)
William Gonzalez, Riverside Brookfield
Darshan Thomas, Fenwick (Oak Park)