Big Tim's Elite 25 Players In Chicago Area this year and Player Of The Year.
Updated: Mar 10, 2020
First annual Big Tim's Area Player of The Year criteria has to do with what you did this season. It's not about what kind of major college prospect you are, or what kind of school or level of prospect you are. In saying this here we go:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Dominic Martinelli 6'5" senior wing Glenbrook South(Glenview)- Someone mentioned to me at the beginning of the year Martinelli would be a serious candidate for player of the year. I laughed at them at the time. I will say every time I saw him play he grew on me. He kept producing time and time again and was a monster every game I saw him play. Every defense was designed to shut him down, but he always found a way to score and rebound. He's good at getting through the cracks of defenses and scoring while also drawing a lot of fouls. He dribbles the ball down the court well enough to be serviceable in that area. His stats are not empty stats either as his team is 29-4 and Regional Champs. He was MVP of the Buffalo Grove Holiday Tournament, and All-Tournament at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic Christmas Tournament. Tied for Central Suburban South Title. This is one of the best teams in school history and has played a tough schedule. He has not been stopped in the clutch, has a good three point shot, nice floater, and has developed a counter to his left handed drives by spinning off defenders and scoring with his right hand. He's averaging 26.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists, a game. I believe he's been shorted on rebounds because every game I've seen he's been getting 10 rebounds or more most of the time. He also gets a lot of steals and deflections defending in the low post. He has two Division 2 offers from Northern Michigan and Gannon. He probably could be effective in a low mid major Division 1 program. He would be a monster on the Division 2 level. (Note Martinelli has scored 2,033 points for his career to this point).
DJ Steward, 6'2" senior combo guard Whitney Young(Chicago)-First McDonald's All-American in Illinois since 2015. He's averaging 22.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists agame for a Regional Title team. He's a Top 25 player in America and has played against a national schedule. Can score on all three levels of the court. Excellent three point shooter. Improved defensively even blocking shots off the ball. Duke commit.
Adam Miller, 6'3" senior combo guard Morgan Park(Chicago)- Top 30 player Nationally. He averages 27.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 2.3 steals a game for Regional Title team. He scores on all three levels of the court and also has played against a national schedule. Range to the parking lot on his three point shot. Illinois commit. A favorite to win the Class 3A State Title.
Ramean Hinton, 6'4" senior wing, Curie(Chicago)- He's a two end monster who's effective on both ends of the court. A junkyard dog on the glass. He averages 17 points, and 8 rebounds, on a team with just one loss to an Illinois team. Regional champ. Won prestigious AC Williamson Award as MVP at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. A favorite to win the Class 4A State Title.
Max Christie, 6'6" junior guard Rolling Meadows- Consensus Top 15 player in Class of 2021 Nationally. He can score on all three levels with a monster two dribble pull up jumper. He led his team to 20 wins on the season, his best since entering high school and first time for school in 30 years. He averaged 26 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks a game. He shot 65% from the field and 42% from three point range. He has improved defensively over the last year.
AJ Casey, 6'8" sophomore wing Tinley Park- Consensus Top 20 player in Class of 2022 Nationally. This do it all wing carried Tinley Park all season with his play. He scored on all three levels, and was a good rim protector all season long. He averaged 22 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists ,2.3 steals, and 3.1 blocks. A transfer from Simeon(Chicago), he was allowed to play all over the court. He really stepped up his game in every category this year.
Ahamad "Black Cat" Bynum 6'2" junior combo guard Simeon(Chicago)- Top 70 player Nationally in Class of 2021, the DePaul commit is the bell cow for the current City Champs. He's a stone cold scorer, that can run point and has good vision passing the ball. He's had to score for the Wolverines this season. They won a Regional Title. He averages 20.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists. He can get on hot streaks from three point range and break a game wide open.
Antoine Bloxton, 6'2" senior combo guard Bogan(Chicago)- The best scorer in the Chicago Public League, he makes scoring look easy. I saw him score the easiest 33 points I've ever seen in the Proviso West Holiday Tournament Title Game. He should have been tournament MVP, but settled for All-Tournament. Regional Champ.
Darius Burford, 6'1" senior combo guard Bolingbrook- Elon commit is one of the fastest players on the court this season. Can go coast to coast from 0-90. I always said he should run track, but he's a darn good basketball player. He does not shoot a lot of threes but can make them, he scores in the mid range and on drives to the basket. He's a great defender who can swipe the ball away with his quick hands. He averaged 24.6 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals a game. Most Valuable Player of the Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament at York. Bolingbrook has a disappointing finish to their season but Burford showed out. He has scored more than 1,000 points in his career.
Troy D'Amico, 6'6" junior wing Notre Dame College Prep(Niles)- Inside/outside force for the Dons, he was a match up nightmare for most teams throughout the season. He averaged 15.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3 assists a game. He shot 40% from three point range and 52.3 from the field. Regional Champ and his team is one of the favorites for Class 3A Title.
Bryce Hopkins 6'6" junior wing Fenwick(Oak Park)- Consensus Top 40 player Nationally in Class of 20201. Louisville commit is explosive on the offensive end and on the glass. I saw him score over 40 points in a game three different times this year. He averages 24 points, 10 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1 block a game. He can score on the interior, off the bounce with a nice spin move to finish strong at the basket, and has an improved three point shot. Regional Champ.
Brandon Weston 6'5" junior wing Morgan Park(Chicago)- Consensus Top 70 player Nationally in Class of 2021. Match up nightmare on the wing, he can score on spin moves to the basket, the occasional three point shot, and is a monster on the glass on both ends of the court. He will put you on a poster(dunk on you, WATCH YOUR HEAD). He averages 24 points and 10 rebounds a game. Regional Champ. A favorite to win the Class 3A State Title.
Blake Peters 6'1" junior combo guard Evanston Township- Dangerous three point shooter that sometimes is face guarded by the opponent. He's been to the State Finals twice already. He's improved on defense and broke a single game school record of 8 steals in a game early in the season. He rebounds for a vertically challenged Evanston team. Tied for Central Suburban South Title. He has scored over 1,000 points in his short career.
Christian Shumate 6'5" forward Bloom Township(Chicago Heights)- A big time athlete who will dunk on you at a moments notice(WATCH YOUR HEAD). He has given the Blazing Trojans some toughness in the paint, and has an improving three point shot. His ball fake on jump shots has been very effective this season in using the bounce to ecstasy and finish with a dunk at the rim. One of the favorites to win the Class 4A State Title, they are Regional Champs.
Ahron Ulis, 6'1" senior point guard Marian Catholic(Chicago Heights)- Iowa commit is one of the steadiest point guards in the Area. A great leader who has shown his scoring chops on all three levels. He has improved his on the ball defense to disrupt other point guards. He averages 18.7 points, 2.8 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.4 steals. Regional Champ. East Suburban Player Of The Year.
DJ Williams, 6'3" senior forward Thornton Township(Harvey)- Murray State Football commit is one of the top quarterbacks in the area. He's shown a great all around game on the hardwood as he can shoot the three, drive to the basket and finish. He's one of the best on the ball defenders in the area guarding any position from guard to center. Regional Champ. He averages 12 points, 12 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.5 steals a game. Won Big Dipper Tournament Title.
Aquan Smart, 6'3 senior combo guard Niles North(Skokie)- Maryland commit has advanced his game over the last three years. He plays more under control now and you are seeing the results of this. His passing is off the charts and should have no problems playing point at the next level. Great mid range game with improving three point shot. He averages 23.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists a game. Won Central Suburban North.
RJ Ogom, 6'6" senior forward Homewood Flossmoor- College of Charleston commit is a monster in the paint as he rim protects and grabs rebounds by the bunches. He averages 15 points and 7 rebounds a game. Hinsdale Central Holiday Tournament Champs. Regional Champ.
Ty Johnson, 6'2" junior point guard DePaul College Prep(Chicago)- He has stepped up his game this year with massive graduation losses for the Rams. He took over this team as a leader and took them to contending status in Class 3A again. He averages 20.1 points, 3.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.3 steals. Regional Champ.
Amar Auguillard, 6'5" junior guard Zion Benton- The young man can score from three point range with regularity AND post you up on the block. Very versatile athlete. I saw him hit 8 three pointers in a row his sophomore year vs Libertyville. He averages 25 points a game. He has made Zion Benton a dangerous out in the Class 4A State Playoffs. Regional Champ.
Kam Craft, 6'5" sophomore guard Buffalo Grove- He has a game that can be described as tricky. He's very good at unexpected up and unders at the basket, can shoot eh deep three and is a very good rebounder. He averaged 23.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2 steals a game. Fastest in program history to 1,000 points.
Dante Maddox Jr 6'2" senior combo guard Bloom Township(Chicago Heights)- Cal State Fullerton commit can fill it up from deep three point range. He has also improved his driving ability and finishing at the rim. He averages 17.5 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals game. He shoots 48% from three point range, and 54% from the field. Bloom is one of the favorites for the Class 4A State Title.
Beau Frericks, 6'1" senior point guard Cary Grove- Lewis commit can fill it up from three point range and run a team with aplomb. He averages 20 points a game and shot 90% from the free throw line. Regional champ. All time leading scorer at Cary Grove with over 1,400 points, made three all tournament teams, and led the Fox Valley conference and McHenry County in three pointers made.
John Poulakidas, 6'5" junior guard Neuqua Valley(Naperville)- Sharp shooter who averages 17 points a game scoring in a variety of ways on all three levels. He can shoot the three from deep range, nice step back mid range shot( ala Dirk Nowitzki), and a nice step through Euro step finish at the rim. Regional Champ.
Jaylin Gibson. 6'4" junior guard Evanston Township- Do it all player that fills in where needed for the Wildkits. He guards the best defender of the opponent, is the leader rebounder, and assist man for Evanston. He's been a big part of two trips to the State Finals in his two years in high school. He has an improving three point shot, and can finish at the rim with either hand.