Big Tims's Class of 2025 Top 10 players for Illinois Volume 1!!!!
I wait later than most to rank young high school players. I like to see them play some on the high school level, some on the travel circuit too. One player I've only seen play online but he deserves to be in the rankings. as he performed well in a highly competitive setting. Another dropped down a class and is now a 2025 talent. One other will not be ranked because he has not played in about 8 months. Here we go:
1) Jeremiah Fears, West (Joliet) (6'1" point guard): He should be in the national rankings. It's a crime he is not. He's a guard who can do everything, even at this age. He can score out to 25 feet, has a nice first step to get into the lane and finish with a mid range floater. Gets to the rim and finishes going left or right. He's dunking the ball with one hand on breakaways. He's a good defender for such a young player, knows how to move his feet and stay in front of guards. The only thing is he sometimes gambles too much and reaches around trying to get steals. Thats a low percentage play that causes fouls. He can score off the ball and on catch and shoot situations off the ball. Already knows how to control his speed with stop and start moves, does not rush his offense. He's good at getting steals off the ball, though like most high schoolers he can fall asleep with his off the ball defense. I look for him to be in McDonald's All-American range in a couple of years. Played with Hoops4Health last season on 17U team. I see him playing on the shoe circuit likely Nike EYBL where his ranking will blow up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_LiLiNWwpQ.
2) Mike Jones, Chi Prep (Chicago) (6'7" forward): He was a 2024 player but has reclassed to 2025. Explosive wing off the bounce with monster finishes at the rim. Has a nice spin move in the lane to get loose from defenders and explode off the ground for big time dunks. He is a ferocious rebounder on both ends of the court, changes ends very well. Hits the occasional catch and shoot three but has to work on getting it consistent. Very good mid range jump shot from 12-15 feet. Double/double machine in points and rebounds. Plays the passing lanes to get steals and breakaway dunks. Strong enough to guard power forwards and some centers in the post. Will have to learn to move his feet to guard two guards and small forwards. Rim protects very well for a forward. Plays for Team Rose on the Adidas Circuit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iloizbjSQ3k.
3) Dietrich Richardson, Manual (Peoria) (6'6" point guard): This is the young man I've watch online only. I watched 4 games when he played at the Pangos All-South Frosh/Soph Camp. At this time that is likely the most talented of his camps, most players came from Texas and Oklahoma. He was in the Top 30 Cream of The Crop Game, and Top 10 performer at the camps. His game blew up down there but I'll talk about what I watched. He attacks, attacks, attacks down hill to the basket. He can attack off crossover dribble to his left, and go straight off first step with his right. Finishes at the rim with either hand. Good vision when driving finding shooters from three, and dropping off passes to waiting bigs. His long arms bother opposing guards, though he has to learn to move his feet better to keep players in front of him. Needs work on his three point shot, though it has promise as he hits the mid range shot from 12-15 feet. Once his three point shot gets better he can play the two but strictly a point guard right now. Not much video out there but here's some. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3IP-adc-FA.
4) Antonio Munoz, Whitney Young (Chicago) (6'6" wing): Explosive athlete who will dunk on you in a moments notice. He runs the floor very well and is a good rim runner catching alley oops and finishing with dunks. He's improved as a slasher to the basket off the wing and with his mid range jump shot. He will have to extend his range to the three point line to get the most out of his ability. He's good at jumping passing lanes to get steals to get out and make exciting finishes. Rebounds at a high level for a wing. Has to be better at moving his feet on the perimeter guarding wings and moving his feet off pick and roll. Great tools to be a defensive stopper to guard from shooting guard to power forward. Jump shot fundamentals look solid, just has to practice threes in the lab. Plays for Meanstreets (Nike) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vf5Ge4Hc8Y.
5) Phoenix Gill, St Ignatius College Prep (Chicago) (6'2" point guard): Gill can get to the basket and finish at the rim, vision to make passes to teammates in shooting pocket, nice mid range floater and is getting more explosive off the bounce by the day. Can hit threes off the dribble and off the catch and shoot. Good defender moves his feet and stays in front of opposing guards. Needs to get more aggressive looking for his offense but that will come in time. Quick hands can get steals on the ball, and plays passing lanes to get steals off the ball. True floor general who's calm running the offense doesn't get out of control or ahead of himself.
6) Aleks Alston, Kenwood Academy (Chicago) (6'9" wing): Big time knockdown shooter on the wing. Smooth lefty can hit threes in bunches especially off catch and shoot. Is getting better hitting shots off the bounce with two dribble pull-ups. Good at passing to shooters out of the post. Makes good decisions on shot selection does not force a lot of shots. Upside is tremendous as he improves is off the dribble game and playing in the low post. He has a pretty good jump hook when he gets good position on the block. Could jump up the rankings once he realizes how much talent he has. Plays for Mac Irvin Fire (Jordan Brand)
7) Nick Allen, Bradley Bourbonnais (6'9" forward): Good scorer with his back to the basket. Can score over either shoulder with jump hooks and up and under moves with either hand. Can step out and hit threes. Rebounds at a high level and boxes his man out. Has to improve his footwork guarding the pick and roll. Runs the floor and works for good post position on the block. Improving rim protector not just blocking shots but covering the lane with his length. Plays for Illinois Wolves.
8) Derek Bishop, Mundelein (6'2" point guard): Can run a team making nice passes to open three point shooters in shooting pocket. He can hit three pointers off the bounce as well as catch and shoot. Scores points in bunches off the bounce with two dribble mid range pull-ups. Does not hesitate to pull-up with long range three point shots. Good defender though he reaches in a little too much sometimes. Toughness quotient will not back down from any opponent, does not hesitate to attack off the bounce. Good ball handler has it on a string. Sneaky bounce off the floor with drives and dunks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OisJ3vO2t8w.
9) Ian Militec, Rolling Meadows, (6'6" wing): Can fill it up from three point range off the catch and shoot as well as off the bounce. Lefty sniper can take you off the dribble to the basket and finish. Has the ability to run the point guard position in a pinch, as he has vision to find players. Keeps his head up to see the floor. Long arms helps him get a lot of deflections on defense and jump passing lanes off the ball. Runs the floor well and has good hands to catch the ball. Rebounds well for his position can guard all perimeter positions.
10) Terrence Smith, Aurora (West) (6'5" wing): Slaher extraordinaire. Can get to the basket and finish off the wing. Big time athlete who finishes in a variety of ways at the basket. He can hit the mid range jumper, rebounds well for a wing. Has to improve his three point stroke that will take his game to another level. His calling card is his versatility as a defender. He can guard point guards through centers at the high school level. He can play in any lineup because of this ability. Runs the floor well and has good hands to catch the ball and make moves in the offense. You can put him in a half court set or in an up tempo game.
***Note: Melvin Bell, St Rita (Chicago) (6'6" wing) has not played since April because of injury. He's likely on this list when he gets back and healthy.
**Note: Bradley Longcor, Quincy(6'3" guard) I have not seen him play live or online. Will try to see him play either online or in person before my next rankings update. Possible Top 10 player on next update.
On the cusp:
Damion Porter Jr, Fenwick (Oak Park) (6'3" wing)
Darien Green, Christ The King (6'3" guard)
Brady Sehlhorst, Notre Dame College Prep (Niles) (6'7" wing)
Jonas Johnson, DePaul College Prep (Chicago) (6'6" wing)
Elijah Lovemore, Bloom Township (Chicago Heights) (6'2" guard)
Adam Page, Hillcrest (Country Club Hills) (6'4" guard)
EJ Ireland, St Patrick (Chicago) (5'10" point guard)
Justin Bowen, Oak Park River Forest (6'5" wing)
Yaris Irby, Niles North (Skokie) (5'11" point guard)
Reid Olson, Niles North (Skokie) (6'0" guard)
Keshawn Barfield, Lincoln Park (Chicago) (6'9" forward)
Chayse Turner, Lincoln Park (Chicago) (6'3" wing)
Vincent Kelly, Lincoln Park (Chicago) (5'9" point guard)
Alex Vincent, Oak Park River Forest (6'8" center)
Anthony Demirov, South (Crystal Lake) (6'0" point guard)