Top 5 Class of 2020 sleepers in Illinois
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Connor Kochera, St Viator(Arlington Heights)- 6'5" wing was a revelation this summer as he was one of the Top 10 players at both Riverside Brookfield Shootout and Ridgewood Shootout. He showed a nasty three point shot, drives to the basket and finishing along with solid defense. He was injured part of his junior season, and had to defer to the Division One backcourt of Trey Calvin and Jeremiah Hernandez. It's his show this year and he has shown he can be the lead dog. He also had a very good travel season with Fundamental U. He picked up a bunch of offers this summer from: Wisconsin Milwaukee, California Davis, Lipscomb, Dartmouth, Penn, William and Mary, South Dakota, Brown, Wright State and others.
Jabari Chiphe, Walter Payton(Chicago)- 6'4" wing player showed out at the Ridgewood Shootout. He showed a great slashing game, was hitting his three point shot, and getting after it defensively. He's a high academic prospect whom the Ivy Leagues should be looking at. He has no offers yet but look for him to explode his senior year and the colleges will come calling. He had a good junior year averaging 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 48% field goal percentage and 42% from three.
Damontae Taylor, Zion Benton- 6'5" wing who can play point guard also is a talented player who has not put it all together yet. He can get to the basket with ease, can create shots off the dribble for himself and his teammates. He needs to work on his three point shooting and consistency with his motor. I saw him play very well last year vs Morgan Park, but he has to bring that same intensity to games vs average opponents to take it to another level. He has one offer to Wisconsin Green Bay. Look for more offers to come as he becomes a leader for the Zee Bees this year and give consistently outstanding performances.
Aquan Smart, Niles North(Skokie)- 6'3" combo guard has been in the shadows his first couple of years behind veteran players. Last year was his first as one of the leaders of the team, and he acquitted himself pretty well. He showed some point guard skills, good passing, three point shooting, rebounding, and is an outstanding defender. He is a do it all talent who seems to have put it together this summer. He played very well at the Ridgewood Shootout, and has taken it up a notch on the travel circuit with Pure Prep Hoops. His play this summer resulted in offers from: Illinois State, East Tennessee State, Florida International, Alabama Birmngham, Chicago State, Wisconsin Milwaukee, Illinois Chicago. He received an offer from Southeast Missouri State prior to the Summer.
Reggie Strong, Orr(Chicago)- The 6'1" point guard has bounced around a bit from Farragut(Chicago) to St Joesph(Westchester) and now to Orr(Chicago). He also has moved travel teams from Young and Reckless to Illinois Wolves and back to Young and Reckless. Let's hope he's found a comfortable home with the 3 time defending Class 2A State Champs. He's a quick point guard who can get to the basket and finish. He has improved his three point shot and is a willing passer. He's a good defender who has shown he's a top guard in the Chicago Public League. St Louis, DePaul, Southern Utah, Illinois Chicago, and Southern Illinois have offered.