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Posted On: 02/15/18 6:00 AM
THIS IS NOT A RANKING! Got it? Glad we got that out of the way. These are 15 freshman prospects that we have seen in person throughout the high school season and been impressed by. They have a chance to be legit college prospects down the line. Yes, I know there are players not on here that will be among the best prospects in the state, but we haven’t seen them yet with our own eyes. We will release our official watch list after the spring and the first 2021 rankings after July. It is insanely early in the process and you can’t to a legitimate ranking at this point as some are playing varsity with big roles, most are on varsity with small roles, and others are on JV. We will get a much better feel for this class in the spring and summer on the 15U level, but we wanted to give everyone a look at some of the freshman that have stood out to us this year. Once again THIS IS NOT A RANKING! Here is your Freshman 15!
Max Christie (Rolling Meadows)
Christie has a long and lanky 6’4” frame that is very projectable. Already has excellent size for the guard position, but he should grow several more inches over the next four years before he gets to college. Ultra smooth with the rock in his hands. He plays with such poise for a young player. Gets wherever he wants with his smooth ball handling. Likes to finish in the lane with runners/floaters. Gets to the rim on a fairly consistent basis off the bounce. Looks good in the transition game always having his head up while weaving through the defense looking to make a play for himself or others. Clean looking jump shot as he has shown he is a three point threat. Rebounds well and is a crisp passer that has point-forward potential. He can play the one through the three at this stage.
Kimahri Wilson (Carmel)
Wilson is a 5’11” thin point guard. He is a quick and dynamic point guard that has the ability to break down defenders off the bounce and get to the rim. At times he can over dribble a bit too much and forced some turnovers with some flashy passes. Seems to settle in as the game goes on playing better in the second half making quality decisions with the ball and looking to be more aggressive as a scorer getting to the rack. Can hit a mid-range jumper. Didn’t shoot it much from three in our first couple evals of him.
Anthony Sayles (Niles Notre Dame)
The freshman guard is athletic and has solid strength, but still projectability to grow. Smooth pushing it in the open floor and has easy acceleration with the ball in his hands. Finishes at the rim with both hands. Plays under control and doesn’t force anything.
Norvell Meddows (Prosser)
The 5’10” lead guard has a strong and compact build with good athleticism. Shifty ball handler that is at his best attacking off the dribble and getting downhill. He can hit shots from deep, but forces a lot of bad shots. Not a great feel for the game at this stage. That will come in time. He is a volume scorer that has a chance to be pretty good with some refinement down the line.
Ahamad Bynum (Simeon)
Physical kid with a strong upper body and broad shoulders where he can continue to add strength. Plays with an all-out motor. Bynum was a prospect that several of the highly touted 2020 players in attendance raved to me about when we saw him at the PrepHoops Camp in the fall. He is a beast in transition getting to the rack and finishing through contact. Very explosive with the ball in his hands and attacking downhill. He is a plus rebounder that snatches them and can start the break on his own. Flashy player that sometimes turns the ball over. He likes to be an isolation scorer in one on one situations with his handles and getting to the rim. Jump shot could improve. Shows some flair passing it with a couple nice dishes. Limited minutes this year for a loaded veteran Simeon squad.
Brandon Weston (Lake Forest Academy)
Weston is a 6’4” power wing from the east coast who plays for the PSA Cardinals on the circuit out east. He has landed at Lake Forest Academy where he has made an impact as a freshman. Big time slashing scorer that gets in the lane and makes plays scoring at the hoop. Finishes consistently through traffic at the cup. Also flashes deep range on a jumper. Rebounds very well for his position.
Isaiah Barnes (Romeoville)
The 6’3” wing saw only limited minutes early in the season with a heavily stacked senior laden squad. We saw his breakout game at the Ramey Midwest Shootout in St. Louis. The shooting guard has good size and projectability. He really shoots the basketball well from beyond the arc. Let’s it fly from deep with confidence. Handles the ball well and is a solid passer for a wing.
Jaylin Gibson (Evanston)
Gibson has excellent size at 6’3” and plus athleticism at the two guard spot. Right now he plays best in an up and down game. He handles it well in the open floor and makes slick passes. Finishes above the rim. Defensively he contests shots and competes. Projects as a quality defender.
Jalen Butler (Niles North)
Butler stands at 6’4” with a strong frame and looks very mature for a 2021 prospect with his physical stature. The power guard attacks the hoop with authority! Plays really hard every possession. Gets on the offensive glass for put backs. Can post up smaller/weaker wings that defend him.
Blake Peters (Evanston)
Peters has impressed early in his first high school season. The 6’0” two guard is a great perimeter marksmen connecting at a high rate from beyond the arc. Jump shot is pure from three and has repeatable mechanics. Moves well without the ball to get open. Mixes in a drive every now and then.
Tevin Smith (Danville)
Smith projects early in the process as one of the top wing prospects in the freshman class. He has size and athleticism on the wing. As a freshman he is playing sparingly as he is on perhaps the best team in central Illinois. Long term he has a ton of upside. Physical and athletic wing scorer.
Khailieo Terry (Champaign Central)
Terry is one of the freakiest athletes in the state. This 6’4” combo forward wows fans with his play above the rim finishing jams with explosion on tip dunks and slams off dump offs. Force on the defensive swatting shots. Long term projection will be determined by how his skill level evolves over the next three seasons. Right now just kills people with athleticism in the paint.
Troy D’Amico (Niles Notre Dame)
D’Amico isn’t going to jump off the floor at you with his athleticism, but this kid is very skilled and productive. He is a crafty scorer that can get buckets in the paint, attack off the bounce from the high-post area, and hit a three off the catch. Productive freshman that is worth continuing to monitor. His long term projection will be dependent on how much he grows and if he becomes a better athlete, but there are definitely a lot of tools to work with early in the process.
F Amar Augillard (Zion Benton)
This is a 6’4” combo forward that is a tough finisher inside. Runs the floor well getting points in transition. Active on the defensive end.
Chris Hodges (Schaumburg)
Hodges plays on the travel team circuit with the Illinois Wolves where we saw him on the 14U level, but we were able to see him for the first time over the holiday break in the high school setting. The 6’7” center is a well-built post with a nice frame. We saw some of the tools that make him intriguing. Gets on the offensive glass for put backs. Carves out space inside. Can connect on a mid-range jumper. Area rebounder. D1 prospect for sure early on.