Chris Payton, Bloomington

Posted On: 06/22/18 6:00 AM

Who are the best big men in the state of Illinois in the 2019 class?  The #1 prospect in the state headlines it, but there are a lot of quality prospects that follow!


EJ Liddell (Belleville West)

Current Ranking: #1
Travel Team: Brad Beal Elite

Liddell is absolutely a monster!  The 6’7” four man from Belleville West has a versatile inside outside game that earned him Mr. Basketball honors as a junior as he helped lead his team to the state championship.  Quickness on the block and touch around the hoop.  Big time rebounder that can also block shots.  His face up game has really improved being able to handle it and take guys off the bounce.  High-major face up four at the next level.


Chris Payton (Bloomington)

Chris Payton, Bloomington, Illinois StateCurrent Ranking: #5
Travel Team: Meanstreets

Payton has good strength in his upper body with big time athleticism.  Payton plays above the rim slamming home monster jams on a consistent basis.  He is aggressive taking it at the defense with quick and assertive moves.  Payton gets to charity stripe at a high rate because of his aggressiveness.  Plays powerful inside and you have to make sure you have a body on him at all times because he is a big time rebounder.  All areas of his game showed progress this past high school season including his face up jumper.  Bit of an up and down spring with Meanstreets, but we like him as a solid mid-major player.


Nate Ferguson (Lemont)

Current Ranking: #6
Travel Team: Chicago Lockdown

Ferguson was one of the most impressive prospects we saw early in the spring.  The 6’7” four man played above the rim like I had never seen him do before.  Ferguson has always been looked at as a skilled four that could score on the block and face up.  This spring he showed incredible explosion and pop off the floor that we weren’t expecting.  He played aggressive and with authority.  Ferguson has added 15 pounds of strength over the last year and has filled out his frame.  That has allowed him to be an above the rim post.  Blocks shots defensively.  Mid-major no doubt!


Tom Welch (Naperville North)

Current Ranking: #8
Travel Team: Illinois Wolves

Welch is a 6’8” 2019 power forward from Naperville North that has gotten considerably stronger in his upper body since we saw him during the high school season.  The four man has quality athleticism along with toughness around the hoop.  Finishes with a soft touch.  Solid area rebounder.  The kid has a nice combination of skill and toughness.  Also can handle it some as a face up four man.  Mid-major all the way.



Ciaran Brayboy (New Trier)

Current Ranking: #12
Travel Team: Illinois Wolves

Brayboy is one of the top low post prospects in the rising senior class.  The big man has broad shoulders, strength to anchor down low, and is a solid rebounder.  Offensively he has some skill on the block especially when he garners deep post position before catching the ball.  Little mechanical at times.  Brayboy is an intriguing prospect for mid-major programs.



Rashaun Agee (Bogan)

Current Ranking: #31
Travel Team: Mac Irvin Fire

Agee is a great area rebounder that snatches them strong with two hands.  Gets a lot of offensive rebound put backs and scores on dump off passes inside.  Flashes some skill hitting an occasional floater.  Runs the floor hard and plays with a lot of energy.  Low-major no brainer at this point.




CJ Wilbourn (Normal Community)

Current Ranking: #32
Travel Team: Quad City Elite

Wilbourn is a 6’6” four man that has a great frame with broad shoulders, strength, and mobility.  He is a good rebounder around the hoop playing physical on the block.  Also flashes some post moves showing growth in that area.  His offensive skill including flashing a jumper made strides this spring.  This is a prospect we are really looking forward to seeing his development throughout the summer and low-majors will be tracking.


Thomas Hall (Metamora)

Current Ranking: #33
Travel Team: Team RWA

Hall is a well-built 6’8” four man that is a plus rebounder in his area.  Effective rebounding both offensively and defensively.  He has mobility to play in the pick and roll game as both a screener and finisher.  Efficient finisher around the hoop.  Also can spot up for threes.  Solid athlete.  He showed that he is definitely worth consideration at the low-major level this spring when we have seen him with Team RWA.



Keenon Cole (Streamwood)

Current Ranking: #35
Travel Team: Illinois Wolves

Cole is a rangy 6’6” bouncy four man that plays above the rim.  Will definitely need to add on more strength and improve his low post game, but there is a lot to like here.  He shot the ball very well hitting from three in the pick and pop at a nice clip this spring with the Illinois Wolves.  Quick moves from the mid-post and in.  Cole is a low-major prospect with developmental upside.



Spencer Boehm (New Trier)

Current Ranking: #36

Travel Team: Fundamental U

Boehm is a high academic 2019 post from New Trier that stands at 6’8”.  He is a low post presence with his ability to finish with sound footwork, a soft touch, and crafty moves on the block.  Can use a little power every now and then as well to finish through his man.  Boehm can finish with both hands around the rim.  Runs the floor well.  Capable offensive rebounder.  Projects as a great Ivy League prospect.


Jermaine Hamlin (Lincoln)

Jermaine Hamlin, Lincoln Current Ranking: #39
Travel Team: Quad City Elite

Hamlin is a post with a physical build.  Strong upper body with nice athleticism from the center position.  Fights hard on the glass on both ends of the floor.  Liked how he competed against legit D1 post players this spring.  Didn’t back down and used his strength and length to make life hard on his opponents defensively.  Hamlin is still a bit raw offensively at this stage.  He is a low-major kid.