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Posted On: 07/5/18 3:00 PM
Every July there are several guys who put themselves in position heading into the critical three week evaluation period to make noise. This might be from buzz after the spring or players making a name during the camps in June. Here are 10 2019 prospects from Illinois that college coaches are going to be watching closely!
Chris Payton (Bloomington)
Overall Rank: #5
Position Rank: #2 Power Forward
Travel Team: Meanstreets
Payton had a phenomenal junior season at Bloomington. He was dominant scoring and rebounding in every game we saw him. Displayed an improved face up game and played with more dominance. The athletic four man decided to open his recruitment back up after initially committing to Illinois State. He wanted to see what schools would jump in the mix. There were some high-major offers, but many were cautious and after just an average spring they want to see him bring it in July.
Nate Ferguson (Lemont)
Overall Rank: #6
Position Rank: #3 Power Forward
Travel Team: Chicago Lockdown
Ferguson could be a prospect that just explodes in July. He has landed a handful of D1 offers already, but if he plays up to his ability he could be in for a massive haul of scholarships throughout the month. Ferguson has greatly improved his athleticism playing above the rim with regularity and that along with his skill makes him a great fit for the modern era of big men.
Jeremiah Hernandez (St. Viator)
Overall Rank: #11
Position Rank: #4 Small Forward
Travel Team: Young & Reckless Denard
Hernandez helped lead his St. Viator squad to a very impressive run throughout the month of June. As the go to player he proved throughout the month he is primed to take St. Viator to the next level next season and combining that with his consistent play in the spring makes him a player that has created a lot of buzz heading into July. Skilled offensive threat that can shoot, handle, and dish.
Marquise Kennedy (Brother Rice)
Overall Rank: #13
Position Rank: #2 Point Guard
Travel Team: Illinois Wolves
Kennedy made one of the biggest jumps in the latest 2020 rankings going all the way up to the #2 spot in the point guard rankings. He created tremendous buzz with his play during the spring proving he can be a legit lead guard at the mid-major level both running the show while scoring with his burst. Holds an offer from Bradley and we expect more to follow.
Anthony Fairlee (Springfield Southeast)
Overall Rank: #18
Position Rank: #4 Shooting Guard
Travel Team: Mac Irvin Fire
Fairlee is absolutely one of the most interesting prospects to follow this July. He is one of the more underrated wings in the class with his freakish athleticism and potential to be a two way player with his defense. He didn’t get a ton of playing time and wasn’t able to showcase his skill during the spring. College coaches are intrigued, but need to see more before offering the central Illinois wing.
Ray J Dennis (Oswego East)
Overall Rank: #20
Position Rank: #6 Point Guard
Travel Team: Team Rose
Dennis has steadily been tracking as a coveted low-major to mid-major prospect over the last six months. He is a smooth pull up jump shooter that works well in the pick and roll game. Dennis has garnered quite a few offers and taken a lot of visits already. He will be making the switch to Team Rose this July. Will Dennis add more offers to his collection? Will one of the schools pursuing him already make a case to shut down his recruitment before it gets too crazy?
Antonio Reeves (Simeon)
Overall Rank: #27
Position Rank: #6 Shooting Guard
Travel Team: Young & Reckless Denard
Reeves is so interesting for a number of reasons. The first is he is back on the radar of a number of Midwest D1 schools after moving back from Arizona where he played his junior campaign. Reeves is a player that we need to see more to see how his game has truly developed over the last year. He has grown and shown improvement in his all-around game in the couple times we have seen him. Always been a plus shooter.
Bryce Bultman (Nashville)
Overall Rank: #28
Position Rank: #9 Point Guard
Travel Team: Illinois Bears
What don’t coaches like here? This Nashville point guard is a 6’5” guard that has insane vision and feel for the game. He is coming off an outstanding junior year and was consistent each time we saw him with the Illinois Bears. Really like what this kid brings to the table. Unfortunately some people refuse to believe that southern Illinois prospects can play for whatever reason. Low-majors……this kid is really good! Don’t mess this one up!
Fred Cleveland (Leo)
Overall Rank: #49
Position Rank: #19 Point Guard
Travel Team: Team RWA
Cleveland continues to boost his stock each time we see him play. Coming off a quality high school season where his team was consistently among the best teams in their conference and 2A across the state. The size is always going to be an issue, but with his length, playmaking ability, and range on his shot he is starting to open more eyes. Expect that to continue into July.
Aidan Shore (Sterling)
Overall Rank: #158
Position Rank: #13
Travel Team: Mercury Elite
Shore is a player that to be honest we haven’t gotten a great eval of in a while. He switched over to Mercury Elite and we didn’t see them play this spring. That will change in July seeing them extensively the first two weeks. Shore has gotten some buzz with people I respect and has taken several college visits over the last month.