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Posted On: 09/28/18 6:00 AM
Fall basketball has been under way for quite some time in the Chicagoland area as we are well into September. Across the state players have been playing in games getting ready for the upcoming season. Here are some of the most notable players and teams from the past month as they tune up for the start of the high school basketball season.
Dolphins Get Faster
With the addition of DJ Steward over the summer this Whitney Young team is playing just as fast as last year’s state runner up team. Even with the loss of four seniors from last season the Dolphins return a good amount of talent who played contributing minutes on the team. Seniors Myles Baker, Justin Warren, and Keenan Jones bring balance to a deep talented team. Tyler Beard adds explosive star power and Elliot Seiger provides needed shooting for this guard heavy squad. With no real big man inside junior Sangolay Njie isn’t your typical big man but he does the dirty work of one. He rebounds and blocks shots. Runs like a guard with this up-tempo team. Look for the Dolphins to be a top three team in the state.
One Man Show
Morton guard Latik Murphy has been a joy to watch in September. After having a really good summer Murphy has kept the momentum going having really good scoring performances. He’s scoring on all three levels with most of his damage coming inside off attacks. Latik uses his size well against defenders and he explodes once he gets near the rim often with nasty dunks. One thing I’ve notice since the summer is how he mixes up the type of attack. Latik isn’t driving in the lane all the time and he’s not settling for longs threes either, it’s a good mix and he’s showing maturity in his game. He received his first offer from a D2 and we expect more going into his senior season.
With one committing a week ago Trey Calvin (Wright State) and the other having narrowed his choices to two Jeremiah Hernandez (Drake and Kent State) these two have a special connection that just compliments each other so well. Jerry is the smooth high flyer who attack the rim with no apology and will dunk on you if you wish to challenge him. Trey is the crafty point guard who can run up points and assist numbers on a team and they wouldn’t even notice it. These two have been tearing it up since the summer and look to keep the same energy in the fall as they have been pushing the St. Viator team to some pretty strong wins this month. Expect another conference championship and deeper run for the state playoffs.
3 for 3
Dante Maddox, Keshawn Williams, and Donovan Newby have been making noise on the varsity level since freshman year at Bloom and they continue to make strides in conquering the south suburban area. Each individual provides a different style of play. Maddox can play make plays and shoot from ridiculous ranges. Williams is the high flying guard who make plays at the rim usually over or around defenders. Newby is the guard who can get to the free throw line by using driving lanes and finishing through contact. These three together are a handful. Then add in 6’9” junior Martice Mitchell who’s added a much needed pick and pop game to coincide with the Bloom trio. They will be very dangerous in the south suburbs for the next two seasons.
New Challenger in the South
Last season TF South finished fourth in their conference and .500 overall for the season. With some key transfers this summer the Rebels new look basketball team will challenge Hillcrest for the conference title. Key additions of Andrew Stewart and Elijah Stewart adds a scoring punch for the backcourt that’s needed. These two have taken lead scoring duties at the school and will continue to put pressure on defenses. Another addition is James Drummond who is a 6’4 athletic wing that has had several dunks on opposing teams this fall. TF South brings back 5’9 speedy point guard Dekwan Turner who has a really good handle and can get in the lane and make things happen for his team. The Rebels also bring back 6’8 260 pound big man London Denman at the center positon. Denman is a traditional back to the bucket big who sports a football size body. He is a solid passer with good hands around the rim and defensively he will intimidate players in his area. TF South will be a team to watch this upcoming season. Should be fun to watch them battle in the South Suburban Blue this year.