Contenders, Sleepers, & Prospects: Southwestern Conference

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Illinois

Posted On: 11/16/18 5:00 PM

We are now in the month of November and that means the season is almost here!  With that being said we are looking across the state at various conferences and previewing the teams and players to watch!  Today we dive into the Southwestern Conference!

Pre-Season Player of the Year

EJ Liddell (Belleville West)

This one is pretty cut and dry.  Liddell is the most dominant player in the state and the reigning Mr. Basketball.  The Belleville West four man will look to repeat everything he did last year individually and as a team in an even more impressive way.  Liddell is an elite level rebounder that can score with his back to the basket as good as anyone in the state.  Also has greatly improved as a shooter and driver.  Maybe the best shot blocker in the state.

 

Team to Beat

Belleville West is obviously the favorite.  The won the 4A state championship last season and are one of the favorites again this year.  Liddell is an absolute force!  What makes him more unstoppable is the 6’6” post next to him Keith Randolph eating up space and gobbling up rebounds.  He is a football recruit, but would probably he a D2 hoops recruit as well if he chose that route.  Lawrence Brazil is back at the point after making the key play in the state title game.  Tommie Williams is one to watch.  The 2021 shooting guard transferred over from St. Louis and could fill the Malachi Smith role left after his graduation.

 

Biggest Threat

East St. Louis will once again be loaded as usual. They picked up some transfers from Cahokia that will help, but the star remains Terrence Hargrove.  The St. Louis commit is an elite level athlete that has versatility on both ends of the floor.  Lashawn Johnson and Armond Williams are long and rangy prospects that we were impressed with this summer.  Look for them to emerge as juniors.

 

Sleeper Team

Collinsville is super deep in their junior class.  At the top it is top 20 prospect point guard Ray’Sean Taylor who can flat out score the ball!  Keydrian Jones is a big body inside with skill.  Aaron Molton compliments him well in the post.

 

Top Prospects to Watch

Donovan Clay (Alton)
Malik Smith (Alton)
Moory Woods (Alton)
Khalifah Muhammad (Belleville East)
EJ Liddell (Belleville West)
Keith Randolph (Belleville West)
Lawrence Brazil (Belleville West)
Tommie Williams (Belleville West)
Ray’Sean Taylor (Collinsville)
Keydrian Jones (Collinsville)
Aaron Molton (Collinsville)
Cowhan Smith (Collinsville)
Terrence Hargrove (East St. Louis)
Elijah Rice (East St. Louis)
Richard Robinson (East St. Louis)
Lashawn Johnson (East St. Louis)
Armond Williams (East St. Louis)
Ethan Young (Edwardsville)

 

Top Contenders

  1. Belleville West
  2. East St. Louis
  3. Collinsville
  4. Alton
  5. Edwardsville