Posted On: 11/25/18 11:30 AM

The 2018-19 season has kicked off for many Southern Illinois high schools this week, and already there are several guys making a statement and setting the tone for the new year.  Thanksgiving dinner just wasn’t enough for these 5 prospects, so they feasted on the competition on the court.


The Usual Suspects:


EJ Liddell (6’7 2019 F, Belleville West) – The recent Ohio State commit is #1 in the Prep Hoops Illinois 2019 rankings for a reason and has picked up right where he left off after leading the Maroons to a title last year.  In three wins at the Washington Tournament of Champions so far, EJ has averaged an eye-popping 30.7 points, 8 rebounds, and nearly 4 blocks per game.  The human highlight reel has been punishing the rims to the tune of an 83% field goal percentage in the young year.  







Ray’Sean Taylor (6’0 2020 PG, Collinsville) – Ray’Sean has seen a steady climb in our rankings (currently #15 overall 2020 Illinois) and is off to an impressive start to kick off this season.  The ultra-quick point guard with a smooth handle has given opposing defenses fits in the Herrin Tournament where he has amassed 22.7 ppg including a 25 point in a big win Friday night over Mt. Vernon.  Ray’Sean has led the Kahoks to a 3-0 start to the year.


Amir Spann (6’2 2020 G, Mt. Vernon) – Speaking of Mt. Vernon, they have a star of their own in Amir Spann (#45 overall 2020 Illinois) who is a strong, physical guard that excels on both ends of the floor.  Amir is averaging 21 ppg through three games at the Herrin Tournament including a 30 point performance in a victory over Meridian.  This is definitely one prospect we will be keeping a close eye on as the season continues to progress.

Amir Spann, Mt. Vernon



Breakout Performances:


Nate Brede (6’7 2019 F, Wesclin) – Nate had a nice year for Wesclin last season, putting up 12.8 ppg and 6.4 rpg while drilling 71 three-pointers at an eye opening 49%.  As the only returning starter, it was a fair assumption that Nate would be relied on to shoulder a heavier load and so far he has delivered in a big way.  Nate is averaging 30.5 ppg in his first two games including a 35 point takeover against Mascoutah where the lengthy forward buried 5 three-pointers.

photo credit Paul Baillargeon


Luke Cox (6’3 2020 G, Triad) – Luke has stepped up and helped lead a very young Triad team to a 3-0 start early this season.  He is averaging 21.7 ppg including a big time effort against an athletic Granite City team where he dropped 29.  Luke has already drained 10 three-pointers in his first three games and look for more of the same from him in the coming weeks.  The Knights will look for another big game out of look tonight as they take on Taylorville in the Stove Top Stuffing Classic.