Peoria Richwoods- Winning every tournament they
played in this summer, Richwoods has proved to be unstoppable. Led by seniors 6'4"
Steve Turner and 6'8" Marcus Jackson, Coach Darling feels that 6'7" junior Rob
Turner (no relation to Steve) is actually the most talented player on the team.
Also, look for 5'10" junior guard John Little to play a big role in the success of
the Knights. Other players that look to get significant playing time include 5'11"
guard Martell Webster and 6'4" post player John Young.
"We are going to be favored to win and I think that
we have all the tools this year to put things together."
Coach Bob Darling
West Aurora- Showed continued dominance coming off of
their state championship last year, capturing summer championships such as the Morris
Shootout and Oak Park R.F. Tournament. Leading the way has been the supreme backcourt of
6'2" freshmen point guard Jay Thomas, 6'3" shooting guard Derik Hollyfield and
6'4" senior swingman Jamaal Thompson. Overcoming their lack of height over the
summer, the possible addition of 6'7" senior Akbar Lawson (from Panama) could help
the Blackhawks if he is ruled eligible. If not, Coach Gordon Kerkman will ask much of post
players, 6'2" Nate Eimer and 6'3" Jordan Loozano.
Whitney Young- With five division one senior signees
and a bevy of talented young players, (also with division one potential) the Dolphins are
loaded. The loss of Najeeb Echols will hurt, but Young played well and looked to have
better ball movement and chemistry during the summer when he wasn't playing. Look for
forwards, Ronald Howard (Marquette), Josh Williams (UIC) and Marcus White (Junior) to get
the start along with guards Chris Hill (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and 6'2" Andre Knox
(Sophomore) for Lamont Bryant's club. Coming off the bench will be 6'7" senior
Brandon Allen (University of Maryland Eastern Shore) and 6'5" sophomore DeWitt Scott.
Thornwood- The transfer of former Marian Catholic
player, 6'6" Melvin Buckley, brings the Thunderbirds to the elite status, rather then
just being a very good team. Combined with 6'10" All-American Eddy Curry, Thornwood
will have a physically big team with solid guards. 6'2" junior Cornelius Jones,
6'4" senior Steve Sawyers, 6'2" junior Pierre Thomas, 6'2" junior David
Moss and 6'1" senior Shenard McDonald, lead the guard play.
Marshall- Holding down the middle will be the
versatile 6'8" Kelly Whitney, committed to Michigan. Heading the full court press
will be 6'2" senior Ronald Davis. Quick in the passing lanes and an explosive first
step, Davis can finish with the best. Swingman 6'5" senior Justin Bowen will
contribute in the paint as well as on the perimeter with his solid handle. The Commandos
with a host of other quick athletic guards who will cause havoc on opposing defenses.
Morgan Park- With some talented seniors, including
6'5" Quinnel Brown, 6'9" Jonathan Byrd and 6'2" O'Neal Carter, Coach Herb
Ray is happy as he likes to get the most out of his seniors. In addition, the Mustangs
could also possibly get clearance for Missouri-bound Najeeb Echols, which would match them
pound-for-pound talent-wise with any other team in the state. Look for fellow seniors
Clearance Kelly and Lynell Ingram to also crack the starting lineup if Echols is not ruled
eligible after his transfer. 6'8" junior Marcus Arnold is definitely one to keep an
Julian- With seven potential division one players in
the program, talent is not an issue for the Jaguars. Leading the charge will be star
junior Sean Dockery at the point guard slot. Dockery will be joined on the perimeter by
6'3" freshman J.J. Watson and 6'4" Larry Booth. In the post, seniors Anton
Palmer and Martesse Williams will be hard at work, but both could also take the ball
outside with success. Solid reserves, for the Jaguars are 5'5" junior point guard
Mike Wilson and 6'10" senior center Jason McKinnon.
Lincoln-Way- The Knights are headed into battle by
four-year varsity player and Marquette-bound Kevin Menard. Averaging 20.4 points and 9
rebounds last season, the 6'6" Menard is joined by last year's starters, senior point
guard Adam White and senior swingman Adam Ferrari. Look for 6'9" (and still growing)
junior James Augustine to play a big role as well.
Mt. Zion- Not achieving much team success in the past
(never won a Sectional), the smallest Class AA school in Illinois (735 students), Mt. Zion
looks to change all of that this season. Led by division one signees, 6'2" guard Matt
McCollum (Ball State), 6'3" guard/forward Neil Plank (Wisconsin) and 6'7" power
forward Jake Sams (Indiana State) the Braves have obvious talent. However, the talent
doesn't stop there. With 6'5" junior sharpshooter Logan Glossor, who as well is
D1-bound, Mt. Zion has solid size combined with good athletes and shooters. Also, Sam's
little brother, 6'7" sophomore Michael and 6'3" 200-pound junior Matt Yelovich
should help contribute in the post.
Moline- Coach Frank Dexter has a solid ball-club this
year led by 6'3" senior guard Chris Hickey. A great shooter with a solid build,
Hickey can put points on the board in a hurry. Lacking a true point guard, the Maroons
will go with 6'3" junior Jay McAdams-Thornton and 6'1" senior Ryan Scannel on
the perimeter. Moline's formidable front-court is led by 6'6" center Travis Hoyt and
6'5" Justin Ward; both seniors.
Rockford Guilford- The Vikings will lack height this
year but will make up for it with their superior speed. One of the quickest teams in the
state this year, Guilford is led by the quick Aaron Robinson. The Minnesota-bound
5'8" point guard, Robinson is an adept penetrator and has an improving outside shot.
To compliment Robinson are fellow speed-demons, 6'2" guard Cedric Ousley, 6'0"
senior guard Marcus Roby and 5'9" senior guard Tierre Box.
Joliet- Illinois-bound Roger Powell does it all for
the Steelmen. A 6'6" powerhouse, he can, and will, use his strength to clean the
glasses and then proceed to use his quickness compiled with his long-range shooting to
beat you on the outside. Assisting Powell will be 6'6" junior Kellen Easley,
6'3" junior Jeremy Cartwright, 6'6" senior Terrance Chapman and junior point
guard Brandon Shoemaker.
Springfield Lanphier- 6'1" Marques Warfield will
provide senior-leadership for the young Lions. Warfield is capable of catching fire at the
forward position. With the tough-to-stop backcourt of super soph Richard McBride and
6'6" junior Andre Iguodala, Coach Craig Patton has mega-athletes with superstar
abilities. Look for 6'6" senior center Montez Slater to be the force Lanphier is
looking for in the middle.
Peoria Central- Coach Charles Buescher has a young
team this year led by Iowa-bound Marcellus Sommerville. Proving that he can do serious
damage with his outside shot this summer, Sommerville might see some increased time on the
outside but with the Lion's lack of size he will be needed in the paint. Central's guards
are young, but all have shown considerable talent. Led by sophomores 5'8" Dan Ruffin,
5'9" Tyson Langhorn and 6'1" Brett Jones, the Lions will be a quick team that
enjoys pressing a lot.
Proviso East- Led by All-State candidate 5'10"
junior Dee Brown, the Pirates have a deep and talented squad. Joining Brown in the
backcourt will be 6'0" senior Chris Shields and look for 6'2" super soph Shannon
Brown to have a banner year. With basketball skills oozing out of his slender frame,
Shannon has athletic abilities that are unteachable. With a formidable front court led by
6'5" swingman Jared Carswell and 6'8" big-bodied Reggie Roberson, Proviso has
the tools to make some noise this year.
Centralia- The winningest program of all time, the
Orphans have a tall and talented team this year. At small forward for Coach Rick Moss'
club will be 6'7" senior Chris Carter. A skilled big man, Carter has a solid outside
shot. Joining Carter will be Jonathon Smith, a 6'7" junior center and Josh Shaw, a
6'5" senior forward
Westinghouse- With an athletic front court, including
6'5" senior Jamal Washington, 6'4" junior Darius Glover and 6'5" junior
Richard Russel, the Warriors will again be tough coming off of a state championship
appearance. Leading the guard attack will be water-bug point junior guard Jamaal Brown.
Coach Chris Head will have total control of the team and will have his team
well-conditioned and hustling 100% of time.
Rockford Boylan- Led by sharp shooting Joe
Tulley-clone Mike Britton, the Titans look to make some noise this year. The 6'3"
senior shooting guard, Britton, will be joined in the backcourt by junior point guard
Steve Harris. Recognized most for his football skills, the 5'10" Harris is a supreme
athlete, formidable ball-handler and ample play maker. Look for 6'7" junior Jason
Winkler to hold down the middle with his rail-thin frame.
Crane- Young and talented, the Cougars will need the
leadership of Arizona-bound guard Will Bynum. Coach Anthony Longstreet has a bevy of
talented sophomores that will need to mature quickly for Crane to produce this year. Of
the sophomores, 5'10" Carl Marshall, 5'11" Jamale Tidwell, 6'3" Tremel
Gilot, 6'5" Florentino Valencia and 6'7" Lorenzo Thompson will lead the way for
the young Cougars.
Danville- Returning a backcourt of two players
recognized as All-State Honorable Mention last year, the Vikings will be a guard-oriented
team. 6'2" senior guards, DaJuan Gouard and Juan Robinson will make things happen for
Coach Scott Olson's ball club.