A talented assortment, (from left to right) Elliott Poole, Sean Dockery, Andre Iguodala, Shannon Brown
and Dee Brown account for this year's Class AA All-State first team.
Class AA All-State
By Frank Rusnak
Sometimes things just don't go your way, but if you keep your head up they could very well turnaround in the blink of an eye. Just ask Springfield Lanphier's Andre Iguodala, named 2001-02 HighSchoolElite.com Class AA Player of the Year.
"He's improved more in his junior to senior year then any player that I've ever had."
After finding out that Nolan Richardson would have his contract bought out at Arkansas, where Iguodala had earlier signed, he then was told he would not be on the McDonald's All-American team, a dream since his childhood.
However, after writing a letter to the university, he was released of his letter of intent to Arkansas. Then he was invited to the Wendy's Chicago vs. New York All-Star Classic in addition to the Jordan Capital Classic. The positives kept rolling after that, leading his team to the Elite Eight and a second place state finish, which none of the Illinois representatives in the McDonald's game could claim.
For anyone to predict his accomplishments when he first came into high school, it would've been tabbed as far-fetched assumptions. Iguodala came into Lanphier playing both freshmen and junior varsity ball only to elevate his game by great measures from there on.
"He's improved more in his junior to senior year then any player that I've ever had," said Lions coach Craig Patton. "He's just made great leaps and bounds and part of that is the circulation with the AAU and he's matured more. He was good and he's great now."
The AAU that Patton refers to is that of the Illinois Warriors. With the Warriors, Iguodala led the team to the AAU National Title in Orlando, Florida at the end of the summer while garnering MVP honors.
Throughout the summer, personal lessons from former NBA player Kevin Gamble also helped bridge Iguodala's road from respectable to nationally renowned.
Gamble, a Springfield native and former Lanphier star, recognized the talent in Iguodala -- and possibly a little of himself.
Both 6'7" versatile performers, Gamble led the Lions Downstate in 1983 as a senior where they topped Peoria Central for the Class AA title.
Iguodala, surrounded by a solid nucleus including fellow all-stater Richard McBride, was put in a situation where he could repeat the success that Gamble had nearly 20 years prior.
With no team from Springfield winning a title since '83, it looked likely that Iguodala would repeat the success of Gamble's team. Despite Iguodala's 29 points in the finals, Lanphier could not get past Chicago Westinghouse in the finals.
For his services, Iguodala, however, was awarded with a first team all-tournament selection. And finishing the year with team-leading averages of 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists, his senior year was definitely not one to scuff at.
Dee Brown, Proviso East, 6-0, Sr.
Averaged 26 points, six assists and 3 steals for a 26-3 team, Brown was the consummate leader. Taking his team to the supersectionals, he will be headed to Illinois next season. Helped the Pirates to an undefeated season in the West Suburban Gold Conference. He will be participating in the McDonald's All-American game on April 4, at Madison Square Garden (NY) and the Jordan Brand Capital Classic on April 11, at the MCI Center (Washington).
Sean Dockery, Julian, 6-3, Sr.
With a young and inexperienced team, Dockery led his squad to the Chicago Red South title with marks of 28 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals a game. A Duke recruit, he is a returning first team all-state performer. Guiding his team to an overall 20-9 record the Jaguars reached the semifinals of the Chicago Public League playoffs. Dockery participated in the EA Roundball Classic on March 26, at the United Center (Chicago) and finished with 14 points and 10 assists. He also will play in the McDonald's All-American game.
Shannon Brown, Proviso East, 6-2, Jr.
The state's most electrifying player, Brown (no relation to Dee) finished the year averaging 23 points, five rebounds and three steals for a 26-3 squad. Carrying a 46 inch vertical and with enormous hands allowing him to easily palm the ball, there is never a dull moment when he is on the court. Receiving high recruiting interest from across the country and rated as one of the top players in his class in America he has yet to narrow down his list.
Andre Iguodala, Springfield Lanphier, 6-7, Sr.
Mr. Everything for his team, Iguodala led Lanphier to the Class AA state title game (lost to Westinghouse) and a 32-2 season that saw them go undefeated in the Central State Eight. Averaging 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals, he shot 59-percent from the floor and 82-percent from the free-thrown line. Originally signing with Arkansas, he was released of his commitment and has opened his recruiting to Kansas, Arizona and Georgia Tech. This Spring he will attempt to top his previous performances of placing second in the state in the high jump as a sophomore and third as a junior. He will participate in the Wendy's All-Star Shootout on April 13, at the DePaul Athletic Center (Chicago) and the Jordan Brand Capital Classic.
Elliott Poole, Farragut, 6-6, Sr.
A player with a tremendous amount of heart, Pool guided his team to the Chicago Public League title game. Tallying marks of 24 points, 14 rebounds, four steals and three blocks per game he is undecided for college. On a team that saw one of the most grueling schedules in the state, he was the leader of his 22-10 Admirals. The owner of very quick hands on defense and sure hands on offense, he will play in the Wendy's All-Star Shootout.
Marcus White (above), who was named MVP of the Proviso West Holiday Holiday Tournament, is a second team all-state performer.
Alando Tucker, Lockport, 6-5, Sr.
Taking a mediocre team and turning them into a very competitive squad, Tucker did it all. Averaging 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists while shooting 55-percent from the field, he scored 46-percent of his team's points on the season. Tucker was named MVP of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament despite his team coming in second place. Lockport was knocked out of the playoffs courtesy of Joliet in the regionals, whom the Porters fell to for the fourth time this year (eight times in two years). An athletic and smooth performer who has signed with Wisconsin, Tucker will play in the Wendy's All-Star Shootout.
Marcus White, Whitney Young, 6-7, Sr.
A tenacious rebounder, White guided his team to the title of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament in garnering MVP honors. Averaging 22 points and 14 rebounds on the year, he helped the Dolphins to an 18-10 record. The Dolphins were beat by state-champion Westinghouse in the second round of the Chicago Public League Playoffs. Signed with DePaul, he is a tremendous athlete with good low-post moves on the blocks. He participated in the EA Roundball Classic and is scheduled to participate in the Wendy's All-Star Shootout.
Robert Faulkner, Peoria Richwoods, 6-7, Sr.
Starring for a 24-5 team, Faulkner averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks while using his versatile game to his advantage. The only team to beat Springfield Lanphier in the regular season, the Knights fell to Limestone in the sectionals. Without the necessary marks for Division I, Faulkner is projected to go the prep school route.
Richard McBride, Springfield Lanphier, 6-3, Jr.
Starting and starring since his freshman year on varsity, McBride has been the biggest reason why Lanphier has an incredible 81-11 record over the past three years. He averaged 18 points and four assists this past year while shooting 49-percent from the field and 43-percent from 3-point range. Finishing with a second place finish at State, the Lions ended with a 32-2 mark. McBride is receiving high-major recruiting interest from across the country.
David Moss, Thornwood, 6-5, Sr.
Helped lead Thornwood to a 59-7 record over the past two years with two trips to the Elite Eight and two undefeated SICA East titles. Moss was the leading scorer of this past year's 27-5 squad that fell to Springfield Lanphier in the quarterfinals. Going for numbers of 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game, he will be headed to Indiana State next season.
James Augustine, Lincoln-Way Central, 6-9, Sr.
After his team started the year 1-6 without Augustine, who was out with a sprained ankle, he returned to lead them to a 14-13 mark overall (13-7 since his return). Falling to Thornwood in the second round of the playoffs, Augustine averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 58 percent from the floor. Signing with Illinois for next year, he will play in the Wendy's All-Star Shootout.
Mike Thompson (above), who will play in the McDonald's All-American game, is a third team all-state player.
Brandon Cole, Rich South, 6-7, Sr.
The difference for his team from having an average year to a very prosperous one, Cole averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds a game. Guiding the Stars to a 19-8 record, they fell to T.F. North in the regionals. Cole, who has shown to be one of the state's top rebounders also possess a feathery soft touch. He has signed with Xavier (OH) for next season.
Aaron Spears, Dunbar, 6-10, Sr.
One of the state's top unsigned players, Spears has shown remarkable improvement from his infant days in high school. Improving his conditioning has allowed him to best utilize his soft hands and big body around the hoop. Guiding his team to an 18-8 record, he averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks a game. Spears will participate in the Wendy's All-Star Shootout.
Michael Thompson, Providence Catholic, 6-10, Sr.
Headed to Duke, Thompson averaged 22 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks a game while being double and triple-teamed all season. Shooting 55-percent from the floor he will be participating in the McDonald's All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Capital Classic.
Darius Glover, Westinghouse, 6-3, Sr.
He was an integral part in Westinghouse's first state title ever, defeating Springfield Lanphier 76-72. Glover amassed 28 points and 10 rebounds in the title game as the Warriors held off a massive comeback attempt. His team finishing the year 30-5, Glover uses quick feet combined with keen court awareness to be a menace in the painted area as well as from the perimeter.
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