With so many talented players throughout not only the state of Illinois but the entire region, it is always an opportunity for high-quality players to fall thru the recruiting ranks. I will highlight a few players I have seen thus far in the early going of the season who have shown the ability to play college basketball.
2022 Christian Meeks 6’6 (Homewood-Flossmoor)
Christian who early in his career reminded me so much of a young Elton Brand but has since started to expand his game. He has really started to transform his game to play more on the perimeter which is going to help his long-term potential. He plays with great poise and does not force shots, instead of allowing the game to come to him and scoring within the context of the offense. He also is a quick leaper which makes his a very effective rebounder. He has been on an absolute tear this season winning MVP of the Hinsdale Classic scoring 18 in the championship game.
2022 Adidas Davis (6’5, Buffalo Grove)
A complete sleeper of a prospect in the state is the 6’5 lefty who not only scores from all three levels but rebounds the basketball exceptionally from the guard position. Was blown away by the effectiveness that Adidas plays with on both ends of the floor. He is more than just a 20PPG scorer as he is averaging 10RPG this season thus far. Adidas is a skilled and athletic wing with all of the tools necessary to be one of the top players at his position in the class. He is an excellent scorer. He can shoot to 20 feet and slash to the basket. He plays with good effort and is a solid defender as well as a good rebounder for his position. He plays with passion and is a winner and will be a solid addition to a roster.
2022 Jaylen Drane 6’1 (Simeon)
A floor general leading one of the best teams in the state. He has been highly recruited since entering high school and with a big senior season, he will have a lot of coaches looking for his services. He’s a true point guard who has great size who possesses great court awareness and savvy. He is a master at penetrating and dishing. He sees the court with a true point guard mentality. Sets up teammates well and works hard on defense, breaks opponents down off the dribble, and is a steal guy on defense against opponents. He can really push the ball down the court and he gets wherever he wants with it. He gets into the paint at will and can get it to the rim with his athleticism and explosion.
2022 Byron Hobbs 6’5 (Hyde Park)
The senior guard passes the eye test as he has great length and a skill set that will easily translate to the college level. Hobbs is a good shooter who plays hard and displays great basketball knowledge. He can stroke the three or take it to the hoop. On the break, he can finish with either hand or pull up for a jumper. Byron does not try to force the issue offensively, preferring to stay within the confines of his team’s offensive philosophy, though he has the ability to score. He has decent enough quickness to put the ball on the floor and penetrate to the hole if he faces defensive pressure. He works effectively off the bounce and uses the pull-up jumper in the mid-range area of the floor to complement his forays to the rim, due to his ability to rise up over the outstretched arms of defenders for the jumper. He has helped be apart of his team winning the Big Dipper tournament an earning a top ten ranking so far this season. With a continued play like he has shown thus far he will have a slew of colleges coaches making offers.
2022 Xavier Lewis 6’8 (TF South)
After a solid summer on the AAU circuit with Y&R Lewis has come into this season with a more balanced skill set. Xavier is one of those prototypical wing-types that can do just about anything on the court. He has a long, lean frame that oozes potential and a feathery touch out to 22-feet. His stroke is smooth and effortless and he doesn’t need a lot of space to get it off, especially off of the catch. He has a versatile game and can even post up smaller defenders and shoot over the top of them or drop a baby hook. His stock continues to rise as he is a highly looked at athletic prospect who will make a strong transition to the college game.