The state playoffs are here! preseason illinois high school basketball polls 2015 While Class 1A and 2A boys basketball began last week, regional play begins for Class 3A and 4A this week. As usual, we’ll keep the CSN Preps Power Rankings going through the playoffs into the end of the season.
Most of the power resides in a deep and talented Class 4A bracket, but a few teams sit in Class 3A and two have made sectional play in Class 2A in the latest edition of the top 25. Illinois boys basketball rankings
- Simeon (24-3, 10-0) – The Wolverines are the co-favorite for Class 4A along with Stevenson, but first they have to get past No. 6 St. Rita.
- Stevenson (23-3, 12-0) – The Patriots have been to Peoria in back-to-back years and are favored to get there again in 2015. Senior point guard Jalen Brunson is the state’s best player and he’s come up big in March before.
- Bogan (22-6, 6-4) – Getting hot at the right time is Bogan, who will be a major threat in Class 3A. But can the Bengals and senior point guard Luwane Pipkins get past Morgan Park? Bogan lost to the Mustangs twice in the regular season.
- Lake Forest (25-2, 10-2) – The Scouts were 23-0 this season facing teams who weren’t Stevenson. Senior forward Evan Boudreaux and his supporting cast will face some pressure, however, after being upset last season against Highland Park. A sectional final in Waukegan against Stevenson also looms.
- Morgan Park (17-6, 8-2) – The back-to-back champions in Class 3A will go for their third consecutive state title behind electric senior point guard Marcus LoVett. Junior guard Charlie Moore is also a huge scoring threat and head coach Nick Irvin has had a lot of time to prepare before the playoffs.
- St. Rita (23-3, 11-0) – All season, the Mustangs have built for this point, as they’ve played a difficult state-wide schedule to prepare for the Class 4A playoffs. Now Charles Matthews, Armani Chaney and Kain Harris have to get past Simeon in sectional play to reach supersectionals. Can they get it done against the Wolverines for a second time this season?
- St. Charles East (22-3, 12-2) – Newcomers in the top 25 compared to many established programs this season, senior point guard Cole Gentry leads a deep team that is filled with shooters and will be a major threat in Class 4A. But they’ll have to face crosstown rival St. Charles North for the fourth time before potentially facing Geneva for a third time for the regional title. Two of the Saints three losses came against those programs this season.
- Notre Dame (24-4, 9-0) – Quietly rolling into the Class 4A playoffs is East Suburban Catholic champions Notre Dame and high-scoring guard Joe Mooney. The Dons will host their own regional — and be favored to win — before getting a crack at Stevenson at Waukegan in the sectional semifinals.
- Thornwood (21-5, 12-2) – One of the hottest teams in the state, the Thunderbirds are balanced and potent on offense. They’ll be favored to win a regional title at Bloom in Class 4A before potentially facing St. Rita in a big sectional semifinal game at Eisenhower.
- Maine South (25-3, 8-2) – Getting to the 25-win mark is very impressive for Maine South, but now they have to beat Central Suburban League South rival Evanston in their gym to win a regional title. One of the three Hawk losses on the season came in that very scenario in February.
- Providence (19-9, 5-6) – The new trendy pick in Class 4A to make some noise is Catholic League Tournament champion Providence. The Celtics are favored to win the Yorkville Regional in Class 4A before potentially facing Neuqua Valley in the sectional semifinal at Bolingbrook.
- Kenwood (18-6, 10-0) – A great regular season for Red-Central champion Kenwood and now they have a tough Class 4A path. They have to get past St. Ignatius on the road for a regional title before potentially playing Whitney Young in the sectional semifinals at Morton.
- St. Joseph (22-6, 9-2) – The Chargers have had some puzzling losses this season but it looks like they can make it through their sectional in Class 3A. With all of its talent in place, St. Joseph could make it to Peoria in Class 3A.
- Geneva (25-3, 12-2) – Geneva lost in the last week of the season to Larkin, so the Vikings will have to get things together before hosting a regional final against a team like St. Charles East.
- Riverside-Brookfield (24-3, 12-0) – The Bulldogs were soundly beaten by St. Charles East on Friday night but they’re still the No. 1 seed in the Morton Sectional and should be favored to win the Leyden Regional. But then it gets tough with a potential sectional semifinal against a team like Curie or Fenwick.
- Thornton (22-3, 13-1) – A great season for the Wildcats as they’ll get a tough Homewood-Flossmoor team in a potential regional final at home. If Thornton can win its own regional, they likely see Simeon in the sectional semifinals at Eisenhower.
- Uplift (23-5, 9-0) – Regional champions in Class 2A, now Uplift moves onto sectional play where they’ll again be favored in the Northridge Prep Sectional. The Phoenix could run into Hales in super-sectional play.
- Curie (17-6, 10-0) – The Condors didn’t see a lot of competition in the White Central, but played a difficult national schedule in preparation of a Class 4A run. Curie has to beat Fenwick in their gym to win a regional, but Devin Gage is very talented with the ball in his hands and he has Josh Stamps on the wing.
- Fenwick (21-7, 7-4) – Coming on strong late in the season is Fenwick, who might get to host Curie for a regional title in Class 4A. Junior point guard Mike Smith has had a great season and could led the Friars on a run here.
- Hales Franciscan (24-5, 9-2) – Competing in Class 2A and moving onto sectional play is Hales. The Spartans now look like the big favorites in the Robeson Sectional and could meet Uplift in super-sectionals.
- Hinsdale Central (20-6, 8-4) – With senior forward Matt Rafferty back in the lineup, the Red Devils are a major threat to make a run in Class 4A. They’re now favored in the Downers South Regional after beating Willowbrook this week and could top Lyons in the sectional semifinal at East Aurora.
- Jacobs (22-5, 10-0) – The Golden Eagles are fully healthy and playing well at the right time as they now have to get past Larkin in a potential regional final in Bartlett.
- Homewood-Flossmoor (18-7, 13-1) – Nice season overall for the Vikings as they now prepare for a potentially difficult Class 4A regional final against Thornton in a road game.
- Neuqua Valley (24-4, 12-2) – The No. 1 seed in the Bolingbrook sectional, the Wildcats now have a chance to make some noise in Class 4A. But after a favorable draw in the Joliet West regional, the Wildcats now might have to face red-hot Providence Catholic in the sectional semifinals.
- Bolingbrook (19-6, 12-2) – The Raiders get some homecourt advantage if they make sectional play in Class 4A and with Colorado State commit Prentiss Nixon and Green Bay commit Julian Torres, they have talent.
My 2015 recruiting class happy place has visions of Charles Matthews driving the lane and kicking to an open Aaron Jordan waiting behind the three point arc to drain another trey.
Top high school basketball players 2015 in illinois
Scoring point guards
Charles Matthews: I’ll start with young Mr. Matthews because I’ve been drooling over the possibility of him committing to the Illini for quite some time. He’s more of a 6-foot-5 combo guard, but who cares. He’s the highest rated player from Illinois in the 2015 class. He’s a surefire burger boy. He’s also best friends with current Illinois commit D.J. Williams. Most likely, Illinois’ main competition will be from Kansas, Kentucky, and Duke. No surprise there.
Eric Davis: This standout from Saginaw, Michigan is a four star point guard on the cusp of becoming a five star. His skill set is perfect for the offense the John Groce wants to run meaning he can handle the ball and score at will. Most believe he is Michigan State bound, but the Illini are on his list.
Jalen Brunson: Most fans of Illinois high school basketball hoops witnessed Jalen Brunson’s coming out party during last year’s IHSA 4A run to the state title game. He’s a consensus four star recruit, and he can fill a stat sheet. Rumors are that the relationship between Brunson and the Illini cooled after Quentin Snider committed, but Snider also decommitted so maybe interest between both parties will heat up again. Right now, Michigan is considered to be the favorite for Jalen’s services.
Jalen Coleman: Jalen Coleman is a four star point guard from La Porte, Indiana. He’s another lead guard that perfectly fits the mold of John Groce’s offensive style. The Illini have not faired well recruiting the state of Indiana (IDKWTI comes to mind), but La Porte is close enough to the Illinois border that loyalty to the Hoosiers could be in question. We know Groce has won battles in Indiana during his days as an Ohio State assistant, so there’s a chance. Expect this to be an epic recruiting battle between a number of Big Ten schools.
Diamond Stone: The five star, man child center from Milwaukee is a top 10 rated player across the board by all the recruiting services. He’s huge, AND strong, AND rebounds with two hands, AND can score on the block. I could go on, but you get the picture. The Illini offered very early which might give them a chance once Diamond is ready to make a decision. Winning his commitment from Marquette and Wisconsin will be difficult; though.
Carlton Bragg: Another consensus top 10 player from the class is a power forward that is strong, AND rebounds with two hands, AND can score on the block, AND dunks anything within seven feet from the basket. Bragg has had nothing but great things to say about the Illini which bodes well for an attempt to steal him from the Buckeye State. Thad Matta will be in it until the end for Bragg as well as our favorite squid, John Calamari. I mean Calipari. This video shows he can do more than dunk. He can also shimmy a bit.
Elijah Thomas: The five star power forward from Lancaster, Texas is a bit unknown in Illinois recruiting circles and talked about little. Let me assure you that Elijah’s game is far from little, and his interest in Illinois is legitimate. I’m sure you can guess this, but he is big, AND strong, AND rebounds with two hands, AND can score on the block. That’s quite the common theme for the bangers on this list. SMU is rumored to be leading for Mr. Thomas, but don’t count out Illinois in this race.
Josh Sharma: The seven-footer’s recruitment and ranking has taken off as of late. He’s a bit raw, but you can see glimpses of the length and athleticism Illinois fans once saw in Meyers Leonard when watching Sharma’s game. Most guys that have grown beyond the six-foot range aren’t doing between the legs dunks during warm ups. He’ll need to add some weight and muscle, but his frame and skillset is there with a ton of upside. Raise your hand if you thought Wisconsin would be involved in his recruitment…you’d be right. Vanderbilt is also in the mix. This video is a bit old(I swear I just watched an updated video on him), but you can see the potential there.