2018 Chicago Sun-Times All-Area basketball team

Morgan Park's Ayo Dosunmu (11) holds the ball against St. Laurence, Tuesday 03-06-18. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

FRED CLEVELAND
Leo, 5-8, G, Jr.

Leo's Fred Cleveland (2) tries to make his way to the basket against Uplift Saturday 01-27-18. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

All-City Second team. A true floor general and gifted scorer. Led the Lions to a 20-3 record and Catholic League White championship. Averaged 20.3 points, 7 assists, 3.5 steals and 2.7 rebounds. Lawless Award winner. All-Tournament at Peoria Thanksgiving Tournament and Big Dipper Holiday Tournament.

TYLER COCHRAN
Bolingbrook, 6-2, G, Jr.

Bolingbrook's Tyler Cochran (23) makes a reverse layup against Homewood-Flossmoor. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times
A bruising, physical player that can be an unstoppable scorer at times. Averaged 14 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists for a very balanced Raiders squad. First Team All-Tournament at Hinsdale Central. Major contributor to team that finished third in Class 4A last season and has led Bolingbrook to a 22-6 record so far this season.

CAMRON DONATLAN
West Aurora, 6-3, G, Sr.

West Aurora's Cam Donatlan (2) dribbles against Curie at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, Friday 12-29-17. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Wyoming football recruit. One of the state’s best athletes, has won two state titles in the high jump and will try for a third this spring. Has led the Blackhawks to a 24-4 record, the Upstate Eight Valley title and a sectional finals appearance. Averaged 19 points and 4.2 assists while shooting 57 percent from the field.

BRYANT BROWN
Waukegan, 6-4, F, Jr.

Waukegan's Bryant Brown (25) backs Zion-Benton's Joshua Meeks (50) out of the lane. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.
The area’s most productive junior, an elite scorer and impact defensive player. Averaged 21.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. Picked up All-Tournament team at the Grant Thanksgiving tournament and Wheeling Holiday tournament. First team All-Conference in the North Suburban.

PERRY COWAN
DePaul Prep, 6-4, G, Jr.

DePaul Prep's Perry Cowan (23) tries to shake off Orr's Tyron Mosley (23). Worsom Robinson/ For Sun-Times
All-City Second team. Became even more consistent in his third season on the varsity. Averaged 18.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Shot 49 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range. Helped lead the Rams to a 24-6 record and appearance in the Class 3A sectional finals.

RYAN DAVIS
Conant, 6-9, F, Sr.

Ryan Davis (25) of Conant dunks against Mc Henry, Tuesday 12-26-17. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Vermont recruit. The Player of the Year contender was the area’s best big man. Four-year varsity player that developed into an automatic finisher in the paint and a major threat on the perimeter and in the open court. Averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds and 2 steals while facing double and triple-teams.

AYO DOSUNMU
Morgan Park, 6-4, G, Sr.

Morgan Park's Ayo Dosunmu (11) gets a fast break layup against Simeon. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Illinois recruit. All-City First team and two-time All-Area pick. Long, smart guard was selected to play in Jordan Brand All-American game and is a consensus top thirty player in the country. Battled through an an ankle injury to average 30.4 points, 9 rebounds, 7.4 assists and three steals.

RAEKWON DRAKE
Orr, 6-5, F, Sr.

Orr's Raekwon Drake (25) gets fouled going to the basket against Young Thursday 02-01-18. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Uncommited. All-City Second team. Three-time All-Area selection. The city’s most electric athlete over the past three seasons. Helped lead Orr to the Class 2A state title last season and back to Peoria this season. Averaged 13 points, 8 rebounds and three blocks. Scored more than 1,000 points and had more than 500 rebounds in his four-year varsity career.

DAMARIA FRANKLIN
Niles North, 6-4, F, Sr.

Niles North's Damaria Franklin (13) gets into the paint for two against Evanston. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Uncomitted. A multi-faceted offensive threat able to get to the rim and knock down three-pointers. Posted multiple 40-plus point games in his career. Averaged 16.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.6 steals. Helped lead the Vikings to a 26-5 record and a regional championship.

JAVON FREEMAN
Young, 6-4, F, Sr.

Javon Freeman floats to the rim against Lincoln Park in the third quarter, Wednesday 03-07-18. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Valparaiso recruit. All-City First team. Player of the Year contender that helped lead the Dolphins to the 2017 Class 4A state championship and a sectional final appearance so far this season. A smooth, high-flying athlete. Averaged 22.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2 steals.

ZION GRIFFIN
Hinsdale South, 6-5, F, Sr.

Hinsdale South's Zion Griffin slams home a basket against Conant, , December 16, 2017. Allen Cunningham / For the Sun-Times.
Iowa State recruit. Transformed his game over the summer to become a perimeter and a post threat. Capable of taking over a game, averaged 21.1 points and 9 rebounds. Scored more than 1,000 points in two varsity seasons. Led the Hornets to a 21-7 record and West Suburban Gold title.

JUSTIN HARDY
St. Charles East, 6-5, F, Sr.

Justin Hardy (32) of St. Charles East get under Justin Shaw (40). Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times
Uncommitted. All-Tournament selection at Hinsdale Central. The three-year varsity starter averaged 20.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.2 steals, all team highs. Shot 52 percent from the field and was 24-for-90 from three-point range.

TALEN HORTON-TUCKER
Simeon, 6-5, F, Sr.

Talen Horton-Tucker (5) of Simeon steps into the paint against Fenwick, Monday 01-15-18. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Iowa State recruit. Sun-Times Player of the Year and All-City First team selection. Three-year varsity player for the Wolverines, won the city title all three years. Leader of one of the best teams in the country. Averaged 20.1 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.

MARKESE JACOBS
Uplift, 6-0, G, Jr.

Uplift's Markese Jacobs (0) gets a windmill dunk in the second half against Leo Saturday 01-27-18. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Kansas recruit. All-City Third team. Confident and explosive, one of the state’s most gifted scorers. Helped lead the Titans to the Class 2A sectional finals and an 18-10 record. Averaged 18.4 points, 3.1 assists and 2.6 steals despite only playing three quarters of the game the majority of the season.

MESSIAH JONES
Simeon, 6-5, F, Sr.

Simeon's Messiah Jones (15) had six dunks against Morgan Park. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Drake recruit. All-City Second team. Incredibly effective post presence despite being undersized. Naturally more of a wing player, but sacrificed his personal game for the team throughout his three-year varsity career. Averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds. First Team All-Tournament at Pontiac and MVP of the Penny Hardaway Hoopfest.

DREW PETERSON
Libertyville, 6-8, G, Sr.

Libertyville's Drew Peterson (23) works around the Downers Grove North defender, January 12, 2018. Allen Cunningham / for Chicago Sun-Times
Uncommitted. One of the best players in school history, his numbers are huge. Averaged 26 points, 8 rebounds and four assists while shooting 50 percent from the field. The three-year starter has scored more than 30 five times this season and posted nine double-doubles. Scored more than 1,500 points in his three-year varsity career.

JALEN SHAW
Larkin, 6-10, C, Sr.

Willowbrook's Ethan Schuemer, left, works to get position against Elgin Larkin's Jalen Shaw during the Warriors' 70-67 victory. | Allen Cunningham/for the Sun-Times.
Uncommitted. One of the area’s most dominant forces on both ends of the court. The three-year varsity player averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 assists. All-Tournament at Rockford and All-Conference in the Upstate Eight River. Teamed with guard Anthony Lynch to lead the Royals to a 22-8 record, conference title and sectional final appearance.

DANNIE SMITH
Orr, 6-5, F, Sr.

Orr's Dannie Smith (23) celebrates after taking the lead against Curie. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Uncommitted. All-City First team. The leader of last season’s Class 2A state champions. Averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds and four assists this season to lead the Spartans to a 28-4 record, the Red-North/West title and another appearance at Peoria in the state finals.

DJ STEWARD
Fenwick, 6-1, G, So.

Fenwick's D.J. Steward (21) gets a finger roll on Bloomington's Colton Sandage (15). Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.
The area’s most consistent sophomore led the Friars in scoring (18.4 points), assists (3.1) and steals (2) and was tied for the team lead in rebounds at 5 per game. As a freshman, was the leading scorer on last season’s squad that finished second in Class 3A. Helped Fenwick to a 20-8 record and undefeated season in the Catholic League Blue. Lawless Award winner.

MORGAN TAYLOR
Marist, 6-3, G, Sr.

Marist's Morgan Taylor (20) drives the lane and dunks in the second half as the Redhawks defeat Marian Catholic, January 11, 2018. Allen Cunningham / For the Sun-Times.
Uncommitted. All-City First team. Does it all for one of the state’s best teams. He’s the primary ball-handler and leading scorer for the RedHawks, who are 27-4 and playing for a sectional title on Friday. Averaged 23 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 steals. Shot 50 percent from the field.

40 comments

  • Sonny

    Joseph Yesufu should have been on the list. Man, I’ve been watching this kid for years. He went to Bolingbrook and I’ve been noticing the coach doesn’t put him in the best positions to show his worth. In fact, I thought it was a bad decision for him to go there as I saw this coming. That coach really doesn’t know how to utilize any good players and has been the case for years. They should’ve won State last year but coaching was DEFINITELY a problem.

  • ijp

    where is lace jones ad kejuan clements? easily top 2 jr’s in illinois

  • CP3

    Lance Jones omission is darn near criminal.
    When Mr.Henricksen did the mid year evals, it was L anceBuckets who was the most valuable player(JR), to his team. Conference winner, Leader of his team in EVERY major statistical category while at times playing and guarding the 1-5 spots. Case in point, he will have to spend on the pf/c tandem from NT, tonight. All while leading a team that has 3, yes 3 freshmen making significant contributions to this sectional finalist. We know who they look up to.smh.
    Only junior capable of comparing to him is Perry Cowan.
    Defensively, there isnt another jr capable of doing what he does. I think you need to wait until the state finalists are determined before making evaluations for all area.
    I think a disservice to Kejuan Clemens was done too. He should be on the team too.

  • unknown

    Evanston blew the doors off Uplift and had a better record. Jacobs over Lance Jones? Try again..

  • Wallace Lynch

    Thank you but you can leave Anthony Lynch and Jalen Shaw out of your discussions both will be just fine!!! Go Larkin smh!!!

  • Eric

    Nice list Mike…not easy to do (as you know). Thanks for what Joe and you do for high school sports and athletes!

  • Basketball junkie

    What about Enoch come on Mike you know he’s one of the best in the area

  • Rick Roberts Jr.

    Cam Burrell, Adam Miller or am I blind .

  • eric

    not sure how new trier and Evanston have a combined zero players on this team. guess winning isnt very inportant.

    they are the top two teams in the toughest sectional in the state. according to…. the sun times.

    Hendrickson said lance Jones was the most valuable player to his team a couple weeks ago. Holden is good too.

    New trier has several deserving cats as well. . all they did is win a conference that’s top 4 teams have a combined 99 wins at this stage.

    lance Jones is a terrible omission. he is a hard nosed competitive player that has won several games on buzzer beaters.

    and the breakaway layup he pinned on the back board to force over time at the gates gym was epic.

    any team that is this deep and lance Jones can’t make. I wouldn’t want to be on.

    sure the new trier would probably tell you same thing.

  • Bloom Alum

    He beat both them guys lol but yeah they’re rewlly good too

  • Upstate 8 K

    What area does this list cover? I’ve saw a couple of kids from some Rockford teams this week…they gave us fits.

    • Michael O'Brien

      The Chicago Sun-Times coverage area. Rockford and DeKalb are not in it. Roughly goes north to the state line, west out to Sycamore and south down a bit past Kankakee.

  • Ty

    No Curie player at all smh!

  • Upstate 8 K

    Not sure how you put Jalen Shaw and Justin Hardy on the list, but leave off the conference player of the year, from the best team in the conference with the best numbers. Where is Anthony Lynch?

    • Michael O'Brien

      Conference player of the year is meaningless in All-Area selection. Nine times out 10 that goes to the guard that scores the most. There are 350 teams in the area, all with high-scoring guards. True big men are much rarer. Lynch does not have better numbers. He scores more. He doesn’t rebound as much or block shots. Everything counts.

      • Upstate 8 K

        Okay, makes since. Tons of guards out there. I guess the coaches who voted him MVP used different criteria.

        • V

          Correction, it’s makes sense not since. Just thought I’d point that out. While Lynch is a phenomenal player, Jalen Shaw is as well. Yes, Your opinion, but let’s keep the negative ones to ourselves. Thanks! Go Jalen! Go Lynch!

          • Upstate 8 K

            Thanks for the correction V, I was in a hurry. I don’t want to mess up your senses since it seems like we root for the same team. I only meant, how can you have those two on there and not Lynch. Go Blue.

  • MrReed

    Coaching Change and Collin Reed falls off the radar. Stay tuned for next year and good list Obrien.

  • Leegs1

    Who voted?

    • Michael O'Brien

      It’s the same panel that has voted the past several years. It’s me and two people I trust. One is probably easy to guess.

  • Confused Basketball Junkie

    How does George Conditt of Corliss not make the team?

  • Balance the evals

    No Clayborn from Niles North? Even with two tournament MVP’s and his leadership and running the team.

  • NT FAN

    Great list Mike. Javon Freeman is gonna be a steal of a recruit for Matt Lottich at Valpo. In your last podcast you mentioned how you like scouting teams for next years rankings based on this years March… go no further than NT/Evanston Friday night then. With what both teams have coming back next year, I can’t imagine both not being ranked extremely high next year as well.

  • Coach Will

    Terrance Shannon not All Area is a Travesty. Should create an extra spot for him.

  • Marc Osher

    Not sure how you leave off Lance Jones of Evanston? Best offensive and defensive player on a team that won 20+ games after losing 4 senior starters from last seasons elite 8 team. They are 1 win from getting there again.

    • Michael O'Brien

      That’s the case for a lot of teams and a lot of teams still playing. Jones did receive votes, but not enough to make the team.

    • CP3

      Mr O’Brien please confer with Mr. Henricksen and give me a team led by a jr, with 3 freshmen playing significant roles, with an avg height of 5’10 for It’s top 8 players?!

      Rich Central 86’was small, but not this small, Kendall was 6’4 and center was 6’4. Everybody else that played was under 6’0.

  • Manny

    All great players. The ones that I would put on the bubble are

    1.) Shaw (second best player on his team).
    2.) Hardy – Good player – but less than 30% from 3.
    3) Brown – Great numbers but the team was so bad – did he make the team better? I never saw them play so cannot really comment.
    4) Cochren – not overly impressive numbers, but understand the team was balanced. Seems like a nice player.

    Would be very interested to see who the guys on bubble to get in were:

    I would have voted for Kennedy from brother Rice one of the most under rated players in Illinois.

    Certainly the city powers could have gotten more in. top 2 teams got 2 each. WY 1.

    • Michael O'Brien

      Manny, those are all good, reasoned points. Cochran made everyone’s ballot, wasn’t much discussion on him. He played really well whenever we watched him and was clearly Bolingbrook’s best player.

      Shaw was quite the debate. I’m a huge believer that big men need to be represented on the list. Every team in the area has a guard averaging more than 13 or so points. Almost no one has someone doing what Shaw does, he is clearly one of the five best bigs in the entire area. I don’t want the All-Area team to wind up as the 20 best guards. So that is my rationale, but not everyone agrees.

      Brown might not make it in a typical year just because Waukegan didn’t have a good year. That factored in less this year though since the senior and junior classes are so down.

      • Manny

        Agree with your points on the bigs – hard to get points when they are folding in on you. Glad Shaw got it. Overall I think it is a great list and the group did a great job.

  • B max

    Chase Adams, Cam Burrell and Terrance Shannon were hard to leave off I bet?

    • Michael O'Brien

      Adams probably makes it if he doesn’t play for Orr. We’ve never had three players from one team before, that just seems a bit ridiculous. Even two rarely happens. Burrell found himself in that quandary too. Morgan Park didn’t have a good enough year to get two guys on the team.

  • James

    Tough choices but i like the team. Not very nice of you to point out what a bad 3 point shooter justin hardy is.
    Hopefully most people cant do.the math. I would have liked sam shafer on the list over tyler C. He has another year. Give it to the senior. .

    • Bloom Alum

      Neither were even the best player in their own conference…

      • Bloom Alum

        I saw the stanback kid multiple times this year. He was the best player in his conference. I would have to assume he had better numbers than 14 and 7? Thoughts?

        • Michael O'Brien

          The numbers were very similar. Off the top of my head I think Stanback was at like 15 and 6. Stanback didn’t receive any votes. Cochran was very good in the high-profile Bolingbrook games that I saw, that definitely turned my head.

          • Bloom Alum

            Ok…I thought he was the best player in the south suburbs this year and our best chance for an all-area player down here. Blocked a lot of shots and changed a lot of games in addition to points and rebounds from what I saw. Maybe the south subs can get a player on next year.

          • Michael O'Brien

            Harvey (Hillcrest) and Shafer (LWE) both received votes.

Leave a Reply to Bloom Alum Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Modal