Survey says: College coaches rank state’s top prospects

Bellville West's EJ Liddell (32) gets a dunk against Larkin. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Belleville West's EJ Liddell (32) gets a dunk against Larkin. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

The City/Suburban Hoops Report turned to college coaches in recent weeks to see where they would rank the top players in the state as college prospects.

A total of 26 college coaches who have seen all of the top prospects in the state play in the past year were surveyed. Coaches were asked to rank the top five Illinois prospects currently in high school today, regardless of class.

There was a total awarded for each place. A first-place vote netted 10 points, a second-place vote resulted in eight points, third-place received six points, fourth-place received four and fifth-place votes picked up two points.

Only three players –– Belleville West’s E.J. Liddell, Simeon’s Talen Horton-Tucker and Morgan Park’s Adam Miller –– received a vote from every coach that was surveyed.

Here are a few of the quotes from college coaches regarding the in-state talent.

“There is no way E.J. Liddell isn’t the best player and best prospect in your state. No way.” … “I don’t think people realize how much potential there is at the next level for Talen Horton-Tucker. His game is only going to grow.” … “I just believe several of the current, nationally-ranked players out of Illinois are overrated.” … “Max Christie is the real deal.” … “There are a couple of those players you mentioned who are very overrated nationally.” … “Give me E.J. Liddell. You can have the rest.” … “I don’t think Markese Jacobs gets talked about enough. If he can figure a few things out, I think he can be a ton.” … “What a difference there is between this top group and top groups of the past from Illinois.”

Here are the results from the survey with the votes they received.

1. E.J Liddell, Belleville West (Class of 2019)

1st: 24

2nd: 2

3rd: 0

4th: 0

5th: 0

Total Points: 256


2. Talen Horton-Tucker, Simeon (Class of 2018)

1st: 2

2nd: 16

3rd: 5

4th: 2

5th: 1

Total Points: 188


3. Adam Miller, Morgan Park (Class of 2020)

1st: 0

2nd: 5

3rd: 13

4th: 5

5th: 3

Total Points: 144


4. Ayo Dosunmu, Morgan Park (Class of 2018)

1st: 0

2nd: 0

3rd: 5

4th: 13

5th: 5

Total Points: 92


5. D.J. Steward, Fenwick (Class of 2020)

1st: 0

2nd: 0

3rd: 2

4th: 3

5th: 6

Total Points: 36


6. Francis Okoro, Normal West (Class of 2019)

1st: 0

2nd: 1

3rd: 0

4th: 2

5th: 7

Total Points: 30


Of all the players who received votes, freshman Max Christie was the only prospect who has not been seen by the majority of the coaches surveyed. Nonetheless, Christie still managed to receive two second-place votes, along with one fourth-place vote and one fifth-place vote for a total of 22 points.

There were four coaches who included Markese Jacobs of Uplift among their top five. Jacobs received one third-place vote and three fifth-place votes to finish with 18 total points.

Follow Joe Henricksen and the City/Suburban Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport

1 comment;

  • Ketoe

    So those college coaches have seen every kid in the state play, or those who rank players have seen every kid in the state play, otherwise its just yours and their opinion of who is the best players out of those they have seen. This is why teams like Loyola are making runs in the tourney because guys like you only discuss certain players while some kids go to smaller colleges an perform much better than those ranked ahead of them. I think Ayo is the best player in the state. Was his game developed to improve his skills, win games are put up numbers to be an All American. I dont think he reached his full potential as a high school player and by the end of his second season in college he will be a much better player. However Liddell is the truth and Tucker is very good, slightly over rated but deserving of top 100. After Liddell and Tucker I will take Keyshaun Williams out of Bloom over everyone on this list and not lose any sleep.

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