By Joe Henricksen

Clock starts ticking on Class of 2012

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By Joe Henricksen

Maybe it's just unfair the Class of 2012 has to follow up the Class of 2011, which features a potential dozen-plus high-major players. Maybe it's unfair the much ballyhooed Class of 2013 is right on their heels, a class that is a year younger but hyped to the 10th degree. The Class of 2012 has taken some hits from local and national evaluators and college coaches, who have been a little slow in throwing around scholarship offers to this group of juniors-to-be.

While there will certainly be fewer high-major players in this class, there is some intriguing talent that maybe is just beginning to blossom. A lot more eyes will be on the Class of 2012 this summer as the class looks to establish itself on the recruiting landscape.

When it comes to the recruiting cycle, the clock will start ticking this summer for many of the top prospects in the City/Suburban Hoops Report's Class of 2012 player rankings. Here is a look at the Hoops Report's top 15.

1. Jay Simpson, 6-8, PF, Champaign (Central) ... There were many who questioned Purdue for the early offer to Simpson (including the Hoops Report), but make no mistake about it: Simpson is a high-major big man. No, he's not your typical "top player" typer in the state of Illinois, but he's progressed very nicely. While conditioning has been an issue in the past, he is playing harder, more consistent and remains a big-bodied 4-man with a jumper and skill level college coaches covet.
2. Derrick Randolph, 5-7, PG, Chicago (Whitney Young) ... Aside from the physical dimensions (i.e. limitations), there may not be a more complete player in the class. He's tough, competes, has the best handle in the class, will annoy anyone on defense, runs a team and will knock down shots with his much-improved jumper.
3. Aaron Simpson, 5-10, PG/2G, North Chicago ... Although a bit on the small side for a 2-guard, here is arguably the best scorer in the class. He's capable of scoring in bunches, both with his shot and off the bounce. Still trying to progress in becoming a legitimate combo guard with point guard traits.
4. Curtis "C.J." Jones, 6-0, PG/2G, Chicago (Orr) ... He's just a player who brings tenacity, energy and a fire to the floor every time he steps on it. Another guard in the class who is trying to show he's capable of running a team from the point guard position. While the mid-range game and attacking the basket are strengths, extending his range is a work in progress.
5. Charles Harris, 6-3, WF, Lake Forest (Academy) ... Blessed with the physical traits (size, length, athleticism) and the upside that will open college coach's eyes. While still developing and a bit raw, he continues to make strides in all facets of his game and show he's more than just a slasher. Has the potential to be a big-time, disruptive perimeter defender.
6. Antonio "Bobo" Drummond, 5-10, PG, Peoria (Central) ... May not have the true upside of a lot of young players, but Bobo is the prototype point guard who handles it, creates and makes good decisions. His perimeter shot is getting better. Just has a knack for making plays.
7. Tim Williams, 6-7, WF, Homewood-Flossmoor ... Passes the look test. Still looking to develop the offensive skill set and to grow into his body to be a true difference-maker, but he has the make-up to blossom over the next 12 months. Has the frame to pack on weight and become a physical specimen in time.
8. Jerron Wilbut, 6-2, 2G, Downers Grove (South) ... This tantalizing prospect has grown as a player in a short period of time. Possesses the shooting stroke, range and athletic gifts to become a big-time scorer on the wing. Still learning how to play and understand the game.
9. Steve Taylor, 6-7, PF, Chicago (Simeon) ... For a player with his size he has the unique combination of power and quickness. He's becoming a better finisher as he devotes more time to the game, but he is far from refined.
10. Anthony Beane, Jr., 6-1, PG, Normal ... In a class filled with small guards, Beane offers some size, athleticism and a mature game at the point guard position. A versatile lead guard who can distribute, score and shoot it with some consistency. Maybe the best-kept secret in the class who is poised for a breakout summer.
11. Keith Carter, 6-0, PG, Maywood (Proviso East) ... A point guard who has scoring and playmaking ability. He's more shifty with a change of pace dribble than a blow-by explosive guard. High character prospect and the next star out of the Maywood school.
12. Aaric Armstead, 6-4, WF, Chicago (Hales Franciscan) ... Has plenty of appealing aspects to his game that translates nicely to the next level, including size on the perimeter and range on his jumper, which has improved. He has the body and skill set to be more than just trigger happy perimeter jump shooter.
13. Jelani Neely, 5-9, PG, Chicago (Simeon) ... When he's content with running a team and being the point guard, Neely is awfully sound and a solid distributor. Though his size and slender build is a concern projecting forward, he has the vision and ability to deliver passes and run an offense.
14. Jermaine Morgan, 6-7, PF, Chicago (Whitney Young) ... Big man with a long, lean frame who can get up and down the floor. While he has developed as a player and made strides on both ends of the floor, he's still raw on the offensive end.
15. Austin Angel, 6-4, 2G/WF, Rockford (Boylan) ... A big, strong wing with size and the ability to knock down shots and shoot with range. His feel for the game is an asset that will help him overcome some of his physical limitations. How much quicker and athletic he can become will determine how high a level he can play.

Ready to rise
These prospects are quickly climbing the Hoops Report's player rankings.
Tyrone Sherman, 5-10, PG, Homewood-Flossmoor
Brian Bennett, 6-8, PF, Plainfield (East)
• Anthony "A.J." Avery, 6-6, WF, Chicago (St. Rita)
• Treyshawn Jones, 5-8, PG, Chicago (Hyde Park)
Rashaun Stimage, 6-6, PF, Chicago (Farragut)

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Hey Joe, when will you show the 2013 rankings?

Are you serious, Tyrone Sherman is the truth and you have Austin Angel in front of him. When H-F played them in Rockford this kid couldn't put up a shot. Tyrone Sherman is the big sleeper because he is a great point guard that can shoot, pass, dribble, and he is a general. Watch out because i hear his stock is on the move. He is a top 15 prospect with no questions to ask.

I think Tyrone Sherman is better than a lot of these guys because this kid is tough. I know you all are sleep on him, but in July he should pop up in top 10. This kid is the real deal and can take a game over in a heart beat. I saw him do it plenty of times and love to watch him play.

Just watch out because here he comes. Any rankings that he is in will be changing soon. All because he is going to enter in top 10. I think you would have to really watch him when he is in attack mode. He is absolutely a monster.

A class of 2012 best of without mentioning Akeem Springs is obviously flawed..there I said it!

First, thanks Joe for posting rankings. It's fun to debate and takes a lot to put it out there for people dissect. Second, I so tired of everyone's opinions as if they are always right. If everyone's "guy" and "player" were a top 10 or top 15 player, we would have 25 guys in the top 10.

Tyrone Sherman is solid no doubt. But come on. I am not sure anyone in this class is the truth as someone posted. He is a nice Division I prospect but watched a whole lot of other guards come through this state and even the south suburbs who are better and have more upside.

Joseph from Waukegan ... What is flawed is Akeem Springs' ballhandling and shooting. These posts should be shut down. Athletic with a body but skill level has a looooooong way to go.

well like I said you have to watch this kid Tyrone Sherman and watch the breakout this summer and you will see the truth.

Was just wondering Joe if you could tell us who your next five would be? Is it the five listed as rising or are they just prospects who are rising in the rankings? Thanks for all yo do.

Jay Simpson is from Champaign Central, and not Centennial.


By the end of the summer evaluations Treyshawn Jones of Hyde Park will be mentioned as one of the best Point Guards in the city and state. Trey has tremendous handles and range on his jumper that none of the above mentioned players have at this point in there careers. He's truly flying under the radar since he played with Fabyon Harris this past year.

So I'm guessing you have never seen Mr.Sherman play. He can shoot the ball extremely well and has a quick handle. But both of these guys should rise to the top. I think Mr.Sherman is better overall and is going to be one of the best players in the state in July.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on May 13, 2010 10:44 PM.

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