This is the time of year when seniors rise to the top and tend to take over, leading their teams to conference titles and monumental victories in regional and sectional play. Get out and enjoy a talented Class of 2013 for one more month before they're off to college programs across the country.
The City/Suburban Hoops Report takes a look at the updated Class of 2013 prospect rankings as we head into the stretch run of their senior season. (Editor's Note: One small change was made immediately after the initial posting in making a correction.)
1. Jabari Parker, 6-8, WF, Chicago (Simeon)
Still the No. 1 prospect in the class. Still in pursuit of a fourth straight state championship. But still not sure if we will see the complete, high-level, 100 percent version of Jabari Parker we all hoped to watch and enjoy during his senior season. Unfortunately, the setback from the foot injury in the summer, the time off and the long process getting back has taken a little something away from Parker's final season.
2. Malcolm Hill, 6-6, WF, Belleville (East)
Has been a fixture at the No. 2 spot in the Hoops Report rankings for quite some time, and he's done nothing but solidify that this season. The Illinois recruit is overlooked nationally and should be a serious contender for any state Player of the Year honors. Love his scoring versatility and size on the perimeter. Putting up over 25 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1.6 blocks a game for a state-ranked team.
3. Kendrick Nunn, 6-1, 2G, Chicago (Simeon)
The tough, athletic guard who has signed with Illinois dealt with some nagging injuries early on that slowed him up in November and December. But he's been playing at a high level over the past month, using his athleticism and strengths to his advantage.
4. Kendall Stephens, 6-5, 2G, St. Charles (East)
Was off to a sensational start to the season, even with the shoulder injury that would ultimately end his season, need surgery and months of rehab. Stephens is just a silky smooth shooter with range and a picture-perfect release. Hoops Report has always been higher on Stephens than some, but surround him with some talent and he will flourish.
5. Sterling Brown, 6-5, WF, Maywood (Proviso East)
Continues to put up solid, consistent numbers that fill a stat sheet (17 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists per game) for a team that has remained among the top five teams in the rankings all season. SMU-bound Brown still provides a lot of versatility on both ends of the floor.
6. Billy Garrett, Jr., 6-4½, PG, Chicago (Morgan Park)
Putting together a rock solid, steady season. Handling the point guard duties while knocking down shots from the perimeter. Great size and has a solid feel for the game for the point guard position. Too bad DePaul didn't have a couple more of his classmates in 2013 coming with him, because he can be a key piece going forward with other pieces around him.
7. Kyle Davis, 6-0, 2G, Chicago (Morgan Park)
An Energizer bunny whose battery never stops. Just goes and attacks, makes plays, brings toughness and has that high-level energy and explosiveness. The shooting has to improve, but the Dayton recruit continues to impress in helping Morgan Park to the No. 1 ranking in Class 3A.
8. Alvin Ellis, 6-4, WF, Chicago (De La Salle)
A little special place in the Hoops Report's heart for sticking it out at the South Side private school when others bailed. He's flourished in what has been one of the real overlooked seasons by any individual player in this class. Athletic, long and makes plays with a still-improving jumper. He will prove to be a solid recruit for Minnesota.
9. Kendall Pollard, 6-5, WF, Chicago (Simeon)
While Jabari Parker was still coming back and the guards were still settling in early and struggling a bit, it was Pollard who was Simeon's best and most consistent player. He's been a rock. Defends. Rebounds. Brings a high-level of toughness and physicality. Finds a way to score when needed. A junk yard dog. He's going to be a good one for Dayton.
10. Ben Moore, 6-8, PF, Bolingbrook
He hasn't put up monster numbers, but he's still progressing as a player and prospect, was a late bloomer and is far from maxing out. When you really look at things, Moore has come a looooong way in the past 12 months. SMU hopes that same type of improvement occurs over the next 12 months.
11. Alec Peters, 6-7½, WF/PF, Washington
Great senior season, terrific career and leader of one of the top teams in the state in Class 3A that is sporting a 22-1 record. Right there with Kendall Stephens and Jared Brownridge as the best shooter in Illinois. Has poise, knows how to play and found a great fit at Valpo, where he will be one heck of a Horizon League player in time.
12. David Cohn, 6-2, PG/2G, Elmhurst (York)
The kid can just play and go get buckets; it's just that so few see him play. Plays hard and competes. He will always surprise those who watch him with his quickness and better-than-you-think athleticism. Colorado State is getting a player who can play both guard spots comfortably, not by default.
13. Jaylon Tate, 6-2, PG, Chicago (Simeon)
Steady, consistent play after settling in at Simeon and finding his way in running the state's top-ranked team. He's taken care of the ball, set the table for the bigger names and has gained the trust of his head coach. He won't wow you, but he gets done what is asked of him -- and has been big in crunch time of games.
14. Nathan Taphorn, 6-7, WF, Pekin
There is a lot to like with a player that brings the size, length, skill and versatility of Taphorn. He may not always get to showcase all of that in the system he plays in, but Northwestern is getting a player that can fill various roles for them down the road.
15. Paris Lee, 5-10, PG, Maywood (Proviso East)
The catalyst for a team ranked among the top five. Possesses a disruptive game. Headed to Illinois State next year, Lee makes his mark in three ways: toughness, an ability to just find a way to make a play and being a menace defensively.
16. Jubril Adekoya, 6-6, PF, Valparaiso
The Valpo signee continues to be the player that gets things done, sometimes quietly. But before you know it he's averaging 21 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.2 blocks and shoots 60 percent from the field on the season. That's some darn good production for a player who brings his lunch bucket to work every day.
17. Russell Woods, 6-8, PF, Chicago (Simeon)
Has provided a presence for No. 1 Simeon. When he's out running the floor, finishing at the rim, blocking shots, playing with energy, he can impress. Still a long ways to go on the offensive end, for sure, but he's going to be a high priority junior college recruit this spring.
18. Alex Foster, 6-7, PF, South Holland (Seton Academy)
Made the move to Seton this offseason and is now a few weeks away from challenging for a Class 2A state crown. Brings a body and frame to work with and an ability to move well at his size. Still at his best when he sticks his nose in there around the basket and battles, rebounds, competes.
19. Sean O'Brien, 6-6, 2G/WF, Mundelein
He doesn't get a whole lot of attention, but he should. SIU snuck in under the radar and secured a commitment from a versatile and skilled perimeter player with size. And what a whopper of a senior year he's putting together. How about this for productivity: 20.7 points, 11 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3 blocks a game.
20. Jared Brownridge, 6-1, 2G, Aurora (Waubonsie Valley)
The best player in Waubonsie Valley school history is a dead-eye shooter with an ultra-quick release and sound mechanics. There might not be a better catch-and-shoot player in the class. He's evolved into more than just a shooter over the past year. Santa Clara nabbed a good one last fall.
21. Miles Simelton, 6-0, PG/2G, Oswego
Yes, the Hoops Report has hit people hard with Miles Simelton pub. But no player has increased his stock more than anyone in the class this season -- and college coaches are now finally getting serious about him. He will just go his own basket and shot when he needs to with his explosiveness, elevation on his jumper, pull-up game and terrific range. Off-the-charts character and the fact he really gets it on the floor makes him even more appealing.
22. DeShawn Munson, 6-3, 2G/WF, East St. Louis (Sr.)
There are still some deficiencies when it comes to his perimeter shooting (he shoots just 25 percent from the 3-point line and just over 40 percent from the free-throw line), but he overcomes that with a high motor, great body and athleticism. And he puts up crazy numbers: 17.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 4.2 steals per game.
23. Morris Dunnigan, 6-2, 2G, Joliet (West)
What a terrific story that has developed here in watching Dunnigan, a prize prospect as a freshman, bounce back from an ACL injury his sophomore year to get back to the point of being a dominating presence. He's put together an outstanding season. A strong, athletic scorer whose game is now more complete.
24. Marquise Pryor, 6-6, PF, Chicago (Orr)
Unfortunately, off-the-court issues have derailed his season up to this point. But he has taken care of those issues and could be back for Orr before the season is over. Tough, rugged rebounder who plays with an edge, has a motor and finishes around the basket.
25. A.J. Riley, 6-2, PG, Peoria (Notre Dame)
Another unfortunate situation in that Riley was ruled ineligible after leaving Peoria Manual. Was headed the prep school route but instead ended up at Notre Dame, where the IHSA ruled him ineligible. Big-bodied point guard whose recruiting is still being sorted out.
26. Andrew McAuliffe, 6-8½, PF/C, Northbrook (Glenbrook North)
Fundamentally sound big man with just enough skill for a player his size to open your eyes. Davidson secured a promising prospect who will do very well in the Southern Conference.
27. A.J. Patty, 6-8½, PF, Westchester (St. Joseph)
Still raw and still about projection. But Patty has had his moments and shown improvement over the past 12-18 months. Rangy big who runs the floor and has some length and bounce.
28. Lexus Williams, 5-11, PG, Chicago (Marist)
The Valpo recruit is one player who has a true position -- he's a natural point guard. Good feel for the game and the position.
29. Moshawn Thomas, 6-8, PF/C, Chicago (Hyde Park)
Big body who when he plays with energy and a chip on his shoulder can be pretty productive and be a factor on the glass and around the basket. Still has a ways to go on the offensive end.
30. Brandon Jenkins, 6-3, WF, Maywood (Proviso East)
Still needs to figure how to play and be effective on a consistent basis, but his physical tools, athleticism and upside make him a very intriguing junior college prospect.
Follow Joe Henricksen and the Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport