Chicago Sun-Times
By Joe Henricksen

Crusade for recognition for these 10 seniors

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Right off the top of your head, even if you are an average basketball fan, you know the names of the top three seniors in the Chicago area and what blue-blood programs they're headed to: Young's Jahlil Okafor to Duke, Curie's Cliff Alexander to Kansas and Marian Catholic's Tyler Ulis to Kentucky.

You may have also heard the tandem of Vic Law of St. Rita and Scott Lindsey of Fenwick have signed with Northwestern, Morgan Park's Josh Cunningham is the best uncommitted prospect left on the board and of the four-year production of Zion-Benton's Milik Yarbrough is off-the-charts good.

But the identity of many other talented seniors in the Chicago area is a bit more obscure. Rivals prepare for them and they're big names in their respective conferences, but these seniors are aching for a little attention, nonetheless. They deserve it. Each one could use their very own personal publicist, so the City/Suburban Hoops Report is here to help.

While Okafor, Alexander, Ulis and the other top players in this magnificent senior class hog the headlines, here are 10 players in the Class of 2014 who will have big years -- just with a little less hype.

Helped lead Stagg to a regional championship last year averaging over 13 points and nearly 3 assists a game and a 5-0 start this season. Those numbers will increase even more for the skilled 6-4 guard with length, versatility and shooting range. Strus is a hot commodity among Division II and NAIA programs and will continue to be monitored by Division I schools.

The 6-9 big man has improved virtually every area of his game and become a major weapon this season at both ends of the floor. George has helped his reputation as much as anyone in leading Carmel to a 6-1 start while averaging 20.4 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks a game.

He looks the part as a big-bodied 4-man with a full arsenal offensively. The 6-7 forward is a rising, get-better-by-the-day talent who is one of the best players in the Chicago area no one knows -- even after averaging 17 points and 7.5 rebounds a game as a junior.

The slight and slender 5-10 Adduci brings some toughness and offensive punch to the point guard position. As a junior last season he averaged 15 points a game and knocked down 55 three-pointers. After missing the summer with a torn labrum, Adduci has been a catalyst and offensive weapon thus far this season. All Adduci has done in the first two weeks of the season is average 25 points a game.

Arguably one of the most improved players in the senior class from a year ago. He's a tough, hard-nosed point guard for one of the top teams in the Chicago area. Kucera will run a team at one end and defend at the other. So far this season, Kucera is averaging 14 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds a game.

One of the real underrated guards in the Chicago area for a team with big expectations this season. An attacking 6-1 guard with some blow-by speed and an improving perimeter jumper that makes him a difficult player to defend. Plus, he's an absolute stat sheet stuffer with points, steals, assists and rebounds.

An unknown due to missing almost all of last season with a knee injury. Nichols is a versatile scoring point guard with some sneaky athleticism. He can get to the basket with some strength, features a developed mid-range game and is a three-point threat. Plus, he's a terrific student academically.

You want numbers and production? Here you go: Konchar, an ultra-versatile 6-5 wing who can shoot it and handle it, is averaging 27.5 points and 14 rebounds a game as the Wildcats are off to a 5-2 start. After averaging 19.7 points and 8.8 rebounds a game as a junior, Konchar started this season with a bang, including 37 points and 17 rebounds in a win over East Aurora and another game with 28 points and 20 rebounds.

A 6-5 forward who just keeps getting better. Yes, he's a no-namer outside DuPage County, but he will be fighting for DuPage Valley Conference Player of the Year honors with West Aurora's Jontrell Walker. Last year, in absolute obscurity, he averaged 17.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.8 steals a game.

Time to take notice of the athletic 6-6 forward who missed almost all of the summer with an ankle injury. He pumped in 30 points in a win over Von Steuben and is averaging 21 points and 7 rebounds a game in the early going.

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Chip flanigan !!!! Definitely NBA material.

Glad to see you recognize these players, especially John Konchar, he is off to a fantastic start this season and just set the school single game record with 42 points to go with 24 rebounds to break his coach Bill Recchia's mark of 39 set back in 1983. He is doing it all for West Chicago and is closing in on 1,000 points for his career. Recchia's school record for points in a career may also be in jeopardy at the current pace that Konchar is scoring at.

Chip Flanigan can spread the floor, create plays, can leap, can block, and drive.
has a high basketball I.Q. This payer should have no problem getting noticed by
Division I and Division II schools. Should be Dupage Valley Conference Player Of The Year.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on December 11, 2013 9:43 PM.

Thoughts from the Chicago Elite Classic was the previous entry in this blog.

Holiday hoops primer: Jack Tosh Tournament is the next entry in this blog.

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