Like most other analysts, Scott Powers of Illhoops.com singled out Illinois-bound guard D.J. Richardson of Peoria Central as the top performing player in the state over the summer.
"There wasn't a clear-cut favorite for the best player in the class of 2009 heading into the summer. Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson, Chris Colvin and a few others were all near eah other," Powers said. "But throughout the spring and summer, Richardson distinguished himself as the elite player in the class and put himself in the running for a spot on the McDonald's All-America team."
But Powers' choices for the top five players of the summer from the Chicago area are Colvin, Jack Cooley of Glenbrook South, Ben Brust of Mundelein and Paul Bunch and Jonathan Mills of North Lawndale.
Powers said he knows some people think Marcus Jordan of Whitney Young should be on the list. "He played well when I saw him. But I didn't see him at any major events, but he played great from what I heard," he said.
Others who saw Jordan said he was outstanding, especially at the Peach Jam. But some still have questions about his shooting skills. Not Powers. "I actually think he is a better shooter now," he said.
Powers said Cooley "doesn't receive the publicity or hype that a lot of the other top players do but he's just as impressive in what he does. He's a beast on the boards and is becoming very hard to stop around the paint with his mid-range jumper and post moves."
According to Powers, Colvin showed consistently throughout the summer that no one can stop him one-on-one. If he can prove he can run a team, he's going to be a very special point guard for a big-time college program.
Before watching him play this summer, Powers said he thought Brust was simply a great shooter. But he proved he's more than that. He has become a great scorer. He can still shoot it from all over the court but he's also able to get to the rim and finish.
Bunch, all 6-10 of him, isn't by any means a finished product, according to Powers. He is still very raw but you could see see his improvement throughout the summer. He is more aggressive on the boards, more consistent with his jumper and he is working harder. Only a junior, he has a major upside.
Without Richardson among the five of Powers' list, he said he would add Mills. "For some reason, I saw North Lawndale more than any team in the state this summer. If Mills was a few inches taller, everyone in the country would know about him. Even at 6-5, he is the best rebounder in the state," he said.