A pair of Bradley-bound seniors were judged to be the leading performers among 250 participants at recruiting analyst Bill Flanagan's 15th annual Flash's Spring Hoops Review, which was conducted recently at Markin Center in Peoria.
Best in show were 6-3 point guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards of Downstate Washington and 6-8 forward Jordan Prosser of Eureka, who are committed to Bradley coach Jim Les.
According to Flanagan, the rest of the top 15 players in the camp were underclassmen, some regarded among the most widely recruited prospects in the state and others with promise and potential who are on the cusp of gaining exposure to big-time college coaches.
In order of rank, they are 6-7 sophomore Jay Simpson, Champaign Central; 6-2 sophomore guard Chasson Randle, Rock Island; 6-9 junior center Phillip Jackson, Providence-St. Mel; 5-10 sophomore point guard Bobo Drummond, Peoria Central; 6-9 sophomore center Nnanna Egwu, St. Ignatius; 6-5 sophomore guard Jacob Williams, Bartlett; 6-6 sophomore forward Andrew Jordan, Peoria Manual; 6-9 sophomore center Frank Kaminsky, Benet; 6-3 junior point guard Tyler Les, Peoria Notre Dame; 6-6 junior forward Winston Williams, Plainfield Central; 6-7 junior power forward Anthony Shoemaker, Joliet; 6-7 sophomore power forward Josh Piper, Champaign Centennial; and 6-7 sophomore forward Mike Lang, Loyola.
Everyone agrees that Randle, Jackson, Drummond and Egwu rank among the leading prospects in their class. All have been offered by Illinois. Williams originally attended St. Patrick, transferred to Bartlett, sat out last season and is reportedly set to return to St. Patrick for the 2009-10 season. Les is the son of Bradley coach Jim Les.
Four other players whom Flanagan lists as "unknowns," players who haven't received much recognition but will in the future, are 6-7 sophomore Max Bielfeldt, Peoria Notre Dame; 6-5 junior Victor Davis, Galesburg; 6-6 junior guard Taylor Baxter, Fieldcrest; and 6-0 junior point guard Ethan Westart, Brimfield.
Flanagan, who once coached at Elgin and Illinois State and has been evaluating high school talent for 30 years, is based in Bloomington and concentrates mostly on central Illinois and Downstate players while other recruiting analysts ply their trade in the Chicago area.
So it is understandable that Flanagan discovered Simms-Edwards, Prosser and Drummond before anyone else. Unfortunately, because of his Downstate ties and the fact that he doesn't have a high profile as others who publish newsletters or have Internet Websites, Flanagan doesn't get as much credit as he deserves. Nor does he seek it as readily as others.