Bill "Flash" Flanagan has coached, scouted, recruited, observed and evaluated high school basketball talent in Illinois for 50 years. A one-time high school and college coach, the Peoria-based scout operates one of the largest exposure camps in the country.
Here are his choices (and comments) about the top 10 teams in state history:
1. Thornridge 1972. This team featured the great Quinn Buckner, who was one of the greatest role models for every player who followed him.
2. Quincy 1981. Coach Jerry Leggett's team was led by Bruce Douglas, Keith Douglas and Michael Payne.
3. Peoria Manual 1997: The best of coach Wayne McClain's three state championship teams, which featured Marcus Griffin, Sergio McClain and Frankie Williams, and also was ranked No. 1 in the nation.
4. King 1993: The best of coach Landon Cox's three state championship teams was led by two seven-footers, Rashard Griffith and Thomas Hamilton.
5. Thornton 1966: Coach Bob Anderson's team was led by LaMarr Thomas and Jim Ard.
6. Evanston 1968: Bob Lackey and Farrel Jones gave coach Jack Burmaster a powerful and physical duo under the boards.
7. La Grange 1970: Some people tend to forget how good coach Ron Nikcevich's unbeaten team really was. It featured Owen Brown, Marcus Washington and an outstanding 1-3-1 defense.
8. Simeon 2007: Clearly the best of coach Robert Smith's back-to-back state championship teams that were led by Derrick Rose.
9. Whitney Young 1998: Quentin Richardson, Dennis Gates and Cordell Henry led coach George Stanton's team, which was one of the best ever produced in the Chicago Public League.
10. East St. Louis Lincoln 1988: My choice as the best of coach Bennie Lewis' four state championship teams of the 1980s. It was led by LaPhonso Ellis and Cuonzo Martin.
Other teams that deserve mention (in order of recognition) are King 1990 with Jamie Brandon and Johnny Selvie, Galesburg 1998 with Joey Range and Rod Thompson, Elgin 1973 with Jeff Wilkins, Terry Drake, Jay Geldmacher and Tim Jones, Peoria Central 2004 with Shaun Livingston and Proviso East 1991 with Sherrell Ford, Michael Finley and Donnie Boyce.