Handicapping The Class AA Tournament Contenders
Click here

Chicago Hoops
Chicago Hoops
Message Boards
Basketball Headlines
Search Chicago Hoops
Email Chicago Hoops

2004 Prospect Rankings
2005 Prospect Rankings
2006 Prospect Rankings
2007 Prospect Rankings

2004 Commitments/Signings
Big 10 Commitments/Signings

Click here

Handicapping The Favorites To Win The Class AA State Tournament

Brian Stinnette
February 23, 2004

Email Questions/Comments To [email protected]

West Aurora’s convincing win over Peoria Central now leaves no clear-cut favorite to win the Class AA state championship. Here is a look at the top contenders to win the AA state crown complete with the odds that they can go all the way.

Team Record Sectional Odds
West Aurora 24-1 East Aurora 3/1
Terrific season! Lots of confidence after beating Peoria Central. Justin Cerasoli (Seton Hall) and Shaun Pruitt (Illinois) make for a terrific inside/outside duo. Plenty of support from Jaeh Thomas and Travis Marion. East Aurora, Waubonsie Valley and Downers Grove South are obstacles on their road to the Elite Eight. Only loss this season came at the hands of Chicago Simeon.
Peoria Central 20-2 Peoria Manual 3/1
The defending AA state champs were once the unquestioned favorite to win it all. Injuries have slowed Central’s balance and depth. Loss to West Aurora could provide a much needed “wake up” call prior to the state tournament. Limestone (DeAaron Williams) and Pekin (Jeremy Crouch) could be lurking as spoilers for Central.
Chicago Simeon 21-3 Chicago St. Xavier 3/1
A very difficult team to matchup with. Long and athletic frontline of 6-5 Calvin Brock, 6-6 Anthony Newell and 6-6 Brandon Alexander are tough on both ends of the floor. Team plays great pressure defense, and hits the boards hard. 6-1 Tim Green is steady at the point. Showdown with Brother Rice looms.
Chicago Farragut 24-3 Chicago Gordon Tech 3/1
Extremely physical basketball team. 6-3 super-sophomore Chris Singletary should be healthy for the meat of the tournament. 6-8 Ollie Bailey (Rutgers) has been superb all season. 6-3 Emmanuel “I do some of everything on the basketball court” Little has come on very strong of late. Very much looking forward to a Sectional rematch with Westinghouse.
Homewood-Flossmoor 23-1 Bloom 4/1
H-F has had a fabulous season. H-F has tremendous size, and lots of versatility. 6-8 Julian Wright, 6-7 Cyrus Tate (Northern Illinois) and 6-6 Brian Nussbaum are a formidable frontline. 5-11 Excell Hardy is a steady offensive performer. South suburban rivals Hillcrest, Rich Central and Bloom all hope to get a crack at H-F in the Bloom Sectional.
Chicago Brother Rice 24-1 Chicago St. Xavier 5/1
Extremely well coached basketball team. 6-3 Bobby Frasor has been terrific distributing the basketball all season. 6-1 Dave Telander is a “lights out” shooter with NBA range. Pretty much every player on the Brother Rice roster can shoot with both range and accuracy. Very dangerous team! Showdown with Simeon looms.
Belleville West 23-1 Carbondale 5/1
Team has taken care of business all year. 6-1 J.B. Jones, 6-4 Xavier Price (Purdue) and 6-4 Arthur Sargent are a dominating trio. Centralia (Matt Shaw) and East St. Louis (Tommie Liddell) sit as obstacles to West’s Elite Eight run.
Chicago Westinghouse 23-4 Chicago Gordon Tech 8/1
Quintman Dillard has done one of the best coaching jobs in the state by getting this team to gel. 6-4 Jamarcus Ellis is capable of putting this team on his back for a deep tourney run. 6-8 DeAndre Thomas has the ability to take over inside. Farragut rematch is the biggest obstacle to getting to the Elite Eight.
Hoffman Estates 24-2 Buffalo Grove 10/1
Very well coached and disciplined team. Holding opponents to about 45 points per game. 5-10 Jonny Reibel (Rollins) is a terrific floor general. 6-3 Bryan Mead is a deadly shooter. Schaumburg (Zach Pancratz) and Glenbrook North (Jon Scheyer) are major Elite Eight obstacles.
Chicago Julian 20-7 Eisenhower 10/1
Very deep and aggressive basketball team. The Julian bench is endless. 6-2 Brandon Ewing and 6-5 J.J. Watson head the attack. Jim Brown’s 3-point shooting and Lorenzo Ecford’s defense will factor heavily. Julian could get a chance to avenge a narrow loss to Homewood-Flossmoor on their road to the Elite Eight.
Chicago Von Steuben 20-6 Niles West 12/1
Had lofty early season expectations. Still looms as a dangerous team. Has made strong tourney runs in each of the past two years. 6-2 Angel Santiago, 6-5 Ryne Hamblet and 6-5 Demetrius Evans are a very talented and tourney-tested trio. Any Elite Eight run must go through Farragut or Westinghouse.