Boys basketball: Scouting the Central Suburban League
Coach: Dan McKendrick (10th season)
Last season's record: 17-11, 8-2, 1st in CSL North
Top returning players: Drew Rodgers, Soph (C, 6-8); Miles Cohan, Sr (G, 6-1); Jacob Cohn, Sr. (G, 6-1)
Top new players: Quinn Schimanski, Soph (G, 6-0); Charlie Robin, Jr (G, 6-2); Hunter Glasgow, Soph (F, 6-4)
Worth noting: Deerfield graduated its top six players from last season. Because of that, there will be lots of eyes will be on Rodgers. And since the sophomore is 6-foot-8, he will be difficult to miss. Rodgers did get some varsity time last year and averaged four points and three rebounds ... Cohan and Cohn also saw some time. Cohn missed the last 21 games due to an ACL injury but is ready to go this season ... Schimanski and Glasgow are sophomores and will have to get used to the rigors of varsity ball. Robin helped key a sophomore team that was 19-5 last year ... "The sophomore class is very talented and deep. Likely to have at least 3 but maybe 4 sophomores seeing extensive minutes at varsity. I have a group that works hard and plays hard but I am not sure exactly where my scoring will come from," McKendrick said.
Coach: Ross Deutsch (3rd season)
Last season's record: 10-20, 4-6
Top returning players: Sam Rohn, Sr (G, 6-4); Brandon Rieger, Sr (G, 5-6); Gabe Shamberg, Jr (G/F, 6-0)
Top new players: Nicholas Blumer, Jr (G, 5-10) and Griffin Killeen, Jr (F, 6-4); Alex Kriser, Soph (G, 6-0); Asher Diamond, Soph (G, 5-10); and Simon Moschin, Soph (G, 5-9)
Worth noting: Highland Park will be looking to bring some tenacity to their season. The Giants will be looking for some solid play from Rohn, Shamberg and Killeen upfront ... Moschin, who is a sophomore, will start at guard. Rieger, Blummer and sophomores Kriser and Diamond will make up the back court.
Coach: Sergio Muro (1st season)
Last season's record: 8-24, 2-8
Top returning players: Deryl Gaddi, Sr (G, 5-10); Samy Salem, Sr (G 5-11); Neel Patel, Sr (G, 5-10); Jaylen Taylor, G, (5-10)
Top new players: Tristan Walton, Jr (G, 6-0) JJ Alphonse, Jr (G, 6-0); Jalen Moraga, Jr (G, 5-9); Milo Mijatovic, Jr (F, 6-4)
Worth noting: Muro takes over a program that looks to build off four senior guards. Gaddi was the team's leading scorer last season, averaging 14 points. Mijatovic will have to do lots of work on the boards to keep the Blue Demons going ..."We are small and scrappy with players who are motivated to represent Maine East. Our consistency of how we shoot the ball and how we rebound the ball will be the key. The level of intensity practice has been emphasized; the team has been stressing the importance of competitive practice," Muro said.
Coach: Dan Paxson (1st season)
Last season's record: 7-21, 2-8
Top returning players: Isaac Pittman, Sr (G, 5-11); London Lim, Sr (G, 5-7); Matt Weinert, Sr (G, 6-1); Dennis Gonzalez, Sr (G, 6-1); Darren Wojdyla, Sr (F, 6-2); Nicholas Chavez, Sr (G-11)
Top new players: Trey Himes, Jr (G, 6-0); David Hutchinson, Jr (F, 6-5)
Worth noting: Its Paxson's first season at Maine West and he is feeling his way around. He has 18 players on his roster right now and looking for the right combinations ... "We don't have a lot of size. But we have some tough-nosed kids. We are trying to create turnovers and be scrappy. We have spent a lot of effort and focus in practice on tying to muck it up," Paxson said ... Pittman, who had a great football season, will be looking to continue that success on the hardwood. Lim, Weinert, Gonzalez, Wojdyla and Chavez all played sparingly last season ... Himes, who is a transfer, and Hutchinson, who is the lone big man, should be key contributors for the Warriors.
Coach: Glenn Olson, Jr (14th season)
Last season's record: 20-8, 7-3
Top returning players: Reid Olson, Soph (G, 5-10); Yaris Irby, Soph, (G); Aiden Ashley, Jr (P, 6-6); Eduard Holom, Sr (G, 6-2); Mo Pelt, Jr (G, 6-1)
Top new players: Hunter Gawron, Soph (P); Dylan Lam, Soph (G); Jaiden Medina, Jr (G); Gio Williams, Sr (G); Filip Guzina, Jr (G); Kaiden Chatham, Soph (G); Taj Brunson, Sr (G); Sammy Jean Pois, Sr (G); Angel Moore, Jr (G); Milan Tsupina, Jr (G); John Nueva, Jr (G); Gary Gaines, Jr, G); Temi Osinowo, Sr. (P)
Worth noting: Niles North is making a real youth movement with six sophomores on its roster and three scheduled to start ..."This is the youngest team I have ever coached. Our program is used to success, and we are relying on new faces to keep that tradition going," Olson said. The Vikings should have a backcourt of Reid Olson and Irby, who transferred from Evanston. Ashley playing the post should give them some strong inside play along with Holom and Pelt.
Coach: Matt McCarty (20th season)
Last season's record: 20-12, 7-3
Top returning players: Milan Raval, Sr (G, 6-2); Nolan Lazor, Sr (C, 6-5); Dylan Sherwin, Sr (G, 6-1)
Top new players: Dylan Chung, Jr (G, 5-8); Deen Hatibovic, Jr (6-2, F); Anthony Morgan, Jr (F, 6-5); Anthony Martarano, Soph (G, 5-10)
Worth noting: Vernon Hills lost four starters to graduation. But the Cougars do have Raval back. The senior averaged 17 points last season and led the team in three-pointers ... Lazor started a few games and mostly came off the bench last year. But expect him to be a force inside. Morgan and Hatibovic should also be factors on the boards ... Chung will start at the point, while Sherwin and Martarano should also be key contributors. "We will fit in some capable pieces around Milan. He can score in various ways and has been a consistent threat from the arc and is an excellent three-sport athlete," McCarty said.
Coach: Mike Ellis (13th year)
Last season's record: 21-10, 5-5
Top returning players: Prince Adams, Sr. (F, 6-5); Jonah Ross. Sr. (G, 6-0); Malachi Barrett, Sr. (G, 6-2); Addison Blough, Sr. (G, 6-0); Jonathan Maerklin, Sr. (G, 6-6)
Top new players: Antoine Thomas, Jr. (G); Brandon Watson, Jr. (G); Morgan Brown, Jr. (G); Ephraim Chase, Sr. (G); Hunter Duncan, Sr. (G); Yan Nalls, Jr. (G); Colin McDonald, Sr. (G); Josh Thomas, Sr. (F); Tyler Dennis, Jr. (G); Adrian Martinez-Jones, Jr. (G); Nic Raic, Sr. (F); Obsa Abaomer, Jr. (F)
Worth noting: Evanston is going to come at their opponents in waves. Ellis expects to play 10-11 players this season ... "On paper, there are a lot of complementary skill-sets on the court at once- athleticism, size, ballhandling, shooting, to go along with the defense and rebounding," Ellis said.
Coach: Phil Ralston (6th year)
Last season's record: 33-3, 9-1 (1st, CSL South, regional champs)
Top returning players: RJ Davis, Sr. (G,); Gaven Marr, Sr. (G/F, 6-3); Nate Kasher, Jr. (G, 5-10); Nick Taylor, Jr. (F, 6-7)
Top new players: Anestis Hadjistamoulou, Soph. (G); Patrick Benedict, Jr. (F); JP Hubbard, Jr. (G)
Worth noting: Glenbrook South goes for the fourth consecutive CSL South title and fourth regional title in the last five years. The good news for their opponents is that they will have to do it without a Martinelli on the roster ... But, that also doesn't mean that the Titans lack talent. Davis, Marr and Kasher played a significant role in last years' team and return averaging a total of 20 points among them. Taylor is ranked a top junior while Hadjistamoulou is ranked among the top sophomores in the area. ..."We have many kids who are capable of being starters or getting starter's minutes. Our key is can we play to make each other better. Our strength lies in our ability to make each other better," Ralston said.
Coach: Quin Hayes (3rd year)
Last season's record: 23-8, 5-5
Top returning players: Ryan Cohen, Sr. (G, 6-3); Josh Fridman, Jr. (G, 5-9); Pat Schaller, Jr. (F, 6-7); Gavin Schooley, Sr. (F, 6-0)
Top new players: Owen Giannoulias, Jr. (G, 6-0); Sam Lappin, Jr. (G, 5-10); Julian Marta, Jr (G, 5-9); Jon McGee, Soph (6-3, G); JJ Hernandez, Jr. (G, 6-4)
Worth noting: The Spartans should be right in the mix returning 30 points in their offense from a year ago. Cohen, who averaged 18 points and Fridman, who will play the point and averaged 12 points, make up a formidable backcourt. Giannoulias was the top scorer on the sophomore team. Cohen is ranked as one of the top sophomores while Fridman and Hernandez are top juniors ... The Spartans will need to have their youth step up quickly. Five of the top seven players for the Spartan are juniors in Fridman, Schaller, Giannoulias, Lappin and Marta ..."We have a solid nucleus," Hayes said. "Our key juniors will need to grow up fast."
Coach: Colin Wehman (1st year)
Last season's record: 17-15, 2-8
Top returning players: Kaden Karstens, Sr. (G, 6-0); TJ Bechtold, Sr. (G, 5-10)
Top new players: Ethan De La Navarre, Jr. (G, 6-1); Chris Gonzalo, Jr. (G, 6-0); Petar Bogicevic, Jr. (G, 6-2); Tyler Sierra, Soph. (G, 5-8); Panayiotis Sotos, Fresh. (G, 6-1)
Worth noting: Wehman takes over after Tony Lavorato retired after 19 seasons. Wehman inherits a team that returns just one starter in Karstens while Bechtold saw some time last season ... Wehman's roster will be young and inexperienced. The Hawks lineup will still be in transition for a bit until the arriving football players get acclimated to the hard court ... "We will rely on young guys to step up. We are both young, inexperienced and unproven, but plan to fight and compete daily," Wehman said.
Coach: Mike Wasielewski (6th year)
Last season's record: 15-16, 1-9
Top returning players: Davee Flowers, Jr (G, 6-1) Pavlos Stamatopoulos, Sr (F, 6-4)
Top new players: Joey Pantazis, Jr (G, -0)
Worth noting: Niles West has a youth movement on. The Wolves are looking at their junior class to help carry them this season and next ..."The junior class is the strongest class in my 6 years at Niles West, and probably the strongest class in the last few decades. We kept 14 juniors on the team, and they are all athletic kids who've grown up in the community competing against each other for years," Wasielewski said ... Leading the way will be Flowers, who averaged 13 last season. Stamatopoulos is back with his 8 points and ix rebounds average. Also returning is Pantazis, who missed most of last season with an injury.
Coach: Scott Fricke (14th year)
Last season's record: 30-4, 8-2
Top returning players: Jake Feigen, Sr. (G, 6-4); Evan Kanellos, Sr. (G, 5-10); Tyler Van Gorp, Sr. (F, 6-11); Ethan Cummings, Sr. (G, 6-4); Jun Yoshitani, Sr. (G, 6-0)
Top new players: Logan Feller, Jr. (G, 6-3); Colby Smith, Soph. (G, 6-2); Ian Brown, Jr. (G, 6-5)
Worth noting: Feigen has led the way for the Trevians the last two seasons. The Cornell University-commit averaged 14 points per game last year ... New Trier will then count on a pair of players that played last season but had limited minutes They include Kanellos and Van Gorp ... Feller and Smith, who are both juniors are also projected starters. New Trier is also looking to get back Cummings, who will miss the start of the season due to a knee injury ..." Despite our lack of experience, we have high hopes for the season," Fricke said.