Class of ’24 recruits ranked in the Top 250 are deep in decision-making mode & in a few short months, we’ll have some new commitments and a slightly better idea of what the program will need in ’25 and beyond.
In the meantime, and per usual, the staff has already laid the groundwork in 2025, having long since offered ALL the clear cut 5* guys (Kiyan Anthony, Tyler Jackson, Koa Peat, Kai Rogers, Sadiq White, etc) and any other surprise-risers (Shon Abaev, Chuck Love, Nik Khamenia, Zamichah Williams, etc), but few studs have shown real interest outside of Jeremiah Fears.
THE BIG FISH
If you don’t know, Fears is a certified stud, and he seems to get a little better every time he steps on the court. His pedigree certainly checks out; dad Jeremy Sr. was a tough lead guard at Ohio University & overseas professionally for more than a decade and older brother Jeremy Jr. was a McDonald’s All-American & is currently a star freshman on a stacked MSU squad. While it will always be special that Jeremy Jr. hung around to mentor his brother at Joliet West last season, Jeremiah wasted no time upgrading to AZ Compass Prep this summer to expand his game & challenge himself against national competition.
Fears’ game is already elite with in the building range, true 3-level scoring & highlight reel passing abilities. In the recent past, I’ve seen footage of him cooking Elliot Cadeau (UNC ’23), Elmarko Jackson (KU ’23), David Castillo (KSU ’24), Jeremy Fears Jr. (MSU ’23), LOL even Tyty Washington Jr., formerly of AZ Compass, UK and currently with the OKC Thunder. As these dudes have learned the hard way, he’s one of the best off the dribble shooters I’ve ever seen in person (let alone HS!), and I won’t date myself but I’m not young. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that the only obvious area of his game that needs work is physical strength, and it’s glaringly obvious if he’s serious about re-classifying into 2024. If he sticks in the class of ’25 then in my opinion he’s underrated as a borderline 5-star and will be ranked somewhere in the Top15/20 by the end of the HS season.
As it pertains to his recruitment, Fears has been to campus several times now; as a tag-along with his brother, unofficially as a recruit and will now visit campus officially on September 16th, the weekend of the Penn State game. Winning this recruitment would be a flat-out grand slam and this fact isn’t lost on the staff. They’re pulling out all the stops and making sure he’s there at the same time as 2024 hopeful G Mikey Lewis (whose game is eerily similar but less explosive than Fears) & our guy Morez Johnson Jr. (this hasn’t been announced yet). In summary, the kid has actively followed my Twitter account for 6+ years and grew up watching Ayo “save” the program. In my honest opinion, if he doesn’t re-classify, he’ll have his choice of schools and that includes the blue bloods…but if the staff stays the course, he’ll be our next Hometown Hero.
THE OTHER FISH
Point Guards: The staff has offered 5 PGs but would probably slow their roll on anyone shorter than 6’5”-6’6” if Fears were to commit. If things turn sour with Fears, the focus will likely turn to 4* 6’4” Melvin Bell or 4* 6’3” Kaden Magwood. Bell unofficially visited last season after transferring to La Lumiere from St. Rita to level up the competition. Magwood, Oak Hill Academy’s starting PG, unofficially visited campus last week.
Combo Guards: The staff has offered 13 CGs to date and the early standouts are clear: 4* 6’3” Phoenix Gill, 4* 6’4” Antonio Munoz, 5* 6’5” Bryce Heard & sleeper 6’3” Jamarion Batemon. Gill (St. Ignatius, IL) unofficially visited last season & is the son of the great Kendall Gill…he’s a really good player who’s chosen to skip AAU or Showcase events…future is bright. Munoz (Whitney Young, IL) unofficially visited last season…the long, super athletic guard might end up a wing before it’s all said & done. Heard (Homewood Flossmoor), who also visited last season, just announced TODAY that he’ll be returning to HFHS from Montverde Academy in Florida…big news on the IL HS basketball front. And Batemon, who’s scheduled to unofficially visit campus this weekend, has developed a reputation on the circuit as a special sharpshooter with a quick release.
Wing: The staff has offered 17 Wings so far and the overall picture is just beginning to crystalize. The only wing who’s unofficially visited is 3* 6’8” Colt Langdon (Millbrook, NC), whose stock continues to rise. The staff has also been mentioned by recent offer, sharpshooting 4* 6’9” Niko Bundalo (Western Reserve Academy, OH), who’s said that he plans to visit IL along with Wisconsin, Iowa & Ohio State.
Bigs: The staff has offered 4 “Bigs” so far which translates to a large Forward or Center that’s at least 6’10”. Needless to say, if these guys are good enough to get offers from our staff then they’re getting offers from everybody. That said, rumor has it that Chester has a strong relationship with 3* 7’2” Daniel Jacobsen out of Brewster Academy in NH.