Preps Talk

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 11 Romeoville

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 11 Romeoville

School: Romeoville

2016-17 record: 16-12, 9-5 Southwest Prairie

Postseason results: Lost to Joliet West in Class 4A regional finals.

Players to watch: Senior point guard DeAndre Heckard is a Division I prospect who has shown an ability to take over a game at times. Senior forward Dontia Johnson has also drawn Division I interest as he's one of the more intriguing frontcourt players in the area. Joliet West transfer Eddie Creal was a huge addition to the Spartans after two solid varsity seasons with the Tigers.

Why they're in the power rankings: Romeoville has a number of Division I prospects as they'll be one of the area's most talented teams on paper this season. The Spartans may look great on paper but they have to be able to prove it on the floor, something they have yet to do against really good teams. The addition of Creal gives Romeoville an athletic, high-motor wing who could be the difference this season.

Did you know? It's been a long time since Romeoville was relevant in basketball as they haven't won a regional title since 1994.

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 3 Simeon

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 3 Simeon

School: Simeon

2016-17 record: 30-4, 8-2 Public League Red-South

Postseason results: Lost to Whitney Young in Class 4A Title Game

Players to watch: Senior Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State) is one of the area's premier two-way players. Senior forward Messiah Jones (Drake) is an elite leaper and rebounder. Talented junior guard KeJuan Clements is also back. The Wolverines also added some intriguing transfers in Xavier Pinson (St. Pat's) and Northwest Indiana native Zion Young. Both Pinson and Young have Division I interest and add even more perimeter firepower. 

Why they're in the power rankings: On paper, you could argue that Simeon is the most talented team in the state this season. The Wolverines have proven veterans who have won city titles and Division I transfers at multiple positions. But how will all of the pieces fit together? This is a fascinating group with a high ceiling.

Did you know? Making it back to Peoria last season, Simeon has now made 13 state finals appearances.

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 4 Orr

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 4 Orr

2016-17 record: 23-5, 8-2 Public League Red-West

Postseason results: Won Class 2A State Championship.

Players to watch: Seniors Dannie Smith and Raekwon Drake are both major All-Area threats after strong junior seasons. Another senior, Ty Mosley, might actually be the best long-term college prospect of the group as he's pledged to Milwaukee for next season. Sharpshooter Brian Hernandez is another seasoned veteran who has a knack for making big plays.

Why they're in the power rankings: The Spartans return most of last season's Class 2A title team and they also added some key transfers in former Marian Catholic point guard Chase Adams and former Clark wing Demarius Splunge. While the Spartans should be the heavy favorites to repeat in Class 2A, they haven't made as much noise in the Public League Playoffs, which is why they're still behind some of the other schools in the preseason Power Rankings.

Did you know? Orr was absolutely dominant during its Class 2A title run last March as the Spartans won by an average of 21 points. Only one team, Uplift, even played Orr to within single digits and that was still a nine-point margin of victory.