Preps Talk

Illinois has 18 nominees for McDonald's All-American Games


Illinois has 18 nominees for McDonald's All-American Games

The nominees for the 2016 McDonald's All-American Games were released on Tuesday morning and it includes nine boys and nine girls basketball players from Illinois among over 750 nominees.

Staying at the United Center in 2016, the McDonald's All-American Games are the premier national all-star games in high school basketball. This year's games will be played on Wednesday, March 30, as the girls game tips at 5:30 p.m. and the boys game gets going at 8 p.m.

Players are nominated for the McDonald's All-American Game by high school coaches, athletic directors, principals and members of the McDonald's All-American Games selection committee.

[MORE: CSN Preps Boys Power Rankings - Week 5]

The final rosters for the games will be announced during the McDonald's All-American Games Selection Show, which will be on ESPNU on Jan. 17 at 9:30 p.m.

While none of the boys nominees from Illinois are expected to make the 2016 McDonald's All-American Game, the girls nominees from Illinois have a few strong contenders. Tori McCoy (St. Thomas More), Kiara Lewis (Whitney Young), Nicole Ekhomu (Joliet Catholic) and Jeannie Boehm (New Trier) are all consensus top-100 national players with plenty of credentials to be voted into the game.

On the boys side, Morgan Park's Charlie Moore, a Memphis commit and local Player of the Year favorite, has the best chance of making the game, but he's not expected to make the cut as the 2016 national class of boys high school basketball players is among the strongest classes of the last 15 years.

Here is the complete list of nominees from Illinois.

2016 Boys Nominees

Micah Bradford (Bradley Bourbonnais Community High School – Bradley)

Ben Coupet (Simeon Career Academy – Chicago)

Demauris Dixon (St. Rita of Cascia High School – Chicago)

Brandon Johnson (Thornton Fractional South High School – Lansing)

Charlie Moore (Morgan Park High School – Chicago)

Zach Norvell (Simeon Career Academy – Chicago)

Nick Rakocevic (St. Joseph High School – Westchester)

George Willborn (De La Salle Institute – Chicago)

Christopher Williams (St. Rita of Cascia High School – Chicago)

2016 Girls Nominees

Ali Andrews (Huntley High School – Huntley)

Jeannie Boehm (New Trier High School – Winnetka)

Kathleen Doyle (Benet Academy – Lisle)

Nicole Ekhomu (Joliet Catholic Academy – Joliet)

Dasia Evans (Rich South High School – Richton Park)

Jaida Green (Downers Grove North High School – Downers Grove)

Kiara Lewis (Whitney M. Young Magnet High School – Chicago)

Tori McCoy (The High School of Saint Thomas More – Champaign)

Brittney Patrick (Bolingbrook High School – Bolingbrook)

33 Days to Kickoff: Benet

33 Days to Kickoff: Benet preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Benet Academy

Head coach: Pat New

How they fared in 2017: 9-4 (5-2 East Suburban Catholic Conference). Benet Academy made the Class 7A state playoff field. They defeated Maine West, Hononegah and Lincoln-Way Central before losing to Batavia in the state semifinal round. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ St. Laurence

Aug. 31 @ Moline

Sept. 7 @ St. Patrick

Sept. 14 vs Niles Notre Dame

Sept. 21 vs Nazareth Academy

Sept. 28 @ Joliet Catholic

Oct. 5 vs St. Viator

Oct. 13 @ Marian Catholic

Oct. 19 vs Marist

[MORE: 78 Days to Kickoff - St. Patrick]

Biggest storyline: After back-to-back state semifinal playoff runs, can the Redwings pick things up right where they left off and another make deep playoff run?

Names to watch this season: QB Collin Gillespie and RB/S Ben Hickey

Biggest holes to fill: While the Redwings will welcome back some key starters from a season ago, they will need to reload a bit up front on both the offensive and defensive line. 

EDGY's Early Take: Coach Pat New's Redwings had an early 14-0 lead over eventual 7A state champion Batavia before falling to the Bulldogs. Benet, who has 50 program wins since 2012 (all playoff seasons), is never short on talent. Look for their offensive skills department to carry the load early this season. The Redwings should challenge in the East Suburban Catholic Conference race and into playoff time come October. 

34 Days to Kickoff: Bartlett

34 Days to Kickoff: Bartlett preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Bartlett

Head coach: Mark Erlenbaugh

How they fared in 2017: 2-7 (2-3 Upstate 8 Valley Conference), Bartlett failed to qualify for the 20127 IHSA state football playoff field.

2018 regular season schedule:

Aug. 24 @ East Aurora

Aug. 31 vs Glenbard East

Sept. 7 vs Glenbard South

Sept. 14 @ Elgin

Sept. 21 @ West Aurora

Sept. 28 vs West Chicago

Oct. 5 vs Larkin

Oct. 13 @ South Elgin 

Oct. 19 @ Streamwood

[MORE: 53 Days to Kickoff - Glenbard East]

Biggest storyline: Can the Hawks soar in the newly realigned Upstate 8 conference?

Names to watch this season: QB Dean Kotsovetis and WR Austin Gates

Biggest holes to fill: The Hawks will need to fill in several spots this summer especially upfront on the offensive and defensive lines due to graduation losses.

EDGY's Early Take: Bartlett head coach Matt Erlenbaugh comes in from Chicago's Solorio High School and takes over the Hawks football program. Look for Bartlett to have a chance to challenge in the newly-realigned Upstate Eight schedule. The Hawks schedule this season won't include the likes of several 2017 state playoff teams like Lemont, Prairie Ridge and St. Charles East.