While there are plenty of juniors across Illinois having big years, here are five that are more than excelling. All five of them have taken their games to new a level this season. 

Ty Johnson – 6-2 – PG – DePaul Prep
Skilled point guard who has really emerged this season. Can score and distribute the ball both at a high level. Quick and shifty with the ball to get into the defense and create for himself as well as teammates. Also has the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. His strong play this season has earned him offers from UIC and Youngstown State over the past couple of months. 

Jalen Butler – 6-6 – F – Niles North
Active and well-built forward that continues to round out his skills. Tough defender on the inside but just as good out on the perimeter with his quickness and ability put good pressure on the ball. Takes the ball well to the rim and his perimeter jumper continues to improve more and more. With his strength and aggressiveness Butler has the ability to dominate the glass. 

Blake Peters – 6-1 – SG – Evanston 
Has always been a tremendous shooter, but has continued to develop his skills more and more. Peters has become more comfortable putting the ball on the floor plus cutting to the basket. As well has become quicker, stronger, and more agile which has helped him on the defensive end. 

John Poulakidas – 6-5 – SG – Neuqua Valley
Poulakidas has really taken his game to the next level this season and become one of the top juniors in Illinois. He is one of the top scorers in Illinois, regardless of class. He has a good ability to create his own shot and can score it from all three levels. He shoots it well from the perimeter and mid-range. Plus has good size at 6’5” to go along with a strong frame. All of this has earned him a bunch of offers, including one from Minnesota a couple weeks ago. 

Josh Smith – 6-4 – G – Oak Park & River Forest
Had a breakout summer and has continued that into this season. Has the size, length, and skills to play on or off the ball. Skilled scorer who does the majority of his damage slashing to the basket as he is quick off the dribble. Point guard skills have continued to develop more and more. Still an under recruited player as he only has a lone offer from UIC.