Chicago College Basketball All-City Teams

Chicago College Basketball All-City Teams

There were a lot of talented players in Chicago this season. The city's five NCAA Division I teams provided a lot of fun moments, mostly due to players' abilities on the court. These two teams are by no means the ultimate listing of Chicago players this season, but I think they represent one person's fair and reasoned opinion about what happened on the court.

I saw every team in Chicago, either on TV or in person, a minimum of 10 times this season. I tried to keep the teams balanced with a traditional basketball lineup. Here's who impressed me the most. (1st, 2nd and Freshman teams)

Chicago College Basketball's First Team:

Josh Mayo - G - UIC

Mayo finished up his award-winning career at UIC with a strong senior season. While he struggled with his shot at times, he managed to score 16.8 points per game. Asked to be a creator on offense and not just a scorer when Spencer Stewart went down with an injury midway through the season, Mayo did his best to hold the Flames together. He finished with 3.4 assists per game.

David Holston - G - Chicago State:

Holston did it all for the Cougars this season. He was the biggest force on offense in Chicago. But it wasn't just his 25.9 points per game or 6.4 assists per game, both tops in the city, which showed off his talents. It was overall efficiency and his willingness to turn his generously listed 5'8? frame into a defensive strength instead of a liability. If Chicago State's season officially ends on Selection Sunday it certainly wasn't because Holston disappointed.

Kevin Coble - F - Northwestern: Coble is one of two non-seniors on the First Team. Quite simply, Coble is the best player on the best team in Chicago. His trick shots have become so commonplace that they no longer surprise me. (Although the ones that miss still make me groan sometimes.) He has been drawing even more attention of late as opponents realize what an important cog he is to the Wildcats' offense. Coble finished the season with a strong 109.5 offensive ranting. In any other system besides Northwestern's slowdown style, he would have the numbers to match anyone in Chicago.

John Cantrell - F - Chicago State: Cantrell's 19.8 points per game, 5.1 rebounds per game and 2.6 per game combination of steals and blocks are great, but he was more than numbers. He was the most athletic player in the city this season. The senior can jump out of the gym and benefitted from having his good friend and teammate, Holston, setting him up on fast breaks. Chicago State head coach Benjy Taylor said during Senior Night that the Cougars haven't had an alley-oop in the playbook for two years. The connection Holston and Cantrell have on the court meant they didn't need a play to make magic happen.

Mac Koshwal - C - DePaul: The lone sophomore on the first team, Koshwal struggled a bit during Big East play against bigger, stronger and more mature opponents. During non-conference play he was an absolute beast, and while his numbers tailed off slightly as the season - and probably the team's long losing streak - wore on him, he still put up very good averages of 12.6 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game. There were many moments this season where his talent was obvious. With another off season in the weight room, Koshwal should become one of the dominant big men in the Big East.

Chicago College Basketball's Second Team:

Craig Moore - G - Northwestern: Moore, Northwestern's all-time leader in three-point attempts and makes, is a deadly shooter from anywhere inside half court when unguarded. He is an excellent free throw shooter on the rare occasion he goes to the line and a steadying presence on the court. Without a true backup on the Wildcats, Moore was asked to routinely play 40 minutes a game and provided not just strong offense - 14.4 points per game, 2.7 assists per game and a 112.5 offensive rating - but also good defense. The senior will be sorely missed next season.

Robo Kreps - G - UIC: While just a sophomore, Kreps' game really took off during the second half of the season. His play in conference was a big part of the Flames' five-game winning streak near the end of Horizon League play and into the conference tournament. He finished the season at 40.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Upon Mayo's graduation Kreps will have to take up a lot of the scoring load for UIC during the 2009-2010 season.

Justin Cerasoli - G/F - Loyola: To watch Cerasoli is to see a different type of basketball. It's not one that translates well in traditional statistics. He scored 11.2 points per game and handed out 2.9 assists, but there's more to his game. Cerasoli was a wizard on the defensive end. The senior transfer from Mississippi was often given tough defensive assignments and locked those players down. His 2.9 blocks plus steals was third best in the city this season.

Dar Tucker - F - DePaul: Tucker has a tendency to play recklessly. He'll get out of control going to the hoop or pounding dribbles down court on the fast break. Sometimes there's a ferocious dunk at the end, sometimes there's a turnover. What was missing from Tucker most of this season was consistency. What there was a ton of was potential. Another sophomore, Tucker tried too hard at times to carry DePaul. He scored 18.2 points per game, but he also saw his turnover rate rise as he took on more possessions. Still, there's no denying he is one of the most talented players in the city.

Scott VanderMeer - C - UIC: VanderMeer is a unique player in the Horizon League at 7'0? tall. He used his height to great advantage in conference play as he finished first in the league in both blocks and rebounds. He averaged 10.5 points per game, 9.0 rebounds per game and 2.5 blocks per game. He made a difference in almost every game he played. A late-season shooting slump cooled some of the senior's numbers, but his interior presence will certainly be missed at the UIC Pavilion next season.

Chicago College Basketball Freshman Team:

These are some freshman that impressed at times this season. Players who could take a bigger role during their sophomore campaigns.

Jeremiah Kelly - G - DePaul - All you need to look at is the box score from DePaul's victory over Cincinnati in the first round of the Big East Tournament to understand this freshman's impact on the game.

John Shurna - F - Northwestern - He's had to learn on the job, but Shurna has started almost every game for the Wildcats and played admirably in most. There were many flashes of brilliance during the second half of the Big Ten season.

Jordan Hicks - F - Loyola - When the Ramblers' lineup was reshuffled midway through the Horizon League season Hicks got his chance. He made the most of it. While his full season averages aren't too impressive he's certainly ready to make a difference after the graduation of J.R. Blount and Cerasoli.

Luka Mirkovic / Kyle Rowley - C - Northwestern - The great Luka-Rowley debate will probably continue for years to come. Mirkovic is more athletic in the post, but Rowley has a bigger body and good hands. Neither was probably prepared to step right into a lineup that was challenging for an at-large berth for the NCAA Tournament out of the Big Ten, but they've both played well at times. Their development will be fascinating to watch over the next three seasons.

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