HighSchoolElite.com's 2004 first-team Class AA all-state
squad, from left,
Jon Scheyer, Shaun Pruitt, Shaun Livingston, Calvin Brock and Justin Dentmon.
High School Elite 2004
Class AA All-State
By Frank Rusnak Potentially Shaun
Livingston is right up there with the best ever to come out of Illinois. It is
that potential that is getting Livingston proclaimed as a sure-fire NBA Lottery
pick if he declares for The League. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski extended a
scholarship to Livingston on what he could potentially do for his Blue Devils.
As a 6'7" point guard, Livingston has potential oozing out of his ears, nose and
He showed, however, that he is a little more than
potential in leading Peoria Central to back-to-back state titles on March 20. In
2003 he was the guiding force that led the Lions to the title over Thornwood on
a driving lay-up with four seconds left in the game. This season he didn't need
any last-minute heroics as he pounded the opposition from the beginning, ending
with 27 points and nine rebounds.
It is for those reasons and countless others that make
Livingston the 2004 HighSchoolElite.com Player of the Year.
Facing a large heap of pressure, expectations and
nay-sayers the entire season, he helped Peoria Central to a nearly flawless
record. It lost to Indianapolis' Pike during the tail-end of a long, grueling
stretch of games, and again to West Aurora right after losing starting center
DeAndre Miranda to injury and getting starting power forward Dustin Warfield
back from one of his first games back from surgery.
What lies ahead for Livingston could be very spectacular
next season. If he's running the courts in Durham, North Carolina or standing
next to NBA Commissioner David Stern holding a baseball cap, the future is
undetermined, but certainly very bright. Potentially speaking, that is.
Justin Dentmon 6'1" senior Carbondale
The top performer at the state tournament in Peoria, he finished with 78
points in his team's three games, 24 more than the next highest individual. He led his
team to a 28-7 record as the only squad to give Belleville West a loss, as
Carbondale defeated them twice. His season was ended with a loss to West
Aurora in the state tournament's third-place game. He averaged 22 points,
three assists and three rebounds while shooting 49 percent from the field and
48 percent from three-point range. He has signed with Illinois State.
Shaun Pruitt 6'9" senior West Aurora
Constant double teams and two other Division I teammates to distribute the
ball to helped deplete his statistics a little. Signed with Illinois, he still
averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and shot 63 percent from the
field. He led his team to a third-place finish at the state tournament. His
Blackhawks finished with a 32-2 record and went undefeated in the DuPage
Calvin Brock 6'5" senior Simeon
The surprise of the entire state, this athletic small forward came from a
very humble beginning in his prep career. At the start of his junior season he was
not even a starter. As this season progressed he proclaimed himself as the
state's most improved player in guiding his team to a 26-5 record and Elite
Eight appearance. Committed to Illinois, he averaged 22 points, 10 rebounds,
five steals, four assists and four blocks.
Jon Scheyer 6'5" sophomore Glenbrook
The state's second best player behind Shaun Livingston, there were no
evident weaknesses to his game. The lone underclassmen on the first-team and
only sophomore on the first three teams, he averaged 25 points, six rebounds and
six assists in leading the Spartans to a 25-4
record and sectional loss to Schaumburg. As a freshman last season he was his
team's leading scorer (16 ppg) and passer (three apg) when he helped the
Glenbrook North to the Elite Eight. One of the state's premier marksmen, an
almost flawless passer and athleticism that is disguised by his other
bountiful skills, he will have his pick of the litter in two years for
6'7" senior Peoria Central
Led his team to back-to-back state titles, the first succession of such
since Peoria Manual in 1996 and 1997. The rangy point guard had 27 points and
nine rebounds in the championship game this year. He averaged 19 points, six
rebounds and six assists while shooting 50 percent from the field and 34
percent from three-point range for a 31-2 team. He has signed with Duke but
may choose to declare for the NBA Draft as a projected lottery pick.
Jamarcus Ellis 6'5" senior Westinghouse
Despite being on the varsity only three years, he possibly had the best
prep career of any seniors this season other than Shaun Livingston. He
finished high school with two city championships and a state title. After
following up his city title with a state title in his sophomore year, he was
unable to duplicate that feat this season. However, he averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds and
five assists in guiding the Warriors to a 28-4 record and 60-48 win over
Simeon for the city title. Westinghouse lost to Farragut in the sectional
finals to end their season. He is uncommitted.
DeAaron Williams 6'5" senior Limestone
Headed to Wisconsin, he ended as Limestone's all-time leading scorer (1,868) and rebounder (860).
In his four years on varsity he helped Limestone, not traditionally known as a
basketball power, to a 84-31 record. He averaged 19 points, eight rebounds and
four assists this season. To end the year, he knocked off defending state dunk
champion Demetrius Evans of Von Steuben in the dunk contest.
Kevin Lisch 6'2" junior Belleville
One of the most overlooked players in the state, he averaged 24 points,
six rebounds, three assists and two steals for a 20-9 team. Four of Althoff's
losses came against Belleville West, including a season-ending 78-76 overtime
loss in the sectional semifinals. A sterling shooter, he knocked down 158 of
185 free throw attempts (85 percent) and 40 of 75 three-point attempts (53
percent). He is receiving recruiting interest from such schools as Illinois,
Kansas, St. Louis and Marquette.
6'7" senior Farragut
A four-year varsity player, he really came into his own during his senior
season. He averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds for a 29-4 Elite Eight finisher,
losing to eventual state champion Peoria Central. Despite usually making his
home near the basket, he showed off an impressive shooting touch going 59
percent from the field, 72 percent from the free-throw line and 100 percent
(12 for 12) from the three-point line on the season. A star in the classroom
as well, he will play at Rutgers next season.
Jeremy Fears 6'4" senior Joliet
He helped lead a depleted Joliet team to a SICA West Championship with his
smooth and effortless play. He averaged 21 points for the Steelmen while
taking command of his team from the point guard position. He saved his
brightest for the best going for 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field
in a four-point loss to eventual third-place finisher West Aurora. Shunning
offers from high-major colleges, he signed with Ohio.
Excell Hardy 6'1" senior Homewood-Flossmoor
Quite possibly nobody started the season hotter than who H-F coach Roy
Condotti called his team's top player. Hardy won the MVP award at both the St.
Rita Thanksgiving Tournament and Proviso West Holiday Tournament. He averaged
a team-best 15 points and three rebounds while shooting 57 percent from the
field and 40 percent from the three-point line. He helped guide the Vikings to
a 31-3 record and a second-place finish in the state tournament.
Eric Vierneisel 6'7" senior Jacobs
In the best season ever for the Fox Valley, with a handful of Division I
capable players, he finished as the best player in conference. He averaged
team-bests of 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists as his team's point
forward. Committed to California, he showed his outside shooting prowess going
to Peoria for the state three-point contest.
Xavier Price 6'3" senior Belleville West
After showing off impressive individualistic skills in three years at
O'Fallon, he transferred to a talented Belleville West team coming off an
Elite Eight finish. With the Maroons, he molded his game into a team-concept
being surrounded by other players of his capabilities. He ended the season
with a team-high 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Headed to Purdue,
he shot 55 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free-throw line for
a 28-2 team with its only losses of the year to Carbondale -- the last one
being an 81-72 sectional championship failure.
Tommie Liddell 6'5" senior East St. Louis
This smooth lefty averaged 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two
steals for a 26-5 team. Committed to St. Louis, his season was ended at the
hands of a 58-56 super-sectional loss to Carbondale where Liddell led all
scorers with 27 points. Late in the season he also spear-headed a near upset
victory over national power St. Louis Vashon with 25 points and 11 rebounds in
a one-point loss.
Gordon Watt 6'5" senior Evanston
After riding the coat-tails of some very talented seniors in the 2002-'03
season, he stepped into his own this season as one of the state's most
improved players. He averaged 22 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and five assists
for a 23-5 team. Signed with Boston College, he led Evanston which went
undefeated in the Central Suburban League South and advanced to the sectional
finals where they fell to Von Steuben.
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