Wildkits to watch
Center Elijah Henry
Henry, who started as a sophomore, is the Wildkits’ most important player inside. At 6-foot-5, the junior is the team’s top rebounder and he defends the paint well. Henry has the length to defend shots near the rim.
While he has a strong back-to-the-basket game, he’s developed face-up skills. Henry said he expects to shoot more mid-range jump shots and he has the athleticism to take slower-footed centers off the dribble.
“I’m excited to attack the basket more this season,” Henry said.
Shooting guard Will Jones
Jones is one of four seniors starting for the Wildkits. He’s got one of the most well-rounded skill sets on the Evanston roster.
“He does just so many different things for us,” coach Mike Ellis said.
At 6-1, Jones will be relied on to defend opposing shooting guards, but he also rebounds well for a guard.
Offensively, he creates things for his team by attacking the basket and getting out in the open court on fastbreaks.
Point guard Nojel Eastern
Eastern will likely soon become a household name. The 6-1 freshman has already had colleges like Ohio State and Illinois express interest in him.
Ellis says Eastern will play big minutes for Evanston from the beginning of the season, and could be starting sooner rather than later.
Eastern already has a consistent jumper and the ability to get by defenders and into the paint, but as a lead guard he looks to get teammates involved.
Opposing coach’s take
Every year, Evanston is a top team in the area and conference. Their lower levels are strong, and coach [Mike] Ellis and his staff do a great job of developing in the E-Town program.
2012-13 record: 9-18 overall, 1-9 CSL South
2013 playoffs: Lost in regional semifinal of Class 4A to Loyola
Head coach: Mike Ellis, fourth season
Projected starting five: sr. PG Dante Henley, sr. SG Will Jones, sr. SF Nibra White, sr. PF Jackson Mihevc, jr. C Elijah Henry.
Game to watch: Glenbrook South at Evanston, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31, 2014. Evanston will be looking to avenge February’s 59-57 overtime home loss to Glenbrook South.