The state connections to this year’s NCAA Tournament go far beyond Northwestern and Illinois making the field.
Meet the 46 players who hail from Illinois and play for tournament teams, including 11 who earned postseason honors in their conference.
- Houston — with one of the nation’s best backcourts — gets No. 1 seed in Midwest Region
- Kansas gets the No. 1 seed in a stacked West Region
- Purdue and Marquette the top 2 seeds in East Region with bluebloods
- Overall No. 1 seed Alabama headlines South Region
Terrence Shannon Jr., Lincoln Park
The 6-foot-6 senior guard was a first-team All-Big Ten pick, averaging 17.1 points and 4.7 rebounds in 30 games (29 starts) after transferring from Texas Tech. Shannon finished his high school career at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Ty Rodgers, Thornton
The 6-6 freshman forward has played in all 32 games, averaging 3.2 points and 4.1 rebounds.
Brandon Lieb, Deerfield
The 7-foot junior center has 15 points and 17 rebounds in 16 games.
Paxton Warden, Glenbard West
The 6-4 walk-on freshman guard has two points in 10 games.
Connor Serven, St. Rita
The 6-9 walk-on junior forward has one point and four rebounds in five games.
AJ Redd, St. Ignatius
The 6-3 walk-on freshman guard has appeared in two games.
Nick Martinelli, Glenbrook South
The 6-7 freshman forward is averaging 2.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in 18 games.
Nimari Burnett, Morgan Park
The 6-4 redshirt sophomore guard is averaging 5.6 points in 22 games (eight starts) after transferring from Texas Tech and sitting out last season following knee surgery. Burnett played his final three high school seasons at Prolific Prep in Napa, Calif.
Max Scharnowski, Wheaton Academy
The 6-6 walk-on junior forward has two rebounds in three games.
Kylan Boswell, Champaign
The 6-2 freshman guard has played in all 34 games, averaging 4.6 points with 26 steals. Boswell grew up in Champaign but spent his high school career at Centennial in Corona, Calif., and Compass Prep in Phoenix.
Sami Osmani, Oak Lawn
The 6-4 walk-on junior guard has nine points and eight rebounds in 10 games.
Devin Davis, Westinghouse
The 6-foot walk-on junior guard has three points and two rebounds in 15 games.
Roman Penn, Calumet City
The 6-foot graduate guard was a first-team All-Missouri Valley selection, averaging 12.6 points, 5.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 33 games (31 starts). Penn, who transferred from Siena in 2018, played in high school at Bishop Noll in Hammond, Ind., and Don Bosco Prep in Crown Point.
Conor Enright, Mundelein
The 6-foot redshirt freshman guard made the MVC’s all-freshman team, averaging 4.2 points in 34 games (four starts).
Nate Ferguson, Lemont
The 6-8 redshirt junior forward is averaging 3.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in 26 games.
Jaden Schutt, Yorkville
The 6-5 freshman guard is averaging 2.2 points in 13 games.
Ben VanderWal, Timothy Christian
The 6-7 freshman forward has played in all 34 games with seven starts, averaging 5.1 points and 3.2 rebounds.
Malachi Smith, Belleville West
The 6-4 redshirt junior guard was the West Coast Conference sixth man of the year, averaging 8.7 points and 3.5 rebounds in 24 games (one start). Smith transferred from Chattanooga, where he was the Southern Conference player of the year and national mid-major player of the year in 2022.
Braden Huff, Glenbard West
The 6-10 freshman forward has not appeared in a game while redshirting.
Ahron Ulis, Marian Catholic
The 6-3 junior guard is averaging 6.4 points and 2.2 assists in 30 games (25 starts).
Amarion Nimmers, Rock Island
The 6-2 walk-on freshman guard has not appeared in a game.
Jeremiah Williams, Simeon
The 6-4 junior guard sat out the season after suffering an Achilles tendon injury. Williams transferred from Temple, where he led the Owls in assists his first two seasons.
Joseph Yesufu, Bolingbrook
The 6-foot junior guard is averaging 3.8 points in 32 games (two starts). Yesufu was the 2021 Missouri Valley sixth man of the year at Drake before joining the Jayhawks for last year’s national title run.
Quincy Ademokoya, Bloomington
The 6-6 junior guard is averaging 4.5 points in 32 games (one start). A transfer from Temple, Ademokoya played high school basketball in Norcross, Ga.
Chris Payton, Bloomington
The 6-7 senior forward is averaging 6.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in 33 games (four starts) after transferring from Pittsburgh.
Julius Rollins, Hillcrest
The 6-5 redshirt freshman guard is averaging 2.1 points in 27 games.
Brenden Moss, Rockford
The 6-4 freshman guard has not appeared in a game. Moss played in high school at Minnesota Prep in Minneapolis.
Antonio Reeves, Simeon
The 6-5 senior guard was the co-winner of the SEC’s sixth man of the year, averaging 14.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 32 games (12 starts) after transferring from Illinois State.
RJ Walson, Perspectives
The 6-foot walk-on sophomore guard has appeared in nine games.
Damaria Franklin, Niles North
The 6-3 graduate guard is averaging 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 23 games (one start) after transferring from UIC.
Conor Glennon, Brother Rice
The 5-10 walk-on junior guard has two assists in one game.
AJ Casey, Young
The 6-9 freshman forward has 27 points and 30 rebounds in 26 games.
Malik Hall, Metea Valley
The 6-8 senior forward is averaging 9.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 19 games (four starts). Hall finished his high school career at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas.
Trey Pettigrew, Kenwood/Fenwick
The 6-3 freshman guard has nine points and three rebounds in five games.
Dusan Mahorcic, Niles Notre Dame
The 6-10 graduate forward from Serbia averaged 8.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in 10 games (nine starts) before suffering a knee injury in December that required surgery. Mahorcic is on his fifth college team in five seasons after playing for Lewis, Moberly Area Community College, Illinois State and Utah.
Nate Santos, Geneva
The 6-7 sophomore forward is averaging 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds in 28 games. Santos played in high school at Loomis Chaffee in Windsor, Conn.
Caden Pierce, Glenbard West
The 6-7 freshman forward was the Ivy League rookie of the year, averaging 8.3 points and 7.1 rebounds in 29 games (28 starts).
Blake Peters, Evanston
The 6-1 sophomore guard has played in all 29 games, averaging 5.4 points.
Bryce Hopkins, Fenwick
The 6-7 sophomore forward was a first-team All-Big East selection, starting all 32 games and leading the Friars with 16.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Hopkins transferred from Kentucky.
San Diego State
Cam Lawin, Orr
The 6-3 walk-on freshman guard has not appeared in a game.
Southeast Missouri State
Chris Harris, Lake Forest Academy
The 6-3 fifth-year senior guard was a second-team all-conference pick in the Ohio Valley, averaging 15.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 34 games (32 starts)
Aquan Smart, Niles North
The 6-3 sophomore guard is averaging 7.5 points and 3.1 rebounds in 31 games (25 starts). Smart is on his third college stop after playing at Maryland and Florida International.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Terrion Murdix, Springfield Southeast
The 6-1 senior guard is averaging 13.4 points, 5.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 31 games (30 starts). Murdix was the Southland Conference’s defensive player of the year, a first-team all-conference selection and MVP of the conference tournament. But he missed the Islanders’ First Four win over Southeast Missouri State with a knee injury suffered in the Southland Tournament final.
Amari Bailey, Chicago
The 6-5 guard was named to the Pac-12′s all-freshman team, averaging 10.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 27 games (25 starts). Bailey grew up in Chicago but moved to Los Angeles for high school and played at Sierra Canyon.
Drew Peterson, Libertyville
The 6-9 fifth-year senior guard made the All-Pac-12 first team, averaging 14.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 28 games. Peterson transferred from Rice after his sophomore season.
Kam Craft, Buffalo Grove
The 6-6 freshman guard is averaging 2.8 points in 14 games.