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Quick Thoughts & Analysis From April Evaluation Period Week 2: Illinois-Style
The April Evaluation Period is now in the books. And while nothing really earth-shattering or game-changing occurred from an Illinois-based standpoint, there were undoubtedly a few things of note, including the confirmation of the state's #1 player, the emergence of the top prospect in the 2019 class and worthy performances from a few unheralded recruits. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye examines all of it in this report.
Charlie Moore Reopens Recruitment After Josh Pastner Takes Georgia Tech Job (Updated)
Until now most of the news surrounding the coaching carousel has had little effect on Chicago recruiting. That is sure to change now that Josh Pastner has taken the head coaching job at Georgia Tech. In fact, it already has, as Morgan Park's Charlie Moore has announced that he will reopen his recruitment. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all of the details surrounding the news in this report.
Big East It Is For Max Strus
The reason whyMax Strus decided to transfer from Lewis University was because he felt he could play at an even higher level. As time wore on after obtaining his release, it became more apparent that his wishes would be fulfilled and that he would land in the Big East. And now, after taking official visits to three schools in that conference, he has decided to remain close to home, with his final choice having an advantage of a strong family connection. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all that you need to know with respect to Strus' commitment in this story.
Marcus Ottey Becomes UIC's 5th Recruit In 2016
Having already hauled in a most impressive 2016 recruiting class, Steve McClain and the staff at UIC were looking to put the finishing touches on it. They have succeeded in doing just that in the form of a high-scoring Canadian guard with considerable athleticism. His pledge now gives the Flames what is clearly the best 2016 class in the Horizon League. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on the significance of UIC's latest commitment in this story.
Nick Robinson Commits To Atlantic 10 School
Nick Robinson's recruiting process was a complex and sometimes treacherous one. Despite that, there is no question that he and his advisors did their homework when it came to looking at schools that would present him with the best possible fit. And after taking an official visit and weighing things carefully, it appears as though Robinson's college choice matches that description. As a result, he will be headed to the Atlantic Ten. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye elaborates further on the commitment in this story.
Nick Rakocevic Commits To Pac 12 School
St. Joseph's Nick Rakocevic played it close to the vest when it came to leaking out news of his final official visit and the possibility of a commitment. But in the end there were no surprises and little fanfare. As a result, Rakocevic wound up committing to a Pac 12 school that astute observers felt had been the leader for his services for quite some time. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the specifics behind the commitment in this story.
Swish 'N Dish Recap: All-In/Y&R Makes Its Mark While Dosunmu & Horton-Tucker Move Up In 2018
The annual Swish 'N Dish presented byNY2LA Sports is always loaded with talent and is a great way to kick off the travel team season. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye was able to get a first-hand look at many of the top programs and players in Illinois and serves up the highlights from the event in this report.
Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic Adds 4 New Teams/Charlie Moore Wins Mr. Basketball
With veteran tournament coordinator Joe Spagnolo in charge, it only makes sense that the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic keeps making significant upgrades, as evidenced by the four new teams that will be joining next season's field. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye also has the news concerning this year's Mr. Basketball winner in Illinois which comes as no surprise. All of this information can be found by clicking on the above link.
Class 4A Coach Of The Year: Gene Heidkamp
Gene Heidkamp has really come a long way during his tenure as the varsity boy's basketball coach at Benet Academy. As far as we're concerned, all he continues to do is prove that he is the best prep hoops coach in the state of Illinois. This was evident yet again in this year's state tournament as Heidkamp took a team that doesn't have a single D1 player all the way to the Class 4A state championship game. It is therefore no wonder that Heidkamp is once again our 4A Coach Of The Year. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye explains all of the reasons why in this report.
Class 3A Coach Of The Year: Gene Pingatore
Westchester St. Joseph varsity boy's basketball coach Gene Pingatore's philosophy is one that has consistently worked wonders over the course of 47 years to the point of leaving a lasting legacy. Another chapter in that book was written this season as Pingatore once again had his team playing its best basketball when it mattered the most en route to a fourth place finish in the Class 3A state tournament. That is why Pingatore is the recipient of our Class 3A Coach Of The Year. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all of the reasons why in this report.
Morgan Park's "Role Players" Instrumental In Helping Them Reach 3A Supersectional
While there is no question that Charlie Moore is the leader of Morgan Park's loaded team and a near lock for the coveted Mr. Basketball award in Illinois, what makes the Mustangs such a formidable opponent is that they have so many weapons who are capable of beating you in several different ways. This was the case in the 3A sectional final at St. Laurence, where a couple of forgotten men played big parts in enabling Morgan Park to advance to the supersectional. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye expounds further in this report.
Chastain Proves He's For Real As LeRoy Wins 1A State Championship
There was considerable buzz surrounding LeRoy's Matt Chastain as his team headed into Peoria for the Class 1A state finals. At the end of the day, Chastain lived up to it and then some. The proof is clearly in the pudding, as evidenced not only by the numbers that Chastain put up, but the fact that LeRoy has now won a state title. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye lets folks know why we're huge fans of Chastain's game in this report.
Kenwood Rises To The Occasion & Advances To Class 4A Sectional Final
Boy's basketball at Kenwood Academy has come a long way over the past couple of years, but the feeling amongst their faithful is that there is still some unfinished business left. The Broncos went a long way towards taking care of that last night by advancing to the Class 4A sectional final at Riverside-Brookfield with a win over a Proviso East team that had been surging. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more in this story.
Simeon Advances to 4A Sectional Final At Bloom The Old-Fashioned Way
For three and a half quarters the outcome of the Class 4A sectional semifinal at Bloom was very much in doubt. In the end, however, it was the same old same old. That is because Simeon relied on a tenacious defense and aggressive play around the basket to propel them to victory. Illinois Prep Bulls-Eye elaborates further in this story.
Top 4A/3A Regional Finals
We are now in to the heart of March Madness with respect to the boy's state basketball tournaments in Illinois, with regional finals about to take place in both Class 3A and 4A. With that in mind, there are a number of intriguing matchups on tap. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye examines the ones we find to be intriguing in each class in this report.
Da'Monte Williams Ends His Recruitment Early--Commits To Big Ten School
When you are the son of a player who is perceived as a basketball icon within his home state it automatically increases the pressure to follow in your father's footsteps, not only skill-wise but also with respect to recruiting. As it turns out, that is exactly what Peoria Manual's Da'Monte Williams ended up doing. He has therefore closed out his recruitment and will be playing his college basketball at his dad's Alma Mater. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the lowdown on Williams' commitment in this story.
Xavier Bishop Commits To WAC School
Despite enjoying a banner senior season which has included breaking numerous school scoring records, the recruitment of Lanphier point guard Xavier Bishop had been slow. In the end, however, Bishop's familiarity with the coaching staff of one school that he visited along with their success with recruiting players from his geographical area proved to be the difference. As a result, Bishop will be headed to the WAC. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the skinny behind the commitment in this story.
The 2017 Class In Illinois--There's A New Sheriff In Town
When Jeremiah Tilmon departed the state of Illinois to attend LaLumiere School the immediate question was raised as to who would take over the #1 ranks in the 2017 class from the Land Of Lincoln. From everything we have seen this season that question has now been answered to the point where there shouldn't even be any debate. Ironically, the player who has ascended to the top of the ranks hails from the same geographic region. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye reveals the new #1 and identifies all of the reasons why in this report.
SIU Lands 2016 Commitment From Prep School Guard
The coaching staff at Southern Illinois University has worked extremely hard at broadening recruiting relationships in Chicago as well as utilizing other channels. It is paying dividens, as the Salukis have secured their third 2016 commitment from a prep school combo guard who played his high school basketball on Chicago's North side. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye elaborates further on SIU's latest commitment in this story.
John Groce & Illini Are On The Board In 2017 With Commitment From Downstate Wing
Knowing that University Of Illinois head coachJohn Groce had extended scholarship offers to just about every top in-state prospect from the talented 2017 class, the feeling was that it would only be a matter of time before he and his staff would strike paydirt. Sure enough, that is now reality, as Groce and the Illini have landed their first 2017 commitment in the form of a highly athletic wing from the southern part of Illinois. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye is more in tune with this commitment than most and has all of the particulars behind how it went down in this story.
Bryce Barnes Commits To Horizon League School
Despite things moving slowly with his recruiting process, Bogan's Bryce Barnes remained patient throughout. And in the end, he received the offer he was looking for from a school in a highly competitive D1 conference that also allows him the comfort of being able to stay close to home, resulting in a perfect fit. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the news behind Barnes' commitment in this story.
Lewis University Lands Top 2016 Priority From Quad Cities Area
Lewis University head coachScott Trost has consistently recruited players who are ideal fits in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. It is therefore no surprise that he has done so once again when it comes to his 2016 recruiting class. As a result, the Flyers have succeeded in securing a commitment from the Quad Cities region--an athletic and talented wing forward who should be an immediate contributor. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the specifics behind the commitment in this story.
Top 5 Non-Chicago Area Boy's Basketball Teams In Illinois
When it comes to projecting the top boy's prep basketball teams in the Land Of Lincoln, Illinois Prep Bulls-eye goes well beyond the Windy City region. It has the entire state covered, which is fully evident in our breakdown of the top teams outside of the Chicago area. All of that can be found by clicking on the above link.
Top 5 Sleeper Boy's Basketball Teams In Chicago Area
As we get set to embark on the start of the Illinois high school basketball season, preseason rankings are everywhere, both with respect to top teams and players. But what about the overlooked teams--the ones that hardly anyone is talking about yet could be surprises. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye takes an in-depth look at five Chicago area teams that we believe fall into that category, all of which can be found by clicking on the above link.
Out Of Nowhere!! UIC Reels In A Huge 2016 Haul With Commitment from Athletic Prep School Wing
OK--let the record show that we were wrong when we said that the November Signing Period would lack any drama or surprises from an Illinois-based standpoint. That is because Steve McClain and his hard working assistants at UIC turned the tables on that by landing a huge commitment from a highly athletic 2016 wing with in-state roots. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the complete breakdown behind the commitment and how it came about in this story.
DePaul Completes Package Deal With Pair Of LaLumiere Recruits
The moment that a pair of 2016 recruits from a highly prestigious prep school in Indiana announced their intentions to take official visits together to DePaul we knew that a package deal was a realistic possibility. And sure enough, it has come to fruition as the Blue Demons and head coach Dave Leitao now have the duo in the fold. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on DePaul's latest commitments in this story.
UIC Lands 2nd 2016 Commitment From Multi-Dimensional European 2-Guard
UIC head coach Steve McClain and his hard-working staff continue to show that their recruiting connections extend well beyond their own local area. The proof is in the pudding, as McClain and the Flames have landed their second 2016 commitment in the form of a highly versatile guard from Ireland. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down the details behind UIC's latest commitment in this story.
Zach Norvell Chooses West Coast Conference School
Zach Norvell's recruitment took a complete turn this past summer after turning in one of the best individual performances of the entire July Evaluation Period in Las Vegas. And when he did a handful of suitors ascended to the forefront. In the end the big winner was a West Coast school whose vision for how they see Norvell fitting in to their program proved to be the difference with respect to getting him in the fold. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all of that and more with respect to Norvell's commitment in this story.
Class Of 2019 Player Watch: Kejuan Clements
Anyone who follows high school basketball in the Chicago Public League knows that the talent pool at Simeon never runs dry. This is further evidenced by the countless number of intriguing underclassmen they have in their stable. And now in addition to the plethora of skilled 2018 prospects at Simeon, a 2019 combo guard has burst onto the scene who caught our eye at the Pangos All-Midwest Frosh/Soph Camp and could be the best player in the state from that class--at least for now. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down his game in this Player Watch.
UIC Lands First 2016 Commitment From High-Energy Instate Wing
The feeling among the UIC coaching staff heading into last weekend was that they wanted to secure a commitment from at least one of the 2016 recruits they had on campus for official visits. Mission accomplished, as the Flames were able to close the deal with one of their top targets--a highly athletic wing from downstate Illinois with a motor that never stops. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all the news surrounding the commitment in this story.
Justin Pierce Opts For The Colonial
While Justin Pierce stuck to his plan throughout his recruitment, that doesn't mean that his final decision regarding his college choice wasn't a tough one. As it turns out, it went down to the wire but in the end Pierce has chosen to play his college basketball for a highly respected school in the Colonial Athletic Association. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye elaborates further on Pierce's commitment in this story.
John Groce & Illini Have Their Point Guard At Long Last
It has been a long time coming, as it has been priority #1 from the day that John Groce was hired as the men's basketball coach at the University Of Illinois. We are talking about the Illini's need for a point guard. The Illini Nation can fret no more, as the hard-working efforts of Groce and his staff have resulted in a commitment from a 2016 floor general who is certainly good enough to make an impact from day one. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all of the particulars surrounding the commitment in this story.
Northern Illinois University Lands 2016 Commitment From In-State Big Man
Northern Illinois University head coach Mark Montgomery spent the majority of the July Evaluation Period focusing on front court players for his 2016 recruiting class. His efforts have paid off in a big way, as the Huskies have secured their first 2016 commitment in the form of an in-state power forward who was right at the top of the staff's priority list. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the goods on the commitment in this story.
Class Of 2017 Hidden Gem: Tai Bibbs
We have already talked about how loaded Summer Jam was from an Illinois standpoint. However, what also made it such a worthwhile event to cover was the number of sleeper prospects who emerged. One such player was undoubtedly 2017 point guard Tai Bibbs from Mercury Elite. There is no question that Bibbs turned some heads (including ours) with his solid play throughout the week in Mequon, WI. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down Bibbs' game further in this hidden gem feature.
Southern Illinois Lands 1st 2016 Commitment From Local Wing Forward
With the talent pool running deep in the deep south region of Illinois and St. Louis, one of the foremost recruiting priorities for Southern Illinois University head coach Barry Hinson has been to get top local recruits in the fold. He is off to a banner start in that area, as the Salukis have secured their first commitment from the 2016 class in the form of a talented 3-man whose recruitment we thought was just getting started. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down the commitment in this story.
Bradley Lands 2016 Commitment From Local 2-Guard
One of Brian Wardle's first orders of business upon becoming the new head men's basketball coach at Bradley was to keep top local talent at home. Wardle and the Braves are already off to a flying start in that area. That is because they have secured a commitment in their 2016 recruiting class from a nearby 2-guard whose stock had been on the rise since the beginning of this past Spring. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the news on Bradley's latest pledge in this story.
Northwestern Lands Second Commitment From A Top-Ranked In-State Recruit In 2016
It has been no secret that Northwestern University head coach Chris Collins' foremost priority in his 2016 recruiting class was landing a prized big man. As has been the case on so many occasions since taking over the men's basketball program in Evanston, his efforts have paid off big time. That is because Collins and the Wildcats have landed a commitment from one of their top front court targets in the form of a rapidly progressing center from Chicago's suburbs who was recently on campus for an official visit. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye lets everyone know how things went down in this story.
DePaul Lands First 2016 Commitment From Local Point Guard
Upon becoming the head men's basketball coach at DePaul for a second time, one of the first orders of business for Dave Leitao was to go full speed ahead with the Blue Demons' recruiting efforts in the Chicago Public League. It has already landed results as Leitao and DePaul have secured their first commitment in the 2016 recruiting class in the form of a Windy City point guard who has seen his stock steadily rise over the last year. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the specifics behind the Blue Demons' latest pledge in this story.
John Groce And Illini Recognize Importance Of 2017 Recruiting Class
The 2017 basketball class in Illinois could go down as one of the state's best in recent memory and University Of Illinois head coach John Groce and his hard-working assistants have recognized that as well as anybody. It is therefore no surprise that the Illini have reached out to all of the top in-state prospects in that class by extending scholarship offers. In doing so, they are sending a loud and clear message that they won't be outworked. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye examines the potential impact behind the Illini's current recruiting efforts in this entry.
Class Of 2017 Hidden Gem: Cameron Krutwig
Although he has not gotten much exposure over the past year 2017 post Cameron Krutwig has simply let his game do the talking. He has consistently put up big numbers versus quality competition both on the high school and travel team circuits. In doing so Krutwig has proven to be a true hidden gem in the 2017 class. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye provides a closer look at what Krutwig brings to the table in this entry.
UIC Head Coach Steve McClain Lands His First Commitment
The aggressive recruiting approach that new UIC head coach Steve McClain and his hard working staff is using with in-state prospects is paying off big time. That is because the Flames have succeeded in landing a coveted big man who they wasted no time in targeting immediately after he received his release from another Horizon League school. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the complete lowdown behind the commitment in this story.
Northwestern Lands A Huge 2016 Commitment
Northwestern head coach Chris Collins and his hard working staff did a spectacular job of recruiting the 2015 class and are now off to a great start with respect to 2016. That is because Collins and the Wildcats have secured a commitment from the top-ranked prospect in Illinois from that class, a player they had targeted for quite some time. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all of the specifics behind Northwestern's latest commitment in this story.
What's In The Water Around St. Louis? Area Rapidly Becoming A Basketball Hotbed
Basketball talent in some geographical areas goes in cycles but right now there is no question that the young talent base in St. Louis and the surrounding areas is absolutely booming. In fact it may be as good as any time in our recent memory. This was plainly evident at the recently concluded NIKE Spring Showdown. In this report Illinois Prep Bulls-eye takes a look at some of the players from the Gateway region that turned our heads at that event.
Why Brian Wardle Will Make An Immediate Impact At Bradley
Knowing all of the factors that would end up going into the decision, Illinois Prep Bulls-eye was well in-tune with who would become the new head coach at Bradley from the moment that it was announced a change was being made. And sure enough, things have now come to fruition exactly the way we thought they would, as Brian Wardle will take over Bradley's men's basketball program. In this story, we take a look at all of the reasons why Wardle and Bradley are a perfect fit for one another, including one that figures to reap immediate rewards for the Braves.
LoVett Hype Aside, Moore Could Prove To Be Just As Good
Maybe it's due to the fact that most all of the attention at Morgan Park centers around Marcus "Bright Lights" LoVett. Or perhaps it's because he just can't seem to shake the stigma of being an undersized guard. Whatever the case, there is no question that Charlie Moore deserves more respect than what he has received thus far, as he has consistently proven that he ranks among the top 2016 players in Illinois. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye states its case for Moore in this report.
Christian Negron Puts Himself On National Map With Outstanding Performance At Pangos All-Midwest Frosh/Soph Camp
Others will call it a coming-out party, but we have long been aware of the skills possessed by 2017 forward Christian Negron. And all of them came to fruition recently at the Pangos All-Midwest Frosh/Soph Camp. It explains why why Negron is now receiving national recognition and is rapidly ascending our rankings with respect to top players in Illinois from the class of 2017. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye provides a closer look in this report.
Nebraska & Tim Miles Do It Again In Illinois! Land Commitment From 2016 Wing
What a recruiting roll Tim Miles and his staff at Nebraska are on in the Land Of Lincoln. After landing two pledges in their 2015 class from Illinois the Huskers have added yet another with their first commitment in 2016. It comes courtesy of a highly athletic wing who was outstanding during the July evaluation period. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on Nebraska's latest commitment in this story.