Illinois Recruiting Notebook


Posted On: 10/9/17 10:00 AM

Let’s dive into some of the uncommitted senior prospects that still remain on the board and the latest with their recruitment!


PG Jalen Hodge (O’Fallon)

Jalen Hodge, O'Fallon


Hodge is a lefty point guard from O’Fallon who will be one of the most impactful players in the metro east this upcoming season.  So smooth with the rock in his hands weaving in and out of the defense.  Pushes it in transition.  Has vision and feel as a passer.  Plus mid-range shooter that is working on extending it to three.


Recruiting Update:

Hodge tells us that he will be visiting University of Indianapolis on October 14.  This will be his third official visit.  He has already been out to see Southwest Minnesota St and Sioux Falls.  Hodge has become a priority point guard for D2 programs.  Some of the other schools in the mix include UMSL, Minot State, Lewis, and UW-Parkside.  He plans on making his college decision in December.


SG Malachi Smith (Belleville West)

Malachi Smith, Belleville West


Smith is a shooting guard that can really put the ball in the hoop!  He proved that throughout his high school career and on the circuit with Jets-Ramey United.  Smith has a strong body that allows him to take a bump at the rim and score.  Plus mid-range jump shooter that can get really hot pulling up off the bounce.


Recruiting Update:

The Belleville West senior reports that he has an official visit lined up to Denver on Thursday and then will take a visit to Wright State the weekend after.  He has visited Missouri State as well, but they took a commitment so the MVC program is no longer in the mix.  Other schools starting to pick up the interest include Evansville, Indiana State, and Jacksonville.  Smith doesn’t have a time frame for when he would like to decide.



SG Cardell McGee (Springfield Lanphier)

Cardell McGee, Springfield Lanphier


McGee had a great summer last year, followed by a rocky high school and spring, then a nice close to the circuit in July with Wisconsin Playground Warriors.  He has the ability to defend both backcourt spots and handles the ball well for his size.  Scoring game flashes.  Has the ability to score from mid-range with his jumper.


Recruiting Update:

McGee says Central Michigan is the most active school in his recruitment right now and is looking to get him up on a visit in the near future.  More than likely McGee will play things out during his high school season at Lanphier.



PG Kaleb Thornton (Bolingbrook)

Kaleb Thonton, Bolingbrook


The Bolingbrook lead guard is at his best in transition.  Has great speed in the open floor with handles that allow him to weave in and out of traffic while still accelerating.  Makes good passes in the open floor as he always has his head up looking to make a play.  Looks up the floor for long outlets and also makes crisp dishes in the lane on dribble penetration to shooters when driving.  Most of his points come at the rim on layups or short jumpers.  Streaky perimeter shooter.  Competes on the defensive end as he will get a steal and take it coast to coast on occasion.


Recruiting Update:

Things are up in the air right now for Thornton.  He has offers from Toledo, UTEP, and Chicago State.  Schools that haven’t offered, but are recruiting him the hardest include UC Davis, Jacksonville, Minnesota State, and Missouri State.  Nothing imminent with a decision or visits.  Could decide early, but could very well take it into his senior season.


C Ryan Davis (Conant)

Ryan Davis, Conant


Davis has secured a spot as one of the best posts in Illinois with his play for Wisconsin Playground Elite this spring and summer.  Davis is a big bodied 6’9” center that has improved his mobility and can really shoot it from deep in the pick and pop or off the catch.  His rebounding has also taken a major step forward.  Played with a lot more ferocity on the glass.  Continues to get in better physical shape each time we see him.


Recruiting Update:

Sources close to the situation tell us that Wisconsin is starting to show more interest in the big man.  They are now recruiting him and heavily monitoring his progress, but have yet to extend an offer.  We are told that he has taken official visits to Vermont, Bucknell, and Toledo.  Those three have definitely made an impression on him.  Other schools are still calling too!



PG Alex Casieri (Deerfield)

Alex Casieri, Deerfield


This 2018 point guard is a pass first guard that likes to get others involved.  Showed his passing feel and flair for the game both when we evaluated him at the High Academic Camp along with his play for Wisconsin Playground Warriors on the circuit in July.  Moves well without the ball to get open and is a solid shooter.


Recruiting Update:

We have been told that three schools are heavily involved.  Those programs are Washington University in St. Louis, Emory, and NYU.  Those were the same three schools that he told us in July.  They have remained ahead of the field.  Expect a decision in the not too distant future.



SG Quinlan Bennett (Proviso East)

Quinlan Bennett, Proviso East

Scouting Report:

Bennett has had a strong spring and summer on the NY2LA circuit with Kessel Heat.  He is a scoring guard that can get buckets in a variety of ways.  Effective isolation scorer that works well in one on one situations.  Slick ball handler that is a solid mid-range jump shooter.  Really gets to the cup well off the bounce.  Finishes at the rim around contact.  Extremely smooth with the ball and works well around a ball screen.


Recruiting Update:

Bennett says that he is really high on IPFW.  They are a program that he is talking to on a daily basis.  Wofford, Winthrop, and Green Bay are also keeping in touch with him.  He will not make a decision before his high school season.