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Posted On: 11/1/17 7:00 PM
We are back again with another recruiting notebook as the early signing period continues to get closer. Let’s look at some of the unsigned seniors still on the board.
SF Justin Hardy (St. Charles East)
Hardy is a 6’5” small forward out of St. Charles East that plays with a lot of toughness and grit. He started out early in his career as more of an interior player and has made the transition to the perimeter successfully. Likes to get in the lane and hit runners. His range off the catch stretches out to beyond the arc. Really enjoy watching how much Hardy competes on both ends of the floor and how high of an activity level he plays with. Quality wing rebounder.
We see Hardy as an elite D2 prospect or a low-major player in the right fit, but he just isn’t getting that consistent type of attention on the recruiting trail. He has taken an official visit to Hillsdale. Other schools he is talking to including the University of Chicago, Washington University, and Case Western Reserve. He should be worth very serious consideration for an Ivy or Patriot League school or a high academic D2. The education that Hardy will get in the classroom is very important for him as he is looking to study Business Finance or Management. He will play the season out and see what comes during his senior campaign.
PG Isaiah Fuller (Oak Park River Forest)
Fuller had a good spring with another squad and then switched over to play with Mercury Elite for the final month. The speedy Oak Park River Forest point guard used his quickness and speed to breakdown defenses especially in transition where he regularly blew past defenders for scores at the rim. Fuller is an under the radar player that is now on the D2 radar.
Fuller visited Northern Michigan over the weekend and landed his first offer while on the trip. The D2 program is making a strong push for a commitment out of the talented guard. He is also being recruited by UW-Parkside, St. Cloud State, and Bemidji State. He is not sure if he will sign in November at this point.
F Raekwon Drake (Orr)
Drake is one of the most physical and athletic players in the state of Illinois. He has been an impact player in the Chicago Public League since he stepped foot at Orr. Very intimidating player with his elite level of rebounding and thunderous slams that he brings on a game in and game out basis. Drake showed this summer with Team Rose an improved face up game on the offensive end. That along with his big time rebounding will make him a force in 2A for Orr!
Drake says he is basically down to Cleveland State and Miami (OH) at this point. Indiana State is also showing some interest. He says he plans to sign in the early signing period. We would expect Cleveland State to get the edge if he makes an early call.
PF Jacob Hall (Alton Marquette)
Hall has good size and mobility. Excellent area rebounder that snatches boards with his strong hands. Versatile offensive threat. Hall has expanded his game to where he is now a legit threat in the pick and pop game shooting it. Good screener that can both pop and roll to the hoop. Good hands catching passes in traffic and finishes with a soft touch around the rim. Seals in the high/low game. Solid passer out of the post. High level D3/NAIA post prospect.
Hall recently picked up an offer from Robert Morris out of Chicago. He has taken a visit to a pair of schools in Brescia University and Illinois Wesleyan. Wesleyan made quite an impression on him during the visit. The majority of the CCIW conference schools are trying to get in the mix for his services. Hall is in no rush to make a call and will play out his senior season.
SF Jace Link (Pekin)
Link did the little things for the Illinois Irish 17U all spring and summer. He is a gritty glue guy that rebounds, can hit an occasional spot up shot, and makes the extra pass. Just has a nose for the basketball. Great team player that compliments others well.
He is getting heavy interest from St. Ambrose and Simpson. Illinois Wesleyan, Loras, and Monmouth have also reached out. He has already visited St. Ambrose and is planning on taking visits to the other four programs.
PG Branden Ellis (Warren)
Ellis is a dual sport athlete that is also a big time track guy. What he brings to the table is athleticism, speed, and the ability to get out and finish in the transition game. The biggest development this summer was his feel for the game in the half court and more consistency on his jump shot. We saw significant growth in his game in the spring and that continued into the July period.
Ellis recently decommitted from D2 Indianapolis and decided to reopen his recruitment. He tells us that Chicago State and SIUE have spoken with his travel team coaches at Kessel Heat. Winona State, Palm Beach Atlantic, and Hillsdale all have been in frequent contact with the athletic point guard. None of the above schools have offered him. No visits planned at this time.
PG Sammy Green (Alton Marquette)
The lead guard is a solid ball handler that is slippery with the rock in his hands. Can dish it with some flare. Where he excels is shooting the ball. He is money off the catch once he gets in a flow. Green can keep his team in the game with his shooting from deep.
Briarcliffe is the school showing the most interest in Green right now. Morningside and Minot State are also monitoring him. He has visited Briarcliffe and Morningside already. Green is in no hurry to make a decision on college and will play the season out.