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Posted On: 08/14/18 9:00 AM
With the recruiting season ramping up it is time to bring back our Recruiting Notebook where we look at some of the happenings over the last couple weeks and where things stand with recruits around the state.
#1 Narrows List
No better place to start off than at the top with Belleville West 2019 power forward EJ Liddell announcing that he has narrowed his list of schools to a final five of Ohio State, Illinois, Kansas State, Mizzou, and Wisconsin. He has one visit already lined up to the Buckeyes in early September. We would expect this recruitment to go beyond just the first visit, but do not see this recruitment going much deeper than October.
Illinois Wolves PF Duo Makes Decisions
The commitments are starting to fly off the board. A pair of Illinois four men announced their decisions recently with Naperville North’s Tom Welch (#8 overall) and Streamwood’s Keenon Cole (#35 overall) both making commitments. Both opted to stay in-state. Welch committed to Loyola where he will be a great compliment to the big men they have already especially Cameron Krutwig. Cole is an upside play with his high energy, athleticism, and improving perimeter jumper that should fit in very well at Northern Illinois.
National Wings with Illinois Connections off Board
The Mac Irvin Fire 2019 wing duo Kahlil Whitney (Roselle Catholic, NJ) and Terrence Shannon (IMG Academy, FL) each came off the board in the last week. Whitney had a dominant July which caught the eye of Kentucky head coach John Calipari and once they offered it was essentially over. He took an official visit and then committed days later. Shannon is a prep school player that finished his senior year at Lincoln Park with a flurry. The lefty small forward has size and athleticism on the perimeter. He chose DePaul over Illinois, Florida State, and Maryland. He will bring a lot of fire power on the wing teaming up with Romeo Weems.
Kennedy Sets Trio of Visits
Brother Rice 2019 point guard Marquise Kennedy was the biggest stock riser of the spring and summer with his recruitment skyrocketing picking up 10+ offers including a recent offer from Florida State in the ACC. PrepHoopsIllinois spoke with Kennedy who has set a trio of official visits to Illinois State (August 24), Wichita State (September 7), and Loyola (September 14). The state’s #2 point guard could possibly move the Loyola visit up to the first weekend of September, but these are the dates as of now.
Top 15 Prospects Locking In Official Visits
A lot of the talk over the next two months will be official visits and who can lock down these recruitments of Illinois prospects while on campus. Three of the top 15 prospects in the 2019 class have lined up one visit each. Lemont 2019 power forward Nate Ferguson (#6 overall) will visit Drake on August 23. DePaul Prep shooting guard Perry Cowan (#14 overall) will trip to Brown the weekend of September 14. Glenbard West small forward Evan Taylor (#10 overall) has set up a visit to Southern Illinois for September 14. He also plans to visit Princeton and Dartmouth officially, but does not have specific dates as of yet.
Recruiting Heating Up for Illinois Irish Duo
Bloomington Central Catholic point guard Luke Yoder took a big jump in his game and will see his stock rise significantly in the next rankings update. After his strong July with the Illinois Irish he continues to add offers. Right now he holds offers from D2 programs Truman State, Quincy, University of Mary, and recently McKendree. Eastern Illinois is the lone D1 to offer and they have lined up an official visit on September 22. Possibly the most coveted D2 recruit in the state is Ryland Holt of Gibson City. The skilled and athletic small forward has 10 D2 offers right now including adding Winona State, Hillsdale, Lewis, Wisconsin-Parkside, Minnesota State-Moorhead, and Minot State to his collection. He took a recent unofficial visit to Southern Indiana where he came away impressed as he already holds an offer from them.
Quincy Offers After Elite Camps
Speaking of D2 offers several Illinois prospect landed offers from in-state D2 program Quincy following their elite camp. Sterling center Aidan Shore picked up one as he is becoming a coveted commodity at the D2 level. Has an official visit set up to Ferris State on August 30. Martin Macenis is a super under recruited prospect from Willowbrook that also secured a Quincy offer. Jumbo wing with size and shooting.
2019 Chicago Guards Secure More Offers
A pair of point guards from the state of Chicago secured more offers to their collection this past week. Leo’s Fred Cleveland got an offer from Detroit Mercy along with another recent one from North Carolina A&T. Bogan point guard Jeremiah Washington earned a scholarship from Northern Mighigan. These will be two of the more electric guards in the Chicago area this upcoming season.
DePaul Extends Three In-State offers at Elite Camp
The big news for Blue Demons fans over the last week was obviously the Shannon commitment, but at their elite camp they offered three in-state prospects. The 2019 prospect is an intriguing one in Orr wing Tujautae Williams. A lot of upside with his athleticism and ability to score. Should be the feature player for Orr this season. Also handed out offers to a pair of 2020 posts in Cary Grove’s Frank Jakubicek as well as Naperville North’s Chris Conway.
CJ Wilbourn FINALLY Lands D1 offer
Normal Community four man CJ Wilbourn was a player we consistently praised for his play during the July live period. He showed improved face up skills along with rebounding at a high rate. Finally a school stepped up to the table with an offer at the D1 level as UW-Milwaukee extended a scholarship after their elite camp. Also worth noting that his front court mate on Quad City Elite Jermaine Hamlin of Lincoln scored an offer from IPFW.
Most of the focus right now is on the recruitment of 2019s, but several rising juniors have picked up recent offers. Like Wilbourn above, Naperville Central post Chris Conway impressed at the UW-Milwaukee elite camp enough to earn an offer. Also got offers from UIC and DePaul after their camps. Skilled big with athleticism. Stock on the rise after a strong July with ET21 Buckeyes. Ray’Sean Taylor did the same at UMKC where he opened eyes with his scoring pop at the lead guard spot earning an offer. This Collinsville guard continues to fly under the radar, but slowly low-major and mid-majors are gaining interest.