Posted On: 08/27/18 12:00 PM
The recruiting trail continues to heat up across the state of Illinois. Here are all the latest happenings across the state as it was a busy last week!
Markese Jacobs and Kansas Part Ways
Uplift point guard Markese Jacobs was the first prospect in the 2019 class in Illinois to commit. He verbally committed to Kansas before his sophomore season. Heading into his senior season he is one of the top contenders for Illinois Mr. Basketball. Jacobs has since transferred to Arizona, came back, had an up and down junior year, then followed it up with a strong EYBL circuit with the Mac Irvin Fire. This past week Jacobs and Kansas parted ways from their long standing verbal agreement. Look for many high-major programs in the Midwest to jump in on Jacobs recruitment. He is the #2 overall prospect in the class and top point guard. Since his decommitment Jacobs has landed offers from Florida State, Illinois, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, and DePaul.
Lance Jones Pops for Salukis
Evanston 2019 combo guard Lance Jones had been leaning toward the Southern Illinois Salukis for a while and we expected him to pop during his official visit in a couple weeks. Well he didn’t even wait for that. This past Friday the Evanston guard committed to Southern Illinois. He told us “It fits perfect with my game I feel like and they just feel like family so that made my decision that much easier.” Jones missed part of the circuit with an injury, but had a big junior campaign at Evanston leading them to the final four and has a chance to do so again this year.
Joseph Yesufu to Drake
Bolingbrook point guard Joseph Yesufu took a pair of official visits the last two weekends to Winthrop and Drake. He didn’t waste much time making a call as on Sunday afternoon he pulled the trigger on a commitment to Drake. The Missouri Valley program brought him on campus over the weekend and made a strong case for a commitment and got it. Yesufu’s game fits very well in the MVC with his ultra-speed and quickness. Sound pull up shooter that pushes the rock at all times.
Nate Ferguson Joins Bulldogs Party
Yesufu was a bit of a surprise that he committed so quickly after the visit. We felt going into the weekend that Lemont power forward Nate Ferguson would pop for Drake on his trip. They were the significant leader heading into the official and the Bulldogs closed the deal with the state’s #6 overall prospect. Ferguson committed about an hour after his future point guard did telling us, “Drake was my choice probably because of the coaches and the players and the way they play the game really fits the way I play.” Great addition for the MVC program along their front line as Ferguson can space the floor with his shooting, handle it from mid-range in, and runs the floor great.
Marquise Kennedy Talks Illinois State Official
There was another important visit to a Missouri Valley program over the weekend as Illinois State hosted Brother Rice point guard Marquise Kennedy. After a strong July he is primed to move into the top 5 in our early September update. Kennedy was impressed with the Redbirds saying, “The coaching staff is amazing. They have great backgrounds. They are hungry to win and they have turned some kids into really good players.” What was their sell to him specifically? “Ability to get minutes even maybe start my freshman year. They want me to create for myself and others. I do that well.” His visits will continue with trips to Wichita State on September 7 and Loyola on September 14.
Officials Set for This Weekend
More official visits are ready to go this weekend. It begins with a big one for the state’s top 2019 prospect Belleville West power forward EJ Liddell. The athletic four man will take his first official to Ohio State. Many believe the Buckeyes are the favorite and will have their shot to shut it down. If he gets out of Columbus without a verbal his other four finalists will be dancing! Bolingbrook power guard Tyler Cochran will trip to Western Michigan. This is his first of two scheduled official visits on back to back weekends. Sterling D2 priority Aidan Shore will take an official to Ferris State. He will then head to Lewis the next week.
Evan Taylor Sets Another Official
One of the best wings in the state is Glenbard West small forward Evan Taylor. He is a point forward that can pass the rock and has a feel for getting others involved. Also can score it with his long strides and lefty mid-range jumper. Taylor had previously informed PHI that he had set up an official to Southern Illinois on September 14. He has just added another to his visit slate setting one up to Dartmouth on September 28. Princeton is a school he is looking to visit and Rice is in heavy communication.
St. Viator Duo Locking In Visits
Jeremiah Hernandez is one of the top wing prospects in the state. The skilled small forward has an effortless game scoring the basketball and an underrated passing feel. The state’s #11 prospect tells PrepHoopsIllinois he has set a pair of official visits. First he will head to Kent State on September 21 followed by a trip to South Dakota on October 14. He says that Drake, Northern Illinois, Canisius, and Mount St. Mary’s are also in contention for visits. Wright State has done a nice job of identifying Illinois prospects over the years early in the process and going after them. The prospect that they are aggressively pursuing this year is St. Viator point guard Trey Calvin. The shooting point guard informed PHI that he has set up an official visit to Wright State for the weekend of September 14.
Myles Baker Sets Up First Visit
Top 10 2019 shooting guard Myles Baker from Whitney Young tells us he has set up his first official visit to Central Connecticut State on September 7. Three schools that Baker says he is in communication with and could potentially get visits are Tulsa, St. Louis, and Colorado State. Very underrated player with an ultra-smooth offensive game.
Shannon Picking Up Offers Post-Decommitment
IMG (FL) small forward Terrence Shannon decommitted from DePaul recently and quickly added a pair of high major offers to his collection in UConn and Texas Tech. Shannon told PHI that he will be open to all schools and not just his previous four finalists. The prep school wing would be a top 3 prospect in Illinois if he was playing in-state.
D2 Recruiting Notes
Several prospects from around the state have added offers from D2 programs over the last week. Sterling big man Aidan Shore scored one from Wayne State. Bryce Bultman who is a 6’5” lead guard from Nashville got one from McKendree on an unofficial visit. McKendree’s new head coach saw Bultman on one of the first days on the job in the spring. Lake Zurich point guard JR Cison landed an offer while at Benedictine’s elite camp. Another important note on the D2 recruiting is Wheaton North small forward Deng Reng has lined up his first official visit to Purdue Northwest for September 7.