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Posted On: 09/3/18 6:00 AM
It was another eventful week in the state of Illinois. Here are the latest happenings across the state and a preview of what is to come this week! Check out our Recruiting Notebook!
Monster Visit Weekend Ahead
Maybe the biggest official visit weekend of the fall is this upcoming weekend. Seven prospects from across Illinois will take official visits. Dajuan Gordon opens things up with a trip down south to SMU. His Team Rose running mate Myles Baker of Whitney Young heads to Central Connecticut State. Big visit for Brother Rice point guard Marquise Kennedy as he will be taking an official to Wichita State. This is his second of three currently scheduled trips. He will move into the top 5 prospects in the updated 2019 rankings today. Bolingbrook power combo guard Tyler Cochran kicks off his officials with one to Northern Illinois. A pair of D2 programs will host key visitors as well with Sterling center Aidan Shore heading to Lewis and Wheaton North small forward Deng Reng going to Purdue Northwest. All this is addition to the top prospect in the state EJ Liddell going to Mizzou before he takes a couple weeks off from visits. Originally top 10 point guard Ray J Dennis from Oswego East was set to visit Colorado State, but he tells us he will not be headed out there this weekend.
EJ Liddell Goes to Ohio State and Tour Continues
The state’s top prospect Belleville West 2019 power forward EJ Liddell visited Ohio State over the weekend. Many believed coming into his five official visits that the Buckeyes had the lead. Liddell was not available for comment, but according to our sources the visit went as well as expected. He hung out with Ohio State commits DJ Carton and Alonzo Gaffney while on campus. At this time we don’t expect a post visit commitment out of Liddell although the Buckeyes are in strong position. He will continue this upcoming weekend with an official to Missouri. The Tigers have positioned themselves strong down the stretch and will take their shot with the talented four man on campus.
Luke Yoder Talks Unofficials
While many prospects are busy taking official visits Bloomington Central Catholic 2019 point guard Luke Yoder went to a pair of in-state D2 programs on Saturday and Sunday for unofficial visits. He spoke on what he liked about Quincy saying “I really liked the guys and the coaches. The arena was really cool too.” He also visited McKendree commenting, “The facilities and campus and arena were all really nice. The dorms were nice too. The head coach is really good and the guys were fun to hang out with and really cool. The atmosphere of the school is awesome.” Yoder has more visits coming up to Hillsdale on September 10, Illinois Wesleyan on September 15-16, and Eastern Illinois September 22. EIU will be an official as they are the only D1 to extend an offer at this point.
Shore Takes First Official
Several official visits including one this upcoming weekend are expected for Sterling center Aidan Shore before a commitment. The big man is a D2 priority and he went on his first official to Ferris State over the weekend giving us the low down on what he liked about the trip. “What stood out to me the most had to be the unity of the team and how supportive the entire student body was of each other. On the program side I really like how open they are to redshirting and that they ran more of a traditional big man which suits my playing style best.” Shore is one of the top uncommitted centers on the board.
Chris Payton Adds Important Offer
The state’s #5 overall prospect Chris Payton has already taken an official visit to Valparaiso and will head to Southern Illinois on September 14. A school that has been making a move in his recruitment in recent weeks is Murray State and now they have extended him an offer. There is a lot of mutual interest there and Payton tells us that he will definitely be taking a visit there although right now he doesn’t have a date set up.
Dajuan Gordon Kicks Off Visits This Weekend
The #3 player in the 2019 class will begin his official visits this weekend with a trip to SMU. Curie shooting guard Dajuan Gordon elevated his stock in a major way with his play this summer as a big time perimeter scorer. He will go to Dallas to see SMU this weekend and although he doesn’t have any other officials scheduled at the moment more should be on the way. He is talking most to Seton Hall, Ole Miss, SMU, Nebraska, and New Mexico he tells us.
Array of Small College Visits Set Up
Lots of prospects are setting up visits to small colleges across the state. Lane Tech 2019 post Vuk Djuric is visiting Illinois Institute of Technology on Monday and then Rose Hulman on September 6. Joliet West wing Jamonte Benton is headed to Illinois College on September 8. Moline senior small forward Drew Wiemers says he will take a trio of trips to Benedictine, Aurora, and North Central on September 19. Edwards County shooting guard will visit Lakeland University in Wisconsin on September 24.
Drake Looking to Do More Damage in Illinois?
Drake already has commitments from the state’s #7 and #14 prospects in power forward Nate Ferguson and point guard Joseph Yesufu. Now they are looking to add an Illinois wing to their group by extending an offer to skilled scorer Jeremiah Hernandez of St. Viator. Hernandez says he will set up an official to the Missouri Valley school in addition to his pair already lined up to Kent State and North Dakota.
Detroit Throwing Out Offers
Detroit extended an offer to Glenbard West small forward Evan Taylor this past week. They have also offered Tujautae Williams from Orr as they are looking in Illinois to add a wing. In addition to those wings Detroit offered Simeon point guard Kejuan Clements who should be the go to guy for the Wolverines this season. Another Simeon guard picked up a Detroit offer in Antonio Reeves who is a sharp shooting combo guard.
D2 Offers Extended
Benedictine extended a scholarship offer to Justin Eagins of Downers Grove South. The sharp shooter excelled as a spot up sniper in July for Mercury Elite. Johnsburg exciting floor general Zach Toussaint landed his first offer from D2 West Texas A&M. Minnesota Crookston extended a scholarship offer to sleeper Morton wing Latik Murphy.
Jayden Johnson Lands First Offer
The wait is finally over for top 10 2020 small forward Jayden Johnson out of Batavia. He had a consistent spring and summer with Fundamental U where he put the ball in the hoop game in and game out. The skilled scorer is a plus shooter from the perimeter with a feathery jumper. It amazed us that nobody was offering this wing especially after he put on shows in front of many of them in July. Sunday he secured his first D1 offer from Southern Illinois. The Salukis reached out to the wing with an offer and Johnson was extremely excited about the news!
South Florida Going After Another Dolphin
Last season South Florida came into Illinois landing a commitment from one of the best point guards in the class of 2018 in Whitney Young’s Xavier Castaneda. This past week they extended an offer to another Dolphins standout Tyler Beard who is the #3 player in the state’s 2020 class.