Posted On: 09/11/18 5:00 PM
Each week we have more and more recruiting news and notes across the state. Here is the latest from around Illinois in our Recruiting Notebook. This week’s edition is LOADED!
#3 Talks SMU Visit, Lines Up Additional Trip
The state’s #3 2019 prospect Curie shooting guard Dajuan Gordon opened his official visits this past weekend with a trip to Dallas where he checked out SMU. The Mustangs have had success in Illinois with Sterling Brown and Ben Moore in recent years. Gordon is a primetime target of theirs. He told us about the visit, “It was great. I really liked it. It was fun and many nice and cool people. Great coaching staff.” He said it was a relaxed atmosphere on the trip, “They weren’t like trying to convince me the whole time. They were just acting regular conversations like my family was one of their close friends.” Don’t expect any quick commitment here as Gordon tells us he has locked in an official visit to Ole Miss for September 21 where he holds and offer. Although Kansas State hasn’t offered to this point they are working on potentially setting up a trip as well.
Coveted PG Trips to Wichita State
The state’s #2 floor general Marquise Kennedy took his second of three visits this past weekend. A couple weeks ago he saw Illinois State and this weekend he visited their former MVC rival Wichita State. The Shockers have had a lot of success in recent years and they were for sure to let the Brother Rice guard know about it as he said, “Well what stood out to everyone first is that they’re a winning team. They have the records and wins to prove it.” What was their selling point to him? “Their recent years of developing guards. Their last five or six guards went to play pro.” He told us what he liked about the Shockers coaching staff. “The coaching staff wants the best out of their players and they work with the players on and off the court.” Kennedy told us what is next! “I have one more visit then after that I will be making my decision.” This looks like it is going to come down to a battle between Wichita State and Loyola.
Coveted D2 Big Man Shore Sees Lewis
Sterling center Aidan Shore is one of the best centers in the state and D2 programs are all over this recruitment with his developmental upside. Local D2 school Lewis had him on campus for an official over the weekend. He told us what impressed him most. “It would have to be the culture! I’ve never meet a group of guys so close on and off the floor!” What was their pitch to him? “Well they tried to sell me on the culture and the campus. They also said that I could be a good piece for them, but they also said I could redshirt.” No visits are finalized at this point, but Shore does plan on taking his time with his decision and could possibly visit Presbyterian College in the near future. Previously visited Ferris State.
Reng Lands Offer on Official Visit
Wheaton North combo forward Deng Reng is intriguing with his physical tools, athleticism, and skill level. Purdue Northwest was impressed enough to offer the senior a scholarship on his visit over the weekend. Of the D2 program he said, “Besides the campus they guys were great. They were all welcoming and treated me as one of their own. So being around them and getting to know them was great.” They spoke about what they can bring to the table he said. “They talked a lot about being a family and their competitive spirit and to me those are the type of things I look for in a program.” He was very impressed with the visit, but it doesn’t sound like there will be a commitment right away. “As of now I’m just going to wait until the season starts and see how it plays out. My dream has always been to play at the highest level and with limiting my distractions I feel like I can accomplish that goal.”
NIU Hosts Bolingbrook Guard
Reports are that the visit of Bolingbrook power guard Tyler Cochran to Northern Illinois over the weekend went well. The state’s #21 prospect was on campus over the weekend and when asked what stood out said, “Probably how nice the campus was. The people, coaches, players, etc all made sure I was ok before themselves. The coaching staff really made me a priority and it felt good.”
Dennis Makes Call for Boise State
Oswego East point guard Ray J Dennis became one of the most coveted guard prospects in the state with his play over the last six months. The combo move up to the #10 overall spot in the state of Illinois and had a long list of offers. A visit tour was in the works, but Dennis saw what he needed on his first official making the call for Boise State last week saying, “When I visited I loved the way the coaches and players treated me and their focus on player development. I knew it was a perfect fit.”
Another Big Weekend for Missouri Valley Conference
A few weeks ago the Missouri Valley Conference dominated the visit scene in the state of Illinois. That will once again be true this upcoming weekend with three MVC schools hosting key official visitors from the state of Illinois. Let’s start off with the #4 overall prospect Marquise Kennedy. We discussed his visit to Wichita State in this story, but he will take his last visit to Loyola this upcoming weekend. Many believe Loyola has the edge heading into the visit with their Final Four momentum and commitments from Illinois Wolves teammates Paxson Wojcik and Tom Welch. Drake has already successfully hosted a pair of Illinois prospects landing commitments within 24 hours of them leaving campus in point guard Joseph Yesufu and post Nate Ferguson. Now they look to add their wing as the state’s #11 prospect St. Viator’s Jeremiah Hernandez will see the Bulldogs. The skill wing recently picked up an offer and Drake jumped ahead of two other previously scheduled visits. They want to lock this down. The Southern Illinois Salukis will get a pair of officials from top prospects in #5 ranked Bloomington power forward Chris Payton and #12 overall Glenbard West point-forward Evan Taylor. Add these two along with top 20 Lance Jones from Evanston who they already have on board and that would be quite an in-state class!
More Official Visits
DePaul Prep shooting guard Perry Cowan will take his only scheduled official visit at this time to Brown this upcoming weekend. The smooth two guard could be on commitment watch as Brown has definitely made him a priority. Another prospect it wouldn’t shock us to see a commitment post visit would be St. Viator point guard Treyvon Calvin who is visiting Wright State. They have made him a major priority. Northern Illinois will have a pair of visitors on campus. The first is their commit Keenon Cole who is one of the better power forwards in the state. Moline shooting guard Deonte Billups will join him on campus. The two guard elevated his stock with a strong July for Quad City Elite. Air Force will host Metamora power forward Thomas Hall. This is another potential one to watch in terms of a commitment. They are the school making the biggest push for Hall right now. He also could consider playing football in college. Illinois native and top 50 national recruit Malik Hall of Sunrise Christian in Kansas will begin his visit tour with a trip to Purdue to see what the Big 10 power has to offer. The Boilermakers are considered one of the favorites for his services. A couple of non D1 programs will get visitors in Ethan Helwig (Merrimak) and Josh Berry (Carnegie Mellon).
Quite a few offers went out this week and we would expect more with open gyms starting. New D2 school Benedictine offered a pair of the best combo forwards in the state in Ryland Holt (Gibson City) and Martin Macenis (Willowbrook). Another 2019 prospect to land a D2 scholarship was Lyons Township jumbo guard Tyrese Shines while he was at Minnesota Crookston. A pair of stud 2020 point guards secured offers as Morgan Park’s Adam Miller got one from Texas Tech and West Virginia extended one to Whitney Young’s Tyler Beard. Collinsville 2020 point guard Ray’Sean Taylor got his third D1 offer from North Florida. Another southern Illinois 2020 guard Carson Parker of Nashville received a scholarship from McKendree while on campus. A young point guard got his first offer as Mundelein 2021 lead guard Conor Enright got one from Drake while visiting unofficially.
Update with Willowbrook Sharp Shooter
You can never have too much shooting in today’s game. One of the best shooting point guards in the state is Willowbrook’s Matas Masys. He gave us an update on where things stand with his recruitment. The senior will take an unofficial visit to Washington University in St. Louis on September 28-29. That will be followed up with an official visit to Hillsdale College on October 12-13. Lincoln Memorial University looks like they will get a visit in mid-October as well. He is in communication with an array of D2, D3, and NAIA programs.
Two Sport Recruit Update
Bartlett 2019 shooting guard Austin Gates is a tough wing that gets after it on defense and can shoot it. He told us that he has talked to Lewis, Benedictine, UW-Platteville, UW-Parkside, and St. Norbert for basketball. Some schools including Northwest Missouri State are interested in him on the gridiron.
Small College Guard Update
PHI caught up with Hersey 2019 shooting guard Rocco Ronzio who played with Fundamental U this past summer on the circuit. He has recently visited DePauw, St. Mary’s in Minnesota, St. Norbert’s, and will soon head out to Carroll along with Coe.
Not really recruiting technically, but worth mentioning that several big time Chicago Public League transfers became official over the last week with school starting in the CPS. The biggest is Whitney Young landing the #2 player in 2020 DJ Steward who also considered out of state prep powers Montverde and La Lumiere. Steward, Tyler Beard, and Myles Baker form the best backcourt trio in the state. Speaking of backcourts Morgan Park reloads with Lincoln Park transfer Chris Roberts. The speedy lead guard is a top 20 player in Illinois. A pair of forwards that could pay dividends down the line are Orr’s pick up of 2019 small forward Greg Outlaw and Hyde Park’s addition of 2020 upside top 30 small forward Kee Hargrow.