Every week during the prep basketball season, IlliniHQ will give a wrap-up of how Illini commits and targets fared during the previous weekend's games. Here are a few notes from the first week of play along with a few Illinois football recruiting items.
The Illini also added two more football commits this weekend to bump the Class of 2013 up to 23 players.
Junior college defensive tackle Abens Cajuste (Victor Valley College in Victorville, Calif.) and safety Eric Finney (College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif.) each committed this weekend. Illinois' class now has 19 high school seniors and four junior college players who have committed.
AUSTIN COLBERT, a senior forward/center from Gill St. Bernard's (N.J.) School, and the Knights don't open the season until Friday, Dec. 14, against Our Savior New American (N.Y.) High School. Colbert isn't eligible to play until January as he sits out due to New Jersey state transfer rules.
MALCOLM HILL, a senior guard/forward from Belleville East (Ill.) High School, had the week off. The 4-0 Lancers and Hill — the MVP of the Centralia (Ill.) High School Thanksgiving Tournament — return to the court Tuesday night at Edwardsville (Ill.) High School.
MAVERICK MORGAN, a senior center from Springboro (Ohio) High School, helped the Panthers cruise to a 92-53 home win against Shroder (Ohio) High School on Friday night in their season opener. Morgan scored 26 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked four shots. Springboro (1-0) returns to the court Tuesday night at home against Beavercreek (Ohio) High School.
KENDRICK NUNN and JAYLON TATE, senior guards from Chicago Simeon High School, helped key the Wolverines' 56-35 win on Saturday night against Milton (Ga.) High School at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion as part of the Chicago Elite Classic. Nunn scored 11 points and had six rebounds while Tate had nine assists, four steals and four rebounds to go along with two points. Tate and Nunn will get back into action with the 1-0 Wolverines on Dec. 13 at Prestonwood (Texas) High School.
CLIFF ALEXANDER, a junior center from Chicago Curie High School, had six points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots in Curie's 37-36 loss on Sunday to Benet Academy during the Cyrus McGinnis Jump Ball Showcase at Niles Notre Dame. Alexander, who has offers from Illinois, Michigan State, Connecticut, DePaul, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin, and the Condors (0-2) will meet Homewood-Flossmor (Ill.) High School next Sunday.
DARIUS AUSTIN, a junior forward from Cahokia (Ill.) High School, had 17 points in Cahokia's 63-60 victory against Springfield Southeast (Ill.) High School on Saturday in the SportsRadio 1450 Shootout in Springfield. Austin, who has interest from Illinois, Cincinnati, Iowa, Michigan, Xavier and others, along with offers from DePaul and St. Louis, and the Comanches (8-0) will host Centralia (Ill.) High School this Friday night.
LARRY AUSTIN, JR., a junior guard from Springfield Lanphier (Ill.) High School had 17 points in the Lions' 66-51 loss against Marian Catholic (Ill.) High School on Saturday night in the SportsRadio 1450 Shootout in Springfield. Austin, who has offers from Illinois, Bradley, DePaul, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist and Wake Forest, gets back to the court at 7 p.m. this Friday at Springfield (Ill.) High School as the Lions try to improve to 3-3.
TREVON BLUIETT, a junior forward from Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, helped the Panthers improve to 2-0 with a 52-39 home win Friday night against Roncali (Ind.) School. Bluiett, who has offers from Illinois, Butler, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue and Xavier, get back in action this Friday night at home against Beech Grove (Ind.) High School.
HYRON EDWARDS, a sophomore point guard from East Chicago Central (Ind.) High School, and the Cardinals beat Lowell (Ind.) High School 56-42 on Saturday night at home. Edwards has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue. East Chicago (2-1) returns to the court this this Saturday night against Munster (Ind.) High School.
MICHAEL FINKE, a junior forward from Champaign Centennial (Ill.) High School, had 20 points and seven rebounds in the Chargers' 66-52 win against Peoria Central (Ill.) High School on Saturday in the SportsRadio 1450 Shootout on Saturday in Springfield. Finke, who has offers from Illinois, Kansas State, Purdue and Wisconsin, among others, returns to the court on Tuesday night as the 5-2 Chargers play at Decatur MacArthur (Ill.) High School.
JAQUAN LYLE, a junior point guard from Evansville Bosse (Ind.) High School, had 27 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals on Saturday night against Jeffersonville (Ind.) High School, but the Bulldogs lost 65-64 in their season opener. Lyle, who has offers from Illinois, Cincinnati, Indiana, Louisville, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Tennessee and Texas, and Bosse (0-1) return to the court Dec. 11 at Reitz Memorial (Ind.) High School.
SEAN O'MARA, a junior forward from Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill., sank the game-winning free throw in the Redwings' 37-36 win against Chicago Curie High School on Sunday in the Cyrus McGinnis Jump Ball Showcase at Niles Notre Dame. O'Mara, who has offers from Illinois, Boston College, DePaul, Georgia Tech, Marquette and Virginia, among others, and the Redwings improved to 6-1 with the win.
CHARLES MATTHEWS, a sophomore guard from Chicago St. Rita, and the Mustangs lost 42-38 to St. Ignatius (Ill.) High School on Friday night. Matthews, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, DePaul, Providence and Southern Methodist, had 10 points as St. Rita fell to 3-2. The Mustangs return to the court this Friday night at Gordon Tech (Ill.) High School.
JAHLIL OKAFOR, a junior center from Chicago Whitney Young High School, had a dominating performance in the Dolphins' 72-58 win on Saturday against DeMatha (Md.) High School with 34 points, nine rebounds and four steals in Whitney Young's season opener in the Chicago Elite Classic at the UIC Pavilion. Okafor, the consensus top junior in the country according to several recruiting services, has offers from Illinois, Arkansas, DePaul and Michigan State, among others, along with interest from Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and many more.
TYLER ULIS, a junior point guard from Marian Catholic (Ill.) High School who has interest from Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and others, had 24 points, five assists and four rebounds in Marian Catholic's 66-51 win against Springfield Lanphier and Austin Jr. on Saturday night in Springfield. Ulis and Marian Catholic (5-1) get back in action Tuesday night at home against Joliet West (Ill.) High School.
D.J. WILLIAMS, a sophomore forward out of Chicago Simeon, had 12 points and eight rebounds in Simeon's win against Milton (Ga.) on Saturday night. Williams, who has offers from Illinois, DePaul, Nebraska and Cal-Poly, and Simeon play again on Dec. 13 at Prestonwood (Texas) High School.
JARROD CLEMENTS and REON DAWSON of Trotwood-Madison High School (Ohio) were denied a second straight state championship on Friday night. Toledo Central Catholic knocked off the Rams 16-12 at Masillon Washington High School's Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in the Division II state championship game. Trotwood-Madsion finished the season 12-3. Clements, a senior defensive end who committed to Illinois in early May, recorded five tackles. Dawson, a senior defensive back/wide receiver who committed to Illinois in late May, made 1.5 tackles.
The senior running back from Trinity (Ky.) High School and his Shamrocks stomped past Pleasure Park Ridge 61-7 on Saturday night to win the Class 6A state championship at Western Kentucky University's Houchens Stadium. Dawkins — who has offers from Illinois, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Purdue and Western Kentucky — rushed for 163 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns in leading the 13-1 Shamrocks to their third straight state title and 22nd in program history. He added four receptions for 69 yards.