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 action of the new year.
AUSTIN COLBERT, a senior forward/center from Gill St. Bernard's (N.J.) School, and the Knights stand at 5-4 after a 74-48 home win against Hillsborough (N.J.) High School on Thursday and a 62-61 victory against Hunterdon Central Regional (N.J.) High School last Tuesday. Colbert is still sitting out because of state transfer rules, but is set to play his first game this Saturday when Gill St. Bernard's takes part in the Dan Finn Classic against Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.) High School.
MALCOLM HILL, a senior guard/forward from Belleville East (Ill.) High School, helped the Lancers rally to a 60-55 win at Granite City (Ill.) High School on Friday night. Hill poured in 22 points as Belleville East (14-2) came back from a 13-point deficit in the third quarter. Hill returns to the court Tuesday night as the Lancers host Belleville West (Ill.) High School as part of the Winter Classic at Belleville East. Belleville East and Hill will also play Belleville Althoff Catholic (Ill.) High School on Wednesday night before the tournament concludes this Saturday evening.
MAVERICK MORGAN, a senior center from Springboro (Ohio) High School, helped the Panthers roll to their fourth straight win by beating host Lebanon (Ohio) High School 61-49 on Friday night. Morgan had 27 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots in the win. Prior to Friday, Springboro won 76-61 at home against Xenia (Ohio) High School last Tuesday night. Morgan shined with 30 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. Springboro (12-2) and Morgan return to the court this Friday night at Fairborn (Ohio) High School before playing Quality Education Academy out of North Carolina this Sunday night as part of the Flyin' To the Hoop Invitational at Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio.
KENDRICK NUNN and JAYLON TATE, senior guards from Chicago Simeon High School, helped pick up two wins within last week. The Wolverines (11-2) outlasted Southwind (Tenn.) High School 55-53 on Saturday night at the Penny Hardaway Hoop Fest in Memphis, Tenn., after breezing past host Chicago Perspectives Charter/Calumet High School 68-39 last Wednesday. Tate had eight points and six assists in the win against Southwind, which saw Nunn (nine points) score the game-winning basket with 50 seconds left. Nunn had eight points in the win against Perspectives-Calumet. Simeon will stay in Chicago this week with three games — at home Monday against Chicago Vocational Career Academy, Wednesday at Chicago Morgan Park and Friday at home against Chicago Julian.
MICHAEL FINKE, a junior forward from Champaign Centennial (Ill.) High School who verbally committed on Dec. 12, had 13 points and 10 rebounds during the Chargers' 52-33 home win against Decatur Eisenhower (Ill.) High School on Friday night. Centennial (14-4) and Finke are back in action Tuesday night at Mahomet-Seymour (Ill.) High School before playing this Friday night at Normal Community (Ill.) High School.
CLIFF ALEXANDER, a junior center from Chicago Curie High School, and the Condors overwhelmed Chicago Robeson High School 80-26 on Thursday at home. Alexander had 23 points and seven rebounds in the victory. Alexander, who has offers from Illinois, Connecticut, DePaul, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan Michigan State, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin, and Curie (9-5) resume play on Tuesday at Chicago Lindbolm High School before hosting Chicago DuSable High School on Thursday.
DARIUS AUSTIN, a junior forward from Cahokia (Ill.) High School who has interest from Illinois, Cincinnati, Iowa, Michigan, Xavier and others, along with offers from DePaul and St. Louis, helped the Comanches improve to 15-2 on the season with a pair of wins last week. Austin had 16 points in Cahokia's 78-35 home win against Marion (Ill.) High School on Friday night, which came after a 71-60 home win last Monday against Normandy (Mo.) High School. Austin and Cahokia return to the court Monday night at Jerseyville (Ill.) High School.
LARRY AUSTIN, JR., a junior guard from Springfield Lanphier (Ill.) High School, and the Lions had their six-game winning streak snapped on Friday night following a 49-39 loss at Lincoln (Ill.) High School. Austin, who has offers from Illinois, Bradley, DePaul, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist and Wake Forest, had eight points. Lanphier (10-6) and Austin return to the court on Thursday night as part of the annual Springfield City Tournament at the Prairie Capital Convention Center. Lanphier plays Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin on Thursday night, Springfield Southeast High School on Friday night and Springfield High School on Saturday night.
TREVON BLUIETT, a junior forward from Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, scored a game-high 30 points to help lead Park Tudor to a 77-76 win against Indianapolis Pike High School on Saturday in the Marion County Tournament championship game. Bluiett, who has offers from Illinois, Butler, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue and Xavier, and Park Tudor (12-1) host Speedway (Ind.) High School on Tuesday night.
CARLTON BRAGG, a sophomore forward from Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Ohio) High School, and the Vikings overwhelmed Dalton (Ohio) High School 95-46 at home on Saturday night. Bragg had 15 points in the win, which came after Bragg had 12 points in Villa Angela-St. Joseph's 54-41 win at St. Peter Chanel (Ohio) High School on Friday night. Bragg, who has interest from Illinois, Dayton, Indiana, Louisville, Missouri, Texas and Xavier, and the Vikings (9-2) will host Brush (Ohio) High School on Tuesday night before playing at Holy Name (Ohio) High School this Friday night.
JALEN BRUNSON, a sophomore point guard from Lincolnshire Stevenson (Ill.) High School, who has an offer from Purdue, Southern Methodist and Xavier along with interest from Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, had 21 points in Stevenson's 73-55 win at Vernon Hills (Ill.) High School on Saturday night. Brunson had 29 points in the Patriots' 71-61 road win against Mundelein (Ill.) High School on Friday night. Stevenson (12-4) and Brunson are back in action at home this Friday night against Zion-Benton (Ill.) High School.
HYRON EDWARDS, a sophomore point guard from East Chicago Central (Ind.) High School who has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, and the Cardinals beat Chicago Harlan High School 50-41 on Saturday. The win came after Edwards had 15 points in the Cardinals' 70-50 home win against Griffith (Ind.) High School last Wednesday. Edwards and the Cardinals (5-5) play at Hammond (Ind.) High School on Tuesday night, at Gary Roosevelt (Ind.) High School this Friday night and at Crown Point (Ind.) High School this Saturday afternoon.
JAQUAN LYLE, a junior point guard from Evansville Bosse (Ind.) High School, had 15 points, 12 rebounds and four assists as he helped the Bulldogs beat Evansville Harrison (Ind.) High School 61-58 on Saturday night to lead Bosse to the Old National Bank Classic championship on Saturday night. The win on Saturday came after Lyle, who has offers from Illinois, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas and Xavier, along with interest from Arizona, Duke, Florida and UCLA, had 20 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots in Bosse's 67-52 win on Thursday night against Castle (Ind.) High School in the semifinals of the tournament. In Bosse's opening game at the tournament, Lyle had 30 points, 17 rebounds and four blocked shots in a 75-67 win against Evansville Central (Ind.) High School last Tuesday night. Lyle and Bosse (11-3) return to the court this Friday night at home against Boonville (Ind.) High School.
CHARLES MATTHEWS, a sophomore guard from Chicago St. Rita, and the Mustangs improved to 10-4 after a 62-41 win on Friday night at New Lenox Providence Catholic (Ill.) High School. Matthews had seven points in the win while his older brother, junior guard DOMINIQUE MATTHEWS who has generated interest from Illinois, had 15 points. St. Rita returns to the court Tuesday night at Chicago Marist High School.
SEAN O'MARA, a junior forward from Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill., has helped Benet to a 17-3 record after Benet's 47-18 home win against Joliet Catholic (Ill.) Academy on Friday night and Benet's 60-35 win at Mundelein Carmel (Ill.) High School last Tuesday. O'Mara has offers from Illinois, Boston College, DePaul, Georgia Tech, Marquette and Virginia, among others.
JAHLIL OKAFOR, a junior center from Chicago Whitney Young, along with junior teammates PAUL WHITE and L.J. PEAK, and the Dolphins have won nine games in a row after a 61-40 win against Memphis White Station (Tenn.) High School on Saturday at the Penny Hardaway Hoop Fest. Okafor, who has offers from Arkansas, DePaul, Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina and Ohio State, among others, with interest from a multitude of Division I schools, had 16 points in the win while Peak, who has interest from Illinois with offers from Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, among others, had 17 points. White has offers from Illinois, Arizona, Baylor, DePaul, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin, among others, also helped out Young beat Chicago North Lawndale 66-42 last Wednesday night. Okafor had 24 points and 17 rebounds in the win against North Lawndale. Young (13-1) and the trio get back in action on Monday at Chicago Crane, on Wednesday at Chicago Marshall and at home this Friday against Chicago Farragut.
D.J. WILLIAMS, a sophomore forward out of Chicago Simeon, had nine points in the Wolverines' 55-53 win against Southwind (Tenn.) High School on Saturday night. Williams has offers from Illinois, Florida, Cal-Poly, DePaul, Nebraska and SMU.