Recruiting Wrap — Williams leads Simeon in opener

Every week during the high school basketball season, recruiting blogger MATT DANIELS will give a wrap-up of how Illini commits and targets fared during the previous week's worth of games.

THE COMMITS

LERON BLACK, a senior forward from Memphis (Tenn.) White Station High School who signed with Illinois on Nov. 15 after committing on Sept. 1, and the Spartans beat Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway High School 67-59 on Tuesday night at home. Black had 11 points in the win. The Spartans were scheduled to play Dallas Prime Prep on Saturday night at the Marshall County Hoopfest in Benton, Ky., but inclement weather canceled White Station's game. Black and the Spartans (4-0) resume play at 7:30 p.m. this Tuesday at Arlington (Tenn.) High School before playing at Memphis (Tenn.) Central High School at 7:30 p.m. this Friday.


MICHAEL FINKE, a senior forward from Champaign (Ill.) Centennial High School who signed with Illinois on Nov. 13 after committing on Dec. 12, 2012, and the Chargers won 45-42 at Normal (Ill.) Community High School on Tuesday night before losing 80-79 in triple overtime at Champaign (Ill.) Central High School on Friday night and then losing 70-58 to Chicago Bogan High School during the Country Financial Centennial Shootout at State Farm Center on Saturday night. Finke had six points and six rebounds against Normal Community, 33 points and 17 rebounds against Champaign Central and 21 points against Chicago Bogan . Finke and the Chargers (5-3) will host Decatur (Ill.) MacArthur High School at 7:30 p.m. this Tuesday before hosting Urbana (Ill.) High School at 7:30 p.m. this Friday.



D.J. WILLIAMS, a junior forward from Chicago Simeon High School who committed to Illinois on Nov. 5, and the Wolverines beat Memphis (Tenn.) Hamilton High School 76-60 on Saturday night in a Chicago Elite Classic game at UIC Pavilion. Williams had 13 points in the win. Williams and the Wolverins (1-0) will host Chicago Harlan High School at 4:30 p.m. this Tuesday before playing at Memphis (Tenn.) University School at 8 p.m. this Friday and then playing at Memphis (Tenn.) Christian Brothers High School at 8 p.m. this Saturday.



THE TARGETS

CARLTON BRAGG, a junior power forward from Cleveland Villa-Angela St. Joseph High School, and the Vikings opened their season with a 90-50 win at Richmond Heights (Ohio) High School on Friday night before beating Garfield Heights (Ohio) Trinity High School 85-47 at home on Saturday night. Bragg had 19 points in the win against Richmond Heights and 14 points in the win against Trinity. Bragg, who has offers from Illinois, Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Connecticut, Dayton, DePaul, Georgetown, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Texas, UCLA, West Virginia and Wisconsin, and the Vikings (2-0) will play at 6:30 p.m. this Friday at Parma Heights (Ohio) Holy Name High School before hosting Euclid (Ohio) High School at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday.

JALEN BRUNSON, a junior point guard from Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson High School, and the Patriots beat Mt. Prospect (Ill.) High School 70-56 at home on Wednesday night before beating Mundelein (Ill.) High School 90-55 at home on Saturday night. Brunson had 27 points, six rebounds and three assists against Mt. Prospect and finished with 27 points against Mundelein. Brunson, who has offers from Illinois, Connecticut, Creighton, DePaul, Oklahoma State, Purdue, SMU, Temple, Tulsa, Virginia and Xavier, and the Patriots (6-0) will play at Libertyville (Ill.) High School at 7 p.m. this Wednesday.

JALEN COLEMAN, a junior shooting guard at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., and the Lakers beat Midwest Elite Prep out of Merrillville, Ind., 70-52 at home on Tuesday before beating ABCD Prep out of Urbandale, Iowa, 77-50 at home on Friday night. Coleman had 16 points against Midwest Elite Prep. Coleman, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, Cincinnati, Indiana, Memphis, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Providence, Purdue, UCLA and Xavier, and the Lakers (9-1) will host Gary (Ind.) Roosevelt High School at 6:30 p.m. this  Tuesday before playing Quakerdale Prep out of Iowa at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday.

NOJEL EASTERN, a freshman guard from Evanston (Ill.) High School, and the Wildkits beat Winnetka (Ill.) New Trier High School 68-39 on Saturday night at home. Eastern, who has interest from Illinois and Ohio State, and the Wildkits (5-1) will host Villa Park (Ill.) Willowbrook High School at 7:30 p.m. this Tuesday before playing at Glenview (Ill.) Glenbrook South High School at 7:30 p.m. this Friday.

HYRON EDWARDS, a junior point guard at East Chicago (Ind.) Central High School, and the Cardinals beat South Bend (Ind.) Clay High School 73-51 on Friday night at home before winning 68-52 at Lowell (Ind.) High School on Saturday night. Edwards had 35 points and seven steals against South Bend Clay and had 22 points in the win against Lowell. Edwards, who has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, and the Cardinals (3-1) will play at Munster (Ind.) High School at 6:30 p.m. this Friday before playing Bloomington (Ind.) South High School at 12:30 p.m. this Saturday at Indianapolis Southport High School.



MONTAQUE GILL-CAESAR, a junior small forward at Huntington (W. Va.) Prep, and the Irish won 119-35 at Minford (Ohio) High School on Monday night before beating Atlanta Sports Academy 72-46 on Saturday afternoon but then losing 54-51 to Indianapolis Arsenal Tech High School 54-51 on Saturday evening. The wins against Atlanta Christian and Arsenal Tech came at the Marshall County Hoopfest in Benton, Ky. Gill-Caesar had 14 points against Minford, 19 points against Atlanta Sports Academy and five against Arsenal Tech. Gill-Caesar, who might reclassify to the Class of 2014, has offers from Alabama, Baylor, Kansas, Memphis, Missouri, Providence and West Virginia for the Class of 2014 and offers from Illinois and Ohio State for the Class of 2015. Gill-Caesar and Huntington Prep (9-2) resume play at 6 p.m. this Wednesday at home against Genesis Academy out of Virginia before playing Cincinnati Walnut Hills High School at 8 p.m. this Friday and Pickerington (Ohio) Central High School at 6:15 p.m. this Saturday. The games against Walnut Hills and Pickerington Central are part of the Boyd County Shootout in Ashland, Ky.



AARON JORDAN, a junior shooting guard from Plainfield (Ill.) East High School, and the Bengals beat Oswego (Ill.) East High School 79-58 at home on Friday night. Jordan had 17 points in the win. Jordan, who has offers from Illinois, Chicago State, Creighton, Fairfield, Hampton, Illinois-Chicago, Illinois State, Indiana, La Salle, Northwestern, San Jose State, Valparaiso and Wisconsin, and the Bengals (4-1) will play at Minooka (Ill.) High School at 6:30 p.m. this Friday before taking on O'Fallon (Mo.) Fort Zumwalt North High School at 2:30 p.m. this Saturday as part of the Midwest Shootout at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.



CHARLES MATTHEWS, a junior combo guard at Chicago St. Rita High School, and the Mustangs beat Gonzaga College High School out of Washington, D.C., 69-58 on Saturday in the Chicago Elite Classic at UIC Pavilion. Matthews missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. Matthews, who has offers from Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, Michigan State, Ohio State, SMU and Wisconsin, and the Mustangs (1-1) will host Chicago Gordon Tech High School at 7 p.m. this Tuesday before playing at Chicago Leo High School at 7 p.m. this Friday.

DIAMOND STONE, a junior center at Whitefish Bay (Wis.) Dominican High School, and the Green Knights beat Milwaukee Saint Thomas More High School 73-42 on Friday night at home before beating Milwaukee Hamilton High School 58-52 on Saturday night at Milwaukee South Division High School. Stone had 23 points in the win against Saint Thomas More and 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks against Hamilton. Stone, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Indiana, Marquette, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA and Wisconsin, and the Green Knights (3-0) return to the court at 7:30 p.m. this Tuesday at The Prairie School in Racine, Wis., before playing Germantown (Wis.) High School at 7 p.m. this Saturday at Mequon (Wis.) Homestead High School. 



ELIJAH THOMAS, a junior power forward from Lancaster (Texas) High School, and the Tigers beat Dallas South Oak Cliff High School 79-74 on Tuesday night at home. Thomas, who has offers from Illinois, Alabama, Arizona, Baylor, Florida, Georgetown, Indiana, Louisville, LSU, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, SMU, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, UNLV and USC, and the Tigers (6-3) will host West Mesquite (Texas) High School at 8 p.m. this Tuesday before playing Dallas Lincoln High School this Friday at the Chris Bosh Hoopfest.



JOSEPH TOYE, a junior forward at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., and the Lakers beat Midwest Elite Prep out of Merrillville, Ind., 70-52 at home on Tuesday before beating ABCD Prep out of Urbandale, Iowa, 77-50 at home on Friday night. Toye had 10 points against Midwest Elite Prep. Toye, who has offers from Auburn, Bradley, Creighton, Illinois-Chicago, Iowa, Memphis, Missouri and Providence, along with interest from Illinois, Indiana and Michigan State, and the Lakers (9-1) will host Gary (Ind.) Roosevelt High School at 6:30 p.m. this  Tuesday before playing Quakerdale Prep out of Iowa at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday.


And here's a few notes regarding how some football recruiting targets for Illinois fared in Week 16 of the high school football season.




THE TARGETS


KEI BECKHAM, a junior cornerback from Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) High School, and the Rams lost 24-0 to Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary High School on Thursday night in the Division III state title game at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, Ohio. Beckham had three tackles and one pass breakup in the loss. Beckham, who has offers from Illinois, Akron, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota and Western Michigan, helped the Rams finish with an 11-3 record this season.





ADOREE' JACKSON, a senior cornerback and wide receiver at Junipero Serra (Calif.) High School, and the Cavaliers lost 38-35 at home to Los Angeles Chaminade Prep School on Friday night in the Southern Section Western Division championship game. Jackson had a punt return of 94 yards for a touchdown and a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Jackson, who has offers from Illinois, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Tennessee, UCLA and USC, and the Cavaliers finished the season 13-1.




ELIJAH TAYLOR, a junior defensive end from Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller High School, and the Fighting Crusaders beat Mentor (Ohio) High School 55-52 on Saturday afternoon to win the Division I state title at Canton Fawcett Stadium. Taylor had 3.5 tackles, including one for loss. Taylor, who has offers from Illinois, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio and West Virginia, helped the Fighting Crusaders finish with a 14-1 record and helped the program claim its ninth state title.

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