Weekend Wrap — Black excels in Hawaii
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.
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 went 4-0 and won the 16-team the Iolani Classic in Honolulu last week. Black did not play in the first two games of the tournament, but took home tournament Most Outstanding Player honors. White Station opened the tournament with a 61-46 win against Fuxin New Star out of China last Tuesday before beating Mt. Vernon (N.Y.) High School 56-51 on Thursday in the quarterfinals. Black scored 26 points in a 66-54 win against West Linn (Ore.) High School in the semifinals before White Station beat Westchester (Calif.) High School 65-41 in the championship game, Black scored 22 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in the title game triumph. Black and the Spartans (10-0) are off until 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7 when White Station plays at Memphis (Tenn.) Overton High School.
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 62-54 at Normal (Ill.) West High School on Friday night, scoring 19 points in the victory. Finke and the Chargers (8-3) resume play at 1 p.m. next Thursday against Chicago North Lawndale Charter School in the first round of the 16-team large-school State Farm Holiday Classic at Illinois Wesleyan University's Shirk Center.
D.J. WILLIAMS, a junior forward from Chicago Simeon High School who committed to Illinois on Nov. 5, and the Wolverines beat Chicago Vocational 60-39 at home last Tuesday before suffering their first loss of the season, a 58-55 setback at home against Chicago Morgan Park High School on Thursday. Simeon rebounded from its first loss with a 54-51 overtime victory against Gary (Ind) Bowman Academy at Chicago State University on Saturday night. Williams had eight points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the win against Vocational and nine points against Morgan Park. Williams and the Wolverines (6-1) get back in action at 2:30 p.m. next Thursday against Waukegan (Ill.) High School in the first round of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.
CARLTON BRAGG, a junior power forward from Cleveland Villa-Angela St. Joseph High School, and the Vikings beat Warren (Ohio) John F. Kennedy High School 97-49 at home on Friday night. Bragg had 16 points in the win. 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 (5-0) are off until they play Columbus (Ohio) Bishop Watterson High School at 5 p.m. this Saturday in the Play 4 Cancer Shootout at Massilon (Ohio) Jackson High School.
JALEN BRUNSON, a junior point guard from Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson High School, and the Patriots won 52-51 at Gurnee (Ill.) Warren High School on Friday night. Brunson had 20 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals in the win. Brunson, who has offers from Illinois, Connecticut, Creighton, DePaul, Oklahoma State, Purdue, SMU, Temple, Tulsa, Virginia and Xavier, and the Patriots (8-0) will open up play in the 32-team Proviso West Holiday Tournament at 8 p.m. on Monday against Chicago Urban Prep West.
JALEN COLEMAN, a junior shooting guard at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., and the Lakers beat Dallas Prime Prep 59-55 on Saturday at the Tarkanian Classic at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School on Saturday afternoon. Coleman, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, Cincinnati, Indiana, Memphis, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Providence, Purdue, UCLA and Xavier, and the Lakers (11-1) will play Mitchell (S.D.) High School at 6 p.m. this Friday and West Oaks Academy (Fla.) at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday as part of the Mike Miller Classic at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.
NOJEL EASTERN, a freshman guard from Evanston (Ill.) High School, and the Wildkits lost 61-47 to Park Ridge (Ill.) Maine South High School at home on Friday night before losing 65-57 at Wilmette (Ill.) Loyola Academy on Saturday night. Eastern had 16 points in the loss to Loyola Academy. Eastern, who has interest from Illinois and Ohio State, and the Wildkits (7-3) resume play at 2:15 p.m. this Thursday against Washington (Ill.) High School in the first round of the Pekin Holiday Tournament.
HYRON EDWARDS, a junior point guard at East Chicago (Ind.) Central High School, and the Cardinals lost 58-57 at Chesteron (Ind.) High School last Tuesday night. Edwards had 15 points in the defeat. Edwards, who has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, and the Cardinals (4-3) will play Indianapolis Shortridge High School at 1 p.m. on Monday at Indianapolis Marshall High School before playing Indianapolis North Central High School at 3 p.m. this Friday in the North Central Tournament.
MONTAQUE GILL-CAESAR, a junior small forward at Huntington (W. Va.) Prep, and the Irish lost 78-70 at Indianapolis Arsenal Tech High School on Thursday night in a game televised by ESPN. Gill-Caesar had 13 points and nine rebounds in the loss. Huntington Prep rebounded from the loss to Arsenal Tech with an 81-46 win against Faith Baptist Christian Academy (Ga.) on Saturday evening in which Gill-Caesar scored 17 points, but lost 61-55 to West Oaks Academy (Fla.) on Sunday night. Gill-Caesar had seven points against West Oaks. The win against Faith Baptist and the loss to West Oaks came at the Ironton Classic Invitational in Ironton, Ohio. 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 (13-4) are off until Saturday, Jan. 4 when the Irish play Richmond (Va.) Benedictine High School at 7 p.m. at the Chance Harman Classic in Floyd, Va.
AARON JORDAN, a junior shooting guard from Plainfield (Ill.) East High School, and the Bengals lost 78-72 at Plainfield (Ill.) North High School on Friday night. Jordan had 32 points in the loss, which tied a season-high. 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 (6-2) will open play at the Pekin Holiday Tournament at 8 p.m. this Thursday against East Moline (Ill.) United Township High School.
CHARLES MATTHEWS, a junior combo guard at Chicago St. Rita High School, and the Mustangs went 2-2 at the Iolani Classic in Honolulu last week. St. Rita opened the tournament with a 62-29 win against Kailua (Hawaii) High School last Wednesday in the first round. Matthews had 14 points in the win in his first game of the season. St. Rita then lost 55-51 to Philadelphia Roman Catholic High School in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Matthews had 10 points in the loss. St. Rita then beat Milwaukee Hamilton High School 81-67 on Friday night, with Matthews scoring 20 points, before ending the tournament with a 69-67 loss against against Mt. Vernon (N.Y.) High School in the fifth-place game on Saturday. Matthews had nine points in the loss to Mt. Vernon. Matthews, who has offers from Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, Michigan State, Ohio State, SMU and Wisconsin, and the Mustangs (5-3) are back in action at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4 against Minneapolis De La Salle High School in the Timberwolves Shootout at Target Center in Minneapolis.
DIAMOND STONE, a junior center at Whitefish Bay (Wis.) Dominican High School, and the Green Knights won 47-31 at Burlington (Wis.) Catholic Central High School on Thursday night before losing 54-43 to Chicago Orr on Saturday night at Waukesha (Wis.) High School. Stone had nine points in the win at Burlington Catholic Central. Stone, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Indiana, Marquette, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA and Wisconsin, and the Green Knights (5-2) will play Rice Lake (Wis.) High School at 6 p.m. this Friday and Waukesha (Wis.) Catholic Memorial High School at 4:30 p.m. this Saturday. Both games are part of the WBY Shootout at Concordia University in Mequon, Wis.
JAYSON TATUM, a sophomore forward at St. Louis Chaminade HIgh School, and the Red Devils beat St. Louis Vianney High School 69-54 at home on Friday night. Tatum had a game-high 29 points in the win. Tatum, who has offers from Illinois, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, Missouri and St. Louis, and the Red Devils (5-1) will play Hazelwood (Mo.) West High School at 8:15 p.m. this Thursday in the first round of the Chaminade Christmas Classic.
ELIJAH THOMAS, a junior power forward from Lancaster (Texas) High School, and the Tigers won 46-36 at Mansfield (Texas) Legacy High School on Tuesday night before winning 94-33 at Waxahachie (Texas) High School on Friday night. Thomas had 15 points against Legacy and 22 points, 13 rerbounds, seven assists, four steals and four blocks against Waxahachie. 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 (11-3) will play Dallas Carter High School at 10:30 a.m. this Thursday in the first round of the Dallas ISD/Coca Cola Tournament.
JOSEPH TOYE, a junior forward at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., and the Lakers won 59-55 against Dallas Prime Prep on Saturday afternoon at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas. 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 (11-1) will play Mitchell (S.D.) High School at 6 p.m. this Friday and West Oaks Academy (Fla.) at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday as part of the Mike Miller Classic at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D.