Weekend Wrap — Black, Finke have solid starts
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 have started the season with a 3-0 record. White Station beat DeSoto (Texas) High School 64-33 on Saturday night at the Lighthouse Thanksgiving Classic in Corinth, Miss. Black had 18 points and nine rebounds. Previously, White Station beat Germantown (Tenn.) Houston High School 82-66 at home on Nov. 19. Black had 14 points in the win. Black and the Spartans opened the season Nov. 14 with a 50-46 home win against Memphis (Tenn.) University School. Black had a game-high 18 points in the victory. Black and the Spartans (3-0) will host Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway High School at 7:30 p.m. this Tuesday before taking on Dallas Prime Prep at 9:30 p.m. this Saturday in the Marshall County Hoopfest in Benton, Ky.
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 started the season 4-1 at the Lincoln (Ill.) Eaton Tournament. Centennial beat Chicago Harlan High School 75-65 on Saturday evening in its final game of the tournament. Finke had 18 points and 15 rebounds. Earlier on Saturday, Centennial beat Cahokia (Ill.) High School 80-57. Finke had 29 points and eight rebounds in the win. Centennial beat Morton (Ill.) High School 67-47 on Friday evening, with Finke contributing 22 points. Centennial won its first game of the season last Wednesday night, winning 69-58 at Danville (Ill.) High School as part of the Eaton Tournament. Finke scored a game-high 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in the win. Finke and Centennial opened the season with a 49-40 loss to Lincoln (Ill.) High School last Monday night. Finke had 16 points and three rebounds in the loss. Finke and the Chargers (4-1) have three games this week, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Normal (Ill.) Community High School before they play at crosstown rival Champaign (Ill.) Central High School at 7:30 p.m. this Friday and then end the week with a 7:45 p.m. game this Saturday against Chicago Bogan High School during the Country Financial Centennial Shootout at State Farm Center in Champaign.
D.J. WILLIAMS, a junior forward from Chicago Simeon High School who committed to Illinois on Nov. 5, and the Wolverines open their season at 6 p.m. this Saturday against Memphis (Tenn.) Hamilton High School as part of the Chicago Elite Classic at UIC Pavilion.
CARLTON BRAGG, a junior power forward from Cleveland Villa-Angela St. Joseph High School, and the Vikings will open their season at 6:30 p.m. this Friday at Richmond Heights (Ohio) High School before hosting Garfield Heights (Ohio) Trinity High School at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday. Bragg 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.
JALEN BRUNSON, a junior point guard from Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson High School, and the Patriots started the season 4-0 at the Buffalo Grove (Ill.) High School Invitational. Stevenson beat Buffalo Grove 67-44 on Saturday night to claim the tournament title. Brunson supplied 26 points and seven assists and earned tournament MVP honors for his play all week. The Patriots easily beat Arlington Heights (Ill.) Christian Liberty Academy 78-30 on Wednesday night, with Brunson producing 12 points, three assists and three steals. Brunson had 20 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals during a 51-41 victory against Elgin (Ill.) High School on Tuesday night. Brunson had 16 points in the season-opening 74-29 win against Grayslake (Ill.) Central High School last Monday night. Brunson, who has offers from Illinois, Connecticut, Creighton, DePaul, Oklahoma State, Purdue, SMU, Temple, Tulsa, Virginia and Xavier, and the Patriots (4-0) will host Mt. Prospect (Ill.) High School at 7 p.m. this Wednesday before hosting Mundelein (Ill.) High School at 7 p.m. this Saturday.
JALEN COLEMAN, a junior shooting guard at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., and the Lakers have started the season 7-1 before Saturday's game). La Lumiere went 2-1 recently at the State Farm Tournament of Champions tournament held at Washington (Ill.) High School. La Lumiere beat St. Louis Christian School 51-43 on Saturday night, with Coleman scoring 16 points and grabbing six rebounds. La Lumiere lost 68-45 to Sunrise Christian Academy out of Wichita, Kan., on Friday. Coleman had 13 points and five rebounds in the loss. La Lumiere beat St. Louis CBC High School 71-62 on Thursday night. Coleman had 15 points and six assists in the win. Coleman, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, Cincinnati, Indiana, Memphis, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Providence, Purdue, UCLA and Xavier, and the Lakers will host Midwest Elite Prep out of Merrillville, Ind., at 6 p.m. this Tuesday before hosting ABCD Prep out of Urbandale, Iowa at 6 p.m. this Friday.
NOJEL EASTERN, a freshman guard from Evanston (Ill.) High School, and the Wildkits started the season 4-1 at the Chicago Lane Tech Thanksgiving Tournament. Eastern had six assists in the Wildkits' 65-59 win against Lane on Saturday in the tournament's third-place game. Eastern had 11 points in a 54-51 overtime win against Zion-Benton (Ill.) High School on Friday, which came after Evanston beat Chicago Taft High School 71-58 on Wednesday afternoon. Evanston beat Niles Notre Dame 50-38 on Tuesday night, with Eastern scoring 18 points. Eastern finished with 16 points and four rebounds in Evanston's season-opening 57-39 loss to Chicago Mt. Carmel last Monday. Eastern, who has interest from Illinois and Ohio State, and the Wildkits (4-1) will host Winnetka (Ill.) New Trier High School at 5 p.m. this Saturday.
HYRON EDWARDS, a junior point guard at East Chicago (Ind.) Central High School, and the Cardinals started the season 1-1. East Chicago beat Michigan City (Ind.) High School 87-72 last Wednesday night at home and lost 67-63 to Indianapolis Lawrence Central High School on Saturday night. Edwards had 26 points and six rebounds against Michigan City. Edwards, who has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, and the Cardinals (1-1) host South Bend (Ind.) Clay High School at 6 p.m. this Friday and play at Lowell (Ind.) HIgh School at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday.
MONTAQUE GILL-CAESAR, a junior small forward at Huntington (W. Va.) Prep, and the Irish are 7-1 on the season. Gill-Caesar had a whopping 56 points on the strength of 11 three-pointers in the Irish's 127-37 win against Dayton (Ohio) Miami Valley School on Saturday night at the Big E Tipoff Classic in Proctorville, 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 get back in action at 5 p.m. on Monday at Minford (Ohio) High School before playing Atlanta Christian at 5:30 p.m. this Friday and Indianapolis Arsenal Tech High School at 4:30 p.m. this Saturday. The games against Atlanta Christian and Arsenal Tech are part of the Marshall County Hoopfest in Benton, Ky.
AARON JORDAN, a junior shooting guard from Plainfield (Ill.) East High School, and the Bengals opened the season with a 3-1 start at the 55th annual Ron Johnson Thanksgiving Tournament at St. Charles (Ill.) East High School. Plainfield East beat Schaumburg (Ill.) High School 55-37 on Saturday night in the tournament's third-place game, with Jordan scoring 15 points. Plainfield East beat Chicago North Lawndale Charter School 52-40 on Friday afternoon. Jordan had 23 points in the win. Plainfield East beat Downers Grove (Ill.) South High School 67-58 on Wednesday night, with Jordan scoring 32 points. The Bengals lost their season opener on Tuesday night, falling 58-54 to St. Charles (Ill.) North High School. Jordan had 23 points in the loss. 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 get back in action at 6:30 p.m. this Friday at home against Oswego (Ill.) East High School.
CHARLES MATTHEWS, a junior combo guard at Chicago St. Rita High School, and the Mustangs opened their season with a 79-76 overtime loss at Chicago Curie High School on Sunday afternoon. Matthews did not play in the game. Matthews, who has offers from Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, Michigan State, Ohio State, SMU and Wisconsin, and the Mustangs (0-1) will play Gonzaga College High School out of Washington, D.C., at 11:30 a.m. this Saturday in the Chicago Elite Classic at UIC Pavilion.
DIAMOND STONE, a junior center at Whitefish Bay (Wis.) Dominican High School, and the Green Knights opened their season with a 56-50 home win against Little Chute (Wis.) High School. Stone had 20 points in the win. Stone, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Indiana, Marquette, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA and Wisconsin, and the Green Knights (1-0) will host Milwaukee Saint Thomas More High School at 7:30 p.m. this Friday before playing Milwaukee South Hamilton High School at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday at Milwaukee South Division High School.
ELIJAH THOMAS, a junior power forward from Lancaster (Texas) High School, and the Tigers are off to a 6-3 start. 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 get back in action at 8 p.m. this Tuesday when they host Dallas South Oak Cliff High School before playing at 8 p.m. this Friday at Dallas Kimball High School.
JOSEPH TOYE, a junior forward at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., and the Lakers have started the season 7-1. 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 will host Midwest Elite Prep out of Merrillville, Ind., at 6 p.m. this Tuesday before hosting ABCD Prep out of Urbandale, Iowa at 6 p.m. this Friday.
And here's a few notes regarding how some football commits and recruiting targets for Illinois fared in Week 15 of the high school football season.
MATT DOMER, a senior running back at Chicago Mt. Carmel High School who committed to Illinois on July 2, and the Caravan beat Lake Zurich (Ill.) High School 30-0 on Saturday afternoon in the Class 7A state title game at Huskie Stadium on the Northern Illinois University campus. Domer rushed for a game-high 176 yards on 35 carries, including touchdown runs of 1 and 2 yards. Domer helped guide the Caravan to a 13-1 record this season and the program's 12th state title.
HENRY McGREW, a senior linebacker at Blue Valley (Kan.) High School who committed to Illinois on June 18, and the Tigers beat Salina (Kan.) South High School 27-26 in the Class 5A state title game on Saturday afternoon at Welch Stadium on the Emporia State University campus. McGrew helped the Tigers — who won their sixth state title — finish with a 10-3 record this season.
MALIK TURNER, a senior wide receiver from Springfield (Ill.) Sacred Heart-Griffin High School who committed to Illinois on June 24, and the Cyclones beat Lombard (Ill.) Montini High School 38-28 in the Class 5A state title game on Saturday morning at Huskie Stadium on the Northern Illinois University campus. Turner had four catches for 67 yards, four carries for 11 yards, two kickoff returns for 35 yards and three tackles. Turner helped lead the Cyclones — who won their fourth state title in program history — to a 14-0 record this fall.
KEI BECKHAM, a junior cornerback from Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) High School, and the Rams beat Clyde (Ohio) High School 54-7 on Friday night at Lima Stadium in Lima, Ohio, in a Division III state semifinal playoff game. Beckham had two tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery in the win. Beckham, who has offers from Illinois, Akron, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota and Western Michigan, and the Rams (11-2) will play Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary High School at 6 p.m. this Thursday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, Ohio, in the Division III state title game.
JEFF GEORGE JR., a senior quarterback at Warren Central (Ind.) High School, and the Warriors beat Carmel (Ind.) High School 7-6 on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to win the Class 6A state title game. George had an 18-yard touchdown pass for the Warriors' lone score and finished 12 of 26 for 131 yards. George, who has a grayshirt scholarship offer from Illinois and interest from Akron, Cincinnati, Indiana, Louisville and Purdue, helped lead the Warriors to an 11-3 record this season. Saturday's win marked the eighth state title in school history.
ADOREE' JACKSON, a senior cornerback and wide receiver at Junipero Serra (Calif.) High School, and the Cavaliers won 22-14 on Friday night against La Canada (Calif.) St. Francis High School in a Southern Section semifinal playoff game. Jackson, who has offers from Illinois, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Tennessee, UCLA and USC, and the Cavaliers (13-0) will play La Canada (Calif.) St. Francis High School this Friday in a Southern Section semifinal playoff game.
QUINN OSELAND, a junior offensive tackle at Springfield (Ill.) Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, and the Cyclones beat Lombard (Ill.) Montini High School 38-28 in the Class 5A state title game on Saturday morning at Huskie Stadium on the Northern Illinois University campus. Oseland, who has an offer from Illinois and Northern Illinois and interest from Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin, helped the Cyclones finish 14-0 and win the fourth state title in program history.
MARTESSE PATTERSON, a senior guard from Marion-Franklin (Ohio) High School, and the Red Devils lost 17-9 to Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary High School on Friday night at Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium in New Philadelphia, Ohio in a Division III state semifinal playoff game. Patterson, who has offers from Illinois, Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, Purdue and Toledo, helped the Red Devils finish 12-2 this season.
NILE SYKES, a senior linebacker at Lombard Montini (Ill.) High School, and the Broncos lost 38-28 to Springfield (Ill.) Sacred Heart-Griffin in the Class 5A state title game on Saturday at Huskie Stadium on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Sykes had three tackles, including two for loss, in the game. Sykes, who has offers from Illinois, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Iowa State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Northern Illinois, Purdue, South Florida, Syracuse, Toledo and Western Michigan, has narrowed his list down to six schools. Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Notre Dame, South Florida and Syracuse are still in contention for Sykes' services. Sykes helped the Broncos finish with a 13-1 record this season.
ELIJAH TAYLOR, a junior defensive end from Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller High School, and the Fighting Crusaders beat Hilliard (Ohio) Davidson High School 13-11 on Saturday night at Dayton Welcome Stadium in a Division I state semifinal playoff game. Taylor had eight tackles in the win. Taylor, who has offers from Illinois, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio and West Virginia, and the Fighting Crusaders (13-1) will play Mentor (Ohio) High School at 3 p.m. this Saturday at Canton Fawcett Stadium in the state title game.