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 week that was.
AUSTIN COLBERT, a senior forward/center from Gill St. Bernard's (N.J.) School, and the Knights don't open the season until this Friday 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, helped the Lancers improve to 6-0 starting play this week. Hill scored a game-high 23 points in Belleville East's 67-66 home win against East St. Louis (Ill.) High School on Friday night, which came after Hill had 10 points in a 55-48 win at Edwardsville (Ill.) High School last Tuesday night. Hill and the Lancers return to the court this Tuesday at Belleville West (Ill.) High School before hosting O'Fallon (Ill.) High School this Friday.
MAVERICK MORGAN, a senior center from Springboro (Ohio) High School, and the Panthers suffered their first loss of the season, dropping a 64-61 game at Wayne (Ohio) High School on Friday night. Morgan led the Panthers (2-1) with 23 points and 11 rebounds Morgan hit the game-winning free throws en route to 30 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots in Springboro's 77-75 home win against Beavercreek (Ohio) High School last Tuesday. Springboro and Morgan are back in action on Tuesday at home against Sidney (Ohio) High School before hosting Fairborn (Ohio) High School this Friday night.
KENDRICK NUNN and JAYLON TATE, senior guards from Chicago Simeon High School, were off last week. The 1-0 Wolverines will travel to Texas this Thursday for a game against DeSoto (Texas) High School that is supposed to be televised by one of the ESPN affiliates. Simeon was originally scheduled to play Prestonwood Christian (Texas) High School, but that game was changed after Prestonwood Christian's Julius Randle, ranked the top senior in the country by Rivals.com, just ahead of Simeon's Jabari Parker, suffered a fractured foot. THe Wolverines trip to Texas is the first of six out-of-state trips this season for the squad, which will also play in the Memphis Bragging Rights Classic at 8 p.m. this Saturday against host Arlington (Tenn.) High School.
CLIFF ALEXANDER, a junior center from Chicago Curie High School, had nine points, 12 rebounds and nine blocked shots in Curie's 42-40 loss against Homewood-Flossmoore on Sunday night in the Team Rose Classic. Alexander, who has offers from Illinois, Michigan State, Connecticut, DePaul, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin, and the Condors (0-3) will resume play on Tuesday against Chicago Dunbar. The squad will also play Chicago Hyde Park on Thursday and Arsenal Tech (Ind.) High School next Saturday in the Indy Legacy High School Showcase in Indianapolis.
DARIUS AUSTIN, a junior forward from Cahokia (Ill.) High School, and his Comanches improved to 9-0 on Friday night with a 63-46 home win against Centralia (Ill.) High School. Austin, who has interest from Illinois, Cincinnati, Iowa, Michigan, Xavier and others, along with offers from DePaul and St. Louis, and Cahokia are in action next at Mount Vernon (Ill.) High School this Friday.
LARRY AUSTIN, JR., a junior guard from Springfield Lanphier (Ill.) High School had 17 points on Saturday night, but the Lions lost 66-64 at Peoria Manual (Ill.) High School as Lanphier dropped to 3-4. In Lanphier's 77-64 road win against Springfield (Ill.) High School on Friday night, Austin Jr. had 16 points and nine steals. Austin, who has offers from Illinois, Bradley, DePaul, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist and Wake Forest, and Lanphier will hit the court again this Friday night at home against Taylorville (Ill.) High School.
TREVON BLUIETT, a junior forward from Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, surpassed 1,000 points in his career on Saturday night during Park Tudor's 79-37 road win against Covenant Christian (Ind.) High School. Bluiett had 25 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in the win, which came after Park Tudor crushed Beech Grove (Ind.) High School 91-33 on Friday night. Bluiett had 31 points in that win. Park Tudor (4-0) and Bluiett, who has offers from Illinois, Butler, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue and Xavier, will host Guerin Catholic (Ind.) High School this Friday night.
HYRON EDWARDS, a sophomore point guard from East Chicago Central (Ind.) High School, and the Cardinals lost 47-29 on Saturday night at home to Munster (Ind.) High School. Edwards, who has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, led East Chicago Central (2-2) with 11 points. Edwards and East Chicago Central are back in action Tuesday, Dec. 18 at home against Mishawaka (Ind.) High School.
MICHAEL FINKE, a junior forward from Champaign Centennial (Ill.) High School, helped lead the Chargers to a 78-59 home win on Friday night against cross-town rival Champaign Central (Ill.) High School with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Finke, who has offers from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Purdue and Wisconsin, among others, had 15 points in Centennial's 52-45 win at Decatur MacArthur (Ill.) High School last Tuesday night. Finke and Centennial, which is now 7-2, will play at Urbana (Ill.) High School on Tuesday night before hosting Normal West (Ill.) High School this Friday night.
JAQUAN LYLE, a junior point guard from Evansville Bosse (Ind.) High School, had the week off. Lyle and the Bulldogs (0-1) are back at it Tuesday night at Reitz Memorial (Ind.) High School. Lyle has offers from Illinois, Cincinnati, Indiana, Louisville, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Tennessee and Texas.
CHARLES MATTHEWS, a sophomore guard from Chicago St. Rita, and the Mustangs beat Hyde Park 59-50 on Sunday in the Team Rose Classic. Matthews had eight points in the win while older brother DOMINIQUE MATTHEWS, a junior guard who has attracted some interest from Illinois, led the Mustangs (5-2) with 16 points. Prior to Sunday, St. Rita beat Gordon Tech (Ill.) High School 56-33 on the road Friday night. Matthews, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, DePaul, Providence and Southern Methodist, and the Mustangs return to the court this Friday night at home against Chicago Leo.
SEAN O'MARA, a junior forward from Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill., who has offers from Illinois, Boston College, DePaul, Georgia Tech, Marquette and Virginia, among others, had last week off. O'Mara and the 6-1 Redwings will compete this week in the Plainfield North Holiday Tournament. Benet has games on Tuesday night against the host Tigers, Wednesday night against Thornton Fractional North (Ill.) High School, Lincoln-Way North (Ill.) High School on Thursday and wraps up the tournament against Lockport (Ill.) High School on Friday night. Benet will then go up against St. Ignatius College Prep (Ill.) on Saturday afternoon in the Chicago Catholic/East Suburban Catholic Shootout at Loyola Academy.
TYLER ULIS, a junior point guard from Marian Catholic (Ill.) High School who has interest from Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and others, has helped lead the Spartans to a 7-1 record after a 54-37 home win on Friday night against Mundelein Carmel (Ill.) High School and a 49-44 home win against Joliet West (Ill.) High School last Tuesday night. Ulis scored 20 points to go along with five assists and three steals in the Spartans' win against Carmel, and he had 21 points in the win against Joliet West. Marian Catholic and Ulis return to the court this Friday night at Nazareth (Ill.) Academy.
D.J. WILLIAMS, a sophomore forward out of Chicago Simeon, picked up a scholarship offer from Southern Methodist last week. Williams — who will play next this Thursday against DeSoto (Texas) High School — now has offers from Illinois, Cal-Poly, DePaul, Nebraska and SMU.
KEVIN ZABO, a junior point guard out of Wolfeboro Brewster (N.H.) Academy, and the Bobcats improved to 7-3 on Saturday after winning the Brewster Invitational championship for the fourth straight year with a 66-58 win against Notre Dame Prep. Zabo has offers from Illinois, George Washington, Iowa State and West Virginia with interest from Connecticut, Marquette and Ohio State, among others.