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, are 3-4 on the season after losing 83-64 to DeMatha Catholic (Md.) High School on Saturday in the Cancer Research Classic at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. The loss came after a 52-44 win at Immaculata (N.J.) High School on Thursday. Colbert is still sitting out because of state transfer rules, but is set to play his first game on Saturday, Jan. 19, when Gill St. Bernard's takes part in the Dan Finn Classic against Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.) High School. The Knights return to the court on Tuesday night at Hunterdon Central Regional (N.J.) High School before hosting Hillsborough (N.J.) High School on Thursday night.
MALCOLM HILL, a senior guard/forward from Belleville East (Ill.) High School, hit the game-winning three-pointer in the Lancers' 52-51 win at Collinsville (Ill.) High School on Friday night. Hill wound up with 21 points in the win, but the Lancers suffered a 63-54 loss on Saturday against DeSmet (Mo.) High School at the Highland (Ill.) Optimist Club Shootout. Hill had 23 points in the loss. Belleville East (13-2) and Hill return to the court this Friday night at home against Granite City (Ill.) High School.
MAVERICK MORGAN, a senior center from Springboro (Ohio) High School, had 20 points and nine rebounds in the Panthers' 64-52 win at Franklin (Ohio) High School on Saturday night as Springboro improved to 10-2. Morgan did not play in Springboro's 50-44 win at Miamisburg (Ohio) High School on Friday night as he sat out with a fever. Morgan and Springboro are back in action on Tuesday night at home against Xenia (Ohio) High School before playing at Lebanon (Ohio) High School this Friday night.
KENDRICK NUNN and JAYLON TATE, senior guards from Chicago Simeon High School, suffered an 82-53 blowout loss to Montverde (Fla.) Academy on Saturday at the Cancer Research Classic in West Virginia. Montverde (16-0) features Kentucky recruit Dakhari Johnson, Florida recruit Kasey Hill and West Virginia recruit Devin Williams. Tate and Nunn combined for 10 points and four assists in Saturday's loss that was televised on ESPN2.
"If Kendrick and Jaylon don't play, we're not going to be a very good team," Simeon head coach Robert Smith told the Chicago Tribune. "They're committed to go to the University of Illinois. They've got to be better than that. They have to show up in these types of games."
Simeon (9-2) returns to the court this Wednesday at Chicago Perspectives Charter/Calumet High School before traveling to Memphis, Tenn., to take on Southwind (Tenn.) High School this Saturday as part of the Penny Hardaway Hoop Fest.
MICHAEL FINKE, a junior forward from Champaign Centennial (Ill.) High School who verbally committed on Dec. 12, poured in a career-high 35 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots in the Chargers' 90-79 win in double overtime at Bloomington (Ill.) High School on Friday night. The Chargers (13-4) and Finke return to the court this Friday night at home against Decatur Eisenhower (Ill.) High School.
CLIFF ALEXANDER, a junior center from Chicago Curie High School, and the Condors beat Muskegon (Mich.) High School 68-55 on Saturday night at the Muskegon Shootout. Alexander, who has offers from Illinois, Connecticut, DePaul, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan Michigan State, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin, had 25 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots on Saturday. Alexander and Curie (8-5) return to the court this Thursday at home against Chicago Robeson High School.
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, had eight points in the Comanches' 61-44 win at Belleville Althoff Catholic (Ill.) High School on Friday night. Austin and Cahokia (13-2) are back in action Monday night at home against Normandy (Mo.) High School before hosting Marion (Ill.) High School this Friday night.
LARRY AUSTIN, JR., a junior guard from Springfield Lanphier (Ill.) High School, and the Lions won their sixth game in a row on Saturday night, beating host Chatham-Glenwood (Ill.) High School 51-40. Austin had 17 points and nine rebounds against the Titans. Prior to Saturday, Lanphier beat Rochester (Ill.) High School 65-37 on Friday night at home, with Austin providing 11 points. Austin, who has offers from Illinois, Bradley, DePaul, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist and Wake Forest, and Lanphier (10-5) resume play this Friday at Lincoln (Ill.) High School.
TREVON BLUIETT, a junior forward from Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, had 19 points in Park Tudor's 82-37 win at home Friday night against Heritage Christian (Ind.) School. Bluiett, who has offers from Illinois, Butler, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue and Xavier, and Park Tudor (8-1) open the Marion County Tournament on Tuesday night at Perry Meridian (Ind.) High School.
CARLTON BRAGG, a sophomore forward from Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Ohio) High School, had four points in the Vikings' 68-56 win on Friday night at Cleveland Central Catholic High School. Bragg, who has interest from Illinois, Dayton, Indiana, Louisville, Missouri, Texas and Xavier, kept the winning ways intact with a 62-55 win on Saturday night against John Hay (Ohio) High School at the Scholastic Shootout in Garfield Heights, Ohio. The Vikings (7-2) are back in action at St. Peter Chanel (Ohio) High School this Friday night before hosting Dalton (Ohio) High School this Saturday night.
JALEN BRUNSON, a sophomore point guard from Lincolnshire Stevenson (Ill.) High School, who picked up an offer last week from Purdue and has interest from Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, had last week off. Stevenson (10-3) returns to the court this Friday at Mundelein (Ill.) High School.
HYRON EDWARDS, a sophomore point guard from East Chicago Central (Ind.) High School who has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, was off last week. The 3-5 Cardinals and Edwards are back in action this Wednesday night at home against Griffith (Ind.) High School
JAQUAN LYLE, a junior point guard from Evansville Bosse (Ind.) High School, came through with 31 points in the Bulldogs' 69-64 win at Vincennes Lincoln (Ind.) High School on Saturday night. 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 30 points in the Bulldogs' 82-78 loss at Evansville Central (Ind.) High School on Friday night. Lyle and Bosse (8-3) are back on its home court in a quick rematch against Evansville Central on Tuesday night to open the Southern Indiana Conference Tournament.
CHARLES MATTHEWS, a sophomore guard from Chicago St. Rita, and the Mustangs won 73-67 at home on Friday night against Chicago De La Salle High School. Matthews, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, DePaul, Providence and Southern Methodist, had nine points and 10 rebounds in the win. His older brother Dominique, a junior guard who has interest from Illinois, added 13 points. The Mustangs (9-4) are back in action this Friday night at New Lenox Providence Catholic (Ill.) High School.
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, and the Redwings edged host Niles Notre Dame (Ill.) High School 42-41 on Friday night thanks largely to O'Mara. O'Mara led the Redwings (15-3) with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Prior to the win against Niles Notre Dame, O'Mara and the Redwings placed fifth at the 32-team Proviso West Holiday Tournament with a 60-51 win against Chicago Bogan High School on New Year's Eve. O'Mara ended his tournament run with 26 points on 12-of-14 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds. Benet and O'Mara return to the court this Tuesday at Mundelein Carmel (Ill.) High School before hosting Joliet Catholic (Ill.) Academy this Friday night.
JAHLIL OKAFOR, a junior center from Chicago Whitney Young, along with junior teammates PAUL WHITE and L.J. PEAK, helped lead the Dolphins to a 78-49 win against Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) High School on Saturday during the Cancer Research Classic in West Virginia. 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, compiled a game-high 32 points while White, who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, Baylor, DePaul, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin, among others, added 19 points and seven rebounds. Peak, who has interest from Illinois but no offer, has offers from Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, among others, chipped in 10 points and six rebounds. Young (11-1) gets back in action this Wednesday at home against Chicago North Lawndale High School before playing this Friday at Chicago Crane High School and then making the jaunt to Memphis, Tenn., to play Memphis White Station (Tenn.) High School on Saturday to play in the Penny Hardaway Hoop Fest.
TYLER ULIS, a junior point guard from Marian Catholic (Ill.) High School who has interest from Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Iowa and others, kept his solid start to the season going in the Spartans' 65-42 win at home against Marmion (Ill.) Academy on Friday night. Ulis contributed 21 points, eight assists and five steals in the victory against Marmion. Marian Catholic (14-1) and Ulis are scheduled to play at New Lenox Providence Catholic (Ill.) High School on Tuesday night before traveling to play at Quincy (Ill.) High School this Saturday night.
D.J. WILLIAMS, a sophomore forward out of Chicago Simeon, and the Wolverines lost 82-53 to Montverde (Fla.) Academy on Saturday night in West Virginia. Williams has offers from Illinois, Florida, Cal-Poly, DePaul, Nebraska and SMU.
KEVIN ZABO, a junior point guard out of Wolfeboro Brewster (N.H.) Academy, and the Bobcats won 90-49 against Athletic Institute Academy out of Canada on Saturday night. Zabo, who has offers from Illinois, George Washington, Iowa State and West Virginia with interest from Connecticut, Marquette and Ohio State, among others, and the 10-4 Bobcats are back in action this Wednesday night against Redemption Christian (N.Y.) Academy before playing Wilbraham & Monson (Mass.) Academy this Friday and hosting New Hampshire's Northfield Mount Hermon next Sunday afternoon.