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 lost 49-30 to Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.) High School on Saturday in the Dan Finn Classic. Colbert made his season debut in the game after sitting out because of state transfer rules and had eight points. Gill St. Bernard's (5-5) returns to the court Tuesday night at Franklin (N.J.) High School before hosting Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) High School this Friday and taking part in the Hoop Group Lehigh Valley Showcase against Abington Heights (Pa.) High School this Sunday in Allentown, Pa.
MALCOLM HILL, a senior guard/forward from Belleville East (Ill.) High School, is now the school's all-time scoring leader. He did so in Belleville East's narrow 68-65 overtime victory against Belleville West (Ill.) High School last Tuesday as part of the Winter Classic held at Belleville East when he scored a game-high 33 points. In Belleville East's 76-68 win against Madison (Mo.) Prep on Saturday night to win the Winter Classic tournament championship at Belleville East, Hill poured in 28 points. The Lancers (17-2) advanced to the championship game after beating Belleville Althoff Catholic (Ill.) High School 61-51 on Wednesday night, with Hill scoring 16 points. Hill — who now has 1,816 career points — will try to add to his scoring total on Tuesday at home against Belleville West before the Lancers host Edwardsville (Ill.) High School this Friday night.
MAVERICK MORGAN, a senior center from Springboro (Ohio) High School, and the Panthers lost 82-47 to Prime Prep (Texas) Academy on Sunday night at the Flyin' To the Hoop Invitational at Trent Arena in Kettering, Ohio. Prime Prep — which was founded by former two-sport athlete Deion Sanders and just opened this school year — features several Division I prospects, including Class of 2013 big men Karvair Shepherd (TCU) and Jordan Mickey (LSU), and Class of 2015 power forward prospect Elijah Thomas, who has an offer from Illinois along with offers from North Carolina State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Morgan finished with 25 points and four rebounds in the loss while Mickey had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Shepherd had eight points while Thomas finished with six points. Prior to Sunday, Springboro won 74-54 at Fairborn (Ohio) High School on Friday night. Morgan had 29 points on 12-of-16 shooting in the victory. Springboro (13-3) and Morgan are back in action this Friday at home against West Carrollton (Ohio) High School.
KENDRICK NUNN and JAYLON TATE, senior guards from Chicago Simeon High School, are set to square off against Oak Hill (Va.) Academy at 1 p.m. Monday on ESPNU as part of the Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield, Mass. The game against Oak Hill is after Simeon won three games last week in Chicago, including a 53-51 win against Chicago Morgan Park on Wednesday that was marred after the game because of a shooting that left a Chicago teenager dead. Nunn had eight points and seven rebounds against Morgan Park. Simeon's 67-36 win against Chicago Julian on Friday at Simeon was closed to the media and limited spectators were allowed to attend. After Monday's game in Massachusetts, the Wolverines (14-2) are set to return to Chicago for a game against Chicago Bogan High School this Wednesday and Chicago Harlan this Friday before playing Chicago Whitney Young in a showdown this Saturday. A location for the Simeon-Whitney Young game — originally set to take place at Chicago State, the same place as the Simeon-Morgan Park game — has not been determined yet.
MICHAEL FINKE, a junior forward from Champaign Centennial (Ill.) High School who verbally committed on Dec. 12, scored only five points in Centennial's 59-43 loss on Friday night at Normal Community (Ill.) High School, which came after a 46-43 overtime win at Mahomet-Seymour (Ill.) High School last Tuesday night. Finke had 13 points and six rebounds in the win against Mahomet-Seymour. The Chargers (15-5) host Decatur MacArthur (Ill.) High School on Tuesday night before playing at crosstown rival Champaign Central High School this Friday night.
CLIFF ALEXANDER, a junior center from Chicago Curie High School who has offers from Illinois, Connecticut, DePaul, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan Michigan State, Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin, helped the Condors win three games last week, defeating Lansing Eastern (Mich.) 63-43 on Saturday in the Martin Luther King/Floyd Mayweather Classic in Grand Rapids, Mich. The win on Saturday came after Curie won 79-75 at home against Chicago DuSable on Thursday and 70-37 last Tuesday at Chicago Lindbolm. The Condors (12-5) get back in action Tuesday at Chicago Phillips and Thursday at Chicago Harper before taking part in the Ronald "Chops" Billinger Shootout this Sunday against Elmhurst York (Ill.) High School at Chicago Whitney Young.
LARRY AUSTIN, JR., a junior guard from Springfield Lanphier (Ill.) High School, and the Lions went 1-2 at the annual Springfield City Tournament last week. The Lions beat Springfield High School 83-58 on Saturday night at the Prairie Capital Convention Center with Austin scoring 16 points. The win against the Senators came after the Lions lost 65-60 on Friday night to Springfield Southeast High School despite 26 points and eight rebounds from Austin — who has offers Illinois, Bradley, DePaul, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist and Wake Forest. Austin and Lanphier opened up the city tournament with a 70-51 loss to Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin High School on Thursday. Austin only had seven points in the loss. Lanphier (11-8) and Austin are back in action this weekend when it hosts Chatham-Glenwood (Ill.) High School on Friday night before playing at Taylorville (Ill.) High School on Saturday night.
TREVON BLUIETT, a junior forward from Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, had 21 points in Park Tudor's 81-51 win at home against Speedway (Ind.) High School last Tuesday night. Bluiett, who has offers from Illinois, Butler, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue and Xavier, and Park Tudor (13-1) host Cardinal Ritter (Ind.) High School on Tuesday night.
CARLTON BRAGG, a sophomore forward from Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Ohio) High School, and the Vikings had two easy wins last week to improve to 11-2. Villa-Angela won 86-38 at Holy Name (Ohio) High School on Friday night and 93-47 at home against Brush (Ohio) High School last Tuesday night. In the win against Holy Name, Bragg scored a game-high 27 points, and in the win against Brush, Bragg poured in 24 points. Bragg, who has interest from Illinois, Dayton, Indiana, Louisville, Missouri, Texas and Xavier, and Villa Angela-St. Joseph return to the court this Friday night at Warren, Ohio's John F. Kennedy High School before playing Martinsburg (W. Va.) High School on Saturday at the Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio.
JALEN BRUNSON, a sophomore point guard from Lincolnshire Stevenson (Ill.) High School, who picked up an offer from Illinois last week to go along with offers from DePaul, Purdue, Southern Methodist and Xavier along with interest from Indiana and Iowa, had 26 points and 12 rebounds during Stevenson's 66-59 home win against Zion-Benton (Ill.) High School on Friday night. Stevenson (13-4) and Brunson resume play Tuesday night against Gurnee Warren (Ill.) High School at home before playing this Saturday at Mt. Prospect (Ill.) High School.
HYRON EDWARDS, a sophomore point guard from East Chicago Central (Ind.) High School who has offers from Illinois, Indiana and Purdue, and the 8-5 Cardinals own a five-game winning streak heading into this Thursday night's home game against Gary West (Ind.) High School. Edwards had 20 points and seven assists in Saturday night's 66-56 win at Crown Point (Ind.) High School. Saturday's win came after a 93-56 win at Gary Roosevelt (Ind.) High School on Friday night and a 64-61 win at Hammond (Ind.) High School last Tuesday night.
JAQUAN LYLE, a junior point guard from Evansville Bosse (Ind.) High School, had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists with Illinois head coach John Groce watching during Bosse's 82-68 home win on Friday night against Boonville (Ind.) High School. 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, is set to attend the Illinois-Michigan game this Sunday at Assembly Hall. Lyle and Bosse (12-3) will venture out of state this Friday night to play at Owensboro (Ky.) High School.
CHARLES MATTHEWS, a sophomore guard from Chicago St. Rita, and the Mustangs are 12-5 after a weekend trip out to the East Coast. St. Rita lost 56-52 on Sunday afternoon at St. Raymond's (N.Y.) High School, which came after a 71-50 win against Lake Clifton (Md.) High School on Saturday at the Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Matthews — who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, DePaul, Providence and Southern Methodist — had seven points while his older brother, junior guard DOMINIQUE MATTHEWS who has generated interest from Illinois, had 18 points in Saturday's win. The win against Lake Clifton came after the Mustangs beat Chicago Marist 76-56 last Tuesday at Marist. Charles Matthews had 11 points and seven assists against Marist while Dominique Matthews had 17 points and six assists. St. Rita (12-5) are back in Illinois for a game this Friday night at Kankakee Bishop McNamara High School.
SEAN O'MARA, a junior forward from Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill., and the Redwings narrowly beat Marian Catholic (Ill.) High School and Division I point guard prospect Tyler Ulis 51-50 on Thursday at home. O'Mara had 19 points and nine rebounds in the victory. O'Mara, who has offers from Illinois, Boston College, DePaul, Georgia Tech, Marquette and Virginia, among others, and the Redwings (18-3) return to the court this Saturday night against Naperville Central (Ill.) High School as part of the High School Hoops Showdown at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
JAHLIL OKAFOR, a junior center from Chicago Whitney Young, along with junior teammates PAUL WHITE and L.J. PEAK, helped the 17-1 Dolphins rout Long Beach Poly (Calif.) High School 85-52 on Saturday at the Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield, Mass. 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 — had 26 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots in the win while White — who has offers from Illinois, Arizona, Baylor, DePaul, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin, among others — had 20 points and seven rebounds in Saturday's win. The win against Long Beach Poly came after Whitney Young beat Chicago Marshall 78-47 on Wednesday which saw Peak — who has interest from Illinois with offers from Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, among others — scoring 18 points. Whitney Young also won 93-47 at Chicago Crane last Monday. The Dolphins are set to play at Chicago Collins this Wednesday before Saturday's matchup with Chicago Simeon.
D.J. WILLIAMS, a sophomore forward out of Chicago Simeon, who has offers from Illinois, Florida, Cal-Poly, DePaul, Nebraska and SMU, has helped the Wolverines to a 14-2 record entering Monday's game against Oak Hill (Va.) Academy at the Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
KEVIN ZABO, a junior point guard out of Wolfeboro Brewster (N.H.) Academy, had 16 points during the Bobcats' 88-57 victory against South Kent (Conn.) School on Sunday at the Hoop Hall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Zabo, who has offers from Illinois, George Washington, Iowa State and West Virginia with interest from Connecticut, Marquette and Ohio State, among others, and Wolfeboro improved to 15-5 with the win on Sunday. Brewster Academy returns to the court this Wednesday at Bridgton (Maine) before hosting Kimball Union (N.H.) Academy this Friday and getting a rematch with South Kent this Saturday in Wolfeboro.