Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood’s team:
All three of Illinois' Class of 2022 signees were in action Saturday night. Here's how they fared:
Combine Academy (N.C.) 84, Hamilton Heights (Tenn.) 47
It wasn't a 30-point game, but Jayden Epps was still productive in the win for the Goats. The future Illini guard was one of three Goats in double figures with 14 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Thornton 60, St. Rita 51
Ty Rodgers put up a triple-double Friday night in Thornton's 19-point win against Crete-Monee. He flirted with another Saturday in the Chicago Elite Classic at Credit Union 1 Arena ... aka the UIC Pavilion. Rodgers finished with 10 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, as Thornton took down a St. Rita team loaded with Illinois targets. Class of 2024 Illini commit Morez Johnson had eight points, while fellow sophomore big James Brown had nine points. Sophomore guard Jaedin Reyna, a UI target like Brown, led the Mustangs with 17 points.
Sierra Canyon (Calif.) 71, St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio) 53
It was a rough night for SVSM in the Chosen-1's Invitational in Los Angeles. Sierra Canyon played without five-star Class of 2022 guard Amari Bailey, but the stacked Blazers had little trouble. Future Illinois guard Sencire Harris led the Fighting Irish with 17 points.