College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

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St Vincent-St. Mary's Sencire Harris splits a pair of Lima Shawnee defenders on his way to the rim in the first half of the OHSAA boys division II state basketball championship semifinals in Dayton.

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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:

Episode 176: Mix and match

Illinois' Big Ten opener against Rutgers will air tonight on ESPN2. On Saturday, it's Sencire Harris' turn. The future Illinois guard will play in a nationally televised game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, as he leads his St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio) team against Sierra Canyon (Calif.). The game will also air on ESPN2.

It's an intriguing matchup given it will be LeBron James' alma mater (St. Vincent-St. Mary) playing against his son Bronny James' team (Sierra Canyon).

“St. Vincent-St. Mary being LeBron's alma mater is thankful to be part of what we hope will become an annual event," Irish coach Dru Joyce said in the official release. "Playing great competition in a storied NBA arena will be a lifelong highlight for our players and our school."

There will be plenty of talent on the court at the Chosen-1's Invitational. Harris has, obviously, already signed with Illinois. He's joined in the SVSM backcourt by Cleveland State-bound senior guard Ramar Pryor.

The stacked Sierra Canyon roster is led by Class of 2022, UCLA-bound, five-star guard Amari Bailey. The Trailblazers also feature four-star 2022 guard Ramel Lloyd Jr. (Nebraska), four-star 2022 forward Kijani Wright (USC), Bronny James, who is a four-star guard in the Class of 2023, and Justin Pippen, the son of NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.

Scott Richey covers college basketball for The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

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