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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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 153: Back to normal?

Kenwood could trot out a starting lineup in 2021-22 that goes four-fifths deep on Illinois recruiting targets. It's probably too soon to start thinking state title favorites given the next high school season is still five-plus months away, but the Broncos have to be included in that conversation.

That would have been the case regardless of Friday's news that former Fenwick standout Trey Pettigrew would be transferring back to Illinois for his senior season to play at Kenwood.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound point guard was one of several players to leave the state last year when there was uncertainty that a high school basketball season would even happen in Illinois. While initially headed to Hillcrest Prep (Ariz.), Pettigrew landed at EDUPrize (Ariz.) for his junior season. EDUPrize went 12-19 last season. Stats are available from about a third of those games, and Pettigrew 11.9 points, 2.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds. 

Pettigrew will now join a loaded Kenwood roster, which also announced the addition of an apparent top incoming freshman in Robert Walls. Returning for the Broncos will be the junior trio of JJ Taylor, Darrin Ames and Davius Loury. All three hold Illinois offers, and all three had standout sophomore seasons.

Taylor was a News-Gazette All-State First Team pick after averaging 28.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks. Ames also put up 17.7 points, 4.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game, while Loury averaged 16.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, two blocks and 1.2 steals.

Pettigrew makes for a fourth Illini target on the Kenwood roster. He got his Illinois offer in June 2020 and now holds other offers from DePaul, Georgia, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn State, Grand Canyon, Milwaukee, Western Illinois and Chicago State. 

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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