Author Archives: Jakub Rudnik

Illinois Next-Level Preps: Men’s Roundup 12.13.2020

On Sunday 40 men’s basketball players who played at Illinois high schools saw Division I action. Eleven players scored in double digits, with some notable performances below.

You can also view all Division I men from Illinois and Division I women from Illinois.

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Illinois Next-Level Preps: Women’s Roundup 12.13.2020

On Sunday 63 women’s basketball players who played at Illinois high schools saw Division I action. Six Illinois universities were in action, and nine women scored in double digits.

You can also view all Division I men from Illinois and Division I women from Illinois.

Breakout Season for Geneva Graduate

Nobody had quite the scoring night like Geneva graduate Margaret Whitley. The UAB junior put up 26 points and seven rebounds in a win over Grambling State.

Whitley averaged 4.5 points as a sophomore, reaching double figures just three times. Through four games as a junior, she’s averaging 23.8 points and five rebounds. Her shooting numbers have impressed: 14-of-33 from three (42.4 percent) and 33-of-35 from the line (94.3 percent).

Salukis Passing Milestones

Edwardsville graduate Makenzie Silvey moved up to No. 15 on Southern Illinois’ all-time scoring list. She had 14 points in a 67-51 win over SEMO, giving her 1,225 for her career. She passed Mary Berghuis.

Lincolnwood graduate Abby Brockmeyer finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, which put her over 700 career boards for her career. She’s No. 11 in program history.

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Wheeling’s Jaden Terrell Commits to Davenport to “Do Big Things”

Less than a week after Davenport offered him a full-ride scholarship, Jaden Terrell knew it was the place for him.

The Wheeling senior had been in conversations with the program for months, visiting the school’s Grand Rapids campus prior to officially being offered. After the coaching staff told the 6-7 wing he had a full-ride scholarship waiting for him, there was little doubt in Terrell’s mind.

“I was very excited at the time,” he said in a phone interview. “Knowing what I knew about the school, and the coaches and the players, I was pretty set on Davenport. … I felt like I could trust the coaches. I felt that when I go there I could do big things, help the team out a lot. And just thrive and progress in life.”

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IBCA Announces 2021 Hall of Fame Class

The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association announced its 2021 Hall of Fame class Monday morning.

In all, 95 individuals and 11 teams were inducted from around the state. The inductees are broken into six classes: coaches, career coaches, players, media, officials, friends of basketball and teams.

In addition, three individuals and three organizations won yearly awards.

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Next-Level Illinois Hoopers: Boys College Notebook 11.26.2020

College performances by boys from Illinois high schools on November 26, 2020. At least 77 players appeared in a game.

Major Debuts Around the Big Ten

Morgan Park Duo Shine for Illini

Illinois’ pair of former Mustangs — junior Ayo Dosunmu and freshman Adam Miller — nearly beat North Carolina A&T on their own in the season opener. Each scored 28 points in the 122-60 win. For Dosunmu, it totaled a career high and a second career double-double (he added 10 rebounds and five assists). For Miller, it’s the highest debut scoring total in school history.

Other Illini players from Illinois

  • Da’Monte Williams (Peoria Manual, senior): 6 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals
  • Brandon Lieb (Deerfield, freshman): 4 points, 3 rebounds
  • Connor Serven (St. Rita, freshman): 2 points, 1 rebound
  • Zach Griffith (Fisher, senior): 1 rebound

Fenwick Star Makes Immediate Impact for Wolverines

Mike Smith, a Columbia grad transfer from Fenwick, showed the type of floor general he can be for No. 25 Michigan. In his debut with Michigan after leading the Ivy League in scoring a year ago, Smith played 32 minutes, scoring 16 points and leading the team with eight assists.

Niles North’s Smart in Rotation for Maryland

Niles North graduate Aquan Smart played 15 minutes off the bench for Maryland in an 85-67 win over Old Dominion. The freshman guard scored six points on 2-for-6 shooting from the field, grabbing a rebound. He also made No. 7 on the #SCTop10 for this dunk:

Marion Catholic’s Ulis Debuts for Iowa

Marian Catholic graduate Ahron Ulis came off the bench and played 10 minutes for the Hawkeyes in his collegiate debut. He scored five points, all at the free-throw line, grabbed two rebounds and had one assist in a 97-67 win over North Carolina Central.

Johnson Strong on Glass for Gophers

Brandon Johnson, who played most of his high school basketball at Thornton, grabbed seven rebounds and chipped in four points off the bench as Minnesota beat Green Bay 99-69. It was his debut after three seasons at Western Michigan in which he started 85 of 93 games played.

Martice Mitchell, a Bloom 2020 graduate, got on the court for his college debut but was held scoreless.

Other Big Ten Performances

Liddell Strong for Buckeyes

Belleville West graduate E.J. Liddell, a sophomore forward, scored 16 points for Ohio State in a 94-67 win over Illinois State. Liddell averaged 6.7 points per game as a freshman.

Conant graduate Jimmy Sotos fouled out in 10 minutes off the bench for the Buckeyes. He was held scoreless in his debut after transferring from Bucknell, dishing two assists.

Hall Does Everything for MSU

Sophomore forward Malik Hall, who played at Matea Valley before transferring to Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, played a big role off the bench for No. 13 Michigan State in its 83-67 win over Eastern Michigan. He scored six points, dished five assists and added four rebounds. Redshirt junior guard Jack Hoiberg (Hinsdale Central) scored two points.

Big Twelve

Big Performances

  • Terrence Shannon Jr., a sophomore guard and Lincoln Park graduate, had 16 points, five rebounds and two steals for Texas Tech in a 101-58 win over Northwestern State.
  • Dajuan Gordon, a sophomore guard and Curie graduate, had 15 points, five rebounds and two assists in Kansas State’s 80-70 loss to Drake.

Freshman Debuts

  • Nimari Burnett, who won a state title at Morgan Park before transferring out of state, scored two points on 1-of-7 shooting and added two assists off the bench for Texas Tech in a 101-58 win over Northwestern State.
  • Seryee Lewis, who had stops at Marist, Kenwood and Morgan Park, had four points and two rebounds in just two minutes off the bench for Kansas State.

In-State Schools

Northern Illinois (65-61 Loss to UIC)

  • Darius Beane, a junior guard from Carbondale, started and had 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
  • Tyler Cochran, a sophomore wing from Bolingbrook, came off the bench and scored 13 points, adding five rebounds and an assist.
  • Nathan Scott, a senior forward from Neuqua Valley, started and scored five points, adding five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
  • Kaleb Thornton, a sophomore guard from Bolingbrook, had four points, three rebounds and two assists off the bench.
  • Keenon Cole, a sophomore forward from Streamwood, was scoreless in three minutes.

UIC (65-61 Win Over NIU)

  • Zion Griffin (Hinsdale South grad and Iowa State transfer) had 11 points, three rebounds and an assist.
  • Ohio Transfer Teyvion Kirk, a Joliet West grad, had 12 points, nine assists and six rebounds, playing 37 minutes off the bench.

Eastern Illinois (77-67 Loss to Wisconsin)

  • Josiah Wallace, a senior guard from Marshall, had 22 points, four rebounds and three assists.
  • Barlow Alleruzzo IV, a junior forward from De La Salle, had two rebounds in 10 minutes off the bench.

Illinois State (94-67 Loss to Ohio State)

  • Antonio Reeves, a sophomore guard from Simeon, led the team in scoring with 17 points, adding seven rebounds.

Other Conferences

Freshman Debuts

  • Darius Burford, a freshman guard from Bolingbrook, played 17 minutes off the bench for Elon in a 82-52 win over NC Wesleyan, scoring seven points on 3-for-4 shooting, adding two assists and a steal.
  • Devon House, a redshirt freshman from Newman Central Catholic, had nine points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals off the bench for UMKC in its 105-35 win over Culver-Stockton.
  • Nate Shockey, a freshman guard from York, had five points, a rebound and an assist in North Dakota’s 81-67 loss to Miami (Ohio).
  • Downers Grove North freshman guard Semaj Henderson played eight minutes off the bench in Jacksonville State’s 81-57 loss to Alabama. He had three points, two assists and a rebound.
  • Naperville Central forward Chris Conway had two points, two assists and a rebound in 10 minutes off the bench for Oakland in a 101-49 loss to Xavier.
  • Joliet West guard Jamere Hill had two points and two rebounds in six minutes for Toledo in a 61-59 loss to Bradley.
  • Nate Ferguson, a redshirt freshman forward from Lemont, scored four points off the bench in Drake’s 80-70 win over Kansas State.
  • Hampshire graduate Nick Erickson saw three minutes of action as Jacksonville beat College of Coastal Georgia 99-57.
  • Oswego graduate Dylan Engler saw two minutes of action in the Citadel’s 89-64 win over Piedmont.

Transfer Debuts

  • Libertyville graduate Drew Peterson had 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists in his debut for USC after transferring from Rice. The Trojans won 95-87 over California Baptist.
  • Malachi Smith, a sophomore guard from Belleville West, had 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in his debut for Chattanooga (a 99-63 win over Lander) after transferring from Wright State.
  • Stevenson graduate and Indiana grad transfer Justin Smith started and had 13 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals in Arkansas’ 142-62 win over Mississippi Valley State.
  • Curie alum and DePaul grad transfer Devin Gage started for Fresno State in an 87-47 win over William Jessup. He tallied eight points, four rebounds and three assists.
  • Lake Forest alum and St. Joseph graduate transfer Lorenzo Edwards had three points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks in the starting lineup as Charleston lost to North Carolina 79-60.
  • Austin Trice, who played for Morgan Park and Hales Franciscan, scored four points and grabbed six rebounds off the bench in Old Dominion’s 85-67 loss to Maryland.

Other Performances

  • Four Illinois high school alumns saw action in Missouri’s 91-64 win over Oral Roberts. Junior guard Xavier Pinson (Simeon) had 17 points, four assists and three rebounds. East St. Louis senior forward Jeremiah Tilmon had eight points and 12 rebounds. Junior guard Javon Pickett (Belleville East) had 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals off the bench. Edwardsville senior guard Mark Smith had three points and two rebounds off the bench.
  • Four Illinois high school alums saw action in Saint Louis’ 89-52 win over SIU Edwardsville. Senior guard Jordan Goodwin (Althoff Catholic) had a double-double in just 23 minutes, scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Demarius Jacobs (Uplift) scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds, Terrence Hargrove Jr. (East St. Louis) had 11 points off the bench and Brandon Courtney (Wesclin) saw three minutes of playing time.
  • Elyjah Williams, a senior forward from Evanston, had 19 points, three rebounds, an assist and four steals in Fairleigh Dickinson’s 84-66 loss to Quinnipiac.
  • Myles Baker, a sophomore guard from Whitney Young, scored 17 points off the bench for Central Connecticut State in a 102-75 loss to UConn.
  • Marvin Nesbitt Jr., a senior guard from Butler College Prep, had 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and six steals in UMKC’s 105-35 win over Culver-Stockton.
  • PJ Pipes, a senior guard from Lemont, had 13 points, six rebounds, five assists and a steal in the starting lineup for Green Bay in a 99-69 loss to Minnesota.
  • Kamron Reaves, a senior guard from Centennial, started and had 15 points, three assists and three steals for Florida A&M in a 65-56 loss to Florida Gulf Coast.
  • Messiah Jones, a sophomore from Simeon, had 12 points, 12 rebounds and three assists in Wofford’s 88-49 win over Toccoa Falls.
  • Ty Chisom, a senior guard from Proviso East, had 12 points, nine rebounds, three rebounds and an assist in South Dakota’s 84-61 loss to Colorado.
  • Chase Adams, a sophomore guard from Orr, had 13 points, four rebounds and two assists off the bench in Portland’s 84-72 loss to Seattle U.
  • Former Barrington forward Chris Lester scored nine points and grabbed eight boards in the starting lineup for New Hampshire in a 93-54 win over Keene State.
  • Fred Cleveland Jr., a sophomore guard from Leo, had nine points and four rebounds from the starting lineup for North Carolina A&T in a 122-60 loss to Illinois.
  • Bryson Langdon, a junior guard from Kenwood, had six points, four assists, three rebounds and a steal in 38 minutes for Northern Kentucky, which beat Ball State 74-73.
  • Former Uplift guard Detalian Brown scored eight points in 15 minutes off the bench as North Alabama beat Oakwood 98-74.
  • Okawville senior guard Noah Frederking had seven points and two steals in the starting lineup as Evansville lost to Louisville 79-49.
  • Nick Finke, a senior forward from Champaign Centennial, had six points, seven rebounds and two assists off the bench for Army in a 93-32 win over US Merchant Marine Academy.
  • Zion Young, a junior guard from Simeon, had six points and five rebounds in the starting lineup as Oakland lost to Xavier 101-49.
  • Lenell Henry, a senior forward from Morgan Park, had seven points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals for Prairie View A&M in its 71-66 loss to Little Rock.
  • Quinlan Bennett, a junior guard from Proviso East, had five points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal for Lamar in an 89-45 loss to Houston.
  • Carbondale graduate and sophomore wing Kani Acree had four points, five assists and three rebounds in 29 minutes off the bench for Ball State in a 74-73 loss to Northern Kentucky.
  • East St. Louis graduate and junior forward Joe Reece had five points and two rebounds in the starting lineup for Old Dominion in an 85-67 loss to Maryland.
  • Deonte Billups, a sophomore guard from Moline, had two points, six rebounds, an assist and a steal in the starting lineup for Purdue Fort Wayne in a 67-63 win over Southeast Louisiana.
  • Joseph Yesufu, a sophomore guard from Bolingbrook, had four points and two rebounds in Drake’s 80-70 win over Kansas State.
  • Ben Coupet Jr., a senior guard from Simeon, started and had four points and a rebound for Little Rock in a 71-66 win over Prairie View A&M.
  • De La Salle graduate and senior guard George Willborn III had two points and two rebounds off the bench for UC Riverside in a 66-60 loss to Pacific.
  • Dane Quest, a sophomore guard from Lake Forest, had three rebounds and an assist off the bench in Tennessee Tech’s 89-59 loss to Indiana.
  • Malik Hardmon, a junior forward from Crete-Monee, had two points and three rebounds for Alcorn State in its 99-50 loss to UAB.
  • Javion May, a junior guard from Hope Academy, had two rebounds, a steal and an assist in Sam Houston State’s 97-67 loss to SMU.

Neuqua Valley’s John Poulakidas Chooses Yale over Power 5

John Poulakidas commits to Yale

COVID-19 and its fallout put much of the traditional recruiting cycle on hold for John Poulakidas, as it did for so many athletes in the class of 2021. Still, the Neuqua Valley shooting guard had enough early interest to have his choice of more than 15 Division I schools — despite losing out on most of his final AAU season and the chance to meet many coaching staffs in person.

Poulakidas, a 6-6 sharpshooter who averaged 17.5 points and knocked down 76 triples as a junior, had the option to stay close to home: Loyola-Chicago, Illinois-Chicago, Bradley, Southern Illinois, UW-Milwaukee and Saint Louis all offered.

He also had a number of Power 5 options: Minnesota, Wake Forest, Rutgers and TCU.

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Bolingbrook’s De’ahna Richardson Commits to WMU: “It Just Felt Like Home”

Bolingbrook girls head coach Chris Smith has had no shortage of talent since taking over the program in 2013. He can point to alumni currently on rosters at Central Michigan, Marquette, Northern Illinois and other colleges.

But with De’ahna Richardson he’s had some firsts. She was the first player to start her freshman season on varsity. In her junior season she became the first non-senior captain he’s had.

The groundbreaking Richardson, now a senior, became Smith’s latest player to join a Division 1 college program when she verbally committed to Western Michigan earlier this week. Smith said it wasn’t long after he met Richardson, while he coached her in middle school AAU, that he could see her potential to play at the next level.

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CPS Coaches Organize Anti-Violence Rally on Saturday, September 19

Tim Flowers was seven years old when he first saw someone killed in his neighborhood.

Flowers, now 32, had a long-time friend shot and killed in just the past few weeks on Chicago’s South Side. Gun violence and its effects on his community — Englewood, where he grew up and now lives again — have been a near constant in his life. That violence and a desire to show young people “we shouldn’t be living like this” is a driving force in Flowers’ motivation for organizing the Soaring Above All Odds rally on Saturday, September 19, at Murray Park in Englewood.

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Q&A With Homewood-Flossmoor Forward and LSU Commit Grace Hall

Grace Hall LSU commit from Homewood-Flossmoor

Homewood-Flossmoor 2021 forward Grace Hall is one of the top girls basketball players in the area, named one of just two Illinois players in the 2021 ESPN top 100 (Naperville North’s Greta Kampschroeder at No. 32 and Hall No. 86). She averaged nearly 18 points and over 9 rebounds per game as a sophomore, but had junior season cut short by an ACL injury to her right knee.

Hall announced her verbal commitment to LSU at the end of August, choosing the Tigers over Illinois, Indiana, Rutgers and others. She joins 2021 Whitney Young point guard Timia Ware in LSU’s recruiting class.

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