Joe Henricksen’s weekly three-pointer

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Hoops Report Three-Pointer

No. 1

Academics matter. Just ask Morton’s Weisner Perez, who has put himself in an enviable position as he heads into the summer prior to his senior year.

Perez, a robust, physical forward who averaged 17 points and 10.5 rebounds a game last season for coach Tony Martinucci’s regional championship team, is as academically talented as he is athletically gifted. That high academic standard he’s set attracts a whole other batch of college coaches and programs.

Perez’s combination of basketball progression and grades in the classroom have made the 6-6 junior a must-have for high academic schools at the Division I level.

Several Ivy League and Patriot League schools have offered Perez, including Bucknell, Princeton, Cornell and Yale. Akron has offered out of the Mid-American Conference, while Harvard, Valparaiso and others have shown heavy interest since Perez opened eyes with his play during the “live” weekend on the Nike EYBL circuit in Sacramento in late April.

While averaging 21 minutes a game for the Mac Irvin Fire, Perez shot 11 of 15 from the field while putting up 8.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in three EYBL games. He played well again this past weekend at the Spiece Run-N-Slam event in Fort Wayne, Ind.

“He’s a hard-working, good kid who has extremely improved from where he was as a player last year,” said Martinucci, who calls Perez the best prospect and player he’s coached. “He’s always been able to rebound, score around the basket, but his shooting has improved a lot. Now the next step is improving his handle.”

Perez was just recently invited to be a part of the Dominican national basketball team as it prepares for the FIBA Americas U18 Tournament in June. Perez’s parents are both from the Dominican Republic.

No. 2

There hasn’t been a player in the Class of 2015 who has seen his stock among college coaches rise in the past few months more than Simeon’s Ed Morrow.

The blue-collar, athletic, glass-cleaning 6-6 Morrow recently added offers from Minnesota, LaSalle, Florida State and DePaul this past week, which adds to a growing list that already included UMass, SMU, Iowa, Nebraska, UIC, Bradley and Loyola.

While the offers are piling up, so too is the interest as a bevy of high-major schools have been heavily active, with Arkansas now joining a lengthy list of high-major suitors.

No. 3

Oswego’s Zach West wasn’t one of the “big names” playing this past weekend at the Spiece Run-N-Slam in Fort Wayne, but it’s time someone steps forward with a scholarship offer for this physical, hard-nosed 6-4 wing with shooting ability.

West put together a very productive junior year this past season, averaging 19.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists while knocking down 77 three-pointers. This past weekend, while playing with the Illinois Rise, he showed why he’s one of the real undervalued players in Illinois’ Class of 2015 with a pair of 30-plus point games.

He’s strong, has a rugged style to his game, competes at a high level and can really shoot the basketball.

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