With the much-anticipated ACT test date in the books ––Morgan Park’s Marcus LoVett, Jr., took the test on Saturday –– the state’s most coveted uncommitted prospect can now start to look at potential visits.
On Saturday night, LoVett tweeted the following: “Top choices in order: St. John’s, Memphis, Illinois, UCI, DPU, Pitt, UNLV, SDSU.”
But LoVett’s father, Marcus LoVett, Sr., offered this up when speaking to him on Saturday afternoon.
“We’ll wait for those test results and then start to figure this thing out, and we’ll start in-state, close to home, close to our resources, close to our coaches’ resources and what and who they know, because that’s who we trust –– our coaches,” said LoVett, Sr., in regard to Nick Irvin and the coaching staff at Morgan Park.
When asked if that includes both Illinois and DePaul, LoVett, Sr. said, “Yes, we can’t overlook the two in-state schools after the experience Marcus has had in Chicago.”
LoVett, the all-state point guard who has been courted heavily since turning in a dynamic senior season, helped lead Morgan Park to a Class 3A third-place finish last month. LoVett’s father couldn’t have been more pleased with the move to Chicago and what his son experienced at Morgan Park this past season.
“I wish Morgan Park could become a university next year, because that’s where he would be going,” LoVett, Sr., said with a laugh. “But, seriously, we’re looking for something similar to what he had at Morgan Park and what he just experienced, which was a family atmosphere. Some kids are looking to get away from their family when they go to college. Marcus wants that family environment.”
While Illinois and DePaul are in the hunt, another school that has been in on LoVett for quite some time –– and LoVett, Jr., listed as his current “top choice” in a tweet on Saturday –– is St. John’s, even through a coaching change from fired Steve Lavin to recently hired Chris Mullin.
In addition, LoVett, Sr. says both Pittsburgh and Memphis have been entrenched in his son’s recruitment over the past couple of months, while San Diego State has entered the picture as well.
Navigato back on open market
Geneva star Nate Navigato was excited to sign with Buffalo and coach Bobby Hurley last November.
With the long recruiting process over with last fall, the 6-7 senior embarked on a terrific season. Navigato put Geneva on his back during an all-state season, leading the Vikings to a school record 30 wins and fourth-place finish in Class 4A.
But now Navigato is back to square one with his recruitment as Hurley, his future coach at Buffalo, left to take the Arizona State job earlier this month.
“I’m disappointed, because I was looking forward to playing for coach Hurley,” says Navigato, who says he has yet to speak with Hurley since he took the Arizona State job. “I just felt there were too many uncertainties at Buffalo, as far as what players would be staying or leaving. It didn’t feel the same or right anymore.”
Navigato will be in higher demand this spring than he was even last summer and fall. That’s partly due to the need college programs have at this time of the year but also as a result of the type of season Navigato put together this past winter.
He averaged 21 points and 6 rebounds a game, while knocking down 77 three-pointers. He will now wait and see what schools show interest as he awaits his official release from Buffalo.
Navigato does think he would like to stay “more in the Midwest” this time around, but says he’s wide open.
“I will look for a lot of the things I looked for the first time, which is a school with a good education, a good basketball school and a connection with the coach,” says Navigato, who is among the top 25 prospects in Illinois in the Class of 2015.
Interest rising for Joe Mooney
After a stellar senior year in leading Niles Notre Dame to xx wins, the 6-2 guard decided to get back on the club circuit this spring. It’s paid off as Mooney, who is playing with the Illinois Wolves this spring, has received plenty of attention.
The sharp-shooting Mooney now has offers from New Hampshire, Denver, Air Force, Cal-Davis, UIC, Western Michigan and Marist. Mooney visited Western Michigan on Sunday and will visit UIC on Monday and Tuesday, with a visit to Cal-Davis set for late April.
Former Chicago area prep stars on the move
As is the case at this time of the year, a slew of college basketball transfers –– thus far 400-plus in college basketball –– are in the works.
Among those transfers are several former Chicago area prep players, including some big names.
The biggest name and one of the most sought-after transfers in the country is Bradley’s Josh Cunningham. The former Morgan Park star, who helped lead the Mustangs to back-to-back state championships in 2013 and 2014, averaged 7.9 points and 7.5 rebounds a game while being named to the Missouri Valley Conference all-freshman team this past season.
As expected, Cunningham now has interest from a plethora of high-major programs and is just beginning the process.
In addition to Cunningham, a few other former high-profile prospects from Illinois are looking for new homes. Former Simeon star Steve Taylor, who was regarded as the top in-state prospect in the Class of 2012, is leaving Marquette, while Sandburg’s Malek Harris was just recently dismissed from the Kansas State program. Former De La Salle star Alex Foster has decided to leave Texas Tech.
Follow Joe Henricksen and the Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport