With the recent commitments of Neuqua Valley’s Jacob Cushing to Cal-Poly and Sterling Newman’s Noah McCarty to Northern Illinois earlier this month, there are now nine players in the Class of 2016 in Illinois off the board.
In addition to Cushing and McCarty, the other committed prospects in the senior class include: Dixon’s Isaiah Roby (Nebraska), Hinsdale South’s Barret Benson (Northwestern), Curie’s Devin Gage (DePaul), Belleville Althoff’s Brendon Gooch (Southern Illinois), Metamora’s Nate Kennell (Bradley), South Elgin’s Matty Smith (Central Michigan) and Carmel’s Chris Duff (Western Illinois).
State’s top 2016 prospect sets visits
Morgan Park’s Charlie Moore, the top-ranked senior prospect in Illinois, came out with a list of four official visits on Wednesday. The 5-10 point guard will kick off his official visits Sept. 11 with a trip to California, with planned trips to Pitt (Sept. 18-20), Illinois (Sept. 25-27) and Memphis (Oct. 2-4) the following three weekends.
“I’m just trying to cherish the moment and enjoy the experience, but it’s coming fast,” says Moore of his upcoming visits. “I want to use these trips to get a better understanding of each program and how they do things there, and what’s most important will be developing a better relationship with the coaches.”
Glenbard West’s Pierce down to four
With an official visit to William & Mary already in the books, Glenbard West’s Justin Pierce, who added double-digit offers this summer, will head to Belmont and Boston University for official visits. The 6-5 senior wing is working on a date for an official visit to Northeastern.
Recruiting trips and tidbits
■ Champaign Central’s Tim Finke, arguably the top 2018 prospect in the state with offers from Illinois, DePaul, Creighton, Saint Louis and UIC, visited the Northwestern campus unofficially this past week and are extremely high on the 6-5 sophomore.
■ Senior Nick Finke, a rising 6-7 versatile big man from Champaign Central and brother of Tim Finke, enjoyed a rock solid summer and is a coveted Division II prospect, with a few Division I schools still poking around. Nick Finke has offers from Quincy, Hillsdale, Truman State and Rockhurst.
■ There is a lack of point guards in the Class of 2016 in Illinois. Aside from Morgan Park’s Charlie Moore, Fenwick’s Mike Smith is the most coveted lead guard in the class. Smith is currently in the process of setting up visits, but the four-year point guard sports offers from Drake, Dartmouth, Lehigh, East Tennessee State, Loyola, UIC and Wisconsin-Green Bay.
■ Kenwood’s Zion Morgan received an offer from Valparaiso earlier this month while on an unofficial visit. In addition to Morgan, a 6-3 guard who was offered by Western Michigan last month, Valpo is also involved with Kenwood teammate Nick Robinson.
■ The City/Suburban Hoops Report’s No. 2 prospect in the Class of 2017, Belleville Althoff’s Jordan Goodwin, recently visited both Illinois and Saint Louis. In addition to Illinois and SLU, Goodwin sports offers from Purdue, Missouri and Virginia Tech.
■ Jacobs junior Cameron Krutwig, a skilled 6-8 big man who put together a highly-productive sophomore year and shined on the AAU circuit this past spring and summer, now has offers from Loyola, Toledo, Brown, Columbia, UAB, Vermont and UIC. He’s also receiving plenty of interest from Saint Louis, Xavier, Nebraska, Ball State and Western Illinois.
■ There weren’t many seniors who elevated their stock more in July than Tarkus Ferguson. The 6-3 guard from Belleville Althoff has a list of UMKC, UIC, Western Kentucky, Indiana State, SIU, SIUE, Evansville and Tennessee State.
■ A couple of up-and-coming in-state programs in the Missouri Valley Conference, Illinois State and Loyola, remain front and center in the recruitment of Bogan’s James Jones, the Hoops Report’s No. 7 ranked senior in Illinois.
■ The hottest player in the Class of 2017 –– post-July evaluation period –– has been Belleville East’s Javon Pickett, who cracked the Hoops Report’s top 10 prospects earlier this year. Pickett, who didn’t have an offer before July, now sports offers from Illinois, Saint Louis, Illinois State, Loyola, Evansville, Drake, SIUE, Missouri State, SEMO, Tennessee State and UIC.
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