Henricksen: Weekly Three-Pointer hits on red-hot Perry Cowan, state’s top prospect and Andrew basketball

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DePaul Prep’s Perry Cowan (23) tries to shake off Orr’s Tyron Mosley (23). Worsom Robinson/ For Sun-Times

The City/Suburban Hoops Report’s weekly Three-Pointer talks red-hot Perry Cowan of DePaul Prep, state’s top college basketball prospect and Andrew basketball attempting to do things the program rarely does.

No. 1

Perry Cowan is hot. The DePaul Prep junior is averaging 18.5 points a game on the season, but the 6-4 do-it-all has gone on a scoring binge of late for a team that sports a sparkling 18-4 record on the season.

Cowan scored 28 points in a win over St. Joseph on Friday and followed it up with 27 more in a big win over Evanston at Saturday’s When Sides Collide Shootout. In his last five games, Cowan is averaging 21.8 points a game and has already surpassed 1,000 career points.

The shooting and efficiency has improved markedly –– Cowan is making 43 percent from the three-point line and 75 percent from the free-throw line –– while he still fills the stat sheet, averaging six rebounds, two steals and nearly three assists a game.

The versatility and production Cowan brings as a player and scorer stands out, but what makes him so invaluable is he’s a player who defends and doesn’t take any plays off. He’s already a three-year veteran who teammates feed off.

Cowan, who is among the top prospects in the Class of 2019 in Illinois, makes DePaul Prep a favorite to win a sectional title this March as the Rams make the jump from Class 2A to Class 3A.

But first the Rams hope to make a move in the Chicago Catholic League. DePaul Prep will host Catholic League leader Fenwick Friday night on Tom Kleinschmidt Jersey Retirement Night.

Kleinschmidt, the former Gordon Tech star and McDonald’s All-American, returned to his alma mater as coach six years ago and has elevated the program over the last three seasons with three straight regional titles.

No. 2

Morgan Park sophomore Adam Miller is the best young talent in Chicago. But he’s also the best and brightest college prospect in the state, regardless of class.

Miller has terrific size and build for a guard, does the most difficult thing –– shooting the basketball –– at a high level and at a young age, and he can really pass and see the floor. In addition to his feathery touch and release from mid-range and the limitless range he possesses, Miller has a presence about him.

As an elite shooter with outstanding size, polish and poise, Miller is a projectable high-major prospect. Miller’s list of suitors, which already includes offers from Illinois, Kansas, UCLA, Oklahoma State and Wake Forest, will only grow.

The transfer from Peoria Manual has been putting up big numbers over the past month of the season. But he had his Chicago signature moment Saturday night with 32 points, including an eye-opening nine three-pointers, in a win over Fenwick at the When Sides Collide Shootout at Glenbard East.

No. 3

Andrew may not be on many radars, but the Thunderbolts are on top of the Southwest Suburban Red, a league that boasts perennial league threats Thornton and Thornwood.

Since coach Dave Wilson took over in 2014, Andrew’s win total has increased each season, improving from four wins in 2014-2015 to eight wins the following year and 14 last season. Now Andrew has won nine of 11 and heads into the stretch run with a 12-6 record.

More importantly –– and realistically –– Wilson’s team has a shot at attaining goals the program is not accustomed to reaching.

Andrew has won just one conference championship in school history and only two regional titles. While the Thunderbolts hope to hold off both Thornton and Thornwood, they have positioned themselves to be a threat in the Romeoville Sectional as a top eight seed.

If Andrew can crack the top seven it could avoid having to play Bolingbrook, likely the top seed in the sectional, in a regional final.

There are no big names or Division I players. There is very little size and a lack of overall athleticism. But offensive discipline and execution, along with the tandem of Evan Yerkes and Troy Murphy, drive this team.

The two senior guards have provided consistent scoring and shooting as Murphy and Yerkes average 16.6 points and 13.7 points a game, respectively. They are deadly from beyond arc. Yerkes has connected on 60 three-pointers –– the school record is 66 –– and Murphy has knocked down 44 from beyond the arc while shooting an impressive 45 percent.

Follow Joe Henricksen and the City/Suburban Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport

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