A deeper look at Illinois products in college basketball

We recently ranked the top 10 college basketball players from the state of Illinois. But there are so many players from this state impacting college basketball programs across the country.

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Kansas State’s DaJuan Gordon (3) dribbles the ball down the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech.

Kansas State’s DaJuan Gordon (3) dribbles the ball down the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech.

AP Photos

We recently ranked the top 10 college basketball players from the state of Illinois. But there are so many players from this state impacting college basketball programs across the country.

Here is a list of 30 more players whose presence have been felt this season.

Donovan Clay, Valparaiso (Alton)

After an impressive freshman season a year ago, the jack-of-all-trades 6-7 Clay has upped his numbers as a sophomore and fills the stat sheet at both ends of the floor. Clay is averaging 11.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 blocks.

Tyler Cochran, Northern Illinois (Bolingbrook)

The Huskies are struggling and the head coach was fired midseason, but the big-bodied 6-3 guard was a ton in his first five games of the season. Cochran led the Huskies in scoring and rebounding with 13.8 points and 7.4 rebounds before an injury shut him down.

Ryan Davis, Vermont (Conant)

While Davis is an off-the-radar college player in the America East Conference, the junior big man is overwhelming opponents. The 6-8 junior has proven to be one of the top producing players in Division I with 19.4 points and 6.3 rebounds for a Catamounts team that is 5-3. He’s even shooting 50 percent from the three-point line (12 of 24).

Ray J Dennis, Boise State (Oswego East)

The 6-2 guard was one of the well-kept secrets in the Chicago area as a prep star. Now he’s quietly rolling out west in his sophomore season while averaging 11.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and a team-leading 3.5 assists. Dennis has helped Boise to an impressive 12-1 start.

Tim Finke, Wright State (Champaign Central)

After transferring from Grand Canyon, Finke is playing 30 minutes for one of the top team in the Horizon League. The 6-5 forward is averaging 10.2 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc (21 of 51) for a team that is 9-4.

DaJuan Gordon, Kansas State (Curie)

The former Sun-Times Player of the Year was solid as a freshman and is even better this season as a sophomore. Gordon is averaging 10.7 points and 6.7 rebounds for coach Bruce Weber’s Wildcats.

Elijah Joiner, Tulsa (Curie)

Joiner has improved his numbers in each of his four seasons with the Golden Hurricane. Now in his senior year the 6-3 guard is scoring 9.8 points to go with 5.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

Lance Jones, Southern Illinois (Evanston)

After an impressive freshman campaign, Jones has upped his numbers as a sophomore to 11.9 points and 3.5 assists for the Salukis.

Teyvion Kirk, UIC (Joliet West)

Kirk previously played two seasons at Ohio and left Colorado State without playing before transferring back home, All Kirk has done for first-year coach Luke Yaklich is lead the Flames in virtually every category. He’s averaging 14.7 points and 7.1 rebounds a game while among the country’s leaders in assists with 7.3 a game.

Loudon Love, Wright State (Geneva)

The reigning Horizon League Player of the Year is averaging a double-double as a senior with 14.6 points and 10.4 rebounds. The 6-8, 260-pounder also has the ability to make others better with 1.9 assists a game.

Adam Miller, Illinois (Morgan Park)

The overall impact and numbers have been modest. However, Miller’s three-point shooting and added scoring (9.8 ppg) has been boost for a ranked Illinois team.

Charlie Moore, DePaul (Morgan Park)

While Moore has been a bit of college basketball vagabond with previous stops at Cal and Kansas, the 5-11 point guard has settled in at DePaul and put together two statistically solid seasons. This year he’s putting up 12.9 points and 4.4 assists for the Blue Demons.

Kendle Moore, Colorado State (Danville)

The third leading scorer for a team that is 10-3, Moore has been an offensive weapon since the day he arrived in Fort Collins. The junior guard is scoring 10.8 points while shooting 45 percent from the three-point line.

Tamell Pearson, Western Illinois (Morgan Park)

Since his arrival from UAB, the 6-9 Pearson has been the best player for the Leathernecks this season. He’s leading WIU in scoring (12.4 ppg), rebounding (6.9 rpg) and blocked shots.

Southern California guard Drew Peterson (13) against California.

Southern California guard Drew Peterson (13) against California.

AP Photos

Drew Peterson, USC (Libertyville)

The versatile 6-8 skilled forward has picked up at USC right where he left off while at Rice, putting up numbers across the board. Peterson is averaging 10.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 30 minutes of action for the 11-3 Trojans.

Antonio Reeves, Illinois State (Simeon)

The long, wiry scoring guard has emerged as a double-figure scorer in his sophomore season. Reeves is averaging 11.8 points and 3.2 rebounds for the Redbirds.

Justin Smith, Arkansas (Stevenson)

The athletic forward is putting up the best numbers of his career after spending the first three years of his career at Indiana. Smith is averaging 10.9 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Razorbacks.

Malachi Smith, Tennessee-Chattanooga (Belleville West)

What a season the 6-4 sophomore guard is putting together for the 11-3 Mocs. After playing his freshman year at Wright State, Smith is now averaging 16.3 points and a whopping 9.8 rebounds while dishing out nearly four assists.

Mark Smith, Missouri (Edwardsville)

The third Missouri player from Illinois on this list, the 6-5 guard has found his niche and put together a nice career at Missouri since his transfer from Illinois. This season he’s averaging 11.6 points while leading the team with 21 three-pointers on the year.

Mike Smith, Michigan (Fenwick)

The old veteran on the list from the Class of 2016, Smith transferred from Columbia to Michigan and has been a key cog in coach Juwan Howard’s hot 12-1 start. The numbers aren’t huge but the impact has been significant as Smith is averaging 8.6 points and 5.4 assists for one of the nation’s best teams.

Josiah Wallace, Eastern Illinois (Marshall)

He’s one of the leading scorers in the Ohio Valley Conference with 17.5 points while also chipping in 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

DaMonte Williams, Illinois (Peoria Manual)

Without question Williams has the most modest statistics on this list –– he’s averaging just six points, 5.6 rebounds and two assists. However, the 6-3 guard has been the ultimate “glue guy” with all that he offers defensively and from a versatility and role-playing standpoint.

Elyjah Williams, Farleigh Dickinson (Evanston)

Always an overlooked player in high school, that has continued in college. He’s quietly put together a heck of a career for the Knights. The numbers improve every year and this senior season has been his best: 14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

Jeremiah Williams, Temple (Simeon)

The versatile Williams has stepped right in for the Owls and is playing 31 minutes a game as a freshman. The 6-5 guard is producing in his first season, averaging 8.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and nearly four assists.

Lucas Williamson, Loyola (Young)

A steady and consistent all-around player for the Loyola throughout his four-year career, Williamson is averaging 8.8 points, four rebounds and 2.7 assists for the 11-3 Ramblers.

Joseph Yesufu, Drake (Bolingbrook)

The athletic sophomore point guard has been a key contributor for a Drake team that is a perfect 13-0 on the season. He scored a career high 16 points in a recent win over SIU and is averaging 8.8 points in just 17 minutes off the bench.

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