Loyola Chicago lands cousin of Mark Aguirre

Published by Source on June 29th, 2012

Kody Williams is headed back to Chicago: the Tallahassee JUCO guard will play for head coach Porter Moser and the Loyola Ramblers.

Williams, a cousin of former DePaul great and 2x NBA champion Mark Aguirre, was born in Chicago and played one season at Southern Mississippi before transferring to junior college.

He posted modest scoring stats last season — 4.6 pts/game — but he dished out 4.5 assists per game and will certainly fight for playing time on a rebuilding Loyola team. Williams will be the 8th new scholarship player on the roster, joining 6 high school prospects and Iowa-transfer Cully Payne.

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2-sport star Harris headed to Michigan State

Published by Source on June 28th, 2012

2014 basketball and football standout Drake Harris hopes to play both sports in college. On Wednesday, the rising junior announced that his college future will be at Michigan State. Harris picked State over Michigan and Notre Dame.

The 6’4″ Grand Rapids (MI) prospect is both a shooting guard and a wide receiver, but as of now is more highly-touted as a hoops recruit. Michigan State, probably the only “basketball school” in his final group, is getting a top-50 guard for Tom Izzo and a tall, athletic wideout for Mark Dantonio.

Being a success on both the hardwood and gridiron is a rarity in college athletics, but Harris has the talent to be a star on each team. Harris has said that Izzo is okay with him playing football and actually came to watch him on the field this past season at Grand Rapids Christian.

Harris took an unofficial visit to East Lansing last weekend that sealed the deal for him. He cited the close proximity to home, the family atmosphere and the promise of being able to play both sports as major reasons why he chose Sparty.

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Monte Morris (2013) to Iowa State

Published by Source on June 27th, 2012

Flint Beecher senior-to-be Monte Morris has made his college decision. The Michigan-native will take his talents to Ames to be an Iowa State Cyclone. The news comes on Morris’ 18th birthday.

Morris, a 6’1″ point guard ranked in the top 100 by all the major recruiting services, made the announcement in front of an audience in his high school gymnasium. He put ISU assistant coach Cornell Mann on speaker phone so that he could hear the news at the same time as everyone else.

According to MLive.com (article linked above), Morris averaged 19.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists in his junior season with the Beecher Buccaneers. There is a connection between Ames and Flint: the Cyclones were led in the 1980s by a pair of Flint products in Barry Stevens and Jeff Grayer.

The final three schools for Morris were Iowa State, Illinois and Butler. He was recruited by a number of other B1G schools, including Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State, but did not report offers from any of those programs.

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Nic Moore transferring to SMU

Published by Source on June 14th, 2012

Illinois State transfer Nic Moore has made up his mind about where he is headed next. The 5’9″ point guard is headed south to play for the SMU Mustangs. Even though Moore seemed determined to play for a big program in the Midwest, the opportunity to play for former ISU coach Tim Jankovich again was too enticing.

Moore averaged 10.0 points per game in his only season in Normal, which was good for 3rd best on the team. He shined as the team’s starting point guard, dishing out 3.8 assists per game (5th best in the Missouri Valley). The Redbirds made a surprising run in the MVC tournament, beating top-15 ranked Wichita State in the semifinal to face Creighton in the title. Moore scored 20 points in that title game, which was somewhat of a coming out party for the freshman. He followed that up with 24 and 25 point performances in the NIT to go out on a hot streak.

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Interview with 2014 SF Malek Harris

Published by Source on June 11th, 2012

Among the prospects visiting Indiana University this past weekend was 2014 SF Malek Harris (Sandburg HS / Orland Park, IL). I got a chance to speak with Harris about his visit and where he is at in the recruiting process.

The unofficial visit to Bloomington is the latest development for the 6’7″ Harris, who has been picking up interest from programs in the Big Ten and beyond. With offers from Miami (OH), Iowa and DePaul, the list of schools interested also includes Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, Louisville, Marquette, St. John’s, Oregon State and Creighton.

“The visit went great,” he said of his trip to IU. He get to check out the team’s workout and then scrimmage with some of the current players. “It was just a great experience and I learned a lot from Indiana.”

 

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A rundown of the four Hoosier head coaches

Published by Source on June 2nd, 2012

While it is not related to recruiting, it is pretty impressive that of the 30 NBA teams, four of them employ former Indiana Hoosier basketball players/managers as head coaches. The New York Knicks retained interim head coach Mike Woodson last weekend. Today, it was announced that the Washington Wizards would be doing the same with interim coach Randy Wittman.

Here’s a quick rundown of the four Hoosier head coaches, all of whom played/managed under legendary IU coach Bob Knight:

* Mike Woodson (New York Knicks): Woodson was an assistant coach with the Bucks, Cavaliers, 76ers and Pistons for a combined eight seasons before being hired as the Atlanta Hawks head coach in 2004. After a rough start, Woodson led the Hawks to three straight playoff appearances. However, the team could not get past the conference semi-finals and Woodson was not given a new contract in 2010. He was hired as an assistant with the Knicks last August and took over for resigned head coach Mike D’Antoni on March 14th. Woodson led the team to an 18-6 finish and gained the trust of Knicks’ star Carmelo Anthony. As an Indiana player, Woodson led the Hoosiers to the 1979 NIT championship. He then, alongside Isiah Thomas, led the team to a Sweet Sixteen in 1980.

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JUCO forward chooses Marquette

Published by Source on June 2nd, 2012

2013 JUCO power forward Jameel McKay has made his college decision: he will return home to Milwaukee to be a Marquette Golden Eagle. The big man chose MU over Indiana, Florida, Memphis, Iowa State and others.

Marquette coach Buzz Williams has built up a reputation among the JUCO ranks as a coach that can take prospects to the next level. The 2011-12 Big East Player of the Year, Jae Crowder, came to Marquette as a 3-star JUCO prospect in 2010. Williams also coached Darius Johnson-Odom, an all Big East player who came to the team from Hutchinson CC in Kansas, as well as current Chicago Bulls wing Jimmy Butler, who transferred from Tyler JC in Texas.

The reputation Williams has with JUCO players was a major factor for McKay, as was the opportunity to return home and play in front of friends and family. Speaking with JucoRecruiting.com, McKay said “Nobody is getting any younger and to have the opportunity to have my family see my play during my final two years was very important.”

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James decommits from Illini

Published by Source on May 30th, 2012

2013 point guard Jalen James has decided to reopen his recruitment after committing to Illinois last September. Though he had previously told Rivals.com that he would stick with the Illini following the hiring of John Groce, the two sides parted ways Wednesday.

Though the guard runs with the Illinois Wolves AAU team and is a native of the state, he is playing his prep ball at La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Indiana. This past season, his first at the school, he was able to team up with future B1G players Hanner Perea, Jay Simpson and Raphael Davis.

James was influential in the recruitment of Malcolm Hill (SG, Belleville East), who is now the only member of Illinois’ current 2013 class. Hill committed to the Illini just a day after James and has recently confirmed his loyalty to the school and the new coaching staff. Hill is a rising star, currently ranked #52 nationally by Rivals.

The news comes just one day after the Illini lost new assistant coach Isaac Chew to Marquette. According to Mike Mullins, James’ AAU coach, James has already been contacted by Marquette, SMU, DePaul, Nebraska and several others. SMU hired former Illini player/coach Jerrance Howard as an assistant this off-season, as they are entering their first season under Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown. Expect to see Kansas State get involved, as their new head coach Bruce Weber is the man who James committed to in the first place.

James tweeted his support for the program shortly after the news was announced: “I wish Coach Groce And The Illini Staff The Best Of Luck In The Future!”


Illinois loses assistant Chew to Marquette

Published by Source on May 29th, 2012

New Illinois head coach John Groce scored big when he hired assistant coach Isaac Chew away from Missouri back in March. Unfortunately, Chew’s time in Champaign was short-lived and the coach is already on to his next destination.

Marquette head coach Buzz Williams grabbed Chew to be an assistant for him up in Milwaukee. Chew had originally turned down a spot at MU before taking the Illinois job, so it is assumed that the monetary offer was much greater this time around.

Chew was the recruiter that Groce needed to re-establish the Illini presence in the Chicago prep circuit. The Chicago-native played his high school ball at Wells and was the Chicago Public League Blue West POY in 1994. His Chicago ties will be beneficial to Williams and Marquette, as they continue to compete for the top talent in the city year after year. Williams already has a solid Chicago freshman coming to campus in Simeon big man Steve Taylor.


Stanford Robinson (2013 SG) commits to Indiana

Published by Source on May 16th, 2012

Tom Crean has done a fantastic job landing top talent from within the Indiana state lines and now his recruiting success has reached beyond the heartland to the DMV. 2013 shooting guard Stanford Robinson (Paul VI – Fairfax, Virginia) made the decision to become a Hoosier on Wednesday, announcing it via his personal twitter account. He had visited the Bloomington campus the previous weekend and upon returning to the Virginia had set Friday as his decision day. Apparently he couldn’t wait to announce the news and IU’s 2013 class has grown to four prospects. Robinson chose the Hoosiers over Maryland, Rutgers, Texas and Villanova.

Robinson is a talented scorer who really only began mentioning Indiana this spring AAU season. He plays for Team Takeover out of Washington DC, alongside fellow 2013 IU target BeeJay Anya (Dematha Catholic). Tom Crean has had plenty of success in the area since arriving at Indiana, already landing current Hoosiers Maurice Creek and Victor Oladipo. The recent hiring of Towson assistant Kenny Johnson also played a huge role in this recruitment, as Johnson was a former Team Takeover/Paul VI coach that has long-lasting relationships with both Robinson and Anya. Robinson actually credits Johnson as being the reason he transferred to Paul VI High School in the first place.

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