Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Latest Info

Lots of interesting stuff to catch up on. Was in Cincinnati over the weekend, but heard quite a bit about the AAU tournament in Bloomington. Sounds like, once again, Derrick Rose turned in a dominant effort. He is looking to take on all comers this spring and summer, wanting to prove that he is the top guard (and potentially top player overall) in the nation. Some reviews from Rose's play over the weekend include the following, from the Peegs site highlighting Rose's matchup with Illini top 10 class of 2007 commitment Eric Gordon:

"This weekend it was Rose that clearly was the better player and his play all game was a huge reason Mean Streets Express pulled away from Indiana Elite to take the semifinal game, 71-52. Rose doubled Gordon in the scoring department in this one (20 pts vs 10 pts) and his emphatic dunk in traffic late in the game brought the Assembly Crowd to its feet as it was one of the best we have seen in AAU play."

Brian Stinnette of said the following:

"Behind a strong tag team effort from Derrick Rose and Tim Flowers MeanStreets Express defeated Eric Gordon and Indiana Elite to advance to the championship game of the Adidas May Classic in Bloomington, Indiana. Rose was nothing short of dazzling. I have seen all of the top 2007 prospects nationally, and Rose has left no doubt in the eyes of this writer, that he is the #1 Class of 2007 basketball prospect in the United States, and that includes O.J. Mayo!"

It was a disappointing weekend for Gordon. Not only did Rose clearly get the better of him, but Gordon's shot was off the entire tournament and he even missed 3 breakaway dunks. Gordon did, however, convince top 40 prospect DeAndre Jordan of Texas to play with his Indiana Elite team over the weekend. Jordan, who is considered one of Kelvin Sampson's top big men targets, is considering Illinois as well, and according to Gordon, has the Illini in his top 3 schools.

It's interesting that the Illini continue to recruit highly ranked class of 2007 big men such as Jordan, JJ Hickson, and Blake Griffin (recently committed to Oklahoma). There is some scuttlebutt that it's looking increasingly likely that one or both of Mike Tisdale and Bill Cole could spend a year at prep school, opening up another class of 2007 scholarship. Don't be surprised if that happens, and don't be surprised if Calvin Brock's and Charles Jackson's scholarships open up over the next year as well.

The Peegs site has really stepped up its recruiting coverage since Kelvin Sampson has taken the reins at IU. They've added some clips of Dametri McCamey and Evan Turner from the Spiece tournament:

16-U players who impressed in Bloomington include Angel Garcia of Lake Forest Academy, Lewis Jackson of Decatur, and 6'6" point guard DeAndre Liggins. Liggins has received an offer from Virginia and is getting major attention from Wake Forest. Another junior that is getting a lot of interest is 6'6" Indiana Elite forward Emmanuel Negedu. Negedu, who plays at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, has been getting serious looks from Indiana (offer), Kansas, Florida State, Iowa, Wake Forest, and Iowa State. With Illini targets Lewis Jackson, Jeremy Robinson and Matt Roth playing on Negedu's Indiana Elite 16-U team, expect the Illini to try to enter the hunt for Negedu as well.

Interesting news that Washington 6'5" swingman Mario Little has chosen Chipola College in Florida as his stomping grounds for the next 2 years. Little has high major talent, just did not have the grades to qualify. He'll be playing with Jamarcus Ellis and DeAndre Thomas among other former Illinois high schoolers at Chipola.

According to Stinnette, Dametri McCamey is generating even more recruiting interest after his play this spring. Besides Illinois, which has not offered the #51 player in the country according to Rivals, McCamey is getting interest from Indiana, DePaul, Michigan, Wake Forest, Virginia, and Miami, FL.

Michigan has also picked up its recruiting of Evan Turner and McCamey. According to the following Rivals article from the Michigan site, Florida is really starting to make a heavy push for Turner:

Michigan is also working hard on class of 2008 stud Delvon Roe from Ohio, who at one point was thought to be an Illinois "lean". However, Roe has not mentioned Illinois prominently in recent updates. The Rivals article also mentions that Dar Tucker continues to be recruited by Louisville, Marquette, Miami and "Illinois, a little". Word is that Tucker is a long way from qualifying in 2007.

Class of 2008 Illini target John Brandenburg is seeing his recruitment heat up. The 6'10", 235-pound big man from St. Louis DeSmet plays on the same St. Louis Eagles AAU team as Mike Tisdale, and reportedly has outplayed Tisdale on the spring AAU circuit. Brandenburg has had Kansas, Illinois, Wake Forest and Missouri begin to show a lot of interest since his strong play at the Kingwood, TX AAU tournament. His favorite conference is the ACC, but it's unclear if he'll be good enough to warrant an offer from dream schools North Carolina and Duke.

According to an article by Clint Jackson at the North Carolina Rivals site, #58 ranked PG Tyler Reed favors UNC, Kansas, Stanford and Georgia Tech. Illinois recently made Reed's top 6 list. Along with Travis Releford and Verdell Jones, Reed was one of the more impressive performers at the Jayhawk Invitational over the weekend. However, observers noted that the tournament was very watered down, with many of the top Midwestern teams playing in Bloomington, IN.

Scottie Reynolds returned to his Northern Virginia home from a weekend at Villanova without committing. He is still interested in 6 schools: Villanova, Illinois, Wake Forest, Oklahoma, LSU and Michigan. He has visited each school except Illinois and Wake Forest.

Some nice articles from the Toronto newspapers on Dee Brown. Brown worked out for Toronto yesterday, following up to recent workouts for Denver and the LA Lakers.

"It was a blessing that he got in another year of experience," said Jim Kelly, the Raptors' director of player personnel. "I think especially where he got another year in playing at the point, a position I think he's going to have to play in the NBA. "He probably didn't have the same success because his team wasn't as strong this year, although they did have a very good year, but they didn't have the players they had the year before."

One thing NBA teams won't have to worry about with Brown is media training. Brown had the assembled crew laughing when asked for his first impressions of Toronto.

"I didn't know too much until I got up here," he said. "They told me it was beautiful and has a lot of women ... and a lot of people."

"Disappointing? No, it was a blessing," he said of his forced fourth year.

"I got to go back and play point guard, show people my talent, go back and get my degree (in sports management, a semester ahead of his class) and do my internship. College is the funnest time in your life."

Now the fun ends, though. Brown is seen by draft experts as a second-round pick, perhaps available to Toronto with the 35th selection in the June 28 draft.

Virginia has entered the recruiting mix for E'Twaun Moore. Ace recruiting assistant Gene Cross is leading the Cavaliers' effort for Rivals' #30 ranked player nationally. Moore lists Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Miami and Florida as teams recruiting him besides Virginia.

Arizona State has ramped up its recruitment of two point guards that Illinois has had its eye on. Jamelle McMillan of Seattle and John Roberson of Plano, TX are two players that Herb Sendek is pushing for since taking over the Sun Devils.

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