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Illinois Prep Bulls-Eye's Summer Awards
The July Evaluation Period is now history and that means that it is once again time for Illinois Prep Bulls-eye to present its annual Summer Awards.  As always, they will encompass all of the best as it pertains to high school basketball recruits in the state of Illinois.  We begin with our Player Of The Summer and will add an award winner each day until our list is exhausted.

Recruiting Blurbs From Peach Jam And Beyond
Illinois-based teams were well-represented at the two premier events held during week two of the July Evaluation Period--the EYBL Finals/NIKE Peach Jam in North Augusta, SC and the Under Armour Finals in Suwanee, GA.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye was there as well and fills everyone in on the latest recruiting buzz as it pertains to several prospects from the Land Of Lincoln who were in attendance at these events. 

July Evaluation Period Week 1 Synopsis Illinois-Style
As has often been the case in past, there was nothing earth-shattering during the first week of the July evaluation period as it pertained to Illinois-based recruits.  However, there were some notable developments, including a number of players who proved that they are worthy of increased recruiting attention based on their play.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye offers up a week in review in this report.   

Roland Griffin Will Stay In-State: Commits To Missouri Valley Conference School
There were indicators from the very beginning that the recruitment of West Aurora's Roland Griffin would not be long or drawn out.  And sure enough, Griffin has decided to close things out as a result.  He has committed to a Missouri Valley program that was in on him from the get-go and made him a huge priority.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the breaking news on Griffin's commitment in this story.  

Nixon Headed To Mountain West--Adway Opts For MAC
Father's Day ended up being Commitment Day for a couple of Illinois-based recruits in the class of 2015.  One was combo guard Prentiss Nixon, who closed it out in favor of a Mountain West school while on his official visit.  The other is unheralded forward Taylor Adway who pulled the trigger for a MAC school that had been the leader for his services from the get-go.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye fills everyone in on both commitments in this story.

Class of 2016 Player Watch: Antonio Johnson
There is plenty of young talent on hand at East St. Louis High School including highly acclaimed 6'9 2017 post Jeremiah Tilmon.  However, as of now the team's most efficient offensive performer is a 2016 prospect who has gone relatively unnoticed.  We are talking about 6'3 combo guard Antonio JohnsonIllinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down Johnson's game and why he is a recruit coaches need to know in this player watch.

The Top 5 Under-recruited Prospects In Illinois From 2015
The 2015 high school basketball class in Illinois has as many under-the-radar prospects as any in recent memory.  As a result, many of them are still being under-recruited.  In this update, Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down who all of them are including our look at the top 5 in that category. 

A Little Of This And That From R-B Shootout
With many of the top prospects in Illinois from the 2015 and 2016 classes not in attendance, this year's Riverside-Brookfield Summer Shootout offered an opportunity for several others to come to the forefront.  More than a few were up to the task.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye takes a look at some of the top performances and other notable accomplishments from the shootout in this wrapup.

R-B Summer Shootout Is Loaded Again As Usual
With the arrival of June comes the start of the high school team shootout season in Illinois.  It begins with the best of the bunch--the Riverside-Brookfield Summer Shootout, where the list of top teams and players that will be participating reads like a "who's who."  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye offers an in-depth preview of the shootout in this report.

Malek Harris Announces For Big 12 School
Malek Harris chose to honor his mother on Mother's Day by announcing his college decision.  At the same time, there is no question that it will end up being just as special a day for the Big 12 coach that Harris ended up committing to.  That is because Harris is arguably the most talented recruit that coach has landed to date since being in that conference.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye lets everyone know how Harris' commitment went down in this story.  

Proviso West Holiday Tournament To Return To 16 Teams
It appears as though changes are in store once again for the prestigious Proviso West Holiday Tournament.  With new people in charge, the decision has been made to return the tournament to its original format after going to an expanded field the past two years.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks it all down, takes a look at some of the parties affected and examines what it means in this report.
Editor's Note: This entry has since been updated to reflect the latest development concerning one of the teams initially affected by the tournament's reduction to 16 teams.

Luwane Pipkins Decides To End It Early--Commits To Atlantic Ten School
Make no mistake about it--the Chicago hype machine was in full force when it came to analyzing the recruitment of Luwane Pipkins to the point where none of them were living in the real world.  Fortunately for Pipkins, he and his high school coach saw the reality of the situation from the very beginning.  As a result, Pipkins' recruitment ended exactly the way it should have--with one of the toughest and fiercest competitors in the Chicago Public League finding an Atlantic Ten school that is a perfect fit for him.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the facts behind Pipkins' commitment in this story.

Darreon Reddick Commits To Ohio Valley Conference School
The recruitment of Belleville East's Darreon Reddick has been up and down over the course of the past year and it was filled with tons of uncertainty heading into the Spring Signing Period.  But after spending the majority of the winter focusing on his high school season, Reddick at long last has found the school that he believes to be the best fit for him.  As a result, he is now off the board and will be headed to the Ohio Valley Conference.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the details behind Reddick's commitment in this story.

Josh Cunningham Lands In The Missouri Valley
Despite choosing to take things into the Spring, it has long been believed that one school held a definite advantage when it came to the recruitment of Morgan Park's Josh Cunningham.  Sure enough, that has proven to be the case.  That is because after a long drawn-out process which saw some twists and turns along the way, Cunningham has decided to go with the school that showed love from the very beginning, which is why he will be playing his college ball in the Missouri Valley Conference.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all the details surrounding Cunningham's commitment in this story.

Hillsdale College Lands Third 2014 Recruit From Illinois
It is no small coincidence that there is a direct relationship between the level of success Hillsdale College head coach John Tharp and his staff have had in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference and their ability to recruit the state of Illinois.  And the Chargers are showing no signs of letting up in that area, as they have secured their third 2014 recruit from the Land Of Lincoln in the form of a front court player with strong perimeter skills.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more behind the commitment in this story.  

Lewis University Lands Their Second 2014 Commit
Lewis University head coach Scott Trost has gone a long way toward solidifying the Flyers' back court for the next four years. That is because he has secured a commitment from a sharpshooting guard who was the leading scorer in the Peoria area this past season.  In doing so, the Flyer's greatest recruiting needs in the 2014 class have been successfully fulfilled.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the news behind Lewis' latest pledge in this story.  

Lewis University Lands 2014 Commitment From Athletic 2-Guard
Lewis University head coach Scott Trost had made it no secret that landing an athletic wing was his foremost priority when it came to his 2014 recruiting class.  Sure enough, he has succeeded in getting exactly the type of player he was looking for. That is because the Flyers have secured a commitment from a high-scoring and athletic off-guard from Chicago's southwest suburbs who Trost and his staff had been targeting from day one.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the news on the commitment in this story.  

Northwestern Lands Its First 2015 Commitment (Updated)
One reason why Northwestern head coach Chris Collins has been so successful on the recruiting trail is because of his ability to identify viable targets early, zoom in on them and then close the deal.  With that said, Collins has done so yet again as the Wildcats have secured their first commitment in their 2015 recruiting class in the form of a highly athletic local 2-guard who fits the Northwestern mold of a true student-athlete to a tee.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye lets everyone know how the commitment came about in this story.

Morgan Park Wins A Thriller At Joliet Supersectional To Advance To 3A State Finals
The Class 3A supersectional at Joliet Central was everything you could ask for between two Chicago Public League powers who know each other extremely well.  When the final horn sounded, it was Morgan Park who stood tall as they emerged with a one point victory to move on to the state finals in Peoria.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more in this report.  

Stevenson Shows Why They're #1 In Winning Lake Zurich 4A Sectional Title
The biggest reason why Stevenson is the favorite to win the Class 4A state championship in Illinois is because their entire team has responded in big-game situations all season long.  They did so once again in their Class 4A sectional final contest versus previously undefeated Fremd.  In the end it was the full-court pressure that Stevenson applied defensively along with the tremendous 1-2 punch of Jalen Brunsonand Connor Cashaw offensively that resulted in them capturing the sectional championship at Lake Zurich and moving on to the supersectional at Northern Illinois University.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has further details in this report.

Whitney Young Punches Ticket To 4A Sectional Final At Marist By Defeating Simeon
The Class 4A sectional final between Whitney Young and Simeon was highly entertaining and had lots of intrigue.  When the chips were down, Whitney Young accomplished the two things that they knew from the beginning were essential to them getting the win: getting the ball to their franchise big man and clamping down defensively.  As a result, they have moved one step closer to the state finals in Peoria.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye expounds further in this report.  

Benet Academy Reaches 4A Sectional Final At East Aurora Behind Stellar Defensive Effort
While Sean O'Mara is a dominant offensive force in the paint, if Benet Academy reaches the Class 4A state finals in Peoria it will be primarily on account of their outstanding defense.  That was fully evident in their sectional semifinal victory over Hinsdale Central as they held their opponent's best player in check and forced the rest of the Hinsdale squad into a bad shooting night.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on Benet's sectional win in this report.

Brandon Hutton Pulls Trigger For Big Ten School During Unofficial Visit
De La Salle's Brandon Hutton had been focused on four schools when it came to his recruitment and we knew things were moving quickly.  However, after recently completing an unofficial visit to one of his frontrunners he concluded that it is the place for him.  As a result, Hutton will be playing his college basketball in the Big Ten.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the goods on Hutton's commitment in this story.

Bobby Frasco Headed To MAC School
While Prospect's Bobby Frasco had several good college options to choose from, he had built a great relationship with the head coach at one particular school in the MAC.  And after completing his official visit there and seeing first-hand what awaits him, he decided that is where he wants to be.  As a result, Frasco is now off the board and will be playing his college basketball in the MAC.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the lowdown on Frasco's commitment in this story. 

Charles Matthews Opts For The SEC
St. Rita's Charles Matthews has always had a fondness for a particular coach with a proven history of success when it comes to putting guards in the NBA.  Combine that with the other top players that coach has landed from Matthews' traveling team program and Matthews decided there was no need to prolong his recruitment any longer.  It is therefore no surprise that he will be headed to the SEC.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all you need to know with respect to Matthews' commitment in this story.   

Holy Smokes! Peyton Allen Stuns Many By Opting For SEC School
With Peyton Allen having set a vigorous official visit consisting of four schools in a three week stretch and having a prominent ACC school monitoring him as well, it was thought that it would be until the end of February at the earliest before he would be ready to render a decision.  SURPRISE!  In an move that almost came out of nowhere, Allen has decided to wrap things up, as he has committed to a SEC school that he took an official visit to just over a week ago.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all of the particulars behind Allen's commitment in this story.   

Class Of 2015 Hidden Gem: Matt Johnson
There is no question that the splendid 1-2 punch of Jalen Brunson and Connor Cashaw get most of the ink for Stevenson, but it is safe to say that the team may not be where they are at right now without the outstanding play of 2015 combo guard Matt Johnson, who has come up big more often than not.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down Johnson's game and explains why he is a player that D1 schools should have on their radar in this hidden gem feature.  

Kurt Hall Commits To MAC School
There was one school that was well ahead of the game when it came to the recruitment of North Chicago's Kurt Hall.  That is why Hall long had the feeling that it was only a matter of time before he would be offering up a commitment to his frontrunner.  Sure enough, things played out exactly that way and as a result Hall will be playing his college basketball in the MAC.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has further details behind the commitment in this story. 

Aaron Jordan Commits To Big Ten School
Plainfield East's Aaron Jordan had been hinting that he was on the verge of a decision with respect to his recruitment.  And sure enough, after taking yet another visit to a Big Ten school that has been a favorite all along, Jordan finally opted to close things out.  As a result, he becomes that school's second commit from the 2015 class.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down Jordan's commitment further in this story.  .

Class Of 2017 Player Watch: Christian Negron
The future of the 2017 class in Illinois is a bright one as several players have already begun to make names for themselves.  After getting our first good look at Elgin Larkin's Christian Negron at the Jim Hinkle Holiday Classic we believe that he is a player who clearly deserves to be near the top of the list.  In fact, at the present time there is one area where Negron is head and shoulders above all other Illinois-based prospects in 2017.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on Negron in this Player Watch feature.   

Louisville To Host AAU Nationals & Super Showcases Beginning In 2014
While we have absolutely nothing against Disney's Wide World Of Sports, deep down Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has always hoped that the National AAU Tournaments for 17-Under and 16-Under would move back to a location in the Midwest.  Thanks to a merger between AAU president Henry Forrest and longtime promoter Eddie Ford that has now become a reality, beginning as early as next Summer.  We have all the details behind the move in this report.  

Alexander Takes His Recruitment To The Wire But Opts For Big 12
The recruitment of Cliff Alexander literally went down to the final hour.  As a result, Alexander succeeded in keeping everyone guessing and on edge until the end.  However, the decision is now in and after wavering and possibly even flip-flopping in the final couple of days Alexander will take his talents to the Big 12.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all that you need to know about Alexander's commitment in this story. 

It Will Be The ACC For Okafor
From the beginning to the end Jahlil Okafor's recruitment was by the book.  He had a well-executed plan and timetable in place and stuck to it.  With that in mind, there was one school that had long been regarded by most as the sentimental favorite so to speak, due in large part to its history of recruiting success in Chicago, Okafor's admiration for the head coach and the fact that the school's star player is one of his best friends.   And sure enough, when all was said and done, Okafor's decision hardly came as a surprise.  As a result, he will be headed to the ACC.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has everything of pertinence surrounding Okafor's decision in this story.

Illinois And John Groce Keep Simeon Pipeline Going By Landing First 2015 Recruit
University Of Illinois head coach John Groce has done it again.  As he has done repeatedly, he was able to take full advantage of a huge recruiting weekend on campus.  In doing so, he further strengthened the pipeline he has already established with a Chicago Public League powerhouse and landed commitment #1 in his 2015 recruiting class.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all that you need to know with respect to the commitment in this story.   

Miles Reynolds Will Play In The Atlantic Ten
Although many had long thought that Miles Reynolds was a lock for the SEC, you couldn't tell that to the head coach of one Atlantic Ten School.  And while this coach may have been a bit late to the party the bottom line is that he did his homework. And in doing so, he has now secured Reynolds' commitment.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye elaborates further in this story.

Sean O'Mara Chooses Big East School
Loyalty was a very big factor in the recruitment of Sean O'Mara.  That was a big reason why his college decision was a most difficult one.  In the end, O'Mara opted to go with a school that not only was on him from the very beginning, but one with an outstanding basketball tradition that also offers him the opportunity to play at the highest possible level.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down O'Mara's commitment further in this story.

Class Of 2016 Player Watch: Ethan Meeker
Not only is Quad City Elite a quality program that does things the right way, but their annual Fall Hoops Showcase is always well-worth covering.  This year's showcase once again featured several prospects who have fallen under the radar and with that in mind, we came away uncovering a true "sleeper" in the class of 2016.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has that and other notes from the showcase in this Player Watch story

Brock Stull Chooses Horizon League School
There were plenty of similarities from amongst the three finalists for Rockford Boylan's Brock Stull.  However, in the end the one factor that trumped all others was the opportunity to stay close to home and have his family see him play on a regular basis.  It is for that reason that Stull announced at a press conference that he will be playing his college basketball in the Horizon League.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on Stull's commitment in this story.   

Northwestern Adds To Stellar 2014 Recruiting Class With Their Fourth Commitment
How good has Northwestern head coach Chris Collins been on the recruiting trail this summer? Our answer is that he has been nothing short of spectacular.  This is because after having already landed three quality recruits from the 2014 class Collins has added a fourth by receiving a commitment from a local product who actually had completed an official visit to one of his other finalists just prior to his pledge.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye further analyzes the impact of the Wildcats' latest commit in this story.  

SIU-Edwardsville Lands Second In-State Recruit From 2014
Lennox Forrester and his staff at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville have put in considerable work when it comes to recruiting quality in-state prospects from the 2014 class.  As a result, they have been rewarded with their second 2014 commitment in the form of an underrated point guard who may be small in terms of size but his heart and basketball I.Q. make him a huge get for the Cougars.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the skinny on the commitment in this story.  

Donte Thomas Pledges To Missouri Valley Conference School
It was a huge weekend for commitments from recruits from the Meanstreets traveling team.  With Tyler Ulis ending his recruitment Friday night and Paul White coming off the board this morning, Donte Thomas became commit #3 when he verballed during his official visit to a program that had been the heavy favorite for his services from the moment they started recruiting him.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the lowdown on Thomas' commitment in this story.

Paul White Headed To The Big East
Whitney Young's Paul White had several outstanding options with which to choose from when it came to his recruitment. However, the close relationship that he has enjoyed with one particular assistant coach who has recruited him from the get-go undoubtedly gave a Big East school a clear-cut advantage.  And after wrapping up an official visit there, that school has come out on top as White has offered up his commitment.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the breaking news in this story.  

UIC Recruiting Momentum Continues With Commitment From 2014 Power Forward
The past four days have been huge recruiting-wise for Howard Moore and his coaching staff at the University Of Illinois-Chicago.  That is because after landing a commitment from a 2015 point guard during an unofficial visit, Moore and the Flames have followed that up with their first 2014 recruit in the form of a raw but promising athletic power forward who committed while on his official visit.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the goods in this story.  

UIC Lands 2015 Commit From Indiana Point Guard
After extending scholarship offers to virtually every top in-state prospect from the 2015 class University Of Illinois-Chicago head coach Howard Moore has received a bonus prize.  That is because the Flames have secured their first 2015 commitment in the form of a quality point guard who hails from the Hoosier state.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on the commitment in this story.    

SIU-Edwardsville Lands 2014 Commitment From In-State Big
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville head coach Lennox Forrester did not have to travel far to land his first 2014 recruit.  That is because Forrester and the Cougars have received a commitment from a power forward from their local area who has the ability to step in and be an immediate impact recruit.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye lays out the particulars in this story.

Class Of 2015 Hidden Gems: Grant Gibson And Tyler Hall
There are still far too many people including college coaches, fans and media who are completely unfamiliar with the Quad City Elite traveling team program.  This is especially true with respect to their 16-under squad, who has a couple of 2015 prospects who can undoubtedly play.  It is therefore our job to let everyone find out more about their games.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye does just that in this hidden gems feature.  

Class Of 2015 Stock Raiser: Harrison Niego
Lyons Township's Harrison Niego is one half of the most underrated backcourt tandem in Illinois when it comes to the 16-under traveling team circuit.  And after leading his Chicago Lockdown squad to yet another championship he has proven to us that he can play with the big boys and is worthy of even more recruiting attention than he is getting.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eyej breaks down Niego's game and explains what makes him so valuable in this report.    

Class Of 2016 Player Watch: Donovan Oliver
The Quad City Elite Hoops Showcase featured a number of talented underclass prospects from the Quad Cities portion of Illinois and Iowa.  One of the standouts at the event was Kewanee's Donovan Oliver, who simply possesses an all-around skill set that extends well beyond his years.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on Oliver's game and why he ranks among the top 2016 prospects in Illinois in this Player Watch.

Class Of 2015 Hidden Gem: Trevor Stumpe
Make no mistake about it--there is a ton of talent on the Illinois Wolves 15-Under traveling team.  Nevertheless, a player who has gone highly unnoticed until now is 6'4 2015 2-guard Trevor Stumpe.  After a strong performance at the GRBA National Championships in Ft. Wayne, we have a feeling that is going to change quickly.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on Stumpe's game in this "hidden gem" feature.  

Class Of 2015 Player Watch: Evan Boudreaux
Right now there is no question that the bulk of the talent from the 2015 class in Illinois lies in the back court.  However, a big who has proven that he is worthy of attention is Evan Boudreaux, who looked impressive at the recently concluded Chicago Best Buy Classic.  In this player watch Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down Boudreaux's game further and explains why he ranks among the top 2015 front court prospects in the state.   

Class Of 2015 Player Watch: Jalen Brunson
There are several talented guard prospects in the state of Illinois from the class of 2015.  However, we are convinced that there are none better than Stevenson's Jalen Brunson after watching him turn in a solid performance at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic.  Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on Brunson's game and why he is such an attractive underclass prospect in this player watch.