WELCOME TO THE ILLINOIS PREP BULLS-EYE WEB SITE!
Here you will find the most comprehensive coverage of Illinois prep basketball that you will come across anywhere.
Illinois Prep Bulls-Eye's Summer Awards
Another Summer Evaluation Period is now in the books and that means it is once again time for an annual staple feature that Illinois Prep Bulls-eye was the originator of and others now try to imitate--our Summer Awards. As is our tradition, we begin with our Player Of The Summer and will add an award every day until the list is exhausted. Keep track of all the winners by clicking on the above link.
Today's Award: Best Individual Performance Of The Summer
Transfer Season In Illinois High School Hoops: What It All Means
With it now being the heart of Summer and the July Evaluation period behind us, the number of transfers with respect to high school basketball recruits in Illinois has once again grown in proportion. Quite a few notable ones have already occurred, with the potential for more before it's all over. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye takes a close look at those players who will be transferring, the schools impacted, and who the winners and losers are in this report.
Class Of 2017 Hidden Gem: Tai Bibbs
We have already talked about how loaded Summer Jam was from an Illinois standpoint. However, what also made it such a worthwhile event to cover was the number of sleeper prospects who emerged. One such player was undoubtedly 2017 point guard Tai Bibbs from Mercury Elite. There is no question that Bibbs turned some heads (including ours) with his solid play throughout the week in Mequon, WI. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down Bibbs' game further in this hidden gem feature.
Southern Illinois Lands 1st 2016 Commitment From Local Wing Forward
With the talent pool running deep in the deep south region of Illinois and St. Louis, one of the foremost recruiting priorities for Southern Illinois University head coach Barry Hinson has been to get top local recruits in the fold. He is off to a banner start in that area, as the Salukis have secured their first commitment from the 2016 class in the form of a talented 3-man whose recruitment we thought was just getting started. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down the commitment in this story.
Evaluation Period Week 1 Review: St. Louis Eagles, Benson, Ivanauskas & Others Turn Heads
Illinois Prep Bulls-eye scoured the country during the opening week of the July Evaluation Period, with no one else in the state taking in a greater number of events. In doing so, we were able to evaluate a wide range of Illinois-based prospects. We serve up the goods on everything that stood out in this report.
Bradley Lands 2016 Commitment From Local 2-Guard
One of Brian Wardle's first orders of business upon becoming the new head men's basketball coach at Bradley was to keep top local talent at home. Wardle and the Braves are already off to a flying start in that area. That is because they have secured a commitment in their 2016 recruiting class from a nearby 2-guard whose stock had been on the rise since the beginning of this past Spring. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the news on Bradley's latest pledge in this story.
Summer Jam Could Be Best Event Of July Evaluation Period--At Least From Illinois Standpoint
We have said it before but it bears repeating--nobody consistently runs events which are as better organized than the folks at NY2LA Sports. And as far as Summer Jam goes, there may not be another event with a greater overall collection of talent. That is certainly true with respect to the state of Illinois, where the list of teams reads like a "who's who." Illinois Prep Bulls-eye lets everyone know what to look for at this year's Summer Jam in this sneak preview.
Northwestern Lands Second Commitment From A Top-Ranked In-State Recruit In 2016
It has been no secret that Northwestern University head coach Chris Collins' foremost priority in his 2016 recruiting class was landing a prized big man. As has been the case on so many occasions since taking over the men's basketball program in Evanston, his efforts have paid off big time. That is because Collins and the Wildcats have landed a commitment from one of their top front court targets in the form of a rapidly progressing center from Chicago's suburbs who was recently on campus for an official visit. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye lets everyone know how things went down in this story.
DePaul Lands First 2016 Commitment From Local Point Guard
Upon becoming the head men's basketball coach at DePaul for a second time, one of the first orders of business for Dave Leitao was to go full speed ahead with the Blue Demons' recruiting efforts in the Chicago Public League. It has already landed results as Leitao and DePaul have secured their first commitment in the 2016 recruiting class in the form of a Windy City point guard who has seen his stock steadily rise over the last year. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the specifics behind the Blue Demons' latest pledge in this story.
Alan Griffin Headlines 2018 & 2019 Prospects Who Shine At R-B Shootout
Marquis Brown and Chase Adams have received more pub, but Oak Park's Alan Griffin has proven to be just as consistent when it comes to talking about top 2018 prospects in Illinois. That was certainly the case on the first day at the Riverside-Brookfield Summer Shootout, where Griffin's outstanding play led Oak Park to a first place finish in their pool. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on Griffin's game as well as a closer look at Adams and a 2019 prospect who stood out at R-B in this story.
R-B Summer Shootut Preview
The Riverside-Brookfield Summer Shootout remains the premier high school boy's team shootout of the summer in Illinois. And the biggest reason why is Shootout Coordinator Mike Reingruber's commitment to excellence. Because of that, the shootout once again features the best teams and players that the Chicago area has to offer. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all of the particulars with respect to this year's shootout in this sneak preview.
Marcus LoVett Closes It Out On Final Day Of Spring Signing Period: Signs With Big East School
Admit it folks! Most of you thought that Morgan Park's Marcus LoVett would either be reclassifying and heading to a prep school next season or going to a junior college. For a while we even thought that might be the case ourselves. However, despite academic uncertainties that continue to abound, LoVett has put those notions to rest as he has signed with a Big East program that stuck with him through thick and thin. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has everything of pertinence surrounding LoVett's college choice in this story.
Analysis & Commentary: Gordie Kerkman Exits The Same Way He Entered--With Style And Class
Yesterday marked the end of an era when West Aurora's Gordie Kerkman decided to call it quits after 39 years as the school's varsity boy's basketball coach. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye examines the impact that Kerkman had and why he will always be remembered and held in the highest regard in this commentary.
Miscellaneous Notes: R-B Shootout, HS Hoops Showdown, Nojel Eastern & More
In this hodgepodge of information concerning the latest happenings in Illinois high school basketball, Illinois Prep Bulls-eye looks ahead to both the Riverside-Brookfield Summer Shootout and next year's High School Hoops Showdown, provides the latest with respect to Evanston's Nojel Eastern and offers up a well-deserved kudos to the recruiting class turned in by head coach Joe Griffin at Roosevelt University.
Navigato Will Stay In MAC AFter All
TAfter receiving his release from Buffalo following the departure of Bobby Hurley to Arizona State, Geneva's Nate Navigato had a handful of alternative options on the table. However, in the end Navigato familiarity with another MAC program that had recruited him from the beginning proved to be the difference. As a result, he is off the board once again. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the skinny surrounding Navigato's commitment in this story.
Tom Crean & Indiana Add Preferred Walkon To Their 2015 Recruiting Class
Indiana University head coach Tom Crean struck paydirt when he was able to recruit Nick Zeisloft as a fifth year graduate transfer and now he has gone a different route with respect to landing players from Illinois. That is because Crean and the Hoosiers have received a commitment from a highly underrated point guard who will join next year's squad as a preferred walkon. And ironically, he hails from the same high school as Zeisloft. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more behind IU's latest pledge in this story.
John Groce And Illini Recognize Importance Of 2017 Recruiting Class
The 2017 basketball class in Illinois could go down as one of the state's best in recent memory and University Of Illinois head coach John Groce and his hard-working assistants have recognized that as well as anybody. It is therefore no surprise that the Illini have reached out to all of the top in-state prospects in that class by extending scholarship offers. In doing so, they are sending a loud and clear message that they won't be outworked. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye examines the potential impact behind the Illini's current recruiting efforts in this entry.
Class Of 2017 Hidden Gem: Cameron Krutwig
Although he has not gotten much exposure over the past year 2017 post Cameron Krutwig has simply let his game do the talking. He has consistently put up big numbers versus quality competition both on the high school and travel team circuits. In doing so Krutwig has proven to be a true hidden gem in the 2017 class. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye provides a closer look at what Krutwig brings to the table in this entry.
UIC Head Coach Steve McClain Lands His First Commitment
The aggressive recruiting approach that new UIC head coach Steve McClain and his hard working staff is using with in-state prospects is paying off big time. That is because the Flames have succeeded in landing a coveted big man who they wasted no time in targeting immediately after he received his release from another Horizon League school. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the complete lowdown behind the commitment in this story.
Northwestern Lands A Huge 2016 Commitment
Northwestern head coach Chris Collins and his hard working staff did a spectacular job of recruiting the 2015 class and are now off to a great start with respect to 2016. That is because Collins and the Wildcats have secured a commitment from the top-ranked prospect in Illinois from that class, a player they had targeted for quite some time. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all of the specifics behind Northwestern's latest commitment in this story.
What's In The Water Around St. Louis? Area Rapidly Becoming A Basketball Hotbed
Basketball talent in some geographical areas goes in cycles but right now there is no question that the young talent base in St. Louis and the surrounding areas is absolutely booming. In fact it may be as good as any time in our recent memory. This was plainly evident at the recently concluded NIKE Spring Showdown. In this report Illinois Prep Bulls-eye takes a look at some of the players from the Gateway region that turned our heads at that event.
Why Brian Wardle Will Make An Immediate Impact At Bradley
Knowing all of the factors that would end up going into the decision, Illinois Prep Bulls-eye was well in-tune with who would become the new head coach at Bradley from the moment that it was announced a change was being made. And sure enough, things have now come to fruition exactly the way we thought they would, as Brian Wardle will take over Bradley's men's basketball program. In this story, we take a look at all of the reasons why Wardle and Bradley are a perfect fit for one another, including one that figures to reap immediate rewards for the Braves.
13 Teams Set For Inaugural Hinsdale Central Holiday Tournament
After being the driving force behind the Proviso West Holiday Tournament for over 30 years, Joe Spagnolo is ready to take on a new challenge. And based on the early returns, he is off to a great start. That is because Spagnolo has lined up an impressive array of teams for the first rendition of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Tournament next December. It includes a good mixture of Chicago and suburban teams, with more than a few coming over from last year's Proviso West Tournament. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye provides a closer examination of how the field stacks up in this report.
Class 4A Co-Coaches Of The Year: Tom McCloskey & Dave Witzig
As always, there were plenty of worthy candidates to choose from when it came to selecting our Class 4A Coach Of The Year in Illinois. However, at the end of the day we felt that two coaches in particular had separated themselves from the rest of the pack. That is why Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has named co-winners of our 2015 4A COY award. We have the complete breakdown in this story.
Normal Community Pulls Upset Of The Year Over Simeon To Reach 4A State Finals
In the days leading up to their Class 4A supersectional matchup with state power Simeon, every player at Normal Community said they weren't the least bit scared. Boy did they mean it! In fact, Normal was the more aggressive team from the get-go. That, along with a stellar defensive effort is what propelled them to the biggest upset of the season in Illinois high school basketball and a trip to the 4A state finals in Peoria. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the specifics in this story.
Iowa Lands Third 2015 Recruit From State Of Illinois
Fran McCaffrey and his hard-working coaching staff at the University Of Iowa have recruited the 2015 class in Illinois extremely well. As it turns out, their diligence and efforts have paid off yet again. That is because the Hawkeyes have landed their 3rd 2015 recruit from the Land Of Lincoln in the form of an athletic and versatile 2-guard who has long gone under the radar. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all of the particulars surrounding the commitment in this story.
Simeon's Depth Powers Them Past St. Rita And Into 4A Supersectional At Normal
Make no mistake about it--St. Rita gave Simeon all it could handle in the Class 4A sectional final at Eisenhower and then some. But as has been the case so often, Simeon's depth proved to be too much. With four players scoring in double figues, Simeon was able to stave off St. Rita's charge and as a result are headed to the Normal supersectional. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the skinny on Simeon's win in this story.
Lake Forest Advances To Waukegan Sectional Final With Toughness
It may not always be pretty, but the main reason why Lake Forest wins is because they consistently exhibit a grit and toughness about them that opponents have been unable to match. That was especially evident at the defensive end in their Class 4A sectional matchup versus Evanston, as it enabled Lake Forest to come away with the victory and a berth in the sectional final at Waukegan. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down Lake Forest's win in this story.
Summit League School Lands Cole Gentry
With the strong senior year enjoyed by St. Charles East's Cole Gentry you just knew that it was only a matter of time before he started accumulating offers from D1 schools. And once he did it didn't take the point guard long to reach a decision on where he will be playing college basketball. On that note, Gentry is headed to the Summit League. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has further details behind Gentry's commitment in this story.
Balance And Defense Enable Rockford Auburn To Reach 4A Sectional Final At DeKalb
With their two best players both in foul trouble in a Class 4A sectional semifinal versus Elgin Larkin, Rockford Auburn did not panic. In fact, it was the exact opposite. Their role players emerged in crunch time, which resulted in them extending their lead and enabling them to advance to the sectional final at DeKalb with a convincing win. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on Auburn's victory in this story.
Class Of 2016 Player Watch: Michael Pollack
While the top Illinois-based prospects in the 2016 class still jockey for position in their quest for the #1 ranking in the Land Of Lincoln, several hidden gems continue to emerge. One such player is DeKalb's Michael Pollack, who was impressive when we recently watched him in Class 4A regional action. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the skinny on Pollack's game in this Player Watch story.
Matt Rafferty Pulls A Surprise By Committing To Southern Conference School
Matt Rafferty's recruitment was about as close to the vest as any could possibly be. So much so that not only was there uncertainty over which schools were contenders, but NO ONE (and I mean NO ONE) outside of Rafferty's inner circle saw a committing coming to the school that he ultimately chose. Nevertheless, Rafferty is now off the board, as he has pledged to a Southern Conference school where he should be an immediate impact player. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the news surrounding Rafferty's commitment in this story.
LoVett Hype Aside, Moore Could Prove To Be Just As Good
Maybe it's due to the fact that most all of the attention at Morgan Park centers around Marcus "Bright Lights" LoVett. Or perhaps it's because he just can't seem to shake the stigma of being an undersized guard. Whatever the case, there is no question that Charlie Moore deserves more respect than what he has received thus far, as he has consistently proven that he ranks among the top 2016 players in Illinois. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye states its case for Moore in this report.
Class Of 2017 Player Watch: Alonzo Verge Jr.
Illinois Prep Bulls-eye recently got its first extensive look at one of the top 2017 prospects in Illinois--Willowbrook's Alonzo Verge Jr. And there is no question that we came away with a lot of positive vibes that go well beyond his tremendous scoring ability. We provide a further breakdown of Verge's game in this Player Watch story.
Class Of 2017 Player Watch: Iman Reynolds
Hinsdale South features one of the top big men in Illinois from the 2016 class but how many people knew about Iman Reynolds prior to this week? The answer is virtually no one, but that's OK because Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has you covered. Reynolds turned our heads and then some with his outstanding play at the Hinsdale Central-Lyons Township Thanksgiving Tournament and as a result we have concluded that he ranks among the top 2017 prospects in the state. We break down Reynolds' game further in this player watch.
Isaiah Moss Ends Recruitment By Committing To Big Ten School
The opportunity to make an immediate impact at a high major program relatively close to home was a foremost criteria in the recruitment of Simeon's Isaiah Moss. As it turns out, Moss ended up choosing a school that completely satisfies those needs and in doing so will offer him the best of both worlds. That is why Moss ended things by committing to a Big Ten school during his official visit there. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down Moss' decision in this story.
Nick Robinson Makes Statement At NY2LA Futures Camp
As we have said before, it is one thing to emerge as a "breakout" player--it is another thing altogether to take your game to another level. But that is exactly what Kenwood's Nick Robinson has done since the beginning of the summer. And after performing in dominating fashion at the Futures Camp presented by NY2LA Sports Robinson has now become a serious contender to project as the top player in Illinois from the 2016 class. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on Robinson's game and everything that he brings to the table in this report.
Christian Negron Puts Himself On National Map With Outstanding Performance At Pangos All-Midwest Frosh/Soph Camp
Others will call it a coming-out party, but we have long been aware of the skills possessed by 2017 forward Christian Negron. And all of them came to fruition recently at the Pangos All-Midwest Frosh/Soph Camp. It explains why why Negron is now receiving national recognition and is rapidly ascending our rankings with respect to top players in Illinois from the class of 2017. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye provides a closer look in this report.
Nebraska & Tim Miles Do It Again In Illinois! Land Commitment From 2016 Wing
What a recruiting roll Tim Miles and his staff at Nebraska are on in the Land Of Lincoln. After landing two pledges in their 2015 class from Illinois the Huskers have added yet another with their first commitment in 2016. It comes courtesy of a highly athletic wing who was outstanding during the July evaluation period. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has more on Nebraska's latest commitment in this story.
Northern Illinois University Lands Their Fourth 2015 Commitment
If there is one word that accurately describes Northern Illinois University head coach Mark Montgomery's 2015 recruiting class it is "diversity." That is because it includes several multi-dimensional players who can play at least two positions. Montgomery and the Huskies have added another piece to that puzzle by securing their fourth 2015 commitment in the form of a big combo guard with local roots. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye elaborates further on NIU's latest commit in this story.
John Groce And Illinois Land A Huge Commitment From 2015 Guard
University Of Illinois head coach John Groce has known all along how essential landing a top-flight point guard has been with respect to his 2015 recruiting class. And due to his diligence and hard work, he has been rewarded in more ways than one. That is because Groce and the Illini have succeeded in landing a highly significant pledge from a talented 2015 back court prospect who can not only play the point but also has tremendous scoring capability. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has the all the goods on the Illini's latest commitment in this story.
Jalen Brunson Will Play In The Big East
Who says that you can't return to your roots? For Jalen Brunson and his father Rick the opportunity to do just that ended up being a primary driving force in Jalen's recruitment. That, along with a few other factors that worked in the winner's favor resulted in him announcing that he has committed to a Big East school. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has all that you need to know with respect to Brunson's commitment in this story.
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'sRoland 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.
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 Johnson. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye breaks down Johnson's game and why he is a recruit coaches need to know in this player watch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.