NCAA Talk

Where the local prep players are going

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Where the local prep players are going

A total of 140 seniors from the Chicago area made formal commitments on national signing day but only 17 of them are going to Big 10 programs, confirming what recruiting analysts had forecast a year ago -- the class of 2012 in the city and suburbs is average at best.

Only four others committed to major Division I programs.

Illinois signed four -- WR Charles Robertson of Lincoln-Way East, OL Robert Bain of Bolingbrook, DL Vontrell Williams of Mount Carmel and LB J.B. Bello of Lincoln-Way West.

Northwestern signed three -- RB Malin Jones of Joliet Catholic, RB Dan Vitale of Wheaton Warrenville South and DB Joe Jones of Plano.

Iowa got four -- OL Ryan Ward of Providence, DL Faith Ekakitie of Lake Forest Academy, DB Maurice Fleming of Curie and DL Jaleel Johnson of Montini.

Indiana signed RB Tevin Coleman of Oak Forest and OL Dan Feeney of Sandburg. Wisconsin landed OL Dan Voltz of Barrington, Minnesota signed LB Jack Lynn of Lake Zurich.

Ohio State signed DL Tommy Schutt of Glenbard West, who originally had committed to Penn State after Notre Dame and Michigan had pulled his scholarship offers.

Nebraska managed to keep prize wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp of Montini away from Notre Dame.

Notre Dame, which once was a dominant factor in the recruiting sweepstakes in the Chicago area, got only long snapper Scott Daly of Downers
Grove South.

Florida signed LB Antonio Morrison of Bolingbrook. Oklahoma got RB David Smith of Bremen. Stanford signed several outstanding offensive linemen, including Johnny Caspers of Glenbard West.

Northern Illinois signed a dozen local players--QB Matt Williams of Geneva, RB Keith Harris of Leo, TE Desroy Maxwell of Amundsen, DB Perez Ford of Romeoville, LB Ladell Fleming of Julian, OL Scott Taylor of Marian Central, DL Brian Canoy of St. Patrick, DL Michael Ippolito of Neuqua Valley, DL Mario Jones of Hubbard, OL Sal Arceo of Mount Carmel, DB Conner Gavin of Notre Dame and DL Corey Thomas of Lindblom.

Several local products remain uncommitted and unsigned, including OL Jordan Diamond, QB Robert Gregory and LB Shaquille Joyner of Simeon, RB Josh Williams of Downers Grove South, RB Mike Panico of Carmel, LB Jack Stibich of Fenwick, DB Anthony Standifer of Crete-Monee and OL Ryan Glasgow of Marmion.

Diamond, who is ranked No. 68 in the nation according to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network, said he will announce his decision on Friday -- either Michigan, Ohio State, Auburn, Wisconsin or Arkansas.

Gregory originally committed to Arkansas but wasn't able to qualify academically. Standifer de-committed from Michigan and is hoping to sign with Notre Dame.
WHERE THE LOCAL PLAYERS WENT

Quarterbacks

Ryan Bartels, Sycamore -- North Dakota
A.J. Bilyeu, Bartlett -- Air Force
Noel Gaspari, Batavia -- North Central
Zach Gross, South Elgin -- Olivet Nazarene
DaeShaun Hurley, Julian -- Ball State
Anthony Maddie, Aurora Christian -- Western Michigan
Billy Reed, Lockport -- Southern Illinois
Robert Tonyan Jr., McHenry -- Indiana State
Ryan West, Oswego -- Southern Illinois
Malcolm Weaver, Loyola -- Butler
Matt Williams, Geneva -- Northern Illinois
Blake Winkler, Lincoln-Way East -- Illinois State

Running backs

Kevin Bayer, Lincoln-Way East -- North Dakota
Tevin Coleman, Oak Forest -- Indiana
Keith Harris Jr., Leo -- Northern Illinois
Malin Jones, Joliet Catholic -- Northwestern
Jordan Kos, Carmel -- Winona State
Paul Preston, Maine South -- Winona State
David Smith, Bremen -- Oklahoma
Tyler Starke, Lincoln-Way East -- Robert Morris
Dan Vitale, Wheaton Warrenville South -- Northwestern
Martez Walker, Brother Rice -- Central Michigan

Receivers

Cole Gardner, Batavia -- Eastern Michigan
Kenny Golladay, St. Rita -- North Dakota
Dee Gray, Waubonsie Valley -- North Dakota State
Tyler Hickey, Geneva -- Davidson
Tony Leon, Naperville North -- Wisconsin-Platteville
Chris Lisenby, De La Salle -- Western Illinois
Nic Margiotta, Prairie Ridge -- Winona State
Luke Mathewson, Libertyville -- North Dakota
Desroy Maxwell, Amundsen -- Northern Illinois
Shawn Mitchell, Rich Central -- Southern Illinois
Charles Robertson, Lincoln-Way East -- Illinois
Ben Rogers, Geneva -- Cornell
Scott Simpson, Neuqua Valley -- Western Illinois
Anthony Taylor, Montini -- Eastern Illinois
Mitch Vejvoda, Providence -- South Dakota State
Jordan Westerkamp, Montini -- Nebraska
Zach Wolfe, Lockport -- Butler
Brandon Wright, De La Salle -- St. Joseph's, Ind.

Offensive linemen

Sal Arceo, Mount Carmel -- Northern Illinois
Kyle Avaloy, Glenbard South -- Illinois State
Robert Bain, Bolingbrook -- Illinois
Richard Barber, Lake Forest Academy -- Holy Cross
Charles Barth, Providence -- Western Michigan
Ryan Callen, Hinsdale Central -- Miami, Ohio
Johnny Caspers, Glenbard West -- Stanford
Nick Dachota, St. Rita -- Indiana State
Scott Daly, Downers Grove South -- Notre Dame
Robert Delaney, Loyola -- Dayton
Dan Feeney, Sandburg -- Indiana
Alex Hern, Lincoln-Way East -- Drake
Greg Hohenstein, Wheaton South -- Bowling Green
Jake Hurcombe, Stevenson -- Eastern Michigan
C.J. Irvin, Manteno -- Illinois State
Jake Jankowski, Joliet Catholic -- St. Xavier
Maciej Kozlowski, Jacobs -- Southern Illinois
Mike Love, Andrew -- Western Illinois
Jim Lowery, Montini -- Eastern Illinois
David Meyerhoff, Naperville North -- Southern Illinois
Dan Pawlak, Lakes -- Illinois State
Paul Perschon, Conant -- Toledo
Nick Roach, Mount Carmel -- Western Michigan
Dillon Sandberg, Libertyville -- Robert Morris
Scott Taylor, Marian Central -- Northern Illinois
Dan Voltz, Barrington -- Wisconsin
Ryan Ward, Providence -- Iowa

Defensive linemen
Brian Canoy, St. Patrick -- Northern Illinois
Nick Cemeno, Providence -- St. Xavier
Nick Collofello, Joliet Catholic -- St. Francis
Mikhail Dubose, Hubbard -- Bowling Green
Faith Ekakitie, Lake Forest Academy -- Iowa
Josh Falk, Joliet Catholic -- Northwest Missouri State
Evan Finnane, Elgin St. Edward -- Army
Matt Frolik, Joliet Catholic -- Robert Morris
Greg Gordon, Bolingbrook -- St. Joseph's, Ind.
Alex Hamilton, Minooka -- St. Xavier
Anthony Harris, Bolingbrook -- Northern Michigan
Michael Ippolito, Neuqua Valley -- 0Northern Illinois
Mario Jones, Hubbard -- Northern Illinois
Jaleel Johnson, Montini -- Iowa
Brett Jones, Naperville North -- Cornell
Austin Lewis, Batavia -- Augustana
Alec Lyons, Batavia -- Indiana State
Joel Mangum, Lincoln-Way East -- Indiana State
Mike Marks, Naperville North -- Concordia, Minn.
Phillip Martin, Kenwood -- Toledo
Pat O'Connor, St. Rita -- Eastern Michigan
Mike Parker, Libertyville -- Grand Valley State
Jimmy Pelnarsh, Morris -- Air Force
Lance Sanders, Leo -- Central Michigan
Michael Scott, Loyola -- Dayton
Tommy Schutt, Glenbard West -- Ohio State
Jon Slania, South Elgin -- Southeast Missouri State
Matt Solner, Lincoln-Way East -- Iowa Western
Corey Thomas, Lindblom -- Northern Illinois
Austin Tixler, Prospect -- Wyoming
Alec Vesper, Minooka -- Mankato State
Vontrell Williams, Mount Carmel -- Illinois

Linebackers

Andre Allen, Bolingbrook -- Illinois State
Lance Baggett, Chicago Academy -- Army
B.J. Bello, Lincoln-Way West -- Illinois
Evan Bishop, Jacobs -- Northern Michigan
Collin Corcoran, Prairie Ridge -- Winona State
Stewart Cunningham, De La Salle -- 0Carthage
Ladell Fleming, Julian -- Northern Illinois
Leonard Garron, Evanston -- Southern Illinois
Tristan Humbles, Notre Dame -- Western Illinois
Matt Koran, Joliet West -- Harvard
Kyle Krull, Lemont -- Western Illinois
Jack Lynn, Lake Zurich -- Minnesota
Will McNamara, St. Rita -- Dartmouth
Anthony Messina, Addison Trail -- New Mexico
Carl Miller, Stevenson -- Air Force
Antonio Morrison, Bolingbrook -- Florida
Sean Oroni, Batavia -- Carthage
Mike Partyka, Bartlett -- Winona State
Mike Passo, Joliet Catholic -- St. Francis
Nathan Sudnick, West Chicago -- Dayton
Brad Uher, Lemont -- Western Illinois
Jarrett Wood, Vernon Hills -- Winona State
Defensive backs

Charles Elmore, St. Rita -- South Dakota State
Maurice Fleming, Curie -- Iowa
Perez Ford, Romeoville -- Northern Illinois
Conner Gavin, Notre Dame -- Northern Illinois
Brandon Greer, Mount Carmel -- Central Michigan
Joe Jones, Plano -- Northwestern
Ryan Meyer, Marist -- Eastern Illinois
Chase Murdock, Barrington -- Toledo
Diaron Rhodes, Bolingbrook -- Central Missouri
Dion Starnes, Bremen -- Air Force
Sam Styler, Libertyville -- Illinois Wesleyan
Tevin Teamer, Bolingbrook -- Central Missouri
Philip Wilson, Bolingbrook -- Indiana State
Caz Zyks, Jacobs -- Drake
Kicker

Ron Colluzzi, Naperville North -- Central Michigan
Tyler Mellecker, Waubonsie Valley -- Indiana State
David Reisner, South Elgin -- Navy
Sam Retzky, Notre Dame -- Tulsa
Brad Walovitch, Crystal Lake South -- Winona State

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

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AP

Say it ain't so: DePaul commit Tyger Campbell reopens recruitment

It looks like it was too good to be true.

Tyger Campbell shocked the recruiting world when he committed to DePaul on May 8.

Less than four months later, Campbell has reopened his recruitment.

The Rivals.com four-star point guard out of La Lumiere High School in Indiana, who is the No. 66 prospect in the 2018 Class, took to Twitter Friday night to explain his decision.

One of Campbell's original draws to the Blue Demons was DePaul hiring Shane Heirman as an assistant coach. Heirman coached Campbell for two seasons at La Lumiere.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com when he committed to the Blue Demons. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy."

Campbell currently has offers from a handful of D1 schools, including Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, Memphis and Tennessee.

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

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USA TODAY

Upset alert? Why a confident UIC is challenging juggernaut Kentucky

On the heels of a 12-win improvement, UIC basketball is riding confidently into the new season. 

And why shouldn't they be? Head coach Steve McClain returns a young, talented nucleus that's expected to challenge for a Horizon League championship and NCAA Tournament berth. 

In fact, the program is in such good shape that they thought: Let's play Kentucky. 

Yup, that's right. The UIC Flames will match up with the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on Nov. 26, a necessary stage in development, according to McClain. 

“Every year you build your program, there’s steps you have to take," McClain said. "When we got the opportunity to go to Kentucky, I think that’s the next level of exposure for our program.

"When you're chasing trying to be great, you gotta show your kids and show people what greatness looks like. I don't think anyone can argue what Kentucky has done, so I want to put our kids in that environment so they see what it is." 

The contrast between programs is severe. UIC hasn't made an NCAA Tournament since 2004. The Wildcats have made 11 since then. UIC has never advanced out of the first round at the Big Dance. Kentucky has eight National Championships. 

Even this upcoming season, as the Flames boast one of their most skilled teams in school history, none of them were ever touted like Kentucky's freshman class, which ranks No. 2 in the nation per ESPN. 

But the disparities in past successes don't seem to bother UIC. Instead, players, who were likely snubbed by bigger schools in recruitment, are excited about the opportunity to compete on a national stage that the Flames rarely see. 

“First I was like, ‘It’s about time we got someone like (Kentucky) on our schedule,’" said center Tai Odiase, one of the few seniors on the roster. "We’ve been trying to play bigger teams to showcase what we’re made of."

“I don’t see why you go into a place like that without a chip on your shoulder. You don’t go in there just to play basketball, we’re trying to win."

UIC will be heavy, heavy underdogs. There's no way around that. But there are certain spots where they may not be at such a disadvantage. 

On the defensive end, Odiase continued to terrorize guards and big men alike, finishing fifth in the NCAA with 2.9 blocks per game. The dynamic guard duo from "The Six," Godwin Boahen and Marcus Ottey, are quick enough to hang and both took a huge step down the stretch last season. Then there's the return of 2015-2016 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year Dikembe Dixson, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

"The doctors at times thought he was a freak of nature because he was back as quick as he was," McClain said.  

Still, it's a tune-up game for Kentucky, who also scheduled Kansas, UCLA and Louisville on their non-conference slate. But one team's expected walk through is another team's vital experience. 

"Our guys can walk in and see that on a given night, you can compete with anyone," McClain said. 

Given new athletic director Garrett Klassy's comments at his introductory press conference, it doesn't seem as if games like this are a one-hit wonder for UIC. 

“I am an aggressive scheduler," Klassy said. "I helped with the scheduling at George Washington. We’ll play anyone, anytime, anywhere.

"You want to measure yourself against the best. We have a lot of returning starters. It’ll be nice to go on the road, play a tough game and maybe sneak out an upset."