Preps Talk

Iowa makes recruiting push in Chicago with pledge from Marian Catholic's Ahron Ulis

Iowa makes recruiting push in Chicago with pledge from Marian Catholic's Ahron Ulis

The first major recruiting domino in the Chicagoland area fell for the Class of 2020 on Tuesday afternoon as Marian Catholic senior point guard Ahron Ulis committed to Iowa with an announcement on Twitter.

The 6-foot-2 Ulis, the younger brother of former McDonald's All-American and Kentucky standout Tyler Ulis, is headed to the Big Ten as the Hawkeyes offered Ahron in mid July and landed the commitment quickly after.

A finalist for Tyler during his recruitment in 2013 before he ended up with the Wildcats, Iowa and head coach Fran McCaffery will get a chance to coach the younger Ulis over the next few years. Iowa deserves credit for making an aggressive push for the underrated lead guard as they've been relatively quiet recruiting the Chicagoland area in recent years. 

Since landing two area talents in the Class of 2015 in Isaiah Moss (Simeon) and Brandon Hutton (De La Salle), the Hawkeyes have been shut out of the Land of Lincoln for four consecutive recruiting classes as they've focused their efforts elsewhere. 

But a commitment from Ulis and recent scholarship offers to Bloom senior center Martice Mitchell and area junior stars like Max Christie (Rolling Meadows) and Bryce Hopkins (Fenwick) could signal that the Hawkeyes are ready to make a bigger imprint in Illinois. Iowa also offered Whitney Young senior guard Tyler Beard but it's hard to say if Beard is still a priority recruit for the Hawkeyes after the commitment from Ulis.

With an uptempo offense and a Round of 32 appearance in last season's NCAA tournament, Iowa has some intriguing things to pitch to recruits as it'll be interesting to see if they continue to recruit the Chicagoland area over the next few classes.

One of the area’s most accomplished players the past two seasons, Ulis helped lead Marian Catholic to a final four in Peoria in Class 3A as a sophomore. Ulis followed up that season with a strong junior campaign and a solid spring and summer playing with Meanstreets in the Nike EYBL over the last several months.



Putting up 18.3 points and 4.4 assists per game as a junior, Ulis captured MVP honors at the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic while leading Marian Catholic to the title at the event. An All-ESCC conference selection as a junior, the strong play of Ulis carried over to the offseason as he averaged 13.3 points, 4.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game in 18 games in the Nike EYBL. 

While Ulis is a polished floor general with good assist-to-turnover numbers and an ability to attack off the dribble, perimeter shooting could ultimately decide his upside at the college level. Inconsistent from three-point range over the last few months (30 percent three-point shooting in EYBL play), Ulis shot the ball better in July while playing in the Peach Jam as he was 34 percent from distance over five games at the event. The sample size is small, but Ulis showed improved confidence with the long ball as that will be something to monitor during his senior season.

Marian Catholic should remain a major contender in the ESCC and beyond for the upcoming 2019-20 season as Ulis and fellow senior guard Elijah Jones will be one of the state’s better backcourts. Jones, a recent pledge to Western Illinois, should alleviate some of the burden placed on Ulis while head coach Mike Taylor has plenty of other talented weapons surrounding the duo.

Despite being the younger brother of an NBA player, Ulis hasn't received significant national recruiting attention the past several years. But if Ahron emerges as a late-blooming prospect like his older brother Tyler, then Iowa will look smart for taking advantage of and being one of the only high-major programs to seriously recruit him. 

IHSA Preps Girls Basketball AP Poll

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NBC Sports Chicago

IHSA Preps Girls Basketball AP Poll

Here are the rankings of Illinois high school girls basketball teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters:


Class 4A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Benet (3) 18-2 54 1
2. Edwardsville 16-1 49 T2
3. Evanston Township (3) 16-2 46 3
4. Maine West 18-3 43 T2
5. Lincoln Way West 20-2 39 5
6. Marist 19-3 34 6
7. Whitney Young 17-6 21 T9
8. Libertyville 16-4 13 8
9.  Homewood-Flossmoor 16-4 9 T9
10. Fremd 15-6 6 10

Others receiving votes: Hersey 5. Lake Forest 4. Bolingbrook 4. O'Fallon 2. Dundee-Crown 1.

Class 3A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Morton (7) 23-0 70 1
2. Bethalto Civic Memorial 19-2 59 3
3. Montini 21-3 58 2
4. Simeon 21-2 42 8
5. Richwoods 20-5 41 4
6. Peoria Central 18-3 28 T5
7. Geneseo 19-2 27 T5
8. (tie) Kankakee 21-4 27 7
9.  Decatur MacArthur 19-2 10 T10
10. Rich South 19-3 9 9

Others receiving votes: Rock Island 7. Kenwood 6. Springfield Lanphier 1

Class 2A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Paris  (9) 24-0 107 1
2. Knoxville 24-1 83 3
3. (tie) Carterville 21-1 83 2
4. Quincy Notre Dame 15-0 80 5
5.  Harrisburg 22-2 62 6
6. Chicago Marshall (1) 12-8 54 4
7. Riverdale 15-3 43 7
8. Teutopolis 15-4 38 8
9. Normal University 16-8 10 10
10. Carlinville 18-3 8 NR

Others receiving votes: Sullivan 7. Marshall 6. Pana 5. Lisle 5. Fairbury Prairie Central 3. Nashville 3. Rock Falls 3. Mendota 2. Breese Mater Dei 1. Petersburg PORTA 1. Freeburg 1.

Class 1A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Amboy (7) 20-1 86 2
2. Lewistown (2) 21-1 78 1
3.  Brimfield 21-1 75 3
4.  Lanark Eastland 21-3 64 4
5. Jacksonville Routt 19-2 42 T7
6. Aquin 20-5 37 5
7.  Hope Academy 16-1 33 9
8. Princeville  20-3 20 10
9.  (tie) Colfax Academy 20-2 20 T7
10. Altamont 18-3 14 6

Others receiving votes: Aurora Christian 11. Shiloh 9. Hope 2. Father McGivney Catholic 2. Gardner-South Wilmington 1. Mason City Illini Central 1.

IHSA Preps Boys Basketball AP Poll

ap-illinois-hs-boys-basketball-rankings-slide.png
NBC Sports Chicago

IHSA Preps Boys Basketball AP Poll

Here are the rankings of Illinois high school boys basketball teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters:


Class 4A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Curie (5) 17-1 68 1
2. Collinsville (2) 18-0 63 3
3.  Harvey Thornton 19-0 55 4
4.  Evanston Township 18-1 50 2
5. Chicago Heights (Bloom Twp.) 18-4 43 6
6. Homewood-Flossmoor 15-2 30 5
7. Whitney Young 12-6 26 7
8. Lincoln Park 16-2 19 9
9.  Joliet West 18-3 12 8
10. Loyola  19-1 8 10

Others receiving votes: Cary-Grove 3. Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights) 2. Stevenson 2. DeKalb 2. Glenbrook South 1. Schaumburg 1

Class 3A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Niles Notre Dame (10) 19-2 109 1
2. Bogon (1) 19-2 100 2
3. Depaul College Prep 17-2 85 3
4. Morgan Park 13-6 67 4
5. Peoria Notre Dame 16-1 61 T6
6. Kankakee 14-2 49 T6
7.  Rock Island 14-4 48 T6
8.  Oak Forest 17-1 31 9
9. Galesburg

20-2

16 NR

10. 

Lincoln

 

16-2

 

14

T6


Others receiving votes: Lisle (Benet Academy) 11. Carbondale 6. Fenwick 5. Geneseo 1. Hinsdale South 1. Centralia 1

Class 2A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Orr (2) 10-7 91 1
2. (tie) Pickneyville (4) 17-2 91 3
3. Corliss 10-6 83 2
4. Breese Mater Dei (2) 15-4 81 8
5.  Normal University (3) 13-5 79 T5
6. Sterling Newman (1) 19-2 69 T5
7. Nashville 17-4 47 4
8. Tuscola 15-1 28 10
9. Crane 15-3 22 7
10. Rockridge 15-4 14 NR

Others receiving votes: Elmhurst Timothy Christian 13. Pleasant Plains 11. Pana 10. Bismarck-Henning 8. Marshall 4. Massac County 2. Riverton 2. Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield) 2. Benton 1. Kewanee 1. Dunbar 1.

Class 1A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Winchester-West Central (6) 19-0 105 6
2. Moweaqua Central A&M (1) 13-2 95 2
3.  Roanoke Benson (3) 18-1 88 1
4.  Goreville (2) 20-0 80 3
5. Indian Creek 18-0 64 4
6. East Dubuque 16-2 58 7
7.  Quest Academy 14-3 55 9
8. Payson Seymour 18-1 50 5
9.  Effingham St. Anthony  15-3 23 8
10. Woodlawn 16-3 17 10

Others receiving votes: Athens 5. Aurora Christian 5. New Berlin 4. Okawville 3. Leo 3. Kewanee (Wethersfield) 3. Annawan 1. Calhoun