Preps Talk

Mr. Basketball favorite Jordan Goodwin commits to Saint Louis

Mr. Basketball favorite Jordan Goodwin commits to Saint Louis

The favorite for Mr. Basketball in Illinois next season made his decision on Friday as Belleville Althoff star Jordan Goodwin committed to Saint Louis.

After a tremendous junior season in which he led the Crusaders to a Class 3A state title in basketball, Goodwin became a national recruit, as he picked the local Billikens over his top seven of Alabama, Butler, Creighton, llinois, Missouri and Northwestern.

Regarded as the No. 53 overall recruit in the Class of 2017 by Rivals, Goodwin is a dynamic wing guard who can play multiple positions. A physical player who likes to bully smaller guards, Goodwin averaged 18.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 55.1 percent from the field as a junior.

This spring and summer in the Nike EYBL with the St. Louis Eagles, Goodwin fared well against the best competition in the country as he averaged 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game. The rebounding numbers in the EYBL are particularly impressive given how many talented big men were in that league this season while Goodwin is only 6-foot-4.

Goodwin's commitment to Saint Louis is significant for a few reasons.

For Saint Louis and new head coach Travis Ford, it establishes that Ford can continue to recruit top-100 caliber talent to his new school and the Atlantic 10. Keeping a local player like Goodwin -- who is from the St. Louis metro area but resides in Illinois -- home is crucial if Ford is going to string together NCAA tournament appearances like he did at Oklahoma State.

Goodwin has also been compared favorably to Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, a player who thrived in two years under Ford at Oklahoma State. By staying local and playing for a coach who has consistently been in the NCAA tournament, you can understand Goodwin's logic in his decision as a competitive player who wants to win titles.

By going to Saint Louis, Goodwin is also turning down an opportunity to join a great in-state class at Illinois, one that includes five-star center Jeremiah Tilmon, four-star guard DaMonte Williams and Belleville East guard Javon Pickett. The Illini have a lot to offer when it comes to talented players joining the Class of 2017 recruiting class, but head coach John Groce and the program are on a three-year tournament drought and Groce's job security has been publicly questioned a few times. 

While the other schools on Goodwin's lists are also good programs with a lot to offer, many are going to view this as Saint Louis beating Illinois for his services in the long run.

Goodwin is the first to commit to the Billikens in the Class of 2017.

During his senior season, Goodwin will be a big favorite to win Mr. Basketball in Illinois and Althoff should once again be a major contender for a state title.

Edgy Tim recruiting news and notes: Rolling Meadows linebacker Nate Pedraza verbally commits to Ball State


Edgy Tim recruiting news and notes: Rolling Meadows linebacker Nate Pedraza verbally commits to Ball State

Rolling Meadows junior outside linebacker/defensive end recruit Nate Pedraza (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) made a Presidents Day visit to Ball State. He later announced that he was giving the Cardinals his verbal commitment. 

"Once I was able to walk onto campus, I knew that Ball State was a pretty special place," Pedraza said. "I had such a great visit on Monday and after talking it over with my coaches and my family I decided to commit to Ball State."

Pedraza filled us in on why he decided to play football in Muncie.

"I just felt at home at Ball State and just fit in so well on my visit. Ball State has a lot to offer. But the main reason for me committing is that I just feel comfortable and at home there. From the coaching staff to the campus, the surrounding area and also from the academics side, everything is just a great fit for me at Ball State."

Homewood-Flossmoor junior offensive guard recruit Marcus Harper II (6-foot-4, 285 pounds) has seen his overall recruiting stock trend upward in February. Harper II was able to add eight FBS-level scholarship offers, four of which came on Friday.

"I had an amazing week and quite the day last Friday," Harper II said. "I was able to add offers last week from Oregon, Illinois, Indiana, Duke, Nebraska, Bowling Green, Boston College and NIU. On Friday alone I added offers from Oregon, Illinois, Indiana and Duke."

Harper II admitted that he was still trying to get his head around adding some many offers in a short amount of time.

"It really hasn't all set in yet to be honest. It just seemed like one offer would come in and then I would have a text or a DM from another school wanting me to call them. Friday was just crazy and I added three of my four offers that day in like a two hour span. Duke was the first school to offer me early on Friday morning and then I started getting text and DM's from the other schools and I would call back those coaches and they all offered."

Marist junior four star-ranked wide receiver Jadon Thompson (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) announced his top six schools back in December (Illinois/Purdue/Michigan/Missouri/Michigan State/Minnesota); however, he stated that he's already "rethinking" that list. 

"I released a top six schools list back in December and at the time that was a solid list for me," Thompson said. "Yet I've also added some really good offers from great schools and I'm definitely revisiting that top schools list these days."

Thompson is also planning to make some on campus unofficial visits soon. 

"I'm planning to get down to LSU sometime in March for a visit. I would also like to visit Penn State, Kansas State and Michigan State this spring but I don't have any other dates set yet. I'm also considering whether I'll take any spring official visits. I might take one in the spring and then take more official visits during the season but I haven't sorted that out yet."

Curie junior three star-ranked offensive tackle recruit Kevo Wesley (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) has also seen his recruiting stock take off so far this winter. Wesley, who finished his first season of organized football last fall, currently holds 16 FBS-level scholarship offers. The two latest ones come from a pair of Big Ten schools in Rutgers and Iowa. Wesley, who played basketball at Curie up until this winter, looked back at his 2018 season and discussed his transition from playing basketball to football.

"It was a big transition at first and the overall speed of the game was the hardest thing to get used to for me," Wesley said. "Once we got to around Week 5-6 the game definitely started to slow down and it started to come easier to me. I'm just working hard on getting back in the weight room and I just want to keep learning and knowing the game better this off season."

IHSA Preps Boys Basketball AP Poll

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 (8) 29-1 89 1
2. Belleville West (1) 26-3 82 3
3. Normal Community 23-3 62 4
4. Danville 26-3 53 5
5. Whitney Young 23-7 52 2
6.  Evanston 26-4 39 7
7. Bloom 23-3 29 T-8
8. Simeon 16-14 28 NR
9.  Collinsville 27-4 22 T-8
10. Rockford East 29-3 21 10

Others receiving votes: Marian Catholic 13, Moline 2, Lincoln Park 2, Geneva 1.

Class 3A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Morgan Park (11) 26-4 110 2
2. Bogan 22-3 91 1
3. Springfield Southeast 24-2 90 3
4. East St. Louis 23-5 81 4
5. Peoria Notre Dame 21-4 61 5
6. Rock Falls 26-2 48 7
7. St. Viator 23-5 35 9
8. Lincoln 25-3 32 6
9. Ottawa 22-2 28 8
10.  St. Laurence 24-3 15 10

Others receiving votes: Farragut 5, Kankakee 4, Herrin 3, DePaul College Prep 1, Peoria Manual 1.

Class 2A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Nashville (7) 29-2 105 1
2. Orr (4) 19-11 95 2
3. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 27-2 89 3
4. Leo 20-8 67 4
5. Alton Marquette 27-3 60 5
6.  Bloomington Central Catholic 23-7 53 6
7.  Teutopolis 29-5 49 7
8. Fairfield 29-2 29 9
9. Sterling Newman 28-3 22 10
10. Dunbar 18-5 14 8

Others receiving votes: Corliss 7, Casey-Westfield 5, Warsaw West Hancock 3, Pinckneyville 3, Chester 2, Williamsville 1, Aurora Christian 1.

Class 1A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Providence -St. Mel (10) 23-6 100 1
2. Kewanee (Wethersfield) 26-2 80 3
3.  Moweaqua Central A&M 27-3 74 4
4. East Dubuque 27-1 64 5
5. Cissna Park 26-4 63 2
6. Ottawa Marquette 26-2 47 6
7.  Winchester-West Central 23-6 43 7
8. Madison 16-11 22 NR
T-9.  Thompsonville 29-2 17 T-9
T-9. Elmwood 24-2 17 T-9

Others receiving votes: Concord Triopia 14, Nokomis 5, Champaign Judah Christian 2, Payson Seymour 1, Sesser-Valier 1.