- Scott Powers, Reporter
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Illinois schools landed a variety of in-state and out-of-state basketball recruits on Wednesday. Here’s a look at each school’s recruiting class.
Michael Orris, 6-3, point guard, Crete-Monee (Ill.): “He is a point guard,” Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. “He has a great feel for the game. He understands the game. He enjoys passing the ball as much as shooting the ball. He’s a competitor. He loves to play. When he plays, he’s got a feistiness to him.”
Overall thoughts: “He’s going to push others, going to make others better,” said state-wide recruiting analyst Joe Henricksen, who publishes the City/Suburban Hoops Report. “He’s going to be zero maintenance. Those kind of guys are valuable in any program. I think he fills certain needs for any program. You can’t have 3-4 Michael Orris’, but you can have one or two who are really buying into what you’re doing and striving to get better.”
DeJuan Marrero, 6-6, small forward, Bowman Academy (Ind.): “He plays with a lot of energy and effort,” ESPN recruiting coordinator Reggie Rankin said. “He’s like a dirty-work small forward.”
Jodan Price, 6-7, small forward, Detroit Country Day (Mich.): “I like his length and he can shoot,” Rankin said. “He’s got upside. He’s a shot-maker.”
Overall thoughts: “They’re not program-changers by any means,” Rankin said. “I think they’ll be four-year contributors and have the upside to help you win many games. [DePaul coach Oliver Purnell’s] got to build a program. He’s got to build it with depth and quality, and that’s what he’s getting.”
Kale Abrahamson, 6-7, small forward, Valley (Iowa): “He’s a long, athletic small forward,” Rankin said. “He fits that Princeton offense. He can pass and shoot and has a feel for the game.
Sanjay Lumpkin, 6-6, small forward, Benilde-Saint Margaret (Minn.): “He can get to the rim on the break,” Rankin said. “I think he’s more athletic than anything. He’s a glue guy.”
Alex Olah, 6-11, center, Traders Point Christian (Ind.): He’s got great at 250 pounds, knows how to play and has good mobility,” Rankin said. “I think he’s going to have an opportunity to play right away because of players graduating , but he also has skill and size.”
Overall thoughts: “They’re getting guys who fit what they do,” Rankin said. “That’s a big key to recruit to the system that you got.”
Darell Combs, 6-1, shooting guard, Thornwood (Ill.): “Darell has a natural instinct and ability to score the ball,” Loyola coach Porter Moser said. “He can shoot the 3 but can also get past you off the dribble and he has a tremendous ability to pass, which is a trait some scorers don’t have.”
Nick Osborne, 6-8, power forward, Muncie Central (Ind.): “I have been watching Nick grow as a player for the last few years and he has a toughness about him that combined with his athletic ability will make him a special player for our program,” Moser said. “We want mobile, skilled student-athletes in our program, and Nick is athletic, skilled, tough and comes from a great high school program.”
Matt O’Leary, 6-7, power forward, Terre Haute North (Ind.): “Matt has tremendous range on his shot for someone who is 6-foot-8 but he is more than just a shooter,” Moser said. “He has worked very hard to develop a pull-up shot and on his dribble drive to the basket. Matt has a long arms and a frame that can allow for 15 more pounds.”
Jeff White, 6-1, point guard, Peoria Manual (Ill.): “[White] brings instant speed to our team and comes from a Peoria Manual program that has a proud tradition of excellence,” Moser said. “He is a team leader on a squad that finished second in the state. In addition to possessing a lot of toughness, Jeff will help our aggressiveness on defense. He is a very strong player for his size and he holds all of the traits we were seeking as we built this recruiting class.”
Overall thoughts: “I think Loyola hit a home run,” Henricksen said. “I love the big kid [Osborne] out of Indiana. I think he’s a huge get. I’ve always been a big fan of Darell Combs. He’s versatile and can play both guard spots down the road. In a short period of time, Loyola has made its mark.”
Matt Gorski, 7-0, center, Fishburne Military School (Va.): “Matt is a 7-footer who is going to cause problems,” UIC coach Howard Moore said. “He really fits our system and what we’re trying to do. He’ll be ready to play right away.”
Gabriel Snider, 6-4, shooting guard, Whitney Young (Ill.): “We’re going to recruit Chicago and find the right fits in what we’re trying to do,” Moore said. “He’s got that fit. He has a high basketball ceiling and very good basketball set. We know he can shoot. He’s good, all-around guard.”
Jake Wiegand, 6-8, power forward, Fishburne Military School (Va.): “Jake is more of a power forward, more of a mobile guy,” Moore said. “But he can post up and get open at the basket.”
Overall thoughts: “What you want to do in the second class is fill some of the gaps of your first class,” Moore said. “We wanted to address some of the positions we didn’t address in the first class, in particular the front line.”
Anthony Beane, 6-1, point guard, Normal Community (Ill.): “Anthony is a tremendous athlete and a tremendous competitor who is very versatile guard,” Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich said. “He’s our prototype guard in that he could easily be considered a point guard, but could play any or all guard positions.”
Aaron Simpson, 5-10, point guard, North Chicago (Ill.): “Aaron is an explosive scorer and while he’s not really big, he plays much bigger than his size and he’s an outstanding athlete,” Jankovich said. “He’s a natural scorer and has a real knack for getting the ball in the basket in a lot of different ways.”
Ka’Darryl Bell, 6-1, point guard, Oak Park (Ill.): “In order to have a winning program, you need to have quality guard play,” Bradley coach Geno Ford said. “Adding Ka'Darryl gives us versatility. He adds more quickness, more leadership and will help us push the tempo. Defensively, he will complement the guys that we currently have on our roster."
Tyshon Pickett, 6-6, small forward, Dodge City Community College (La.)
Antonio Drummond, 5-10, point guard, La Lumiere (Ind.): "He's never played against kids his own age -- he's always played up a level -- and that makes him very advanced,” Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery said. “He's an excellent ball handler and leader, he can defend, and at his prep school, he's improved as a shooter.”
Travis Wilkins, 6-3, shooting guard, Snow Junior College (Utah): “Travis is one of the best shooters in the country,” Lowery said. “Every time he shoots it, you think it's going in.”
Daveon Balls, 6-1, point guard, Lawrence North (Ind.)
Mike Davis, 6-1, shooting guard, Garfield Heights (Ohio)
Sam Mader, 6-9, power forward, Appleton East (Wis.)
Cameron Harvey, 6-2, shooting guard, Wheaton Academy (Ill.)
T.J. McGhee, 6-6, forward, Dodge City Community College (La.)
Scott Powers reviews the recruiting classes for in-state schools.