Cliff Alexander cuts school list to 5

Updated: October 7, 2013, 8:36 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Curie senior power forward Cliff Alexander, the No. 3-ranked prospect in the ESPN 100, tweeted Monday that his top five schools, in no particular order, are Illinois, DePaul, Michigan State, Kansas and Memphis.

Alexander, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward, previously released a top-six list that also included Arizona.

"There weren't any certain reasons why he eliminated Arizona," said Curie coach Mike Oliver, who, along with Alexander's mother and father, is helping him with the recruiting process. "I think he likes the five schools he's got. He knows more about them and is more comfortable with those five."

Alexander has already made official visits to DePaul and Kansas. He has an official visit to Memphis planned for Oct. 18 and one to Illinois planned for Oct. 26. He might also still take an unofficial visit to Michigan State.

"He's gone to DePaul and Kansas, and he liked both of them guys," Oliver said. "He's got two left with Illinois and Memphis coming up. He's liked Michigan State from day one."

Oliver said he thought Alexander would release a top-three list by Nov. 1 and commit to a school in late November or early December.

Alexander told ESPNChicago.com in September that he was considering DePaul and Illinois because he was interested in playing in-state and liked the direction the programs were headed.

DePaul's recent recruiting efforts in Chicago have helped its standing with Alexander. He was intrigued by the possibility of playing with former Chicago Public League players Billy Garrett, Tommy HamiltonRashaun Stimage and Myke Henry.

"I love [DePaul] coach Oliver Purnell," Alexander said. "He's a great guy. He's built a great relationship with my mom. We had a fun time. I'm really considering them. It helps a lot playing with Tommy, Myke, Billy and Rashaun. I know those guys."

Alexander said he also felt comfortable with the Illini's coaching staff and players.

"Coach [John] Groce, since he got the job, he's been communicating with me well," Alexander said. "My mom loves him, that whole coaching staff. I've been down there a few times and just hanging with the guy."

Fellow Chicagoan Jahlil Okafor, ESPN's No. 1-ranked senior prospect, also is narrowing his choices. Okafor's father, Chukwudi Okafor, said Sunday that Duke, Baylor, Kansas and Kentucky had the best chances of landing his son.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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