Posted on November 24, 2013. Filed under: Basketball, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


November 22, 2013

After opening the season with four games in nine days, 4-0 Illinois plays its lone game in an eight-day stretch, hosting 2-3 Chicago State on Friday night, and extended their 2013-14 streak to 5, defeating the Cougars 77-53. This victory gives the Illini their third consecutive season with a record of 5-0.

Senior Jon Ekey was the spark the team needed Friday night against Chicago State, as he lit things up on the court including a put back dunk, and back-to-back threes. WATCH!

“Different coaches, different systems,” Ekey said. “These coaches play a little bit differently, which I fit into a little bit better than the system they have over there [at Illinois State.] It’s great at this level to be able to do that, it’s one of those things that the coaches have been talking about ever since I got on campus. That’s why they recruited me when I left over there. It’s what they’ve been talking about to me every day, going out there, taking the open ones and don’t pass up shots. Just been a work in progress that’s kind of accumulated.”

Ekey led the way with 19 points and snagged 6 boards, followed by a trio of players who added 12 points including Joseph Bertrand, Tracy Abrams and Rayvonte Rice. Bertrand snagged 8 boards.

Coming off a 5-of-7 three-point shooting performance against Bradley on Sunday, Ekey again hit five threes to bail out the Illini against the lingering Chicago State team. After the Cougars pulled within four (55-51) with eight minutes left in the ball game, Ekey got his spark started with a dunk 30 seconds later, and didn’t look back.

On the other side of the court, the Cougars’ Clarke Rosenberg led the way with 16 points, followed by Matt Ross who added 13. Eddie Denard snagged 5 boards.

The Cougars shot 18-45 (40.0%) from the floor while Illini shot 26-54 (48.1%). Home team also controlled the boards with a 39-20 margin.

Up next for Illinois is a trip west to face UNLV, November 26.

Up next for Chicago State is Southern Illinois, November 30 at 205pm on their home campus. The game can also be heard on the world-famous WVON 1690AM.

Illinois is now 13-0 in November under head coach John Groce and has won its last 24 games overall in the month of November.


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McDonald All-American Games

Posted on October 29, 2012. Filed under: AAU, Basketball, Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, Girls High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

High School Basketball best is Chicago-bound at least for a few years….

August 2012

McDonald’s announced on Wednesday that the boys and girls All American Games will stay in Chicago at the United Center through 2015, with an option for 2016.

Bottom line, the fans keep turning out to watch the best-of-the-best in high school basketball.

“Fans throughout the U.S. can now make Chicago their destination to see the greatest high school basketball players participate in this annual rite of passage,” Douglas Freeland, director of the games, said in a release.

According to McDonald’s, Chicago ranks first in average attendance with 17, 388 in the three years it has hosted the game (1982, 2011, 2012). Philadelphia is a distant second with 11,610 in two years hosting.

The 2013 game will take place on April 3. Tickets will be available in January and the rosters will be announced in February.

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Boys Class of 2013

Posted on June 18, 2012. Filed under: Basketball, Boys High School Basketball, High School Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Top 10 Players from the Class of 2013

June 2012

Here is our TOP 10 Players from the Boys classes of 2013 to watch during the AAU circuit…

Visit www.amateursports365.com/basketball/2013-Boys-Prospects.html

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IL Boys 4A Championship Game:

Posted on March 18, 2012. Filed under: Basketball | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Wolverines 50, Pirates 48

March 17, 2012

PEORIA — Time for the best of the best…. 1 vs 2 for the 2012 Illinois Boys 4A State title and just as important, bragging rights. Not since 2004, when Homewood-Flossmoor and Peoria Central had it out for the State championship has a matchup been this shiny. Even though the crowd wasn’t as large, the hype was well worth the price of admission.

You almost hated for this game to come to an end, as both team scored back-and-forth, each getting a couple of runs, but once the smoke cleared the basketball court, it was the Wolverines still standing, defeating the Pirates 50-48 at Carver Arena Saturday night.

Coming into this game, top nationally ranked Simeon (33-1) is undefeated in the State and one lost in a tournament held in January, while Proviso East (32-1) is just undefeated, including winning the Proviso West Holiday tournament.

All eyes were on junior phenom Jabari Parker, but it was his teammates that held things together when they need it the most. I’m referring to Steve Taylor, Jaleni Neely and Kendrick Nunn.

“That’s a great team,” Taylor said referring to Proviso East. “They played tough and wanted it just like we did. But as you can see, we wanted it a little bit more.”

The first half ended tied at 23.

“As good as they played and as bad as we played, we were still in the game,” coach Robert Smith said after the game.

Nunn opened the fourth quarter with a solid 3-pointer, shortly afterwards, it was more Nunn, then Taylor and Neely got involved, getting an 8-0 run that gave Simeon a 45-41 lead with 3 minutes, 5 seconds remaining.

Simeon extended the lead to 50-45 on a vicious dunk by Parker with 12 seconds left that was called a technical because he held onto the rim a little too long.

Proviso East’s Sterling Brown wasn’t ready to throw in the towel, considering he held Parker in check for most of the game. The team called a timeout, their last timeout, once they were back on the floor, they advanced the ball with pure precision and Brown nailed a BIG 3-pointer from the right corner with less than three seconds to play (50-48). The problem here is, Simeon never touch nor inbounds the ball, thus, the time ran out and the celebration began.

It was reported that coach Donnie Boyce said after the game “I told Sterling we needed a delay too. I should have told him to throw the ball up in the stands afterwards.”

“Unfortunately we came up two points short,” Brown said. “We had a lot of chances to get there, a lot of chances to capitalize. Their experience and our lack of experience was a factor. This is our first time being here, and everybody wanted to take over instead of playing as a team. We’ll get back here next year and learn from our mistakes.”

With this victory, Parker has one more title than Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose and he still has one more season left to play. “I’m just glad to pass him, but I couldn’t have done it by myself,” Parker said. “Throughout the years I’ve been blessed with good talent around me. I can’t accept this alone.

Parker led the team with 15 points, and Taylor contributed 12 points and 15 boards. Brown finished with the game high of 25 points.

“It was a collective effort. We came out and got a lot of stops,” said Parker after the contest. “Sterling Brown, he’s an amazing player. We just had to play defense when it counted in the fourth quarter.”

“Scheduling is huge,” said Smith whose team only loss cam to national powerhouse Findlay Prep. “You’ve gotta be in this environment, and we’ve been in this environment all year.”

This is Simeon’s sixth state championship and the team decided to leave their mark on this championship by all removing their shoes on the center of the court. IHSA Director Marty Hickman picked up the shoes.

“I really couldn’t tell you how 32-1 feels because it’s so frustrating,” coach Donnie Boyce said after the game. “You’re right there, it was right in your grasp and you can touch it. We took the champions to the limit but didn’t get the job done.”


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