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News and Notes From The Recruiting Trail

Brian Stinnette
April 8, 2004

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Chicago Simeon head coach Bob Hambric has decided to retire. Hambric, one of the all-time greatest coaches in Illinois high school basketball history, will be replaced by longtime assistant Robert Smith. Next year, Simeon will feature Derrick Rose, the #1 Class of 2007 prospect in the state of Illinois. Rose is a serious player! Regardless of class, the 6-2 freshman guard may be the top prospect in the state of Illinois.

Former Marian Catholic star Cedrick Middleton, who just completed a season at Brewster Academy Prep School, will take an official visit to the University of Akron the weekend of April 10. Former West Aurora star Michael Binns, a teammate of Middleton’s at Brewster will be visiting Long Island University the weekend of April 10. Binns will visit Bowling Green University on April 22-23.

Shaun Livingston will be meeting with the Duke coaching staff later this month. His high school coach, Chuck Buescher, told The Chronicle Online that he thinks the odds of Livingston going to Duke are no worse than 50/50. In fact, Buescher said, “I think it is better off than that”. However, should Livingston enter the NBA draft, word on the street is that he will not last past the #4 pick. The expansion Charlotte Bobcats already own that pick regardless of what happens in the draft lottery, and thought to be coveting Livingston.

According to Jim Miller, Justin Dentmon’s high school coach at Carbondale, rumors that Dentmon will not attend Illinois State if he doesn’t qualify are not true. Miller told the Bloomington Pantagraph “Everything I’ve heard from Justin is that he is excited about playing at ISU”. Illinois State really needs to get Dentmon on campus. If he does go off to prep school…….Look Out!

Dentmon’s strong senior senior season, and sizzling state tournament got the entire state of Illinois buzzing. However, Tommie Liddell of East St. Louis, could also be a prep school candidate. Look folks, Tommie Liddell is a serious, serious player! At 6-5, Liddell can play either guard slot. In fact, you would not be making a mistake by calling Liddell a point guard. Liddell, a St. Louis University recruit, put his skills on display last weekend at Larry Butler’s Illinois Spot-Lite event. Dentmon ended Liddell’s season with a pair of free throws with 0.3 left in a SuperSectional battle. If Liddell had reached the Elite Eight, and had a chance to put his skills on display for the entire state to see, he might be the recruit that fans of other schools would most like to “steal”. If Liddell goes off to prep school, and re-opens his recruiting look for high majors to come calling. Liddell had a number of high majors buzzing this time last year after an All-Tournament performance at the Boo Williams Invitational. However, he then pretty much sat out the rest of the AAU season to work on his grades, and gave nearby St. Louis University a recruiting steal.

Chicago Westinghouse star Jamarcus Ellis is slated to visit the University of Oklahoma later this month.

Chicago Von Steuben stars Ryne Hamblet and Demetrius Evans will likely head off to junior college as a “package deal”. Indian Hills (IA), Southeastern Iowa, Hutchinson (KS), Colby (KS) and Chipola (FL) are among the many, many junior colleges looking to land the “dynamic duo”.

Southern Illinois expects to get a visit from Richmond, Indiana point guard Dominic James in the near future. James, one of the top Class of 2005 prospects in the state of Indiana, is an AAU teammate of 6-9 center Nick Roberts. Roberts gave SIU an early 2005 verbal earlier this year.

The south suburbs will once again be fiercely competitive on the basketball court in 2004-05. Hillcrest returns Jerel McNeal, Maurice Acker, Reggie Bossie and James Smith. Thornton returns Joevan Catron, Donnell Lyons and Brandon Dagans. Homewood-Flossmoorwill also again be strong. In addition to Julian Wright, the Vikings will feature defensive stopper Freddie Barnes and slick point guard D.J. Posley. Rich Central returns Jarvis Walker, Brandon Long and Justin Taylor.

Look for Glenbrook South’s Kevin Bulger to begin to develop a statewide reputation as a real, real good player. Bulger, a 2006 prospect, was an all-conference selection as a sophomore, and is a tough, hard-nosed 6-2 guard. He will put his skills on display this summer on the AAU circuit with the Rising Stars.

6-0 point guard C.C. Kilbert of Dundee-Crown, and 6-5 forward Phil Wallace of Crystal Lake South are both very available! Both players are wide open, and willing to consider all of their options, including junior colleges. Both of the kids can really play!