From the performances of Illini basketball recruits Tracy Abrams, Mychael Henry and others at the recently concluded UI Team Basketball Camp and the progress of Jereme Richmond at the U18 FIBA Americas Championships to the official date for the December rematch against Gonzaga and an NBA comeback attempt for former Illini Kendall Gill, here’s what happened this past week in the world of Illinois Fighting Illini basketball.
● Illinois held its team basketball camp on Thursday at three locations on campus: the Assembly Hall, ARC and Ubben Basketball Complex. Originally, this camp was supposed to be held at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago before the NCAA instituted a rule saying that you could only host camps in locations that are a certain distance from your school. With Chicago too far from Champaign-Urbana and out of the equation, some top high school recruits were not at the camp (i.e. Mike Shaw, Thomas Hamilton Jr.); still, other players including Illini 2011 recruits Tracy Abrams and Mychael Henry were there. Here are some progress reports on those players who attended, and some UI Team Camp photos and video.
● Abrams and Mount Carmel bested Henry and Orr 64-61. According to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Hine, Abrams looked impressive and has been working hard to recruit De La Salle senior Mike Shaw and Perspectives’ senior Anthony Davis, two power forwards the Illini are heavily invested in.
● Also in attendance was Hamilton Southeastern (Indiana) and its 6-4 guard Gary Harris, a class of 2012 recruit who has already been offered a scholarship by the Illini. The News Gazette’s Jeremy Warner had an extensive blog post on Harris, who’s just one player from a reportedly stacked class of 2012 in Indiana. Illinois has already offered scholarships to fellow Indiana high school basketball players DeJuan Marrero, AJ Hammons, and Ron Patterson.
● The News Gazette’s Paul Klee had some interesting observations on Henry, incoming Whitney Young freshman Jahlil Okafor, and Josh Oglesby, a 6-5 guard from Cedar Rapids Washington High School (in Iowa). The gist: Klee believes Henry could be a 2011 McDonald’s All-American with a strong showing this July; the Illini had breakfast with Okafor before the camp and will offer him a scholarship once he begins high school at Whitney Young; Oglesby caught the eye of the Illinois coaching staff. For more on Klee’s thoughts, go here. For more on Klee and Warner’s thoughts on the UI team camp, check their Twitter accounts: @PKlee_IlliniHQ and @jwerner56.
● In his weekly Illini basketball chat, Klee expresses the opinion that incoming freshman Jereme Richmond will start at the small forward spot next season and also talked about Chester Frazier’s impact on the program this summer and the recruitments of Shaw and Davis. Speaking of recruiting, it turns out that Illini assistant Jerrance Howard was also contacted by Louisville, in addition to Kentucky, about leaving Illinois, according to Fox Sports’ Jeff Goodman.
● Back to Richmond, he played his first game for the USA Basketball U18 team yesterday, scoring 13 points, snagging 5 rebounds and dishing 4 assists in 21 minutes of action as USA smashed the Virgin Islands 131-63. Here’s the box score. The U18 Americas games will continue in San Antonio throughout this week, concluding on Wednesday, June 30th, and are allegedly being streamed here.
● Illinois 2011 recruit/Rock Island standout Chasson Randle was named to the USA U17 team this past Tuesday. He will travel to Germany to participate in those games, which take place July 2nd to the 11th.
● The Daily Illini had a nice piece on the Illinois summer basketball camps for kids and high school students.
● After declaring and withdrawing from the NBA Draft, Illinois senior guard Demetri McCamey was recently in Chicago, as a counselor for the Deron Williams Skills Academy, which wrapped up yesterday.
● As expected, former Illini and University of Southern Indiana guard Jamar Smith didn’t get drafted in Thursday’s rather boring NBA Draft. Smith has already been invited to play for the Charlotte Bobcats summer league team and will also try out for the Timberwolves summer league team on July 7th. Shortly before the draft, The News Gazette revisited when the Utah Jazz selected Dee Brown in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft.
● What’s been known for a long time was officially made official on Friday as former Illini guard Jeff Jordan announced on his Twitter account that is transferring to the University of Central Florida to play with his younger brother Marcus. Here was Writing Illini’s take on Jordan’s transfer and his reunion with Marcus the Twitter smack-talker (just kidding).
● Among his many accomplishments at Illinois, Gill is remembered for helping the Flyin’ Illini reach the Final Four in Seattle back in 1989. With that stated, the Illini will be returning to Seattle this season, with a rematch against Gonzaga at Key Arena on December 4th. For Illini fans and grads living in Seattle, tickets for this game go on sale September 18th .
Well, that’s it for the weekly Illini hoops recap.
Until tomorrow and the next Illini Tale of the Tape.
Topics: AJ Hammons, Anthony Davis, Chasson Randle, Chester Frazier, Dee Brown, DeJuan Marrero, Demetri McCamey, Deron Williams, Deron Williams Skills Academy, Gary Harris, Gonzaga, Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball, Jahlil Okafor, Jamar Smith, Jeff Jordan, Jereme Richmond, Jerrance Howard, Josh Oglesby, Kendall Gill, Marcus Jordan, Mike Shaw, Mychael Henry, Ron Patterson, Tracy Abrams