I’m off to Milwaukee this morning to celebrate my brother’s belated birthday.
Before I go, here is a recap of what happened around the Illini basketball program in the last week, including Jereme Richmond earning gold, Bruce Weber offering a scholarship to another Iowa high school basketball player, and the News Gazette catching up with Illini greats Dee Brown and Roger Powell Jr.
Have a safe and happy Independence day.
● Incoming Illini freshman Jereme Richmond earned a gold medal in the U18 FIBAS Americas Championship when the U.S. squad defeated Brazil 81-78 on Wednesday night. Richmond was a solid contributor throughout the tournament, as evident by his tourney averages. Congrats to Richmond and the U.S. Under-18 team, which went 5-0 under Oklahoma Head Coach Jeff Capel. SI.com’s Luke Winn had these thoughts on Richmond’s game and his much talked about on-court temperament.
● On Tuesday, Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber offered a scholarship to 6’5’’ guard Josh Oglesby of Cedar Rapids (Iowa) High School. A 2011 recruiting target, Oglesby impressed the Illini coaches during the UI Team Camp on June 24th. Oglesby had this to say about the offer and is now the second Iowa player whom the Illini have offered in the class of 2011. Oglesby’s AAU teammate Jarrod Uthoff (of Thomas Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids) has also been offered a scholarship by the Illini, with the 6’8’’ forward recently including Illinois in his list of final six teams.
● Speaking of the class of 2011, Rivals.com updated its rankings, with Illinois verbal commitments Mycheal Henry ranked 20th in the nation, Tracy Abrams 46th, and Nnanna Egwu 76th. Illini targets Anthony Davis, Chasson Randle and Mike Shaw were ranked 8th, 63rd and 68th, respectively. Uthoff and Oglesby were not ranked in the top 150.
● According to the News Gazette’s Paul Klee, Illini great Dee Brown worked out at the Ubben Basketball Complex this week, and was impressed with D.J. Richardson during four pickup games (all of which were won by Brown’s team). Brown noted that the Illini certainly have the talent to succeed but also need to have the chemistry (something that has been missing at times in recent years), and added that he will be playing for the Toronto Raptors’ summer league team, beginning this week. Brown played in Italy last season.
● Brown’s 2005 Final Four teammate Roger Powell Jr. was also in town later in the week, on Friday to be exact, to speak at an Urbana church about his upcoming basketball camp in Naperville. Powell has been working out at the Berto Center, the training facility of the Chicago Bulls, and is hoping to find himself in an NBA camp this fall. In 2009-2010, Powell played in France, where his season was cut short by a nasty facial injury. Here is Klee’s blog post , and my thoughts on Powell the basketball player and person.
● Illinois’ all-time leading rebounder James Augustine will play for the Orlando Magic’s summer-league team. Here is the Jazz summer-league roster, which not only includes Gordon Hayward but former Big Ten players Kostos Koufos (Ohio State) and Bernard Robinson (Michigan).
● Klee also had an interesting article on Abrams and redshirt freshman Joseph Bertrand, both of whom are in line to replace senior Demetri McCamey at the point guard position in 2011-2012.
● Speaking of point guards, former Flyin’ Illini Stephen Bardo is of the opinion that Lebron James would be a bad fit for the Bulls, specifically because he would command the ball and take it out of the hands of Derrick Rose. I couldn’t agree any more. Here’s hoping the Bulls land Wade and/or Bosh ahead of James. We should have that answer hopefully in the next 24-48 hours.
Until tomorrow and the next Illini Tale of the Tape: Illinois at Wisconsin.
Topics: Anthony Davis, Assembly Hall, Bruce Weber, Chasson Randle, Chris Bosh, D.J. Richardson, Dee Brown, Demetri McCamey, Dwayne Wade, Illini Basketball, Illinois Basketball, Jarrod Uthoff, Jereme Richmond, Joseph Bertrand, Josh Oglesby, Lebron James, Mike Shaw, Mychael Henry, Mycheal Henry, Nnanna Egwu, Stephen Bardo, Tracy Abrams, U-of-I Basketball, University Of Illinois