"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Monday, March 14, 2005

AP Names MU bound McNeal to First Team All State Illinois

From the Associated Press

Three seniors headed to big-time college programs and another senior and a junior expected to follow suit lead the Illinois Class AA boys basketball all-state team announced Monday.

The first team features seniors such as Homewood-Flossmoor’s Julian Wright, Chicago Brother Rice’s Bobby Frasor and Country Club Hillcrest’s Jerel McNeal. Wright has signed with Kansas, Frasor with North Carolina and McNeal with Marquette.

Also making the first team were Chicago Westinghouse senior DeAndre Thomas and junior Jon Scheyer of Northbrook Glenbrook North.

There were no unanimous selections on The Associated Press team, selected by a statewide panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and compiled by Marty Maciaszek of the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald.

The 6-foot-9 Wright is a McDonald’s All-American rated among the top 10 seniors in the country. The versatile Wright averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots and hopes to lead Homewood-Flossmoor back to the Elite Eight after the team finished second last year.

The 6-3 Frasor is also a McDonald’s All-American who persevered through back and ankle injuries to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists as Brother Rice reached the supersectional.

McNeal is an electric 6-foot-1 guard who averaged 20 points, nine rebounds, six steals and four assists as Hillcrest was eliminated by Homewood-Flossmoor in the sectional final.

Thomas, a 6-8 center from Chicago Public League champion Westinghouse, is regarded by many as the state’s most dominant post player. He averaged 22 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three blocks. Illinois and Kansas are among the schools recruiting Thomas.

Scheyer, a 6-6 junior, will be one of the most coveted players in the country next year as he averages 26 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. He led Glenbrook North to the supersectional after helping the school finish third in the state as a freshman.

Scheyer’s coach Dave Weber is the younger brother of Illinois coach Bruce Weber, and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was in attendance for Scheyer’s sectional semifinal game.

The second team is led by two Big Ten guard recruits in Tony Freeman Jr. of Westchester St. Joseph and Jamar Smith of Peoria Richwoods. Freeman (16 ppg) has signed with Iowa, and Smith (21.5 ppg), who has signed with Illinois, overcame early-season injuries.

Second-team guard Brandon Ewing of Chicago Julian has signed with Wyoming, and guard Sherron Collins of Chicago Crane is considered the second-best junior behind Scheyer. Chicago Simeon guard Derrick Rose is regarded as one of the country’s top sophomores.

Carbondale senior Josh Tabb, a Class A all-stater at Ullin Century last year, leads the third team. The 6-4 Tabb has signed with Southern Illinois.

Maywood Proviso East guard Phillip Perry has signed with Wisconsin, and Hillcrest’s Maurice Acker has signed with Ball State.

Harvey Thornton 6-foot-6 junior Joevan Catron is already being recruited by Illinois. Lake Zurich senior Mike Kolze finished his four-year varsity career as the school’s career scoring leader.

No comments: