Chicago's Best

Arkansas is among the final three teams for Chicago Marshall shooting guard Patrick Beverley (6-2, 175), who is leading Chicago in scoring at 36 points a game and had a career-high 48 earlier this week.

It's no secret that the University of Arkansas basketball program would love to add a shooter this spring.

Chicago Marshall standout Patrick Beverley, whose is leading the Windy City in scoring at 36 points per game and has the Commnados ranked No. 1 in the state, certainly would fit the bill.

Beverley (6-2, 175), fresh off a 48-point game where he hit 9 3-pointers in his team's 100-71 win over Farragut on Tuesday, narrowed his recruiting list down to three on Thursday with Arkansas, Michigan and St. John's left and Indiana eliminated.

"With the way things went down at Indiana with Coach Mike Davis, they are no longer an option for me," Beverley said Thursday night. "I wouldn't put any of these teams any higher than the others, but I have a final three of Arkansas, Michigan and St. John's."

Beverley, who has been over 40 points in seven different games this season and had one game of 31 points and 16 assists, has become a sensation in Chicago this season while leading Marshall to a 25-1 mark.

"I think our team has really come together this year, we've played well and we've knocked down shots," Beverley said. "I have had a great year individually, but our team is not a one-man team."

He had an amazing 25 points in the third quarter of Tuesday's win, which broke open a tight game and advanced the the Commandos to a quarterfinal round game against Carver Sunday at the UIC Pavilion.

He had "just" 21 points on Sunday, but led Marshall to a 75-69 win over Carver and will now play Washington in a Wednesday semifinal at DePaul.

"TI didn't want to lose a home game my senior season,'' Beverley said. "So I had to step up and be a leader. I just picked the perfect time to step up.'' Beverley - who is also averaging 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals per game - has truly emerged from the shadows to be regarded as one of the city's two best players along with Kansas signee Sherrn Collins of Crane.

"I have only been playing high school ball for one full season before going into my senior year and my game has just really come together," Beverley said. "I would say my strengths are my ability to shoot the ball, my ability to get my own shot, my quickness and my jumping ability. I am really just now learning how to understand the game completely and I have just put it all together this season."

That includes taking out Collins and Crane on a couple of occasions, including once with Arkansas head coach Stan Heath in the stands.

"He seems like a great guy and they have a great tradition and seem like they are ready to get back where they used to be," Beverley said. "For him to hop on a jet and fly up here to see me says a lot about how much they want me and they have made that clear."

Beverley has studied up on the players with Chicago connections who have either ended up at Arkansas or were planning to do so.

"I know Jannero Pargo and he was a guy who came from here, went to Arkansas and got on to the NBA from there," Beverley said. "I also know Andre Iguadola signed there, but decided to back out when Coach (Nolan) Richardson. Also Scotty Pippen is from Arkansas and although he didn't play for them because he wasn;t good enough yet he went on to have a pretty good career up here. Maybe I'll be the next Chicago guy to go down there and suceed."

Beverley actually committed to Toledo last summer, but decommitted this fall.

"I really don't have anything bad to say about Toledo, but it's more about just getting caught up in the visit and just being impressed by them at the time," Beverley said. "But I think I have proven that I am better than a mid-major player and just needed to explore all my options."

Michigan has certainly joined Arkansas in making Beverly - who also had offers from Indiana and Virginia and several other schools- one of it smost coveted recruits.

Former Michigan football star Tai Streets is actually Beverley's AAU coach.

"Both of those schools along with St. John's have really told me how much they need me," Beverley said. "I'm honored by that and it really makes me feel good."

Illinois head coach Bruce Weber has been to see Beverley three times this season, but Beverley has eliminated the school because they didn't offer right away as the other schools did on his list.

"I don't know what they were waiting to see, but I have moved on," Beverley said. "They are not an option - just Arkansas, Michigan and St. John's."

Beverley has been selected to play in the Roundball Classic at Chicago's United Center on April 9 at 3 p.m., an all-star game that will be televised nationally by CSTV.

He will be on the West team - coached by former UA track star Mike Conley - along with Ohio State signees Greg Oden and Michael Conley, Jr.

But before using that as a coming out party, he wants to finish up with his team and it's run for a title this season.

"I just want to concentrate on our team's success," Beverley said. "The more we win, the more my teammates get seen and might have a chance to go elsewhere. Our team's success if what we are all focused on right now."

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