- We had been hearing rumblings that DePaul could be in the mix for 2011 big man Anthony Davis from MeanStreets for a few days. Sure enough, from the moment we arrived at the Fieldhouse of Merrillville on Thursday afternoon, we were hit with that rumor. A rumor which was turned into reality a short while later, after talking with Davis and his father.
Davis, who is visiting the DePaul campus today, is in the conversation for the number one ranking in the class of 2011 and would be a prize catch for DePaul coach Oliver Purnell in his first recruiting class. Davis lists a top three of Kentucky, Ohio State, and Syracuse.
Purnell and DePaul assistant coach Billy Garrett sat center court for the MeanStreets game on Thursday night. Ohio State head coach Thad Matta was there too along with a Syracuse assistant.
Davis and his father also confirmed that Davis will be back at Perspectives High School in the fall.
- We then talked with 2011 guard Phillip Greene. Greene confirmed that he is leaving Julian High in Chicago for IMG Academy in Florida in the fall. He listed DePaul among his favorites and mentioned a possible unofficial visit to West Virginia in mid-August. For more on Phil Greene, see this story…
- On Friday, we watched a depleted Mac Irvin Fire team play three games in the Fieldhouse. 2011 recruits Bruce Barron, Jamie Crockett, and Mike Shaw made up the bulk of the scoring for the Fire.
Unlike some of his teammates who have sat out in July, Mike Shaw has been grinding and toughing out some injuries. He refuses to let his teammates down.
DePaul turned out en masse for Shaw with Purnell, Garrett, and assistant coach Brian Ellerbe all at center court for the Fire's games. Illinois coach Bruce Weber and Michigan State's Tom Izzo were also in the house for Shaw, who remains a top target for DePaul.
For more on Mike Shaw, see this story…
- Every time we see 2011 prospect Jamie Crockett play, he just keeps getting better. While some players can be inconsistent from game to game, Crockett just keeps improving. He has been developing his perimeter game in addition to attacking the basket with reckless abandon. Crockett, who verbally committed to DePaul in May, will be a fine addition to the Blue Demons in Purnell's first recruiting class.
- 2011 guard Bruce Barron joined the Fire for the first time in Mid-August. On Friday afternoon, Barron put up a barrage of three pointers in a win over the SW Illinois Jets. Afterwards, Barron said that his favorite is Oklahoma State. An Oklahoma State assistant has been trailing Barron all month. Cincinnati, DePaul, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Oregon State, and Wisconsin are also in the mix.
- The trio of Blue Demon coaches were all present for Anthony Davis and MeanStreets on Friday. Kentucky coach John Calipari and an assistant dropped by to see Davis on Friday as well, while Ohio State had Matta and two assistants present for Saturday's morning session for Davis.
- 5-star 2012 guard Gary Harris from Fishers, Indiana attracted a crowd of Purnell, Weber, Matta, Notre Dame's Mike Brey, and Purdue's Matt Painter on Saturday.
- Weber, Painter, and Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins were all in the house to check out the 17U Illinois Wolves and 2011 guard Chasson Randle on Friday.
- MeanStreets and Peoria Irish shared the 17U Championship on Saturday due to Peoria Irish having already played the maximum number of games.
- Illinois Wolves point guard Antonio Drummond (2012) has played his last game at Peoria Central and will be headed to prep school in the fall.
- It seemed as though all of the candidates for the UIC Flames head coaching position were in Merrillville this week. When observed scouting mid-major players, one had to wonder if they were scouting for UIC? Word on the street is that Illinois assistant Jerrance Howard is campaigning hard for the UIC job and has had some VIP's make calls on his behalf. ESPN's Dick Vitale endorsed Minnesota assistant Vince Taylor for the job. Also seen strolling around the Fieldhouse were former DePaul interim coach Tracy Webster and Wisconsin assistant Howard Moore. Webster was hired as an assistant coach at Nebraska today.
- A number of former DePaul staffers were in Merrillville as well. EIU's Barron Thelmon, Ohio U's Ramon Williams, and Gary DeCesare were all there. DeCesare had his St. Rita team playing in the 17U bracket under the name of the Chicago Mustangs.
- The Illinois Defenders gave the MeanSteets 17U team their biggest scare of the tournament. The scrappy bunch led by the trio of NIU commit Zach Miller, Deji Ibitayo, and Lee Skinner gave MeanStreets all they could handle before Simeon's Darien Walker hit the game winner to prevail 72-70. Skinner, who graduated from Glenbard East, is headed to Fork Union Military Academy for prep school in the fall.
- Northern Illinois assistant Todd Townsend was in the fieldhouse to keep an eye on Zach Miller. NIU also covets standout 2012 point guard Fred Van Vleet of Pryme Tyme.
- Illinois Wolves coach Mike Mullins confirmed on Sunday that Wofford has offered a scholarship to Munster High point guard Joe Crisman. He already has offers from Loyola and Valparaiso.
- Valpo head coach Homer Drew was keeping a close eye on 2011 guard Austin Richie of the CAPS All-Stars.
- Lastly, special thanks go out to the people at the Fieldhouse of Merrillville and the organizers of the event.
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