Raymond Doby is a 6'-6" forward who projects as a power forward at the next level. His Cahokia teammate Darius Austin is a 6'-5" combo guard who has a variety of skills on the floor. The freshman duo can play multiple positions, and that has peaked the attention of many schools including Illinois.
Doby and Austin visited the Illini for their annual Midnight Madness at Huff Hall back in October. Doby described what they did while in Champaign.
"I got to watch them practice. Then we ate pizza, and after that we went to the Midnight Madness to watch the contests."
"I liked it. I am looking forward to going again next year."
The youngsters have gained notoriety by playing for the top AAU program in southern Illinois, the Southwest Jets. Jets head coach Dana Morgan attended Midnight Madness with his two young stars. He talked about how it gave them an introduction to the program as well as helped them learn what it takes to play at the high major level.
"It was a good visit. We got to watch them practice. They met coach Weber and the other assistant coaches. They got the chance to watch a college practice and the intensity the college game has. The guys were really excited about it. They got a good understanding of what it takes to play college ball by watching their practice."
The two also recently watched a game closer to home when they were guests of the Illini at the annual Arch Rivalry game in St. Louis against Missouri. Morgan said they enjoyed the atmosphere.
"They loved it. Of course, they wanted Illinois to get a win, but they like the way they play and the athleticism."
The 6'-5" guard Austin believes he could fit into their system.
"I like the Illinois basketball program. I can play in their up tempo style. I like them."
Doby agrees with this assessment. He knows it is early in the process as they are gathering information on schools, but could see himself in orange and blue.
"I think it would be a good school for me to go to. I still have to look into it more and get more details about it."
Morgan says the two will be making another visit to Champaign for the February 13 game against Purdue. He believes by attending Midnight Madness and the Mizzou game, the two have gained a better understanding for what they would be getting at Illinois.
"They like Illinois. It is the state school. They had a good conversation with the coaches. I think they have a good feel for Illinois right now."
Morgan says three Big 10 schools are showing early interest in adding the duo to their team in 2014.
"Michigan, Purdue, and Illinois are the ones that have been looking at them."
The two have played together their whole lives. Doby says playing together is something they really want to do at the next level.
"Definitely yes. We are trying to go to college together."
When asked if he thinks the two will end up at the same college, Morgan says he believes it is probably in the cards for the two to advance to the collegiate level as teammates.
"I think so. Those are the type of kids that have been together so long from elementary, junior high, high school, same AAU team, so I can see them going to school together."
Both say they want to make decisions relatively early in the process. They said they will make a decision sometime after their sophomore years, but before their junior campaigns are complete.
What about their games? Doby is a long and lanky forward who can play the small forward to center position. He posts up strong in the paint area, working hard for position, and uses the glass nice. He has impressive moves in the lane. He makes nice flashes and cuts to receive passes in the post.Doby has a mid-range game also. He has a nice jump shot that stretches out to 15 feet. In a recent game he flashed to the middle, caught a pass, and turned for a jump shot for two points. He also showed nice passing ability out of the high post to find open teammates.
Doby rebounds well for his age. He crashes the glass hard and fights for position. The freshman also runs the floor and is a presence on the defensive end with his ability to alter shots with his length.
Morgan talked about Doby's strengths at a young age.
"He is real calm, disciplined, and lets the game come to him. He does not really take bad shots. He is an unselfish player willing to play the role his coach asks him to."
Austin is an athletic guard who can play the point or slide over and play some shooting guard. He has great size for the guard spot already, and his length causes a problem for opponents when he is defending them on the perimeter.
He is a smooth player with the ball in his hands. His perimeter shot is solid, and he has the ability to break a defense down off the dribble. His ball handling stands out as a strength in his game.
The guard has a maturity to his game on the floor. Morgan says his basketball IQ is high.
"He understands the game, and he can handle the ball. He is unselfish but at the same time can create his own shot. A lot of kids have difficulty doing those three things at a young age."
Austin said coach Jay Price has visited Cahokia to see him and Doby play, and if they continue to work hard, playing at Illinois could be in their futures.
"Coach Price talked to me about keeping working hard and how I would have a chance to come there one day."
Morgan said it best when talking about the upside of the duo.
"I think those two kids have a great future."