Cliff Notes

Curie's Cliff Alexander is one of the top players in the state of Illinois. His junior season is off to a hot start and he's keying Curie this year.

Though it's still early in the season, Curie big man Cliff Alexander is picking up right where he left off in the spring. Following a big effort against national power Oak Hill Academy at the Marshall County Hoopfest in Kentucky, Alexander returned to the Chicago area to take on Benet Academy and fellow junior center Sean O'Mara on Sunday.

"I think I did pretty good against Oak Hill," Alexander said. "I tried to put the team on my back and get us back in it but I couldn't do much. (Against Benet) I got triple teamed every time I touched the ball and kicked it back out to my teammates to shoot the ball."

Alexander had a stretch in the second half against Oak Hill where he took over the game and scored 10 straight points and won on both ends of the floor. In the end, it wasn't enough, but Alexander still showed what he's capable of doing.

"The high-low was working for us," he said. "They (Oak Hill) couldn't stop the high-low, so my coach told us to go with that and that's how we got our points."

After the game, Alexander was a popular person in the arena with spectators and fans.

"It was great. I loved it," he said. "They showed me a lot of love. Got to say hi and take pictures with a lot of little kids who knew me."

Rarely does Alexander get a one-on-one matchup, especially in the post. But with so much focus on him, Alexander has become accustomed to setting up his teammates instead of forcing the issue himself.

"I know I'm going to get double and triple teamed, and if I do I'll kick it out to my teammates to shoot," he said. "If they shoot the ball well, then the other team will have to guard them and that gets me the ball to do what I have to do.'

Alexander has a strong power game and has displayed the ability to make shots over both his right and left shoulder down in the paint. This season his focus is on the finer details of being a post player.

"I keep working on my footwork and making my footwork better," he said. "Other than that I want to grow as a team and get our team chemistry better."

With the season underway, Alexander has put recruiting on hold for the most part. Even then, Alexander continues to collect offers.

"I haven't really planned any visits any time soon," Alexander said. "Recently I got an offer from NC State though."

Alexander holds offers from the likes of Michigan State, Illinois, DePaul, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kentucky, Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Arizona, and Baylor. Just like his high school team, Alexander likes a team that plays an uptempo style.

"With every school, I like how they get out and run," he said. "We do that too, and we run our sets when we need to."

Visits from college coaches are a regular occurrence for Alexander. On Sunday, he had coaches from numerous colleges, including Illinois head coach John Groce. And that's the sort of showing that will help win him over.

"I'm just looking for a lot of respect from the college coaches and how they get along with my family," he said. "It makes me play harder when coaches come to my games."

Alexander indicated that he's in no rush to make a decision, and that his choice will likely come following his senior season.

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