Two Sign With Illinois Men's Basketball

CHAMPAIGN, ILL.-- University of Illinois men's basketball coach Bruce Weber announced today the signing of Brian Carlwell and Richard Semrau to national letters of intent on the first day of the fall signing period.

Brian Carlwell is a 6-11, 260-pound center from Maywood, Ill. He attends Proviso East High School under the direction of head coach David Chatman. Carlwell averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks per game last year as a junior, earning All-State honors by the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. He is the top-ranked big man in the state of Illinois and is a multi-sport athlete, also competing on the Proviso East football team at both tight end and wide receiver. Carlwell is a consensus national Top-50 recruit, receiving four stars by (No. 33). He played on the Chicago Ferrari AAU team coached by Tyrone Slaughter that captured the 17-and-under AAU National Championship last summer in Orlando, Fla.

"Brian is an unbelievable athlete," Weber said. "He runs the court so well for a big guy; he's very similar to James Augustine in that way. Brian is competitive, a great shot blocker and rebounder, and continues to improve offensively. I went to one of his football games and saw him do some incredible things for a player his size. I also like his toughness from having played football.

"We're also pleased to continue the pipeline of Chicago-area players signing with Illinois," Weber added. "Proviso East has enjoyed great success in basketball and has produced outstanding student-athletes in a number of sports, and Brian is the latest in that great line. We lose Dee Brown after this year; now Brian can come in and carry on that Proviso East tradition."

Richard Semrau is a 6-9, 215-pound forward from Rocky River, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. He attends Lutheran West High School, under the direction of head coach Phil Argento. A three-star recruit by Semrau was a first-team Division III All-Ohio selection by the Associated Press last season after averaging 22.3 points and 10 rebounds per game. He played on the AAU circuit for Blessed IJN, coached by Eric Vaughn.

"Richard is a very skilled player and is also a good athlete," Weber said. "His high school coach played at the University of Kentucky for Adolph Rupp and has instilled an old school work ethic and discipline from which Richard has definitely benefited. He is a perimeter-oriented forward who has an all-around game. He likes facing the basket, shoots very well, and possesses great passing skills."

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