Brian Carlwell Looks Forward to the Weekend

Brian Carlwell's stock is rising each time out, however this Saturday he will be playing the number one high school player in the land. Last night I caught up with Carlwell about his season to date and playing the "other" big man. ranks Brian Carlwell as the 33rd best high school prospect in the land. This weekend he will be a challenging one for the Proviso East big man. Saturday Greg Oden, the nation's number one player, will be going head to head with Carlwell, which will bring many onlookers. "I'm looking forward to the game this weekend. I have not played against him before but it should be a great game," said Carlwell.

Currently Proviso East has one loss on its resume. "We slipped up at Thanksgiving time and lost to East Aurora. We just didn't play that good, but right now we seem to have things clicking. So far this year my numbers are up from last year; I'm averaging about 24 ppg and 15 rebounds. I'm not to sure on the blocks right now."

Regarding the Illini, Carlwell (like the other Illini recruit, Richard Semrau) knew the Illini would be good, but not this good. "I actually thought they might struggle a little bit early on because of the new players down there, but guys like Jamar Smith have stepped up and they haven't lost a game yet," Carlwell said.

With the addition of Carlwell and future teammate Eric Gordon, it's very important to Carlwell who will be joining the big man. But he takes a different approach when it comes to other players. "I haven't talked much to Derrick Rose since we played together. This weekend I will see him and we'll talk probably. I know Eric Gordon is coming so I'm sure we will all talk."

Bruce Weber is now starting to reap the benefits of his Final Four run and, let's just be honest here, his coaching. When I spoke with Semrau and Carlwell, both players talk about the quality of a coach Weber is and that's why they picked Illinois. From a recruiting standpoint the doors are open. Earlier in the year I asked Weber about the recruiting trail and he said, "Because of what we did the past two years it's definitely opened up some doors for us that may have been closed before."

Stay close to the IB this weekend for game updates on Eric Gordon, Brian Carlwell and Derrick Rose.

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