Dan Powers knows he has something very special with freshman sensation Jereme Richmond. The season is now over for Richmond (whose team lost in the Sectionals), but that didn't stop him from accomplishing what he set out to do. In his last game he scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and handed out 4 assists.
Recently Powers was asked about the comparison of Richmond with other Chicago high school legends. "I think Jon Scheyer at that age was a better defensive player, but definitely Jereme is more athletic and has a better all-around game at this point. Jereme can do a lot of things well for his age but also knows he has to work to get better. Someone asked me about Ronnie Fields and Marcus Liberty, but Jereme knows how important school is for him. We really challenge our students here at North Shore Country Day. When he gets to Illinois he will be prepared," said Powers.
Dealing with all the pressure of being recruited at such an early age, Jereme has done well. "The pressure he's done well with. We've been getting a lot of people calling us from newspapers and things like that. I will say not a lot of schools have been contacting him as much since he's committed to Illinois, but I will say he's been getting some more mail. I'm not at liberty to say who it's from," Powers added.
Powers expressed without hesitation his feelings on the U of I and their staff. "I knew Coach Weber before he came to Illinois. He's a great man and it's a great fit for Jereme. He's got a great assistant coach in Tracy Webster. Just the other day Coach Weber came to see Jereme play. I really don't know why sometimes Weber has received some of his criticism because Bruce Weber has a 90% winning percentage and people still complain. We're happy Jereme picked Illinois. He will do fine there on the court and in the classroom."
With just his freshman season completed, Jereme and Coach Powers are just touching the surface with all the publicity this young man will receive. Some are calling this young man the "savior" of the program. True or not, right now this kid is oozing with talent and has a great family to support him. I think it's safe to say Jereme Richmond will be fine in all aspects of his life. One of the things Coach Powers talked about was how often they tell Jereme about staying with the right people - people that have his best interest at heart.