SLU Signees Impress In All-Star Game

ST. LOUIS — As soon as Neuqua Valley High School senior Dwayne Evans committed to the Saint Louis University basketball team back in September, he began recruiting Mike McCall of Chicago Foreman High to become his teammate on the Billikens next season. And a few weeks later, McCall committed to play for SLU.

Evans and McCall spent a lot of time together this weekend. They took the train from upstate Illinois to St. Louis to participate in the 2010 Dr. Pepper Midwest All-Star Classic on Saturday at Harris-Stowe State University's Emerson Performance Arena — just across the street from SLU's Chaifetz Arena.

The dynamic duo from Illinois showed what they could do in Saturday night's all-star game, despite their "East" squad losing to the West 115-112, while performing in front of Billikens fans and a handful of future teammates.

Evans, a 6-foot-5 small forward, scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half. He made nine of his 16 shot attempts, showed the ability to handle the ball and attacked the glass on both ends of the floor.

Dwayne Evans

"It's great," Evans said. "I like to get acclimated to the people in the area down here. I want them to get accustomed to me playing down here and how I play. It was great having support walk in the door and people knowing my name in the St. Louis area. It was a good experience."

McCall, a 6-foot combo guard, struggled shooting the ball — he made eight of 21 shot attempts and was just one of 10 from behind the 3-point arc — but finished with a flurry, scoring eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as he tried to lead his team to a come-from-behind victory in the final minutes.

He looked like one of the quickest players on the floor in a game that included players who have signed with Alabama, Kansas State, Minnesota and Drake.

"It was fun," McCall said. "It was a lot of good competition. It was like a home game for me and Dwayne. It was good to come down here, meet some of the players from Illinois, hang out with (Dwayne)."

The current Billikens in attendance to watch Evans and McCall included sophomore point guard Kwamain Mitchell, freshman forward Cory Remekun and freshman guards Justin Jordan and walk-on Darrin Young.

Evans said he and McCall were probably going to hang out with their future teammates after the game before getting up early to catch the 4 a.m. train out of town. He also talked about his friendship with McCall.

"It's growing," Evans said. "Me and Mike are really cool now. I think it will show on the basketball court next year."

Evans said he and McCall would arrive on campus near the end of June to start summer classes and preseason conditioning and that he and McCall would be roommates this summer and then during their freshman years.

The duo will be on opposing teams during the Chicago High School Classic on April 9 at Loyola University, with McCall playing for the "North" side and Evans playing for the "South" side. Both also could appear in another all-star game in St. Louis in a few months.

Both McCall and Evans had strong senior seasons for their respective high schools and both have picked up postseason accolades in recent weeks, including both being named to the Chicago Sun-Times Class 4A All-State Team. Both were Associated Press all-state honorable mention picks.

"This is the year we kind of made history," McCall said. "We did some things Foreman had never done before."

McCall, who made the Sun-Times' first team, averaged 24 points, seven assists and four steals per game as Foreman went 23-3. As he went through his senior season and continued to show people what he was capable of, people questioned why he would sign with the Billikens.

"Everybody has been saying that SLU is a mid-major," McCall said. "It fit my style. It's the school that was best for me. I just wanted to go out and show everybody that I am a mid-major or higher player."

Evans, who landed on the Sun-Times' second team, averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds per game this season as Neuqua Valley went 26-2.

"I was pretty happy with how I played," he said. "We lost in the regional finals. That was kind of rough. But overall the season was everything I could have expected out of it."

Now McCall and Evans will finish up their last few months of high school before making the leap to the college level and focus on trying to make an impact at Saint Louis University next season.

"It's going to be bittersweet, as anything would be," Evans said. "I'm really excited to come down here and get a fresh start, but I'm leaving high school and everything behind. I'm really excited to come play for Saint Louis."

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