Henricksen: Top of 2020 is elite, commitments, visits and more

Fenwick's DJ Steward (21) goes hard to the basket against Proviso East. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

There are two in-state stars in the Class of 2020 who made their presence felt last season as freshmen in Illinois and stand out above the rest heading into their sophomore season: Adam Miller and D.J. Steward.

Now, both Miller, who has transferred from Peoria Manual to Morgan Park, and Fenwick’s Steward are among the top 50 prospects in the country. Rivals recently released their Class of 2020 player rankings where Steward is ranked No. 32 and Miller No. 36. ESPN has Miller ranked as the No. 23 ranked player in the class.

These two highly-ranked guards will meet this season when Morgan Park and Fenwick square off Jan. 20 in the “When Sides Collide” Shootout at Glenbard East. Morgan Park beat Fenwick in overtime last March to win the Class 3A state championship.

Top 10 senior prospects make decisions: A pair of Chicago Public League and top 10 prospects in the Class of 2018 committed over the weekend. Young’s Javon Freeman announced he’s headed to Valparaiso while Morgan Park’s Tamell Pearson committed to UAB.

The 6-8 Pearson pulled the trigger on his UAB visit before taking any other visits to his five other finalists. Pearson brings a blue-collar approach as a high motor big man who defends, rebounds and runs the floor.

Freeman, an active and athletic 6-3 wing, was a catalyst for the Class 4A champion Dolphins this past season as a junior. He’s currently the No. 6 ranked prospect in the senior class after averaging 14 points a game last season.

Conditt down to three: The fast-rising George Conditt of Corliss, who has come out of nowhere as a top prospect over the past six months, trimmed his list of suitors down to three three schools on Monday.

The long, agile and skilled 6-10 Conditt has Iowa State, which he visited this past weekend, Illinois and New Mexico among his final three. Conditt will visit Illinois the weekend of Sept. 15-17 and head to New Mexico Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

Familiar face visits Illini: First-year Illinois coach Brad Underwood entertained Landers Nolley on an official visit this past weekend in Champaign.

Illinois high school basketball fans are familiar with Nolley, who now plays at Langston Hughes High School in Georgia. Nolley was a key piece for Curie coach Mike Oliver’s state championship team in 2016. He averaged 11 points a game as a sophomore and scored 10 points in the Class 4A state championship win over Benet.

Nolley, a spread-the-floor perimeter shooting threat with size at 6-6, is among the top 100 prospects in the country. He has visits lined up with Virginia Tech, Georgia and Oklahoma State and is planning on visiting UConn.

Simeon star sets visits: While Talen Horton-Tucker remains the biggest name and highest profile recruit at Simeon with a list of 13 finalists, ultra-productive senior Messiah Jones has set up three official visits.

The athletic 6-5 Jones, who is among the City/Suburban Hoops Report’s top 15 prospects in the Class of 2018, will start with an official visit to UW-Milwaukee this weekend. He will follow that up with trips to Northern Illinois and Drake over the next two weekends.

Drake lands Illinois prospect, looking for more: First-year Drake head coach Niko Medved and his staff have hit Illinois hard on the recruiting front. That paid immediate dividends this past weekend as the Bulldogs landed Danville star Kendle Moore.

In addition to the scoring lead guard, Drake is also in hot pursuit of the Simeon tandem of guard Xavier Pinson and athletic forward Messiah Jones, who will visit Drake later this month.

Follow Joe Henricksen and the City/Suburban Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport

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