Drew Peterson’s commitment to Rice headlines recruiting notebook

Libertyville's Drew Peterson (23) works around the Downers Grove North defender, January 12, 2018. Allen Cunningham / for Chicago Sun-Times

The recruiting board grew following the conclusion of the high school basketball season in the wake of college coaching changes and what has been a rather slow spring recruiting cycle for uncommitted players.

Here is a quick recruiting notebook.

Libertyville’s Drew Peterson commits to Rice

The recruiting process played out a little longer than Libertyville star Drew Peterson had planned. But the 6-7 senior took it all in stride and found his ideal match with a commitment to Rice on Tuesday.

“I’ve watched others commit and de-commit two weeks later, so I did want to be sure,” says Peterson, who took an official visit to Rice this past weekend. “I wanted to make sure I found the exact right fit for me.”

Peterson had a checklist of what he was looking for in a school and basketball program during the recruiting process, and he says Rice checked off all of them.

“Rice really did match everything I was looking for,” says Peterson. “I was looking for a family-type of atmosphere and found it there. From the academics, to the campus, to the coaches to the players there, everything was awesome.”

Scott Pera just completed his first season as head coach at Rice. Pera and his staff made Peterson feel like a priority.

“I felt like the coaches trusted in me as a player and believed in me,” says Peterson. “That went a long way.”

Another former North Suburban Conference player, Stevenson’s Connor Cashaw, led the Owls in scoring this past season with 15.5 points a game.

Peterson scored 30-plus points six times and recorded 10 double-doubles while leading Libertyville to its first regional championship since 2004. The Wildcats won on a dramatic three-pointer at the buzzer from Peterson, who averaged 26 points, eight rebounds and four assists a game.

Former Drake recruits back on the board –– again

Last year, Joliet West’s Teyvion Kirk and West Chicago’s Tai Bibbs signed with Drake only to see head coach Ray Giacoletti unexpectedly step down. Kirk and Bibbs both received their releases and ended up at Ohio and Columbia, respectively.

This year it happened again. A couple more Illinois prospects signed with Drake this past fall. But first-year coach Niko Medved took the Colorado State job last month and now both Messiah Jones of Simeon and Kendle Moore of Danville are open once again.

“I was disappointed and frustrated at first,” says Jones of Medved’s departure and having to start the recruiting process over. “But everything happens for a reason and you have to move on.”

Jones will be visiting Bradley unofficially this Friday and has been hearing a lot from both Wofford and Florida Atlantic. Missouri State, Indiana State and others have been in touch and inquiring.

The athletic 6-5 Jones put together a productive career at Simeon and was a Sun-Times All-Area selection after averaging 17 points and nine rebounds a game.

Moore, a dynamic scoring lead guard, is among the City/Suburban Hoops Report’s top 12 prospects in the Class of 2018. He was just recently released and will have a list of mid-major suitors in coming weeks.

Cam Burrell headed to EIU

Morgan Park’s Cam Burrell was among a handful of senior players who enhanced their stock this past season. The 6-6 senior was an unsung star and double-double machine in helping the Mustangs to a Class 3A state championship. The active and bouncy Burrell committed to Eastern Illinois this past weekend.

Lewis lands Lynch

After guiding Larkin to Peoria and a state semifinal berth –– the program’s first-ever state basketball appearance –– guard Anthony Lynch has committed to Division II Lewis University.

Lynch put together a terrific senior year, averaging 20 points, five rebounds and four assists a game and was named Upstate Eight River Player of the Year.

Former Larkin star Kendale McCullum is currently sitting out as a redshirt at Lewis after transferring in from Wisconsin-Parkside.

St. Charles East’s Justin Hardy still open

The highly-productive Justin Hardy of St. Charles East, who averaged 20 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists a game this past season, has a wide range of recruiting interest.

Division III power Washington University is in the mix, along with Maine, Northern Florida, St. Cloud State, Hillsdale and Minnesota State.

Tennessee State recruits available again

A trio of Chicago Public League players were headed to Tennessee State to play for coach Dana Ford. But after Ford departed to take over Missouri State, Curie’s Treavon Martin and Tyree Martin, along with Morgan Park guard Kenyon Duling, are all back on the market and looking for a new college destination.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *