By Michael O'Brien

Impressions and observations from Sunday's shootout at Illinois

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-Brandon Spearman looks good playing for Simeon, and the Wolverines are a darkhorse candidate for the number one preseason ranking. Before playing Warren, Simeon coach Robert Smith mentioned that Rob Robinson played very well at the UIC team camp late last week. Robinson continued his impressive play on Sunday. He was the most improved player I saw all day. Brandon Orange also played very well, as did sophomore Tywon Pinckney, who may start at point guard. I didn't see much out of highly-regarded sophomore Deshawn Greer. He had a decent amount of playing time and made a couple nice passes, but didn't do much else.

-I thought Lenzelle Smith was clearly the best player at the event. He was dominant. As recruiting analyst Harv Schmidt pointed out during the De La Salle-Zion-Benton game, Smith may be the best rebounder in the state. Warren's Brandon Paul finishes a close second. Unless something changes, don't expect Smith to wind up at Illinois though. He seems to like them, and they like him, but it just isn't a good fit the way things stand.

-Jereme Richmond was on hand and playing with Waukegan. Unfortunately, his on-court demeanor still leaves a lot to be desired. He just doesn't seem to be enjoying playing basketball right now.

-De La Salle's Mike Shaw has been off the past two weeks. I saw him play terrific at two club basketball events this spring, but he looks out of sync with his high school team right now.

-Don't listen to anyone that doubts Sterling guard Joseph Bertrand. He hasn't garnered rave reviews on the club circuit, but every time I've seen him play with his high school team, he's been terrific. He's the tallest and the best ball-handler of all the incoming Illinois guard recruits. That's a pretty scary combination.

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I happen to go to to il-Chicago this past weekend and seen this kid from michele Clark that was in believeable playing with a broke finger. He must have just transferred there because I've never. Seen him. Look out doe him this season his name is jerry carter.



To Phil, I know this is about two months late, but yes, Joseph Bertrand is Joe Bertrand's grandson. There was a very good story in the Sauk Valley paper last fall shortly after Bertrand committed to Illinois that discussed the remarkable life of his namesake grandfather.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael O'Brien published on June 9, 2008 2:12 PM.

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