By Michael O'Brien

March 2009 Archives

Cully Payne re-opens his recruitment

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Schaumburg star Cully Payne received his release from Alabama this afternoon according to his father Kent.

Payne is planning on taking an official visit to Washington State soon.

The biggest loser wins it all

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This is not about weight loss but last weekend's Class 2A state finals in Peoria.

Did you know that tournament favorite Seton had lost more games this season than the rest of the Final Four combined.
The Sting was 29-2
It's semifinal opponent Winnebago was 31-0

And the other semifinal pitted unbeaten 31-0 Marshall (the Downstate town, not the West Side Commandos} against 32-1 Massac County.
That gave the four teams a combined record of 123-3 which translates to a .976 winning percentage

In the end, Seton finished in class of its own with one of the most dominating small-school tournaments ever.

A bit of trivia -- Massac County played Immaculate Heart of Mary in the 1987 girls Class AA state championship game. It is located in Metropolis, and last I heard, they had a Superman festival every summer.

Wednesday thoughts...

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After almost two weeks of state tournament basketball, we finally got a night of upsets.

The two big ones: Marian Catholic over Homewood-Flossmoor and Hillcrest over Rich East.

Notre Dame beating Glenbrook South was a mild surprise. Props to the East Suburban Catholic, which has St. Joseph, Marian Catholic and Notre Dame all still alive.

-Simeon over Vocational wasn't a shock. The teams are closely matched and Simeon had emotion on its side. Perhaps the Wolverines are finally playing up to their potential. They certainly have the talent to upset Hyde Park Friday night.

-St. Joseph beating Marshall was a bit expected, but not by 20 points. Is it just me or does Class 3A seem like an afterthought this season, kind of like Class 4A did last year? It's fairly clear that the best teams, aside from North Lawndale, are all in 4A.

-A small group of people at the Sun-Times realized midway through the season that Waukegan had a real shot at the state title. The Bulldogs weren't always consistent but as Patrick Z. McGavin said "they have the highest ceiling of any team in the state." Waukegan showed that tonight against Zion-Benton.

-Look out for Dre Henley. Forget the future. He is probably De La Salle's best player right now. He might be one of the top 10 players in the state regardless of class. He dominated the Meteors' last two games. Scored 30 against Proviso East tonight.

-For those of you that didn't notice (and from the people I talked to today not many did) Reggie Lemon did not play in Plainfield North's lopsided loss to Neuqua Valley Tuesday night. If you've seen Plainfield North this season you know how important Lemon is to that squad. And if you didn't see them you missed out on a special team.

-Steve Tucker will be on Mike North's morning show on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago tomorrow. About 7:30 a.m.

-The media reviews the sectionals: Morton and Waukegan were both fine hosts this week. I heard things at Richards were exceptional. Not so good results from Hinsdale Central, which apparently booted the S-T reporter out of the gym before he got a chance to talk to the Vocational players.

-Might be worth checking out the Class 2A state tournament this weekend. Seton is there of course, but there are also two undefeated teams in Winnebago and Marshall, IL.

Illinois is after Darius Smith

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Add another school to the list of high-major powerhouses hot on the trail of Marshall senior Darius Smith.

It's long been known that Illinois admired Smith, but they seemed to be full for the 2009 recruiting class.

That's no longer the case. Apparently the Illinois staff is expecting to have room for the star guard. Both Bruce Weber and assistant coach Jerrance Howard were on hand to watch Smith lead the Commandos over Crane tonight in the Marshall regional final.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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