Edwardsville senior guard Tre Harris is getting closer to making a decision on his college destination, but he’s not ready just yet.
Harris, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, was one of the area’s top players this winter when he averaged 17 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals and made 66 3-pointers as the Tigers went 31-3 and finished third in Illinois Class 4A.
Currently, Harris holds two Division I scholarship offers — from Houston Baptist and Chicago State — and is receiving interest from several other schools.
The Edwardsville standout, who was a second-team All-Metro selection this season, has been busy with the recruiting process.
“I’m staying with it,” he said. “I’m enjoying it. It gets stressful at times but it’s still fun. I’m enjoying it.”
Harris recently took an official visit to Houston Baptist, which is a member of the Great West Conference and went 14-17 this season.
“It went well,” he said. “I really enjoyed my time there. I really liked it. It’s a real good option right now. I’ve been thinking about it.”
He could take an official visit to Chicago State soon.
Chicago State will be joining the Western Athletic Conference for the 2013-14 season after previously competing in the Great West Conference. The Cougars went 11-22 this winter but won the Great West Tournament — beating Houston Baptist in the title game — and earned an automatic berth into the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Harris said that New Jersey Tech and SIU Edwardsville both were planning to come take a look at him soon. Those are among the schools he is still communicating with and considering.
“I’m talking to a few schools,” he said. “Elon University in North Carolina. Northern Colorado. SEMO (Southeast Missouri State). Eastern Illinois. Northern Illinois. Quite a few schools right now.”
Harris said the schools recruiting him have high expectations for him.
“A lot of these schools are really liking my scoring ability,” he said. “They want me to come in and be able to be an impact player right away. These schools are expecting a lot of me next year.”
EAST ST. LOUIS TRIO VISITS MIZZOU
East St. Louis football coach Darren Sunkett and three of his top players made the trek west to Columbia last week to check out the University of Missouri program.
Junior safety Greg Taylor, junior linebacker Kyron Watson and sophomore defensive lineman Terry Beckner all made unofficial visits to see the Tigers, and Taylor made a verbal commitment to Mizzou while there.
A 5-foot-11, 176-pounder, Taylor also had scholarship offers from Illinois, Kansas, Purdue and Syracuse, according to Scout.com.
He was a first-team all-Southwestern Conference selection in the fall after racking up 92 tackles, two interceptions, one sack and one fumble recovery. He caught 14 passes for 285 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 52 yards and a score on eight carries. He also saw time returning kicks and punts for the Flyers, who went 8-3 and won the league title.
Watson, a hard-hitting linebacker, has been racking up scholarship offers since his junior season. According to Rivals.com, he has offers from Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, TCU, Kansas, Minnesota, Purdue, Syracuse, Indiana and Iowa State.
He was a first-team All-Metro selection this fall after he was credited with a team-high 118 tackles, three interceptions, two sacks and one fumble recovery.
Beckner, a 6-5, 260-pound playmaker on the defensive line, already has early offers from Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. Also a first-team all-conference pick, he had 77 tackles, five sacks and one fumble recovery and scored one touchdown during his sophomore season.
He may be the area’s best defensive line prospect since Gateway Tech graduate Sheldon Richardson.
MARQUETTE JUNIOR MAKES PLEDGE
Marquette junior shortstop Keith Grieshaber made an early verbal commitment to Arkansas last week.
“He had some great options,” Marquette coach John Meyer said. “He couldn’t make a wrong decision. He had a number of schools giving him some really good scholarship offers.”
A 6-1 right-handed hitter who bats in the leadoff spot for the Mustangs, Grieshaber is hitting .343 (12 hits in 35 at-bats) with four doubles, one home run, seven RBI, 11 runs scored, seven stolen bases and .425 on-base percentage through 12 games this spring.
Grieshaber batted .402 with four doubles, three homers, 10 RBI, 25 runs, 13 steals and .481 OBP as a sophomore and hit .441 with six doubles, two triples, one homer, 12 RBI, 24 runs and .593 OBP as a freshman.
Grieshaber’s older brother, Kyle, also was a standout player for the Mustangs and a highly-recruited prospect. He played two seasons at Louisville before transferring to Central Missouri. Through his first 37 games with the Mules this season, Kyle is hitting .374 with 13 doubles, eight homers, 46 RBI, 41 runs and .463 OBP.
Keith and Kyle’s father, Daniel Grieshaber, played college baseball at Wichita State.
SOUTHWESTERN ILLINOIS COLLEGE SIGNS STRONG CLASS
The Southwestern Illinois College men's basketball team has signed what might be the strongest recruiting class of local players in coach Jay Harrington’s long tenure in Belleville.
Harrington’s incoming group includes Roxana forward Hunter Reine, Francis Howell North guard Kyle Lemons, Collinsville guard Falando Wilkinson and Cahokia guard Keenan Minor.
“I’m just as excited as I could be,” Harrington said.
SWIC could still add another local player or two, which could make it the best group of local prospects Harrington has signed during his tenure.
“This may be pretty close to the best, if it’s not already,” he said.
Harrington also has signed two Division I transfers in Corvon Butler, a 6-6, 225-pounder from Champaign who played at North Carolina A&T, and Jacob Tolbert, a 6-7 forward from Cape Notre Dame who walked on at Southeast Missouri State this past season.
“I think one of the things we’re doing that other people don’t do is we’re really selling academics,” Harrington said. “We sell academics first and basketball second. I think I have five more wins to get 700 at SWIC, and I need 22 for 800 total.
“Our school is the best-kept secret in St. Louis,” the coach said.
Minor was a first-team All-Metro selection this winter after leading the Comanches to a 33-4 record, a South Seven Conference title and a second-place finish in the Illinois Class 3A Tournament. He averaged a team-high 21.2 points, made 101 3-pointers and 107 of 130 free throw attempts (82.3 percent).
A 6-9 post player, Reine averaged 17.7 points, 13 rebounds and 2.9 blocked shots as Roxana went 24-8. Wilkenson, a 6-2 guard, averaged 17.3 points and made 66 3-pointers this winter. Lemons, an athletic 6-4 swingman, missed some games because of injury this winter but was among the area scoring leaders as he averaged 23.1 points per game.
RITENOUR GRAD ALLEN HEADED TO SOUTH FLORIDA
Corey Allen’s basketball career has taken him from coast to coast.
A 2010 Ritenour graduate, Allen spent a year at a prep school in Houston (Christian Life Center Academy) before heading to California for two years, where he starred at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, CA.
Next, the high-scoring 6-0 combo guard will be headed across the country to the University of South Florida.
The Ritenour grad made a recent verbal commitment to the Bulls.
“I just felt like it was a perfect situation with regard to the coaching staff, the minutes that I see I have an opportunity to play,” Allen said. “I mean the whole atmosphere. I just feel comfortable.”
Allen drew recruiting attention from several schools.
“I took an official to UTEP, an official to Hawaii,” he said. “I was actually going to take an official visit to Pittsburgh — either Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Oregon State, Mizzou, Murray State. I was going to take at least two more, but it didn’t work out that way.”
Allen averaged a team-high 21.1 points, 4.2 assists and 2.7 steals over 30 games this season. He connected on 62 percent of his field goal attempts and 83 percent of his free throw tries.
The Mounties went 29-3 and won the California Community College Men’s Basketball Championship for the first time. Mt. SAC beat Chaffey College 102-88 in the title game as Allen had 25 points and eight assists.
Allen will head to South Florida on June 25.
“I’m pretty happy,” he said. “There were a lot of people that said that I wasn’t going to make it to that point. I made it happen.”
O’FALLON HIGH HOSTING RIVALS.COM CAMP
The Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour is making a stop at O’Fallon High this Sunday, April 21.
The camp, which is one of 15 regional camps Rivals is holding throughout the country, is for players who were nominated for it and is free. It begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m.
The top performers at the 15 regional camps could qualify for spots in the Rivals100 Five Star Challenge or the Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge.
Among the players expected to compete at the camp are Watson, the linebacker from East St. Louis, and Tori Millender, a linebacker from Belleville West who was a first-team All-Metro selection this season.
ZUMWALT NORTH’S GLOTTA HAS TWO OFFERS
High-scoring Fort Zumwalt North junior combo guard Chaz Glotta has attracted plenty of early recruiting interest and already holds two Division I offers, from Cornell and Northern Colorado.
A 6-1 guard, Glotta was a third-team All-Metro selection this winter when he led the area in scoring at 26 points per game and also averaged 4.3 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 2.4 assists.
The Panthers went 22-6 and won conference and district titles.
Zumwalt North coach Charles Glotta, Chaz’s father, reported Chaz also has interest from St. Louis University, Southern Illinois, SIU Edwardsville, Drake, Lehigh, Yale and Lipscomb University.
ST. LOUIS CHRISTIAN HOOPERS MAKE PLEDGES
St. Louis Christian basketball coach Casey Autenrieth reports that two of his seniors have made verbal commitments and a third could soon.
Autenrieth said 6-4 swingman Rasheed Swanston has committed to Southern University and 5-10 guard James Keaton has committed to Central Methodist.
The coach said Javier Martinez, a 6-6 forward, is closing in on a decision and has several offers, including from Southern Miss, Delaware State, Tennessee-Martin, Morehead State, Northwestern State, Longwood University and University of Maryland Baltimore County.
DE SMET JUNIOR JESTER HAS AN OFFER
De Smet junior running back Marcus Jester opened eyes this fall when he was thrust into a contributing role because of injuries and by the end of the season had established himself as one of the area’s top backs.
The 5-10, 195-pounder turned his impressive junior season into a scholarship offer from Idaho after communicating with an assistant coach via a social media website.
“We came in contact on Facebook, and I just decided to call them up one day and we got to talking,” Jester said. “They said they went through my film as a coaching staff, and they said they liked what they saw and they decided to offer me.”
More offers are sure to follow for Jester, who was a first-team All-Metro selection following a junior season in which he finished with a school-record 1,722 yards, averaging 8.2 yards per carry, and team-high 20 touchdowns.
“I’m really talking to Western Illinois, Illinois and Idaho,” he said.
Jester will get a chance to show what he’s capable of on the camp circuit, beginning with the Rivals Camp at O’Fallon High on Sunday. He said he’s also likely to participate in a Nike camp in Chicago next month and also camps with Illinois and Western Illinois.
WEBSTER GROVES GRAD SIMMONS TO SIGN
Rayshawn Simmons, who graduated from Webster Groves a year ago, made a verbal commitment to Central Michigan last month.
A 6-3 point guard, Simmons helped Moberly Community College to a 24-9 record this winter. He was the Suburban South Conference player of the year in 2012 after he averaged 16.3 points and 7.7 assists per game in leading the Statesmen to 23-5 record.
"Rayshawn is a proven player who can have an immediate impact on our program," Central Michigan coach Keno Davis said in a press release. "His ability to play multiple positions will improve our team on both ends of the court."
LUTHERAN NORTH’S WREN GETS FIRST OFFER
Lutheran North junior defensive end Renell Wren picked up his first scholarship offer recently from Memphis.
An athletic 6-6, 239-pounder who also plays basketball, Wren had one of the top performances at the Elite Football Combine on March 2 at Rams Park. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.69 seconds, had a vertical leap of 34.5 inches, a pro agility time of 4.54 seconds, a broad jump of 9 feet, 4 inches and bench pressed 185 pounds 21 times.
In his junior season, Wren racked up 43 tackles, including eight for loss, three sacks and four fumble recoveries and was selected second-team all-Metro League. He had 19 tackles, four sacks and one fumble recovery as a sophomore.
CBC JUNIOR PROSPECTS HAVE OFFERS
The CBC football program graduated a strong class of players, including four who signed with Division I schools.
The Cadets’ junior class already has three players with D-1 offers.
Offensive tackle Brian Wallace, a 6-6, 300-pounder, has early offers from Missouri, Ohio State, Nebraska, Georgia, UCLA, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State and Indiana. He was a first-team all-Metro Catholic Conference selection in the fall, which was his first year starting on the varsity.
Armon Watts, a 6-5, 275-pound defensive tackle who was a first-team all-conference selection, has offers from Kentucky, Ball State, Memphis, Northern Illinois and Idaho. Watts was credited with 57 tackles, including five for loss, four sacks and one fumble recovery in his junior season.
Defensive back Zach Muniz, who was a second-team all-league selection this fall, has offers from Miami-Ohio, Ball State and Northern Illinois. He had 23 tackles and three interceptions this past season.
The four Division I signees for the Cadets last month were running backs Jonathan Parker (Iowa), Aarion Penton (Missouri) and Bert Birdsall (Miami-Ohio) and linebacker T.J. Williams (Miami-Ohio).
VIANNEY’S SMITH LOOKING AT HIS OPTIONS
Vianney junior running back Markel Smith is gaining interest from colleges since his recent decommitment from Missouri.
The 5-11, 210-pounder now has scholarship offers from Mizzou, Illinois, Iowa and Ole Miss and told Scout.com he is receiving interest from Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Indiana.
Smith, a first-team All-Metro selection following his junior season, is sure to attract more interest and offers if he shows what he’s capable of during the upcoming camp circuit.
"My recruitment is really just open," Smith told Scout.com. "I want to see what's out there and make sure I'm making the right choice. I want to make sure that the next time I commit that I feel like I definitely chose the right school."
Smith pledged to the Tigers in early November and late last month backed off that pledge.
The Golden Griffins standout rushed 287 times for an area-high 2,520 yards, an average of 8.8 yards per carry, and scored 30 total touchdowns during his impressive junior campaign.
Smith, who averaged 229 yards rushing per game this fall, already has 4,728 yards rushing and 55 touchdowns in his first three varsity seasons.