Pruitt visits Xavier
Xavier received a visit this past weekend from 6'7 forward Shaun Pruitt of West Aurora (IL). Pruitt visited campus with his family. A former invitee to Gene Keady's Elite Camp, Pruitt lists Xavier among his top six schools.
"I'm also looking at Marquette, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana and Purdue," Pruitt told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Sunday.
Illinois based talent scout Frank Rusnak has Pruitt as the best player in the Illinois class of 2004. And that's saying a lot, when you have nationally ranked players in that same class with names like Shaun Livingston, Jamarcus Ellis, Ollie Bailey and DeAaron Williams.
For most of the summer Livingston was the name heard most often as the best junior in Illinois, but Pruitt exploded during a recent junior camp run by Rusnak in Chicago. Livingston came away with the "Best Passer" award, but Pruitt took camp MVP honors by averaging 27 points over three games. Pruitt was the camp top scorer and second best rebounder behind Farragut's 6'7 Ollie Bailey.
Pruitt has also been named the nation's 25th best junior by NBADraft.net.
Illinois lands top small forward
According to several news sources, Illinois is due to receive a verbal commitment from one of the nation's top small forwards, Charlie Villaneuva of Blair Academy (NJ). The 6'9, 215-pound forward will chose Illinois on November 5th over Indiana, Seton Hall and Villanova.
Villanueva brings to four the number of top 100 rated recruits who will join the Illini for the 2003-04 season. Joining Villanueva is 6'3 shooting guard Richard McBride, 6'8 combo forward Brian Randle, and 6'8 power forward Warren Carter.
Villanueva also brings to four the number of top 10 recruits already committed to Big Ten programs. Wisconsin has a commitment from 6'11 center Brian Butch, Michigan State has received a verbal from 6'4 scoring guard Shannon Brown, and Ohio State has a commitment from 6'7 small forward Ivan Harris.
The junior class in Illinois is loaded with quality talent, and maybe the best news Big Ten rivals can take from the commitment of Villanueva is that Illinois only has one scholarship to offer that junior class.
Jamaal Foster to Southern Illinois
Bruce Weber has received a commitment from 6'9 forward Jamaal Foster of Hickman (MO). Foster averaged ten points and ten rebounds per game as a junior, and set a school record with 78 blocked shots. Foster's strong ties to his family, the short distance from home, and the Saluki's dream trip to the Sweet Sixteen last season led to his choice of Southern Illinois over Western Michigan.
Hickman HS finished the season with a 22-5 record and all five starters averaging between nine and 16 points per game.
Foster can handle either center or forward duties, and has a perimeter range to be able to stretch defenses.
Foster joins 6'1 shooting guard Jamaal Tatum and 6'7 forward Randal Falker to complete Weber's 2003-04 recruiting class.