Where the local prep players are going

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Where the local prep players are going

A total of 140 seniors from the Chicago area made formal commitments on national signing day but only 17 of them are going to Big 10 programs, confirming what recruiting analysts had forecast a year ago -- the class of 2012 in the city and suburbs is average at best.

Only four others committed to major Division I programs.

Illinois signed four -- WR Charles Robertson of Lincoln-Way East, OL Robert Bain of Bolingbrook, DL Vontrell Williams of Mount Carmel and LB J.B. Bello of Lincoln-Way West.

Northwestern signed three -- RB Malin Jones of Joliet Catholic, RB Dan Vitale of Wheaton Warrenville South and DB Joe Jones of Plano.

Iowa got four -- OL Ryan Ward of Providence, DL Faith Ekakitie of Lake Forest Academy, DB Maurice Fleming of Curie and DL Jaleel Johnson of Montini.

Indiana signed RB Tevin Coleman of Oak Forest and OL Dan Feeney of Sandburg. Wisconsin landed OL Dan Voltz of Barrington, Minnesota signed LB Jack Lynn of Lake Zurich.

Ohio State signed DL Tommy Schutt of Glenbard West, who originally had committed to Penn State after Notre Dame and Michigan had pulled his scholarship offers.

Nebraska managed to keep prize wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp of Montini away from Notre Dame.

Notre Dame, which once was a dominant factor in the recruiting sweepstakes in the Chicago area, got only long snapper Scott Daly of Downers
Grove South.

Florida signed LB Antonio Morrison of Bolingbrook. Oklahoma got RB David Smith of Bremen. Stanford signed several outstanding offensive linemen, including Johnny Caspers of Glenbard West.

Northern Illinois signed a dozen local players--QB Matt Williams of Geneva, RB Keith Harris of Leo, TE Desroy Maxwell of Amundsen, DB Perez Ford of Romeoville, LB Ladell Fleming of Julian, OL Scott Taylor of Marian Central, DL Brian Canoy of St. Patrick, DL Michael Ippolito of Neuqua Valley, DL Mario Jones of Hubbard, OL Sal Arceo of Mount Carmel, DB Conner Gavin of Notre Dame and DL Corey Thomas of Lindblom.

Several local products remain uncommitted and unsigned, including OL Jordan Diamond, QB Robert Gregory and LB Shaquille Joyner of Simeon, RB Josh Williams of Downers Grove South, RB Mike Panico of Carmel, LB Jack Stibich of Fenwick, DB Anthony Standifer of Crete-Monee and OL Ryan Glasgow of Marmion.

Diamond, who is ranked No. 68 in the nation according to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network, said he will announce his decision on Friday -- either Michigan, Ohio State, Auburn, Wisconsin or Arkansas.

Gregory originally committed to Arkansas but wasn't able to qualify academically. Standifer de-committed from Michigan and is hoping to sign with Notre Dame.
WHERE THE LOCAL PLAYERS WENT

Quarterbacks

Ryan Bartels, Sycamore -- North Dakota
A.J. Bilyeu, Bartlett -- Air Force
Noel Gaspari, Batavia -- North Central
Zach Gross, South Elgin -- Olivet Nazarene
DaeShaun Hurley, Julian -- Ball State
Anthony Maddie, Aurora Christian -- Western Michigan
Billy Reed, Lockport -- Southern Illinois
Robert Tonyan Jr., McHenry -- Indiana State
Ryan West, Oswego -- Southern Illinois
Malcolm Weaver, Loyola -- Butler
Matt Williams, Geneva -- Northern Illinois
Blake Winkler, Lincoln-Way East -- Illinois State

Running backs

Kevin Bayer, Lincoln-Way East -- North Dakota
Tevin Coleman, Oak Forest -- Indiana
Keith Harris Jr., Leo -- Northern Illinois
Malin Jones, Joliet Catholic -- Northwestern
Jordan Kos, Carmel -- Winona State
Paul Preston, Maine South -- Winona State
David Smith, Bremen -- Oklahoma
Tyler Starke, Lincoln-Way East -- Robert Morris
Dan Vitale, Wheaton Warrenville South -- Northwestern
Martez Walker, Brother Rice -- Central Michigan

Receivers

Cole Gardner, Batavia -- Eastern Michigan
Kenny Golladay, St. Rita -- North Dakota
Dee Gray, Waubonsie Valley -- North Dakota State
Tyler Hickey, Geneva -- Davidson
Tony Leon, Naperville North -- Wisconsin-Platteville
Chris Lisenby, De La Salle -- Western Illinois
Nic Margiotta, Prairie Ridge -- Winona State
Luke Mathewson, Libertyville -- North Dakota
Desroy Maxwell, Amundsen -- Northern Illinois
Shawn Mitchell, Rich Central -- Southern Illinois
Charles Robertson, Lincoln-Way East -- Illinois
Ben Rogers, Geneva -- Cornell
Scott Simpson, Neuqua Valley -- Western Illinois
Anthony Taylor, Montini -- Eastern Illinois
Mitch Vejvoda, Providence -- South Dakota State
Jordan Westerkamp, Montini -- Nebraska
Zach Wolfe, Lockport -- Butler
Brandon Wright, De La Salle -- St. Joseph's, Ind.

Offensive linemen

Sal Arceo, Mount Carmel -- Northern Illinois
Kyle Avaloy, Glenbard South -- Illinois State
Robert Bain, Bolingbrook -- Illinois
Richard Barber, Lake Forest Academy -- Holy Cross
Charles Barth, Providence -- Western Michigan
Ryan Callen, Hinsdale Central -- Miami, Ohio
Johnny Caspers, Glenbard West -- Stanford
Nick Dachota, St. Rita -- Indiana State
Scott Daly, Downers Grove South -- Notre Dame
Robert Delaney, Loyola -- Dayton
Dan Feeney, Sandburg -- Indiana
Alex Hern, Lincoln-Way East -- Drake
Greg Hohenstein, Wheaton South -- Bowling Green
Jake Hurcombe, Stevenson -- Eastern Michigan
C.J. Irvin, Manteno -- Illinois State
Jake Jankowski, Joliet Catholic -- St. Xavier
Maciej Kozlowski, Jacobs -- Southern Illinois
Mike Love, Andrew -- Western Illinois
Jim Lowery, Montini -- Eastern Illinois
David Meyerhoff, Naperville North -- Southern Illinois
Dan Pawlak, Lakes -- Illinois State
Paul Perschon, Conant -- Toledo
Nick Roach, Mount Carmel -- Western Michigan
Dillon Sandberg, Libertyville -- Robert Morris
Scott Taylor, Marian Central -- Northern Illinois
Dan Voltz, Barrington -- Wisconsin
Ryan Ward, Providence -- Iowa

Defensive linemen
Brian Canoy, St. Patrick -- Northern Illinois
Nick Cemeno, Providence -- St. Xavier
Nick Collofello, Joliet Catholic -- St. Francis
Mikhail Dubose, Hubbard -- Bowling Green
Faith Ekakitie, Lake Forest Academy -- Iowa
Josh Falk, Joliet Catholic -- Northwest Missouri State
Evan Finnane, Elgin St. Edward -- Army
Matt Frolik, Joliet Catholic -- Robert Morris
Greg Gordon, Bolingbrook -- St. Joseph's, Ind.
Alex Hamilton, Minooka -- St. Xavier
Anthony Harris, Bolingbrook -- Northern Michigan
Michael Ippolito, Neuqua Valley -- 0Northern Illinois
Mario Jones, Hubbard -- Northern Illinois
Jaleel Johnson, Montini -- Iowa
Brett Jones, Naperville North -- Cornell
Austin Lewis, Batavia -- Augustana
Alec Lyons, Batavia -- Indiana State
Joel Mangum, Lincoln-Way East -- Indiana State
Mike Marks, Naperville North -- Concordia, Minn.
Phillip Martin, Kenwood -- Toledo
Pat O'Connor, St. Rita -- Eastern Michigan
Mike Parker, Libertyville -- Grand Valley State
Jimmy Pelnarsh, Morris -- Air Force
Lance Sanders, Leo -- Central Michigan
Michael Scott, Loyola -- Dayton
Tommy Schutt, Glenbard West -- Ohio State
Jon Slania, South Elgin -- Southeast Missouri State
Matt Solner, Lincoln-Way East -- Iowa Western
Corey Thomas, Lindblom -- Northern Illinois
Austin Tixler, Prospect -- Wyoming
Alec Vesper, Minooka -- Mankato State
Vontrell Williams, Mount Carmel -- Illinois

Linebackers

Andre Allen, Bolingbrook -- Illinois State
Lance Baggett, Chicago Academy -- Army
B.J. Bello, Lincoln-Way West -- Illinois
Evan Bishop, Jacobs -- Northern Michigan
Collin Corcoran, Prairie Ridge -- Winona State
Stewart Cunningham, De La Salle -- 0Carthage
Ladell Fleming, Julian -- Northern Illinois
Leonard Garron, Evanston -- Southern Illinois
Tristan Humbles, Notre Dame -- Western Illinois
Matt Koran, Joliet West -- Harvard
Kyle Krull, Lemont -- Western Illinois
Jack Lynn, Lake Zurich -- Minnesota
Will McNamara, St. Rita -- Dartmouth
Anthony Messina, Addison Trail -- New Mexico
Carl Miller, Stevenson -- Air Force
Antonio Morrison, Bolingbrook -- Florida
Sean Oroni, Batavia -- Carthage
Mike Partyka, Bartlett -- Winona State
Mike Passo, Joliet Catholic -- St. Francis
Nathan Sudnick, West Chicago -- Dayton
Brad Uher, Lemont -- Western Illinois
Jarrett Wood, Vernon Hills -- Winona State
Defensive backs

Charles Elmore, St. Rita -- South Dakota State
Maurice Fleming, Curie -- Iowa
Perez Ford, Romeoville -- Northern Illinois
Conner Gavin, Notre Dame -- Northern Illinois
Brandon Greer, Mount Carmel -- Central Michigan
Joe Jones, Plano -- Northwestern
Ryan Meyer, Marist -- Eastern Illinois
Chase Murdock, Barrington -- Toledo
Diaron Rhodes, Bolingbrook -- Central Missouri
Dion Starnes, Bremen -- Air Force
Sam Styler, Libertyville -- Illinois Wesleyan
Tevin Teamer, Bolingbrook -- Central Missouri
Philip Wilson, Bolingbrook -- Indiana State
Caz Zyks, Jacobs -- Drake
Kicker

Ron Colluzzi, Naperville North -- Central Michigan
Tyler Mellecker, Waubonsie Valley -- Indiana State
David Reisner, South Elgin -- Navy
Sam Retzky, Notre Dame -- Tulsa
Brad Walovitch, Crystal Lake South -- Winona State

Loyola excited for upcoming season, trip to Spain

Loyola excited for upcoming season, trip to Spain

Loyola didn't have the season they were hoping for in 2015-16 but they're optimistic that things can turn around for the upcoming season. Even though the Loyola roster is filled with newcomers, the Ramblers are hopeful that a summer trip to Spain can help give them a head start.

As part of the trip, Loyola will get 10 extra practices and four games against Spanish competition that will give the team some much-needed experience before practice officially begins in October.

Head coach Porter Moser is already happy about working with this group, which features some productive returnees and a lot of talented newcomers.

"We play four games over there. They get that feel of being coached in a game at this level with their teammates," Moser said. "So then when we start back up in October they have a sense of some of the things we're trying to teach, some of the things of what to expect. And I think that's such a big element."

On a team full of new players, it will be important for senior guard Milton Doyle to have a bounce-back year for Loyola after a disappointing junior campaign. A former star at Marshall, Doyle saw his shooting percentages dip last season as the Loyola coaching staff challenged him to improve for his final season of college basketball. 

Moser is happy with the strides that Doyle has made this summer as he's added over 10 pounds of muscle to now play at 192 pounds. Also committed on the defensive end of the floor and being a team leader, Doyle is the Ramblers' only senior this season, so he'll be counted on to be a productive presence.

"It's a lot this year just because we had four seniors leave last year and I'm the last senior," Doyle said. "So it's my job to make sure everyone stays on track and everyone is uplifted, even when coaches get on them. That's my job right now."

Junior wing Donte Ingram — a former Simeon product — and junior guard Ben Richardson also return as key contributors from last year's team while Iowa State transfer guard Clayton Custer is expected to come in and be a major factor in the team's backcourt rotation.

As for the newcomers, Moser compared juco transfer forward Aundre Jackson favorably to former Loyola forward Christian Thomas while Vlatko Granic gives the team a stretch option at forward that they didn't have in the past. The team's freshmen are also very talented as guard Matt Chastain has shown solid athleticism and a good basketball IQ through some early practices. 

Another freshman guard, Cameron Satterwhite, is coming off of a torn ACL that cost him his senior season, but the Loyola staff is optimistic about his recovery for this season. Croatian freshman guard Bruno Skokna is also recovering from injury as he has played against professionals in Europe the last few seasons on an amateur contract. He is expected to be cleared soon so that he can return to action this season.

"I love this group because it's a group full of gym rats. This is a really enthusiastic group," Moser said. "They've come together, we've got a lot of newcomers. That's the benefit, that's why we did the Spain trip this summer."

Loyola takes its trip to Spain from Aug. 12-22 as they'll hit cities like Barcelona and Madrid during the trip.

Pat Summitt used the sport to empower women at Tennessee and beyond

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Pat Summitt used the sport to empower women at Tennessee and beyond

Needing yet another men's basketball coach, Tennessee officials turned to the one person they thought would be perfect to take over the Volunteers program.

Pat Summitt said no.

She wasn't interested in the job in 1994 after Wade Houston was forced out, and she turned it down again when Jerry Green quit in March 2001. A Tennessee governor once joked he wouldn't have his job if Summitt ever wanted to run her home state.

Breaking the glass ceiling in the men's game, political office, that wasn't Summitt's motivation. She had the only job she ever really wanted.

"I want to keep doing the right things for women all the time," Summitt said in June 2011 after being inducted into her fifth Hall of Fame.

Summitt died Tuesday morning at age 64.

The woman who grew up playing basketball in a Tennessee barn loft against her brothers, and started coaching only a couple years after Title IX was invoked, spent her life working to make women's basketball the equal of the men's game. In the process, Patricia Sue Head

Summitt stood amongst the best coaches in any sport when she retired in April 2012 with more victories (1,098) than any other NCAA coach and second only to John Wooden with eight national championships.

Summitt used the sport and her demand for excellence to empower women and help them believe they can achieve anything, taking no backseat to anyone.

When I moved to Tennessee in 1976, girls played six-on-six, half-court basketball designed to protect them from getting hurt. Summitt, who took her Lady Vols to four AIAW Final Fours, refused to recruit Tennessee players. Tennessee high schools switched to five-on-five rules starting with the 1979-80 season.

The NCAA finally started running a national postseason tournament for the women in 1982. At the time, Summitt was known for having "corn-fed chicks" on her roster, big and strong but not talented enough to win national titles. After she won her first national title in 1987 in her eighth Final Four either in the AIAW or NCAA, she said, "Well, the monkey's off my back."

Back then only a student ID was needed to attend a women's game. And there was no demand for the results of those games. After graduating from Tennessee, I helped the sports writers by bringing notes from an NCAA Tournament game back to the office for someone else to write up. There was no urgency since there was no reader demand.

So Summitt worked to make it impossible to ignore her team or the women's game.

By January 1993, so many people wanted to watch then-No. 2 Tennessee visit top-ranked Vanderbilt that the contest became the first Southeastern Conference women's game to sell out in advance. With children under 6 allowed in free, having a ticket didn't guarantee getting through the door; at least 1,000 were turned away at the door - including Vanderbilt's chancellor.

The Lady Vols won 73-68, a game I covered in my first year as a sports writer for The Associated Press in Nashville.

"This was the biggest game in women's basketball, and that's what I've been waiting 19 years to see," Summitt said. "I'm glad I stayed around to see it."

Summitt scheduled opponents anywhere and everywhere, barnstorming the country to introduce people to women's basketball. Tennessee played Arizona State in 2000 in the first women's outdoor game played at then-Bank One Ballpark, drew the largest crowd ever to a regional championship in March 1998 when 14,848 packed Memorial Gym in Nashville with Tennessee trying to finish off the NCAA's first three-peat and helped Louisville set a Big East record christening the KFC Yum! Center in 2010.

The Lady Vols became must-see TV in the sport as Summitt put the women's game on the national stage with six national titles in the span of 12 years.

I remember when I got real up-close look at what drove Summitt.

Assigned to cover Summitt as part of AP's annual college basketball preview package in the fall of 1998, I spent nearly 30 minutes with the coach in her office.

Door closed, Summitt gave a glimpse of that famous stay-away stare. With undivided attention now on me, she wanted to know if I had talked with her mother, Hazel, for the story. She then showed me the engaging side, laughing when asked about a stretch of play during the 1998 title game that resembled the Showtime Lakers, beaming while reflecting on how well her Lady Vols showed women could play the game.

The Lady Vols lost 69-63 to Duke that season in the East Regional. The next day I left a message at Summitt's house and late that afternoon, she called back to talk about more life lessons and basketball.

"It's a game, and winning and losing both can be great ways to teach kids how to get ready for the real world," said Summitt, who had to stop the interview because her mother had given son, Tyler, a gift. She explained he would have to save some of that cash before buying something for himself. Then she resumed the conversation about the game.

That was Pat Summitt: Hoops and family.

She held everyone to the exacting standards she learned from her father cutting tobacco and helping bale hay on the family farm. Tennessee and Connecticut was the biggest draw in women's basketball with Geno Auriemma and his Huskies handing Summitt her lone title game loss in 1995. But Summitt canceled the series in 2007 and refused to say why other than, "Geno knows."

Summitt ended a nine-year championship drought with her seventh national title in 2007 followed by the eighth in 2008. She became the first NCAA coach to win 1,000 games Feb. 5, 2009, and received a new contract that boosted her annual salary to $1.4 million - far removed from the $8,900 of her first season.

She never got to the 40th season in that contract, her career cruelly and prematurely ended by early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. She finished 1,098-208 with 18 Final Fours, at the time tying the men of UCLA and North Carolina for the most by any college basketball program.

Not that numbers define Summitt, who once said, "Records are made to be broken."

Yes, all marks fade, but no one will eclipse Summitt's contributions to women's basketball.

Illini starting pitcher Cody Sedlock named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year

Illini starting pitcher Cody Sedlock named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year

University of Illinois starting pitcher Cody Sedlock was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday.

The junior from Sherrard, Ill., led the conference in strikeouts (116) and innings pitched (101.1).

He is the fifth Illini pitcher to take home the award, following Tyler Jay who was given the honor last year — and later went on to be picked No. 6 overall by the Minnesota Twins in the 2015 MLB draft. It's the second time in program history that an Illini pitcher has won the award in back-to-back seasons.

The right-hander Sedlock is projected by many to be a first-round selection in the upcoming MLB draft on June 9.