Today in the Morning Rumble, Illinois lands a late transfer, Marquette is ready for their overseas trip, Naz Reid talks St. John's and Josh Jackson is headed on a visit to Maryland this month.
After losing leader and senior Tracy Abrams to a torn Achilles tendon, the Illini have been searching for some point guard depth beyond Jaylon Tate.
On Saturday night, CBS Sports announced that former La Salle guard Khalid Lewis has committed to John Groce and Illinois. The 6'3" athlete averaged six points per game last season and will be eligible immediately as a graduate student.
Marquette, a potential surprise team in the Big East, is set to leave Monday for their 10-day, 4-game trip to Europe. Steve Wojciechowski's team is finally healthy as Luke Fischer and Henry Ellenson are fully recovered from shoulder surgery and a broken hand respectively.
This is a huge development for a young squad that has a strong 5-player recruiting class that includes Ellenson, Haanif Cheatham (who won't play on the trip due to NCAA eligibility issues), Matt Heldt, Sacar Anim and Traci Carter. Bonding and gelling on the court in Italy and Switzerland will be a key dynamic for a team that has NCAA Tournament aspirations.
On Saturday night, the Big Strick Classic took place at Gauchos Gym in the Bronx and 2018 Roselle Catholic big man Naz Reid was in attendance. The freak athlete spoke with SNY.tv following his 17-point outing and mentioned that St. John's was working the hardest for his services.
Chris Mullin has maintained that he would like to build his team around New York talents and Reid would be a strong addition three years from now. The Johnnies will have tough competition though as Duke and Kentucky continue to show their interest.
In more recruiting news, UCLA would be willing to offer a scholarship to T.J. Leaf for the 2016 campaign despite having 13 slots already filled. Interestingly, the Bruins could take point guard Bryce Alford off scholarship and land the talented 5-star power forward, Leaf, who has strong connections to the Bruins program.
Leaf recently re-opened his recruitment with rumors suggesting that he wasn't happy after being cut off the USA U19 team by Sean Miller and his staff.
Leaf is down to eight schools, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Texas, California, San Diego State, Gonzaga and Indiana.
Josh Jackson, who is in the mix as the number one recruit in the class of 2016, will visit the Maryland Terps within the next few weeks. Jackson dropped 50 points (!) in Saturday night's Big Strick Classic.
Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports put together an observation piece this past week and talked about how former St. John's target Maverick Rowan could fill a major void for the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
Rowan will be just a freshman but his ability to score will fill the gap left behind by Trevor Lacey, who took a major risk when turning pro.