With a banner 2016 recruiting class already in the fold, UIC will now shift the focus to the 2017 and 2018 classes. Starting on Friday, the second live evaluation period commences. College coaches will be allowed to watch prospects play in person at various games across the country.
As of today, UIC has one scholarship to give in 2017, with Markese McGuire graduating after next season and opening up the spot. According to verbalcommits.com, UIC has already extended 19 scholarships to players in the 2017 class. Coach Steve McClain and his staff cast a wide net in 2017, making most of those offers last spring/summer. Given UIC’s success recruiting guards and wings in the last two cycles, a post player should be a prime focus in 2017. Here is a look at the current big men with a scholarship offer from UIC in the 2017 class. Expect new names to surface in 2017 and 2018 as the live periods progress:
U-High Chicago (IL); All In/Y&R
6-foot-7 power forward
Offers: North Dakota, Princeton, UIC and Yale
UIC was the first school to offer Alausa, an active face-up four big man. He plays in class 2A during the high school season, so this spring/summer could help him get recognition. Alausa is a high-achieving student academically and Ivy League schools are starting to notice. Drake, Princeton and Yale visited Alausa this week. He’ll be playing this weekend in Dallas at the Lone Star Invitational.
Fort Wayne North (IN); Spiece Indy Heat
6-foot-9 power forward
Offers: Ball State, Cleveland State, Indiana State, IUPUI, Kent State, Toledo, UIC
The most recent recipient of a UIC offer is Butz, who received the offer Thursday night. Toledo offered on Tuesday. He’s a long, athletic big man who does the bulk of his work inside. Butz is playing for Spiece Indy Heat on the EYBL circuit and he appeared in three games last weekend. He averaged 7.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 18.0 minutes per game. Butz will be playing in his home state of Indiana this weekend.
Jacobs (IL); Young Legends
Offers: Brown, Columbia, Furman, Lehigh, Loyola, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Toledo, UAB, UIC, Vermont.
A three-star center, Krutwig thrived this past high school season for Jacobs. He stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 17.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.6 blocks and 2.4 steals, according to the Courier News. Krutwig led his team to a conference and regional championship. He’s playing for Young Legends in the Under Armour Association. Krutwig appeared in four games last weekend, averaging 4.0 points and 8.2 rebounds. But Krutwig only shot 29% from the field. He’ll look to redeem himself in Indianapolis this weekend.
Kenwood (IL); Meanstreets
Offers: Green Bay, Southern Illinois, UIC.
UIC was the first school to offer Patterson, who anchored the interior for Kenwood this past season. Patterson suits up for Meanstreets in the EYBL, and he played in three games this past weekend. He averaged 1.3 points, 4.7 rebounds per game in 14.3 minutes. Patterson and Meanstreets will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend.
Olympia (IL); All In/Y&R
6-foot-6 power forward
Offers: Nebraska, Southern Illinois, UIC.
Payton is an impressive leaper that can finish well above the rim with authority. He shined last year in the 16U division in the Under Armour Association, playing for the Illinois Wolves. But he’s switched AAU teams and high school teams. Payton played for Bloomington High School most of the 2015-2016 season, but then transferred to Olympia right before the playoffs. He went from the Illinois Wolves to the Mac Irvin Fire to All In/Y&R in aau play. Payton is an athletic, undersized big man who will need to get stronger to be successful. He’ll be playing with Jameel Alausa and All In/Y&R at the Lone Star Invitational.
Joey St. Pierre
Richmond-Burton (IL); Illinois Wolves
Offers: New Mexico, UIC
St. Pierre is another player who transferred high schools this past season. He spent the first semester at La Lumiere in Indiana, then transferred back home to Richmond-Burton. The move back home forced St. Pierre to sit out the second semester at Richmond-Burton per transfer rules. St. Pierre is the biggest player UIC is currently looking at, but he will need to shake off some of the rust. This past weekend, he averaged 4.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 block per game. St. Pierre and the Illinois Wolves will be in Indianapolis this weekend.