News-Gazette contributor Gavin Good checks in on how the Illini’s current signees and targets are faring on the court this winter:
Class of 2022
➜ SENCIRE HARRIS, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio), and the Fighting Irish (4-2) had to cancel its game against Lima on Dec. 19 and rescheduled the conference-opener against Cleveland St. Ignatius due to COVID-19. Harris resumed competition in style on Dec. 28, dropping 30 points in a 72-56 win at Richmond Heights. On Sunday night, the Fighting Irish dealt Lincoln (Ohio) its first loss of the season with a 70-69 victory. Harris helped lead a second-half comeback, nailing a pull-up three-pointer and tying the game with a steal and a traditional three-point play. The Fighting Irish are scheduled to host South Oak Cliff (Texas) at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
➜ JAYDEN EPPS, a 6-foot-2 combo guard from Combine Academy (N.C.), and the Goats (11-3) opened up the John Wall Holiday Tournament on Dec. 28 with a 69-56 victory over Virginia Episcopal as Epps scored 14 points and tallied five rebounds and two assists. Combine Academy dropped its opener at the Hoop Cities Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C., 83-79 to Word of God Christian Academy (N.C.) last Friday, but Epps scored 12 points and had five rebounds and three assists in a 74-59 win over Virginia Academy this past Saturday. The Goats are scheduled to play Woodson (Va.) on Thursday night.
➜ TY RODGERS, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Thornton, and the Wildcats (7-4) knocked off Chicago Vocational 70-61 on Dec. 27 in the opening round of the Big Dipper Tournament. Rodgers scored 13 points to go along with nine rebounds and eight assists in the victory. The Wildcats earned a 69-57 win over Thornton Fractional South on Dec. 28 in the Big