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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Joe Henricksen

Curie guard Carlos Harris commits to UIC and Wauconda’s Braeden Carlson picks Mercer

Curie’s Carlos Harris (2) controls the ball past Simeon’s Rashard McKinnie (4) in the Public League semifinals last season. (Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times)

UIC coach Luke Yaklich tapped into the Public League and added Curie star guard Carlos Harris to his recruiting class. 

In a league full of tough, physical guards in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Flames now have one of their own in Harris, who has been a focal point of coach Mike Oliver’s Curie program since his freshman year. 

Harris is a downhill combo guard who has an old-school approach as a player. In addition to bringing toughness and physicality, the 6-1 Harris competes and defends.

As Harris improves his perimeter jumper and becomes more consistent with it, the impact he can have at the next level will be enhanced. 

Harris will lead a Curie team that will once again be among the top teams in the city and state. 

The backcourt, which already features Harris and often overlooked Christian Brockett, is bolstered by the arrival of two transfers: Will Gonzalez, who averaged 12 points a game last season as a junior at Riverside-Brookfield, and talented sophomore Latrell Kelley from Farragut. 

Wauconda’s Braeden Carlson picks Mercer

Wauconda hopes Braeden Carlson’s commitment to Mercer last week is the start of what could be a special year for Bulldogs basketball.

Carlson was terrific last season as a junior, breaking Wauconda’s single-season scoring record while averaging over 20 points. 

Following a solid offseason playing for Fundamental U on the club basketball scene, the multidimensional 6-4 guard grabbed the attention of a few Division I programs. He found his future home, committing to coach Greg Gary and Mercer, best known for its 2014 monumental upset of Duke in the NCAA Tournament. 

This is Wauconda’s first Division I player in 65 years. Dennis Freund, who graduated from Wauconda in 1958, went on to play at DePaul, where he’s a 1997 Hall of Fame inductee. 

Carlson and the Bulldogs should be much improved after winning 16 games a year ago. With Carlson, a four-year varsity player, leading the way, Wauconda will be favored in the Northern Lake County Conference. 

Size and experience are abundant with 6-5 Tyler Tylka, 6-6 Zach Miller, 6-6 Colton McLennan, 6-5 Liam Carney and 6-5 Will Sickmeir. Plus, shooter Cayden Mudd and physical sophomore guard Jackson Rudolph return. 

As a sophomore, Carlson was part of a school record 25-win team that captured just the second regional championship in program history. This team could be better. 

Status quo for uncommitted Kenwood trio

While there have been several commitments among senior prospects over the past week, the top three uncommitted seniors –– all from Kenwood –– are still sorting things out on the recruiting front. 

Chris Riddle, Jaden Smith and Calvin Robins are all entertaining a wide range of interest and are among the top players in Illinois. Both Smith and Riddle are on visits this weekend. 

The promising 6-11 Smith, who showed progress and promise all summer, is taking an official visit to Arizona State this weekend. Former Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin, brother of Kenwood coach Mike Irvin, is now on the Arizona State staff. He is a special assistant to head coach Bobby Hurley.  

If Smith leaves Arizona State without committing, he says he hopes to visit DePaul and Vanderbilt later this month.

Riddle, who has already visited Akron and Illinois State, will visit UIC this weekend and DePaul next week.

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