It has been a good week for Illinois basketball and the Proviso East High School pipeline. Former PEHS star Dee Brown pulled his name out of the NBA Draft and will return to Champaign for his senior season. Just a few days later, word got out that Bruce Weber received a verbal commitment from Brian Carlwell, a rising senior from the same school.
Carlwell, the second ranked player in the state of Illinois and the No. 37 ranked rising junior in the nation, unofficially visited the Big Ten school last week and decided that he wanted to end the recruiting process a little sooner than he had planned.
"I thought I was going to wait but then I realized that I was real comfortable there so why wait and hold things off," Carlwell said.
"(The visit) helped a lot really. More than anything, it helped because of the drive. I was able to see that I could get up and back really quick. It's not that far. My parents can come up there and check in with me and I can go home and check in with them."
The 6-foot-10, 235-pound big man, was impressed with the academic side of the school.
"It's a good campus, everything is set up real nice there," Carlwell said. "I met with the guy who handles all of the academics for the basketball players and he was really helpful. I probably looked at that the most.
"They are expanding their academics and they'll have more computers for the athletes there. Plus if you need a tutor, they'll help you with that, too. They are laying the foundation for good things to come."
Carlwell joins Richard Semrau in the class of 2006 group, giving the Illini a nice mix of strength and shooting. Ironically, Brown played with Carlwell's older brother Ronnie, who is now a Illinois State.
Carlwell will spend July at the Nike All-American camp, then to the Kentucky Hoopfest and finish the summer in Orlando for the Super Showcase and the AAU Nationals.