|Posted on November 9, 2016 at 1:20 PM|
Photo via @PapermakerBB
The Green Bay Phoenix have officially landed three prospects for their 2017 recruiting class as the early signing period opened up on Wednesday.
The Phoenix received signed National Letters of Intent from high school seniors Will Chevalier, PJ Pipes, and Trevian Bell.
The 2017 class will be Linc Darner's third as head coach at Green Bay as he looks to follow up a successful 2016 class that included Trevor Anderson and Kam Hankerson. His initial class after getting hired at Green Bay in 2015 also was fantastic, signing JUCO transfers Charles Cooper and Jamar Hurdle, landing Division I transfers Warren Jones and David Jesperson, and signing two prep players - Avery and Anthony Brown.
Chevalier, a 6’8” forward from nearby Kimberly, was the first prospect to verbally commit to Green Bay’s 2017 class.
He was an integral part of Kimberly’s 17-8 overall record last season, averaging 18.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game during his junior season. The Papermakers went 12-6 in one of the toughest conferences in the state with Chevalier being named to the Fox Valley Association’s all-conference first team.
Showing an ability to take over in big games, he scored a season high 28 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in Kimberly’s 85-74 victory over eventual conference champion Kaukauna back on February 16th.
According to Mark Miller of WisSports.net, Chevalier is a “versatile forward who can hurt opponents with his offense in the lane and from the perimeter.”
That versatility includes athletic dunks as well as the ability to hit from beyond the arc. He made 32.6% (46-141) of his three point attempts during his junior season.
He chose Green Bay over a scholarship offer from Idaho State as well as interest from several other mid-major schools.
Bell, a 6’5” wing from Joliet, IL, averaged 15.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game last season as a junior at Joliet West. He shot 49.3% overall from the floor including a solid 37.8% (31 of 82) from beyond the arc.
He was named third-team all-state by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association and honorable mention all-state by the Associated Press as well as all-conference SouthWest Suburban Blue. He was also named first team all-area by The Herald-News.
Bell chose Green Bay over scholarship offers from Illinois State, IUPUI, Furman, Southeast Missouri State, and Horizon League rival UIC.
“Trevian continues to develop into an overall good high school basketball player,” Joliet West coach Nick DiForti told local newspaper The Herald-News. “Nearly every team we played focused their attention on him. If we weren’t such a balanced scoring team, he easily could have averaged over 20 points a game.”
“Everything just fit me,” Bell told Prep Hoops Illinois. “Playing style, coaching staff, education, program. It would have been hard to find a more perfect fit. I just knew that this was the place for me. Coach Darner came to most if not all of my games during the spring and summer and they have been so supportive of me.”
Pipes, a 6’2” guard from Lemont, IL, was named all-conference in the South Suburban Blue division selection as a junior last season, averaging 20 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He shot 44% from the floor and 35% from beyond the arc.
“I chose [Green Bay] because I felt like it was the perfect fit for me offensively wise and defensively,” Pipes told Prep Hoops Illinois. “The coaches believed in my abilities and wanted nothing but the best for me. It also felt like home and a place I wanted to be for four years.”
Pipes chose the Phoenix over Division I offers from Navy and the University of Denver as well as several Division II offers.
The three signings signify the halfway point in Green Bay’s 2017 recruiting efforts as they still have three scholarships to fill to replace the current roster’s six outgoing seniors.
The Phoenix coaching staff has several scholarship offers outstanding to 2017 prospects, including Manny Patterson (6’8” F, Chicago, IL), Romon Douglas-Watkins (6’5” F, Peoria, IL), and Lucas Williamson (6’5” G, Chicago, IL).
Patterson, a 3-star prospect according to ESPN, has scholarship offers from Green Bay, Bowling Green, UIC, Southern Illinois, and Central Connecticut State. He took an official visit to the UWGB campus in September, however Scott Burgess of Prep Hoops Illinois reports he won’t commit or sign anywhere during the early signing period which ends November 16th.
Douglas-Watkins will unfortunately see his recruiting fall off as he will be forced to miss his senior season of high school basketball after tearing his ACL while playing with his AAU team this summer. The 6’5” wing averaged 16.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last year as a junior helping to lead his team to a third-place finish in the 3A state tournament. He has scholarship offers from Illinois State and Bethune-Cookman.
Williamson, a guard with size (6’5”) that can hit from the perimeter, boasts offers from UIC, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Bowling Green, Hofstra, Bucknell, and Hampton.
Green Bay has also extended a scholarship offer to junior college sophomore Deangelo Isby, a 6’5” guard at Wabash Valley.
The Phoenix have expressed interest in several other prospects, including Henry Trelenberg (6’2” G, Brookfield, IL), Jack Sorenson (5’11” G, Lakeville, MN), Andrew Lewis (6’3” G, Milwaukee, WI) Isiah Chandler, (6’9” F, Omaha, NE), Philip Flory (6’4” G, Oshkosh, WI), Walt McGrory (6’3” G, Edina, MN) as well as JUCO prospect Ryan Matthews (5’10” G, Oakton CC).
It is likely that Green Bay will use a combination of prep players as well as junior college and possibly Division I transfers to fill the three open scholarships.