Bradley Basketball Reclaiming Chicago Talent

By Demario Phipps-Smith
Rick Scuteri USA TODAY-Sports
Rick Scuteri USA TODAY-Sports

Chicago has become renowned for two things: its violent shootings and its basketball talent.

Recently, major programs outside of Illinois have acquired the Chicago players and their talent. The lack of power programs in the state has caused many to leave home, schools like Southern Illinois and Illinois for Kansas, Kentucky and Connecticut.

However, one school in the state of Illinois has had success in reclaiming talent from Chicago. Despite a rather disappointing 12-20 record in 2013, Bradley has landed three recruits (Josh Cunningham, Jermaine Morgan and Donte Thomas) from the Windy City-area.

Cunningham, a forward from Morgan Park (Chicago), is easily the most celebrated of the trio, but it is well warranted. The 6-foot-7 wing man averaged 21.6 points, 14.5 rebounds and three assists per game as a senior. For his accomplishments, he earned first-team all-state honors from the AP and Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.

The 2013 Braves’ best scoring option, Walt Lemon, is a graduating senior. Cunningham will have the opportunity to act as the team’s primary scorer if he is prepared for such a demanding responsibility. Although he may be the best player among a relatively young squad, this is a team that is well acquainted with one another. His teammates shouldn’t have many problems allowing a freshman to average a team-high in points—if he can handle it.

The most intriguing thing about this Bradley recruiting class is that most of these athletes played (and won) championship games at Bradley’s court, Carver Arena. I guess the feeling of winning it all on Bradley’s floor was something they wish to have the opportunity to relive.

DeMario Phipps-Smith is the writer of mid-major NCAA basketball content for Follow him on Twitter @demariopsmith or add him to your network on Google.

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