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Cliff Alexander of Curie moves past Mohammad Qureshi of Niles West. Patrick Gleason ~ For the Sun-Times

Young’s Jahlil Okafor and Curie’s Cliff Alexander basically ran their respective recruitments through twitter. The pair spent the past two seasons trimming their lists of dozens of scholarship offers down over social media. But Friday afternoon they will each announce their decisions the old school way, on television.

ESPNU will be at both Young and Curie. Okafor will announce first, at 3 p.m. Alexander’s decision will come at 3:15. 

Okafor, the top player in the national class of 2013, is a package deal with one of the top point guards in the country, Tyus Jones of Apple Valley, Minn. They will choose between Duke and Kansas. 

Alexander, one of the top five players in the nation, is choosing between DePaul, Illinois, Kansas and Memphis. 

The Illini fan base is salivating over Alexander. He would be Illinois’ biggest recruit in several decades, signifying that John Groce may be the man to lead the school back into the national spotlight. 

Fans in Champaign have giddily dubbed Friday “Cliffmas." Apparently the joy of a commitment from Alexander is equal to Christmas morning. 

There isn’t a local school in the race for Okafor, but whichever school he and Jones choose will likely have the top recruiting class in the country. 

Our panel of 21 experts has Duke heavily favored for Okafor, 17-4. Things are a bit closer on the Alexander side with Illinois holding a 13-7 lead over Kansas

Ore Arogundade, St. Viator guard
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Kansas

Ryan Baker, CBS-2 Sports
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Illinois

Aaron Bennett, WCIA Sports Director
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Kansas

Scott Burgess, Chicago Hoops
Okafor -  Kansas
Alexander - Illinois

Brian Chimino, Beyond The Arc host
Okafor - Kansas
Alexander - Illinois

Jon Greenberg, ESPN
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Illinois

Mike Helfgot, Chicago Tribune
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Kansas

Joe Henricksen, City/Suburban Hoops Report
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Illinois

Marcus Jackson, Champaign News-Gazette
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Illinois

David Kaplan, Comcast Sports and WGN Radio
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Illinois

Kenny McReynolds, WCIU
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Illinois

Rick Morrissey, Sun-Times
Okafor - Kansas
Alexander - Kansas

Michael O’Brien, Sun-Times
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Illinois 

Scott Powers, ESPN
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Kansas

Aggrey Sam, CSN Chicago
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Kansas

Brian Snow, Scout.com
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Kansas

Dave Spahn, Slam
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Illinois

Brad Sturdy, Rivals.com
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Illinois

Clyde Travis, Sun-Times
Okafor - Kansas
Alexander - DePaul

Jeremy Werner, ESPN Radio Champaign
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Illinois

Dave Wischnowsky, WSCR columnist
Okafor - Duke
Alexander - Illinois

Cliff Alexander

Jahlil Okafor

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