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Zion-Benton's Milik Yarbrough finished his high school career with 2,621 points. | Michael Schmidt/For Sun-Times Media
On Tuesday, Zion-Benton star Milik Yarbrough said he would be committing by the end of the month, that he “really enjoyed his visit to Saint Louis” and that “UNLV was now seriously in the mix.”
But after sleeping on it one more night, Yarbrough decided there was no need to wait. The all-time leading scorer in Lake County high school basketball history ended his recruitment and gave a commitment to Saint Louis and head coach Jim Crew on Wednesday.
"I was getting tired of waiting and the schools that were recruiting me were getting tired of waiting," says Yarbrough of the decision. "I just wanted to make it happen, and I loved my visit to Saint Louis and all they showed me."
Yarbrough said the SLU staff was the biggest draw, from Crews to assistant coach Calbert Cheaney, the former Indiana star, who had a sales pitch that was delivered loud and clear.
"After talking with an assistant coach who is the all-time leading scorer in Big Ten history, I was excited," Yarbrough said of Cheaney. "He told and showed how he will work with me, how he did it and how we will work together. Coming from him, that means a lot."
The 6-6 wing has always had a penchant for scoring the basketball. Whether it was shooting from the perimeter or using his big body and strength in finishing around the basket, Yarbrough was a matchup nightmare for opposing high school coaches. But the Saint Louis staff believes he can be a defensive stopper with his size and length.
"I admit, I didn't play a whole lot of defense in high school," Yarbrough said with a laugh. "But that will all change in college. They really think I can be a defensive presence and guard multiple positions."
In four years, Yarbrough climbed the all-time scoring list in state history, finishing among the top scorers in Illinois prep history with 2,621 career points. But even with all the accomplishments in his storied career, Yarbrough says Wednesday was a little extra special.
"This is a very special day," says Yarbrough of the commitment. "There aren't many kids who get out of here, are able to get out from where I come from and go to college. Not everyone gets this opportunity, and I'm excited to get this chance."
Yarbrough joins a Saint Louis program that has had a whole bunch of success in recent years. The Billikens have won 27, 28 and 26 games and made three straight NCAA Tournaments over the past three years –– and with the help of Illinois prep products.
Neuqua Valley’s Dwayne Evans has been a four-year starter for SLU and was the team’s leading scorer this past season. Foreman product Mike McCall started all 34 games this past season for a team that won 27 games.
Yarbrough, who chose SLU over UNLV, Bradley, Illinois State and others, is next in line at SLU, joining Whitney Young's Miles Reynolds in the 2014 recruiting class.
Follow Joe Henricksen and the Hoops Report on Twitter @joehoopsreport