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Chicago blue-chip guard DJ Steward's relationship with Talen Horton-Tucker may pay off for Iowa State

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Chicago combo guard D.J. Steward drills a transition 3 at Nike Peach Jam.
Matthew Bain, mbain@dmreg.com

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — One of the hottest names at the 2019 Nike Peach Jam is DJ Steward, the silky-smooth, four-star combo guard out of Whitney Young in Chicago.

Steward has a laundry list of high-major suitors, and that list is likely to grow this month.

Illinois’ Brad Underwood and top assistant Ron “Chin” Coleman were courtside for Steward during Meanstreets’ game against Team Takeover on Thursday. Texas head coach Shaka Smart was there, too, as was Louisville head coach Chris Mack.

Those three schools are thought to be strong contenders in the race for Steward. He unofficially visited Illinois and Louisville in late June, and he took an official to Texas in early June.

But many other schools are also involved with one of the nation’s fastest-rising 2020 prospects. 

Iowa State’s Steve Prohm and Daniyal Robinson were on hand Thursday. So were Iowa’s Fran McCaffery and Sherman Dillard, Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski and Notre Dame head coach Mike Bray, among others. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who hasn’t yet offered Steward, had a front-row seat, too.

After the game, Steward broke down the latest in his blossoming recruitment with USA TODAY.

What’s the latest with Louisville?

“I really enjoyed (my visit). Got to see the campus, the facilities and stuff. I really like the stadium. They say that the atmosphere in there is dope. I just like the coaching and the vibe there, for sure.”

What is Louisville’s main recruiting pitch?

“They’re saying I can come in and score right away, and be comfortable how I am with Meanstreets — scoring the ball, playing on and off the ball as well.”

How is your relationship with Texas?

“I had a great official visit down there over the summer. It was a great time. I really love the coaches. They stay in contact with me, and they’re really prioritizing me — like the No. 1 option.”

How was your unofficial visit to Marquette in June?

“I went up there for team camp. They talked to me and said they loved me and really want to get me on campus for a visit in the fall. They’re saying I can come in and fill it up right away. That’s really the pitch from all the schools. They’re saying I can really score it, I can play on and off the ball. That’s one of my key talents.”

Are Iowa and Iowa State involved?

“Both of them are really on me right now.”

How is your relationship with the Cyclones?

“It’s great. I’m good friends with Talen (Horton-Tucker). He talks to me a lot. We train with each other, and he tells me good things about the program. That’s all he has to say — just good things about the program.”

What appeals to you about playing in Iowa — with the Hawkeyes or Cyclones?

“It’s not that far from home — about 4, 5 hours. Not too far. They’re pretty good with guards. My parents can probably get there a lot easier.”

Do you have any upcoming visits on the schedule?

“No.”

Do you have a commitment timetable in mind?

“No.”

Source: Des Moines Register