On the recruiting trail: Iowa battles Illinois for Moore, Simpson

Chris Cuellar

Iowa and Illinois are continuing their classic Big Ten basketball battle in July.

Between sessions scouting in-state talent during this weekend's second evaluation period, Hawkeye coach Fran McCaffery and his staff watched prospects with rival Illinois and coach John Groce nearby.

At Chicago's Nike Global Challenge, rising Class of 2016 point guards Charlie Moore and Xavier Simpson were the top targets.

Moore visited both schools in June and will rejoin his AAU team, Mac Irvin Fire, after playing on Team Midwest in Chicago. The 5-foot-11 four-star scorer told Prep Hoops Illinois over the weekend he'd added scholarship offers from VCU, California and Pittsburgh.

"I'm not sure on a timetable, but after July I'll maybe cut down my list and try to get it over with," Moore told prephoopsillinois.com.

Just north in Milwaukee at NY2LA's Summer Jam, the Iowa and Illinois competition heated up over 2017 recruits.

McCaffery caught 6-8 forward Theo John for the second straight week.

Then athletic and growing wing Javon Pickett was on tap.

McCaffery and Groce even stuck together for the night session, following Elgin, Ill., forward Christian Negron.

Iowa action got priority too, with plenty of in-state preps competing for top AAU programs at Summer Jam.

Rising seniors Ryan Kriener and Jordan Bohannon are garnering increased interest as one evaluation period in July remains.

The summer's final live period starts Wednesday at 5 p.m. and runs through Sunday.