Originally Posted by Madturkillini
For me one thing is for sure. It will hurt to see the Top 3 Illinois kids from 2014 class:
KBD in Ohio State jersey
Okafor in Kentucky jersey
CA in MichState jersey
I think Groce made a good start, not spectacular, in terms of recruiting. I know Illinois basketball program has been down lately, but look at Ohio State program when Matta took over, or Indiana program when Crean took over, and think how fast these guys were able to recruit final 4 talent? THEY didn't need to win first to attract 5* studs, but we do. I still have faith in Groce, but I admit he is not as good a recruiter as some other coaches out there.
As far as programs go, I think the coach is more important than the school. Calipari will bring in 5* talent wherever he goes. Ohio State was not a great basketball program before Matta came, but they instantly became one. If Groce was as good a recruiter as some of us believe, he would have shown that in Ohio even. A great recruiter would be able to land some 4* talent to Ohio, and some 5* talent to Illinois.
Having said that, he will do fine though in long term, I believe. If I was a great player, I would love to play for a coach like Groce because he really sounds like a hardworking, honest man, who will strive to help his players develop. But in today's world 5* recruits are just looking for the right person who will inject them to NBA in 1 season, and apparently they don't see Groce as one, including KBD.
By the November after his hire, Matta had pulled exactly one 3 star and a JC prospect. Groce has done much better. Matta had a huge class in year two, but that class didn't commit until they had seen a year of his system. In addition, Matta was at Xavier, that class consisted entirely of players he was already recruiting from an AAU program he had long had ties to. Neither is the case with KBD.
Groce had by far the most talented team in the MAC, including a 4 star transfer. He was the only coach in the MAC to even have one 3 star guy in each of the last 3 classes, so he recruited better than his peers at that level. In addition, the B1G has had only 13 5* kids in the last 5 classes (2008 - 2012). Four to both MSU and OSU, 2 to IU and one to three others, so it's not like everyone pulls in multiple 5 stars regularly. I would be willing to wager that Groce will be able to get at least 2 5* guys in the next 5 years (which would put him top 3 in the B1G), and this doesn't change that imo.
Way too early to conclude that no 5* guy will see Groce as a guy to get them to the league.