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Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (January-March 2017)

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Old Jan 2, 2017, 10:14 AM   #51
TownieMatt
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Originally Posted by oldman View Post
Maybe we should just focus on big guards and small forwards, since we seem to do better recruiting those kinds of players. Two of my favorite teams of all time were the flying illini and the Cazzie Russell (a Chicago kid) Michigan teams of the mid-60s.
It's not that we recruit those players better, it's that there are more of them. High level bigs are few and far between. In reality Groce has done fairly well grabeing Morgan, Black, Finke, and now Tilmon (not to mention transfers like Thorne).

On Smith, I'm in favor of offering him, but I do wonder how much the pressure on Groce plays a role in the decision. Groce knows how important short term progress is, so getting a big class in now is probably more important to his status than long term class balance.

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Old Jan 2, 2017, 10:37 AM   #52
IlliniBrave75
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All we need is a time machine
I don't think a time Machine would have done any good...family had Nebraska ties and moved here from Lincoln!
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 11:02 AM   #53
FatGreg
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Thinking about our current roster situation, I think we'll aggressively recruit 5th year bigs for next season. I also think it's highly likely that someone leaves the program and we recruit a second transfer - likely a wing who can shoot from outside.

If Smith were to commit, next year's roster would look like this:

Te'Jon Lucas - Sophomore - PG
Trent Frazier - Freshman - CG
Da'Monte Williams - Freshman - CG
Mark Smith - Freshman - CG
Jalen Coleman-Lands - Junior - SG
Aaron Jordan - Junior - SG
Javon Pickett - Freshman - SF
DJ Williams - Junior - SF/PF?
Kipper Nichols - Sophomore - SF/PF
Leron Black - Junior - PF
Michael Finke - Junior - PF/C
Jeremiah Tilmon - Freshman - C
1 Open Scholarship

Observations: we'll be young and relatively inexperienced. We'll need to get another big - preferably a 5th year center who can provide interior defense and post scoring off the bench for 10-20 minutes/game behind Tilmon (who will be good, but likely inconsistent and foul-prone).

JCL, Finke, and Black project to be starting caliber B1G players as upperclassmen based on what they've shown so far. Lucas, DJW, Jordan, and Kipper are unproven and DJ is the only one who's shown enough flashes to be somewhat projectable. Among the freshmen, Tilmon is the only one who will almost certainly be able to produce immediately. I'm guessing that Frazier and/or Smith (should he come) will contribute right away - either start at PG or settle into the 8th/9th spot(s) in the rotation.
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 01:07 PM   #54
Mike
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Originally Posted by TownieMatt View Post
It's not that we recruit those players better, it's that there are more of them. High level bigs are few and far between. In reality Groce has done fairly well grabeing Morgan, Black, Finke, and now Tilmon (not to mention transfers like Thorne).

On Smith, I'm in favor of offering him, but I do wonder how much the pressure on Groce plays a role in the decision. Groce knows how important short term progress is, so getting a big class in now is probably more important to his status than long term class balance.
Yup, statistically there are only so many players every year who can make a positive difference that our currently mediocre B1G program can't afford to be as picky as a blueblood.

Think coach has scaled back a bit for now on the size of fish he's going after.

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Old Jan 2, 2017, 01:24 PM   #55
Sizzler22
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Would love to see a line up of TJL/Frazier, JCL/Damonte, DJW/Kipper, Black/Finke, Timon. I think DJW will take a big step up next year and Frazier will provide a big spark off the bench. Just my opinion.
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 01:30 PM   #56
ballislife17
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Does anyone think Frazier will start over TJL? I like Tejon, but haven't really seen enough to believe he'll be our starter next year. I definitely think it will be an open battle for that spot.
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 01:30 PM   #57
Smacko
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The thing with Frasier and Smith is that they can both shoot the ball as well as make plays for others. Plus Smith has the size and strength that he should be able to guard most SGs. So those two guys could both easily play alongside each other without us having to sacrifice shooting or defense.

It will be interesting to see how Damonte responds to the injury. I see him as more of a boom or bust guy. If he puts things together and is consistently motivated he could be a really good player.
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 02:20 PM   #58
blmillini
Location: Bloomington, IL
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Originally Posted by FatGreg View Post
Thinking about our current roster situation, I think we'll aggressively recruit 5th year bigs for next season. I also think it's highly likely that someone leaves the program and we recruit a second transfer - likely a wing who can shoot from outside.

If Smith were to commit, next year's roster would look like this:

Te'Jon Lucas - Sophomore - PG
Trent Frazier - Freshman - CG
Da'Monte Williams - Freshman - CG
Mark Smith - Freshman - CG
Jalen Coleman-Lands - Junior - SG
Aaron Jordan - Junior - SG
Javon Pickett - Freshman - SF
DJ Williams - Junior - SF/PF?
Kipper Nichols - Sophomore - SF/PF
Leron Black - Junior - PF
Michael Finke - Junior - PF/C
Jeremiah Tilmon - Freshman - C
1 Open Scholarship

Observations: we'll be young and relatively inexperienced. We'll need to get another big - preferably a 5th year center who can provide interior defense and post scoring off the bench for 10-20 minutes/game behind Tilmon (who will be good, but likely inconsistent and foul-prone).

JCL, Finke, and Black project to be starting caliber B1G players as upperclassmen based on what they've shown so far. Lucas, DJW, Jordan, and Kipper are unproven and DJ is the only one who's shown enough flashes to be somewhat projectable. Among the freshmen, Tilmon is the only one who will almost certainly be able to produce immediately. I'm guessing that Frazier and/or Smith (should he come) will contribute right away - either start at PG or settle into the 8th/9th spot(s) in the rotation.
Not sure I agree with Finke. I love having him come off the bench to supply a little different look, I love his shot, his quick release, and his occasional ability to rebound. However, he may well be the worst defender in the conference and I just don't think you can play him that long unless his defense improves.
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 02:30 PM   #59
Joel Goodson
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Originally Posted by Sizzler22 View Post
Would love to see a line up of TJL/Frazier, JCL/Damonte, DJW/Kipper, Black/Finke, Timon. I think DJW will take a big step up next year and Frazier will provide a big spark off the bench. Just my opinion.
If we can land Pumba, look out!
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 02:49 PM   #60
Second and Chalmers
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If we can land Pumba, look out!
It'll mean no worries for the rest of our days
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 03:00 PM   #61
TCTORNADO
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If we can land Pumba, look out!
He should be top 50 for sure when it's all said and done.
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 09:45 PM   #62
djsmokyc
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I am asking this question from a place of major ignorance, so please let me know what I am missing. Trying to learn, not criticize. I haven't seen either player actually play.

Why was Groce (and the board, generally) ok with pulling out of the Paul Scruggs recruitment after landing Trent Frazier, yet we are going back after Mark Smith, who appears to be a similar player (big, athletic PG)?

Are they actually very different players?

Is it a "protecting the home state" type thing?

Has the recruiting scene changed enough since then (Goodwin going to SLU, Wilkes going to UCLA, other PF/C recruits going elsewhere) to make a major difference?

Last edited by Dan; Jan 2, 2017 at 10:34 PM.
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 09:50 PM   #63
Paigncake
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Originally Posted by djsmokyc View Post
I am asking this question from a place of major ignorance, so please let me know what I am missing. Trying to learn, not criticize. I haven't seen either player actually play.

Why was Groce (and the board, generally) ok with pulling out of the Paul Scruggs recruitment after landing Trent Frazier, yet we are going back after Mark Smith, who appears to be a similar player (big, athletic PG)?

Are they actually very different players?

Is it a "protecting the home state" type thing?

Has the recruiting scene changed enough since then (Goodwin going to SLU, Wilkes going to UCLA, other PF/C recruits going elsewhere) to make a major difference?
My best guess is the drama involved in the Paul Scruggs recruitment.

Mark Smith is a stud.. From Edwardsville.. Likes the state school...

Last edited by Dan; Jan 2, 2017 at 10:34 PM.
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 10:31 PM   #64
Serious Late
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Originally Posted by djsmokyc View Post
I am asking this question from a place of major ignorance, so please let me know what I am missing. Trying to learn, not criticize. I haven't seen either player actually play.

Why was Groce (and the board, generally) ok with pulling out of the Paul Scruggs recruitment after landing Trent Frazier, yet we are going back after Mark Smith, who appears to be a similar player (big, athletic PG)?

Are they actually very different players?

Is it a "protecting the home state" type thing?

Has the recruiting scene changed enough since then (Goodwin going to SLU, Wilkes going to UCLA, other PF/C recruits going elsewhere) to make a major difference?
Scruggs was not coming to Illinois. Best guess, coaches honestly asked him if they had a real shot and he gave them an answer that made them believe pursuing him wasn't worth the investment.

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Last edited by Dan; Jan 2, 2017 at 10:35 PM.
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Old Jan 2, 2017, 10:39 PM   #65
OptimistOrange
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Originally Posted by Second and Chalmers View Post
It'll mean no worries for the rest of our days
lol. that literally made me laugh out loud. potd
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:03 AM   #66
CAHALL15
Location: Central Illinois
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Originally Posted by djsmokyc View Post
I am asking this question from a place of major ignorance, so please let me know what I am missing. Trying to learn, not criticize. I haven't seen either player actually play.

Why was Groce (and the board, generally) ok with pulling out of the Paul Scruggs recruitment after landing Trent Frazier, yet we are going back after Mark Smith, who appears to be a similar player (big, athletic PG)?

Are they actually very different players?

Is it a "protecting the home state" type thing?

Has the recruiting scene changed enough since then (Goodwin going to SLU, Wilkes going to UCLA, other PF/C recruits going elsewhere) to make a major difference?
The consensus prior to this high school season started was that Scruggs was a more consistent Damonte. Damonte seemed as good as ever before he got hurt. Getting Trent definitely made Scruggs less of a priority as well.

Additionally, Scruggs wasn't much of a shooter and is smaller than Smith. Smith could play the 1 and 2 and possibly the 3. Smith has shown to be a solid shooter thus far and his upside is off the charts as he hasn't concentrated solely on basketball until the last few months.

I'm sure protecting this state does play a part as does the uncertainty of the recovery of Damonte. Furthermore, it's unclear how much of a shot we really had with Scruggs.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 06:20 AM   #67
SescIllini
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I liked the guards that we have (TJL, Damonte, and Frazier) but I thought for this group to be special we needed that larger and athletic PG. Without Frazier yet in the fold and the difficulty in landing Scruggs the staff probably felt risk/reward wasn't there. At this point I'm hoping Damonte can be that 6-3 large and athletic PG.
We are into the season and my hopes of JCL becoming more of a 1 and Hill playing more of a 2 to stop the larger PG/SG is not happening. While inserting a long wing (DJ) to give us more length and athleticism.
So now we have a large PG though not overly athletic is "jumpy" can penetrate and shoot the long ball. He is from downstate Illinois, lightly recruited and has mutual interest in the Illini. Very different situation from Scruggs IMHO.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 06:27 AM   #68
BillMo
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Not sure I agree with Finke. I love having him come off the bench to supply a little different look, I love his shot, his quick release, and his occasional ability to rebound. However, he may well be the worst defender in the conference and I just don't think you can play him that long unless his defense improves.
I tend to agree with you I think Finke will be Tilmons back up, he played way better as the 5 with black at the 4 and Williams at the 3 vs OSU then he has played or looked for a while. I would almost have to guess the start 5 for next year would be

C JT(if groce is here or if new coach can keep him)
PF Black
SF DJW
SG JCL
PR TJ

but we need to land another 5 I would prefer a FR over a 5th year and I would love to ee it be a kid like Black/Lowell H/Auggie someone who can gte up and down the floor and block shots and rebound
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 07:19 AM   #69
SescIllini
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"but we need to land another 5 I would prefer a FR over a 5th year and I would love to ee it be a kid like Black/Lowell H/Auggie someone who can gte up and down the floor and block shots and rebound"

I think the offer to Smith negates a long-term high school big. The big we land next year will have to have immediate impact and that will likely be a transfer. Without Smith, we can go after two bigs. But with the current situation the program finds itself, we need to start winning. I like Maxwell from Liberty/Kansas, immediately eligible and has two years. Not a shot blocking presence but can give us minutes backing up Tilmon. While at Liberty scored 15 pts against ND, 22 against Princeton, and 20 against Winthrop.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 08:23 AM   #70
nwebb1
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In the previous recruiting thread there were highlights from all of the games from the Collinsville tournaments. I was just on that same site and didn't see anything for the championship game. Does anyone know if there are any highlights from the Althoff v. Edwardsville game?
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 09:21 AM   #71
SescIllini
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This is the Tilmon-Goodwin game, youtube should give you options on the side for Edwardsville vs Athoff. You might have to look google for highlights, I'm sure the local tv stations have a 2 min highlight of the game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0lRZzNu4Yg
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 09:45 AM   #72
westcoastillini
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Here is 1/2 of the Edwardsville-Althoff game

http://thecube.com/event/edwardsvill...c-high--701168
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 09:59 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Paigncake View Post
My best guess is the drama involved in the Paul Scruggs recruitment.

Mark Smith is a stud.. From Edwardsville.. Likes the state school...
It has to have a lot to do with either or both of a) Frazier committed partly due to its telling him that we'd stop recruiting Scruggs, b) Scruggs lost some interest due to the Frazier commitment (thought we would try to use him @ off guard), c) we knew we no longer had a realistic shot and were saving face.

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Old Jan 3, 2017, 10:50 AM   #74
Calvin
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Originally Posted by UofIChE06 View Post
He won't even be Top 100...rankings are basically all done at this point.
Not sure I understand this recruitment. Only seen video, so there's a LOT I'm missing about how good he may be. He reminded me of Sergio --kind of a bruising look to him. However, I don't even see him on 247, and rivals has him without a rating. The only offer I'm seeing was from DePaul. From my look at the roster, we need a big, not an unrated SG (or combo if that's what he is -only saw him listed as a SG).

Does anyone else share this view? Or are we universally happy with this?
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 10:53 AM   #75
Greensboro
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What if he had 13 freshmen? Who would he play?
5 walk ons?
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