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Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (January-March 2017)

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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:02 AM   #76
WARDFORTHREE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
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?
I tend to think it has a lot to do with the fans seeing all of those we "missed" on and don't want to do it again. Smith is a good player, don't get me wrong. He deserves to be offered, but it isn't a flashy recruit or anything. More than likely we will be his best offer. You have to hope he continues to progress and turns out like a Watson, Morrow, MLV, etc.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:04 AM   #77
UofIChE06
Location: Pittsburgh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
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?
Admittedly I only saw the holiday tournament to base it on but Smith is a PG that can score not a SG or CG. He was the guy to bring the ball up and initiate offense almost every possession. Also not too worried about the rankings because he wasn't considered a legit bball prospect until fairly recently. He would be a perfectly acceptable replacement in the 17 class for Goodwin and may end up being better. Their games are not that different even though Goodwin has the height advantage
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:06 AM   #78
WesterveltVictoryCigar
Posts: 13,341
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
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?
We still have another opening to use for a big man. Though you could argue we could use 2 big guys, but they are harder to find.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:30 AM   #79
Greensboro
Posts: 1,566
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
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?
Sort of, I'm ok with it if the staff wants him, because there could be a lot going on behind the scenes. But we need a big, ideal would be a couple bigs, one who can contribute next year, one that will be around for 3+ years & at this point I doubt 1 big fills both roles (if he can great, just not counting on it).

It could be the staff sees him as the next coming of DWill, McCamey, Sergio or other comp to be named later...?

The other option is we have at least 2 schollies open, Kiir is gone, Wilkes is gone, Goodwin is gone, Scruggs is gone, other bigs or at least good 2nd big are getting slimmer and we see him as best we can do with 7th scollie. To me this class is similiar to Groce's first class, he filled it, was Tate, Austin, Mav his first choices, probably not...but they were the best options available, despite as much grief as Tate catches, glad we have him over the option of no one, Austin had a chance but didn't work out & his schollie was recycled a couple years later, Mav at this point looks like a win, especially if you consider the other option was that schollie sitting empty.

I expect the truth is somewhere between the next NBA draft choice & plan "c++" because we are getting desperate.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:30 AM   #80
GameOfThrows
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesterveltVictoryCigar View Post
We still have another opening to use for a big man. Though you could argue we could use 2 big guys, but they are harder to find.
Just a friendly reminder that has been mentioned by others: Villanova won the national title last year with one player over 6'8". FWIW they started 2 PGs. It's possible to win at the college level with 3 guards, one SF, and one big. Heck our '05 Illini followed that recipe to a 39-2 record and loss to UNC in title game. (Williams, Brown, Head, Powell, Augie)

Next year's team will be really attractive to a 5th year senior post player who wants to compete in the BIG and get some good tick.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:34 AM   #81
StateFarmCenter
Posts: 850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
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?
He's better than the other 3 guards in our class and will likely beat out Tilmon in the Mr. Basketball voting. He's unranked because he didn't play much AAU and was committed to Missouri on a baseball scholarship. He's a legit 4 star talent whether or not he's been properly evaluated yet. Of course we're happy.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:38 AM   #82
combes
Posts: 5,062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
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?
He played very little AAU and has improved dramatically during this year. I know Rivals is planning on seeing him soon. His is a case of not being seen. On the court, he has twice outplayed Goodwin, who is ranked in the top 60.

He can play the 1-3. Athleticism and ballhandling.

I think it is a good offer. Classic kid who blows up his senior year. Already has a BT body, can handle it, shoot it, pass it. Other schools are starting to get involved. He already has a Kansas State offer. Louisville is involved. Northwestern. He is hearing from a number of schools now. The word is out, but many schools haven't seen him in person yet.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:39 AM   #83
WesterveltVictoryCigar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GameOfThrows View Post
Just a friendly reminder that has been mentioned by others: Villanova won the national title last year with one player over 6'8". FWIW they started 2 PGs. It's possible to win at the college level with 3 guards, one SF, and one big. Heck our '05 Illini followed that recipe to a 39-2 record and loss to UNC in title game. (Williams, Brown, Head, Powell, Augie)

Next year's team will be really attractive to a 5th year senior post player who wants to compete in the BIG and get some good tick.
The fact that's it's possible doesn't mean it's something to strive for. Yes, the game has been guard dominated for a long time, but if you look at the scholarship grid for 2019-20 we have Kipper and possibly Tilmon if he's still here for his JR season.

You can keep plugging the hole with 5th year guys, but it would really big a great idea to get a big man who'd be ready for that 2019-20 season.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:42 AM   #84
TCTORNADO
Posts: 9,597
I've got to believe that if Groce is still around, he will dabble in the 600+ transfers, the 40-50 grad transfers, and the 40-50 de-commits from coach firings.
Should be 1 or 2 we might like in that group. He's had a history of that in the last 7 years.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:46 AM   #85
Greensboro
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Quote:
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?
See a bunch of answers, potential answers, just my opinion:

IMO: If Scruggs wanted to commit today we would take him.

Other theories:

- Complications around Scruggs (Seems to much like Kool-aid talking, we were in this too long for me to buy this)

- We knew we weren't going too get him, saved resources (We were within a couple of weeks of a visit & decision...I buy our chances may have been slim, but did this really save any resources?)

- Frazier courtesy (I don't see the difference between Smith Scruggs on why this would matter)

- Changing landscape - This seems likely, I think with some shot at Wilkes, a shot at Kiir, Goodwin, Epperson still wide open,... taking another wing/combo doesn't look as attractive...why I don't think we walk away from Scruggs today.

I also think waiting the last few weeks to offer is also a sign that it wasn't an easy decision by the staff to walk away from other opportunities, especially a shot at a 2nd big.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:50 AM   #86
TheFameProtector
Location: Champaign
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by WesterveltVictoryCigar View Post
The fact that's it's possible doesn't mean it's something to strive for. Yes, the game has been guard dominated for a long time, but if you look at the scholarship grid for 2019-20 we have Kipper and possibly Tilmon if he's still here for his JR season.

You can keep plugging the hole with 5th year guys, but it would really big a great idea to get a big man who'd be ready for that 2019-20 season.
I think we can all agree that getting another big is ideal, and should be (presumedly is) a staff priority. You're right, plugging the hole hasn't been the most successful route these past few years.

But, we can never have enough ballhandlers who can drive, pass, and shoot. Our persistent inability to get into the paint and create is what (in my humble opinion) leads to the classic stagnant offense we've grown accustomed to. I'll take a bulldog with a handle and a shot any day of the week.

And then I'll hope and pray we can move on and land one more big. Has there been any word on Epperson of late???
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:54 AM   #87
combes
Posts: 5,062
http://www.suntimeshighschoolsports....onger-unknown/

Good article from Henricksen on Smith.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 11:59 AM   #88
Greensboro
Posts: 1,566
Quote:
Originally Posted by WesterveltVictoryCigar View Post
The fact that's it's possible doesn't mean it's something to strive for. Yes, the game has been guard dominated for a long time, but if you look at the scholarship grid for 2019-20 we have Kipper and possibly Tilmon if he's still here for his JR season.

You can keep plugging the hole with 5th year guys, but it would really big a great idea to get a big man who'd be ready for that 2019-20 season.
+1

and to add, Kipper isn't that big man, I personally haven't seen enough of him to be convinced that he is the stretch 4 that we would need around the 1 big the OP suggested. Last year should also teach us that a back up or 4 at big is also a nice idea.

2019 scares me for bigs if we don't add one more in 2017. I think we need to think of Mav's development timeline when you think of when do you want to bring in a big for 2019.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:01 PM   #89
Greensboro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCTORNADO View Post
I've got to believe that if Groce is still around, he will dabble in the 600+ transfers, the 40-50 grad transfers, and the 40-50 de-commits from coach firings.
Should be 1 or 2 we might like in that group. He's had a history of that in the last 7 years.
I expect we will as well, but that is different from being the primary plan and the backup plan. With Tilmon, Black, Finke I'm not convinced we will be as easy of a sell for a 5th year; but when we still have an open schollie after the season sure, we will dabble. But if we could fill up before then, we would.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:02 PM   #90
ILHoff
Posts: 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
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?
After seeing Williams, Pickett, and Smith all play in person I like Smith the best. Just one opinion.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:03 PM   #91
Joel Goodson
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Originally Posted by combes View Post
He played very little AAU and has improved dramatically during this year. I know Rivals is planning on seeing him soon. His is a case of not being seen. On the court, he has twice outplayed Goodwin, who is ranked in the top 60.

He can play the 1-3. Athleticism and ballhandling.

I think it is a good offer. Classic kid who blows up his senior year. Already has a BT body, can handle it, shoot it, pass it. Other schools are starting to get involved. He already has a Kansas State offer. Louisville is involved. Northwestern. He is hearing from a number of schools now. The word is out, but many schools haven't seen him in person yet.
This. Lack of ranking is understandable. Smith is 100% legit. He's more versatile than Goodwin. He brings a lot more size than TJL and Frazier. We should be thanking our lucky stars, rather than doubting him. Multiple ball handlers on the floor together? Gee, that worked out fairly well before.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:06 PM   #92
TCTORNADO
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Groce saw Smith 2 or 3 times this summer. He played for Jets Ramey United 17U (same team as Courtney Ramey). He had a great July with them. The Illini expressed interest in him back in July. His AAU team played a full Adidas schedule.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:10 PM   #93
Ulysses Everett McGill
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[QUOTE=TheFameProtector;1260019] ... we can never have enough ballhandlers who can drive, pass, and shoot. Our persistent inability to get into the paint and create is what (in my humble opinion) leads to the classic stagnant offense we've grown accustomed.[ /QUOTE]

The truth and nothing but the truth.

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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:11 PM   #94
TCTORNADO
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Originally Posted by Greensboro View Post
I expect we will as well, but that is different from being the primary plan and the backup plan. With Tilmon, Black, Finke I'm not convinced we will be as easy of a sell for a 5th year; but when we still have an open schollie after the season sure, we will dabble. But if we could fill up before then, we would.
I thought it would be Froling as he had a great OV last year. However it looks like he is down to Dayton and Oregon State and says he will decide by 1/10/17.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:12 PM   #95
nwebb1
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Tilmon's team plays at Edwardsville this evening. I wonder if any coaches will be down for the game
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:21 PM   #96
Illinimobile
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http://www.nwherald.com/2016/12/24/h...ntial/a722yhi/
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:24 PM   #97
RBonce
Posts: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
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?
In addition to everything else stated by others who have seen video or live action of Smith, IF Groce goes, possibly so goes Frazier and maybe a current roster guard. I have no connection to Smith, but I think he come to Illini regardless of Groce's status. Other schollies will open up for bigs (from guards) IF Groce goes. We need a quick jumping rim protecting big man that can catch a pass. Not a fitness shooter.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:38 PM   #98
Zachd24
Posts: 1
Another great article on Mark Smith, not sure if it has been mentioned but both parents played college ball at SIUE.

http://thetelegraph.com/sports/94610...r-tigers-smith
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:51 PM   #99
Calvin
Location: Michigan
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Originally Posted by ILHoff View Post
After seeing Williams, Pickett, and Smith all play in person I like Smith the best. Just one opinion.
Great to hear. Doesn't mean I'm not concerned about getting a big, but if he's got grit and is a baller, I'm all for it. I'm a big believer in prioritizing guards, but there's a limit to that for obvious reasons. From what I've read on this board, a number of folks are high on Frazier, so it makes me wonder where Smith would land.
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Old Jan 3, 2017, 12:56 PM   #100
Greensboro
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Originally Posted by RBonce View Post
In addition to everything else stated by others who have seen video or live action of Smith, IF Groce goes, possibly so goes Frazier and maybe a current roster guard. I have no connection to Smith, but I think he come to Illini regardless of Groce's status. Other schollies will open up for bigs (from guards) IF Groce goes. We need a quick jumping rim protecting big man that can catch a pass. Not a fitness shooter.
Just not convinced that Groce plans for this case..would think he would be all in on the if Groce stays line.
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