Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (April 2018)

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Since we are traveling down memory lane....here is my favorite that I attended.

1988 - #5 Illinois 87, #10 Missouri 84
No. 5 Illinois extended the Braggin' Rights streak to six in a row with a furious come-from-behind win over No. 10 Missouri. The "Flyin' Illini" found themselves down by 18 points late in the first half. They then stormed back, and a 3-pointer by Marcus Liberty gave Illinois its first lead of the game at 54-52 with 11:15 remaining. The Illini took a four-point lead on a 3-point play by Kenny Battle with 2:25 remaining. But Mizzou then took an 84-83 lead on a dunk by Doug Smith with one minute to go. Kenny Battle made two crucial free throws with 26 seconds left to give Illinois an 85-84 lead. Mizzou turned it over on its next possession and Larry Smith's lay-up with four seconds left wrapped up the win. Battle scored 19 of his game-high 28 points in the second half, while Lowell Hamilton added 21 points for the Illini.
 
Agreed. For basketball, this still is my favourite game that I have watched / attended (AZ in the Sweet 16 from that season ranks very close). However, the atmosphere, the concrete floors at Assembly Hall bouncing due to the excitement, and the 1 v 3 heavyweight slugfest that Illinois crushed was an awesome experience.

The only things that compare are certain World Cup matches and Cardinals Postseason / WS games that I have attended.

And for whomever said that this community would be happy with the play of the teams that immediately followed that '04-'05 team, I would argue that we would not; our expectations have been set based on the promise of Whitman and BU. While it is not going to happen overnight, if what this staff delivers is a class led by Shuan Pruitt (yes, I realize that he was a Top-70 recruit), BU will be looking for a different job.
So many old memories. Let's create new ones. Speaking of Arizona. I loved beating Kerr. Buechler, and Elliot. Too.
 
Did Okoro play for the Mac Irvin Fire? Is that why someone mentioned a connection with Ayo?
Okoro has not played for the MIF, he has played with Bradley Beal Elite (formerly St Louis Eagles).

The connection with Ayo is their Nigerian background, Ayo's parents and Okoro's guardians know each other through that and common ground of basketball.
 
If the staff can pull out an Okoro signing, it could be the biggest 1 month turnaround I've ever seen. I'm really happy with what they have done so far, but we badly need another piece and he is it. Some of the other guys on the radar would help, but none would have this kind of impact.

However, I refuse to get my hopes up. He just hasn't given any indication that we are what he is looking for.
 
Just realized that Francis Okoro has been the same size and weight for the past two years but I guess that's not that strange for an almost 20 year old. How was he ever considering playing another season of high school basketball? He would have been a 21 year old freshman..
 
Just realized that Francis Okoro has been the same size and weight for the past two years but I guess that's not that strange for an almost 20 year old. How was he ever considering playing another season of high school basketball? He would have been a 21 year old freshman..
I thought we didn't know his age....? Has something been confirmed, or are his age stats still just rumors?
 
Just feel we lost ground on Okoro at some point. I know Underwood and staff attended games. Can't say we didn't have urgency, but it looks like this from the outside. Seems like the possible reclassification caught them off guard.
 
Just feel we lost ground on Okoro at some point. I know Underwood and staff attended games. Can't say we didn't have urgency, but it looks like this from the outside. Seems like the possible reclassification caught them off guard
He's headed west guys
 
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Southern Illinois
Liddell is better anyways, and fits underwood and his staff of winners. Just won 4a State title and possibly another one next year. Go all out on Liddell and Whitney
 
No kidding. It almost looked like the coach game planned to not guard Ayo.
One thing we all can believe with certainty is that Ayo will get plenty of attention from B1G coaches the instant he gets the idea of becoming a threat from the arc. Speaking from experience, it is just too easy to stop a perimeter shooter with his shot style. He will find it absolutely necessary to learn to shoot a jump shot if he ever expects to get a cup of coffee from any NBA team. Just too easy to stop and NBA point guards must be able to pass, handle, and shoot. He would be a superstar as a jr. high player, and he may be in B1G play someday, but my guess is that the learning curve will be pretty steep at some point.

The good news is that he shows enough athleticism and handle, along with being comfortable at doing most anything, to climb that curve rather quickly. What really escapes me is that Ayo is rated so highly and no one ever taught him to shoot a jumper off the dribble. With his speed and handle he would be impossible to stop if he could. This tape only serves to spark my curiosity when he takes the floor in Nov. and tees it up in B1G play. His claim on commitment day that he would be in CU for a season is baffling to me. What is he going to do after a season...retire and teach dribbling? Kids with talent can learn, but he talks like he has learned it all and will just sit around and wait until he turns 19. He has a ton of time to spend developing his skills and experience, but the question is will he put in that work cause there are literally hundreds of other guys who will.

Bottom line is I like some of the things that are on display in that film, but having grown up in Illinois (nicknamed the Sucker State which I learned in Fifth grade doing my Illinois notebook) and having moved to Missouri a couple of decades ago, now you gotta show me. Talk is cheap and it is time to shut up and put up. Hope he can do both and will be pulling for that to happen big time.
 
Calloo's visit for this weekend has been postponed according to Ryan Evan....and that Okoro maybe leaning towards reclassifying (which we seem to have already figured out)
Does this mean that the staff has postponed Calloo's visit to hold a spot for Okoro? If so, they must feel they have a shot at him, to the point that it is worth the gamble even if it means alienating other recruits.
 
Liddell is better anyways, and fits underwood and his staff of winners. Just won 4a State title and possibly another one next year. Go all out on Liddell and Whitney
I'm not convinced he's better. He was definitely on the better High School team. If you look at Bradley Beal Elite stats from last year they had very similar scoring numbers and Okoro outrebounded him by about 4 a game. I also believe Okoro has the much higher ceiling. I want both, but if i had to pick one, it would be a tough choice.
 
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