Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (January-February 2018)

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This is my worry--that the Illini staff is really struggling at recruiting and will start to take players well outside the top 100 to fill spots. That's not gonna get Illinois back into the Dance or anywhere close to relevancy.

They have GOT to land players like Whitney, Liddell, and Okoro to turn this thing around. Payton is another role player in the B1G. Nothing more. No offense to the kid. And Illinois already has plenty of those.
Highly disagree, hes exactly the type of player we need. Have you watched him play? Rumor is he decommitted because there are some big time teams interested.
 
Highly disagree, hes exactly the type of player we need. Have you watched him play? Rumor is he decommitted because there are some big time teams interested.
He's a warrior but not highly skilled. If he was 6'9" he'd be a top 50 guy, but he's not.

I think Payton is the type that could be great but you don't know. With a guy like Liddell you know he's going to be great. I think that's the difference.

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Highly disagree, hes exactly the type of player we need. Have you watched him play? Rumor is he decommitted because there are some big time teams interested.
Well Kansas is interested, that qualifies for sure
 
I trust that Underwood knows more then anyone here what he needs to get things turned around. Many here look at rankings from 247/Rivals/ESPN and the stars associated with these rankings to determine how the staff is recruiting.

Well I'm sure we would all take where #7 West Virginia is at this year...Underwood is from the same coaching tree!

West Virginia recruiting rankings per 247
2014 - ranked 81 - 4 three star recruits
2015 - ranked 36 - 2 four star recruits and 1 three star recruit
2016 - ranked 67 - 3 three star recruits
2017 - ranked 64 - 4 three star recruits

This fan base would have ran a coach off for recruiting this poorly! I guess Huggs doesn't worry about stars as long as they fit his system.
Interesting. Their leading scorer is this guy, a SR guard from Proviso East (Maywood, IL).

They also have Sagaba Konate, a 6'8" 260lb Soph F, who is averaging 11.5 pts/8.9 Reb/3.8 blk in Big12 play.

A couple of 3* players outside the top 150.
 
Peoria, IL
Understand where you're coming from, but need to get some big men soon or see some big developments this summer from the two frosh bigs to have the potential for a team that can win more games. I think we have potential to have one of the best backcourts in the country in a couple years, but need bigs to go with them.
We've started to see the development of Ebo already this season, and Matic is starting to get a little more comfortable as well. We do need more bigs, but these two will contribute more than a few people on this board think they will.
 
I trust that Underwood knows more then anyone here what he needs to get things turned around. Many here look at rankings from 247/Rivals/ESPN and the stars associated with these rankings to determine how the staff is recruiting.

Well I'm sure we would all take where #7 West Virginia is at this year...Underwood is from the same coaching tree!

West Virginia recruiting rankings per 247
2014 - ranked 81 - 4 three star recruits
2015 - ranked 36 - 2 four star recruits and 1 three star recruit
2016 - ranked 67 - 3 three star recruits
2017 - ranked 64 - 4 three star recruits

This fan base would have ran a coach off for recruiting this poorly! I guess Huggs doesn't worry about stars as long as they fit his system.
I was hoping someone would do some type of research like this. I’m guessing outside of the blue blood types, that most of the top 25 is similar.
 
We've started to see the development of Ebo already this season, and Matic is starting to get a little more comfortable as well. We do need more bigs, but these two will contribute more than a few people on this board think they will.
Does anyone remember how bad Mav was his freshman year? These kids still have a few years to develop, lets not write them off yet. However, I agree, we desperately need to add some quality youth at that position.
 
Sarasota, Florida
Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread

Understand where you're coming from, but need to get some big men soon or see some big developments this summer from the two frosh bigs to have the potential for a team that can win more games. I think we have potential to have one of the best backcourts in the country in a couple years, but need bigs to go with them.


I agree, but I am highly encouraged by the growth that Spicy G has had under this staff. I mean this is like his 3rd(?) year of playing organized basketball isn’t it? If he continues to develops this much more over the next year, I think he can become next years’ starter at the 5.


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We've started to see the development of Ebo already this season, and Matic is starting to get a little more comfortable as well. We do need more bigs, but these two will contribute more than a few people on this board think they will.
Ebo already can play 15+ mins. Thats a pretty big contribution.

I think Matic is gonna need another year or two. Would like to see him really bulk up. Reminds me a lot of Finke, for whatever that is worth.
 
Peoria, IL
Ebo already can play 15+ mins. Thats a pretty big contribution.

I think Matic is gonna need another year or two. Would like to see him really bulk up. Reminds me a lot of Finke, for whatever that is worth.
Matic does need to bulk up and get comfortable in America. I think he's a better passer than Finke. If he can come closer to being like a Mo Wagner, I'd be happy.
 
Cincinnati, OH
Ebo already can play 15+ mins. Thats a pretty big contribution.

I think Matic is gonna need another year or two. Would like to see him really bulk up. Reminds me a lot of Finke, for whatever that is worth.

This has been one of the best stories of the season. Wasn't sure if he would ever be a contributor, but kudos to the coaching staff for identifying him during the recruiting period and helping him develop. Really excited to see if he can take the next step and start providing more offensively in 2019.
 
Understand where you're coming from, but need to get some big men soon or see some big developments this summer from the two frosh bigs to have the potential for a team that can win more games. I think we have potential to have one of the best backcourts in the country in a couple years, but need bigs to go with them.
Yes, everybody gets that we need bigs, but Underwood started with only Finke/Black in the 3 returning classes and he brought in 2 this year (both late by the way). He needs to add another 1 or 2 bigs in both 2018 & 2019 as well...unfortunately you don't get out of multiple years of under recruiting bigs overnight.
 
Aurora, IL
I trust that Underwood knows more then anyone here what he needs to get things turned around. Many here look at rankings from 247/Rivals/ESPN and the stars associated with these rankings to determine how the staff is recruiting.

Well I'm sure we would all take where #7 West Virginia is at this year...Underwood is from the same coaching tree!

West Virginia recruiting rankings per 247
2014 - ranked 81 - 4 three star recruits
2015 - ranked 36 - 2 four star recruits and 1 three star recruit
2016 - ranked 67 - 3 three star recruits
2017 - ranked 64 - 4 three star recruits

This fan base would have ran a coach off for recruiting this poorly! I guess Huggs doesn't worry about stars as long as they fit his system.
Here's the thing, stars and rankings are important to look at, but class balance also needs to be a major consideration. If all of the recruits above are point guards, this team would be terrible either way, even with the best coaching. That's what Illinois is struggling with now. They may need to settle for lower ranked big men, just to get the right bodies on the floor to compete.
 
North Bethesda, Maryland
If we had either Nanna or Maverick right now, this team would be on the plus side in BIG W's vs. L's.
 
This might also be true if we got half the production we were expecting from Mark Smith.
Eh, we've been within a possession of like what 4 or 5 games? We probably aren't on the right side of .500 in conference with Egwu or Mav, but I think we do add two or three games to the win column.
 
Eh, we've been within a possession of like what 4 or 5 games? We probably aren't on the right side of .500 in conference with Egwu or Mav, but I think we do add two or three games to the win column.
Oh I think we would be. Just having that height for an extra couple of blocks. The added arm span to throw a lob to occasionally could be a difference maker when it comes down to a couple possession difference final score. Those sort of things can sometimes be the spark that set other offensive things in motion as well.
 
We need bigs badly. There is set to be additions to the class for next year, but Ayo doesn’t excite me at all. I think he will really struggle against bigger players. He lacks athletics and speed needed to be great there

How come we can’t get that YMCA big guy? You know, the one very mid major has that ends up playing well all 4 years. Bigs just need to be able to move in this system. Athletics meeting.
 
Los Angeles
How come we can’t get that YMCA big guy? You know, the one very mid major has that ends up playing well all 4 years. Bigs just need to be able to move in this system. Athletics meeting.
Was Mav not this guy? Is Ebo something different too?
 
Matic does need to bulk up and get comfortable in America. I think he's a better passer than Finke. If he can come closer to being like a Mo Wagner, I'd be happy.
Looks like you are setting the bar a little too high there. It would be good if he eventually turned into what Finke is now.
 
Was Mav not this guy? Is Ebo something different too?
To me they're both half of what we need. Mav had the bulk but not the athleticism, ebo has the athleticism but not the bulk, yet.

I've always noticed Cinderella teams have a big, strong, athletic post player that can really defend. The points he gives are often put backs but his main contribution is defense. That's what we need. I'm thinking Konate at West Virginia. Give me a rock that lets the other guys do their thing.

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Elmhurst, IL
We need bigs badly. There is set to be additions to the class for next year, but Ayo doesn’t excite me at all. I think he will really struggle against bigger players. He lacks athletics and speed needed to be great there

How come we can’t get that YMCA big guy? You know, the one very mid major has that ends up playing well all 4 years. Bigs just need to be able to move in this system. Athletics meeting.
lol
 
Des Moines, IA
We need bigs badly. There is set to be additions to the class for next year, but Ayo doesn’t excite me at all. I think he will really struggle against bigger players. He lacks athletics and speed needed to be great there

How come we can’t get that YMCA big guy? You know, the one very mid major has that ends up playing well all 4 years. Bigs just need to be able to move in this system. Athletics meeting.
If I remember correctly, the big guys at the YMCA weren't very good, that's why they were playing at the YMCA and not with the high school team.

Or they couldn't make the grades to be on the high school team, I'm from Decatur and that was case quite often unfortunately.
 
I really hate to say it, but I agree with Ward. Much like Mark Smith, a lot of people are expecting way too much too early from Ayo. There are reasons besides Chin Coleman that the blue bloods weren’t a factor in his recruitment.

He’s a below the rim player that scores a lot of his points at the rim in HS, which he won’t be able to do nearly as much at the high major level. He also has a fairly low release on his shot and not a ton of elevation, which concerns me. He’s not overly quick nor overly athletic, and his size is probably overstated by at least and inch or two, although he does have some longish arms.

I love the optics of his commitment and think he will be a good to very good player for us in his time here, I just think we need to be realistic about his development timetable and his limitations.
 
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