Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (January-February 2018)

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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.
Ayo lacks athletics? First of all, what does that mean? Second, he's a 6'5" PG, so which bigger PGs are you talking about?
 
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.
Only illini fans. Smh

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As an Illini fan, I need something to hold on to. I'm gonna stick with Ayo being the greatest thing since sliced bread until proven wrong.
 
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.
Was Deron Williams overly athletic, overly quick or an above the rim player? BTW, if he's only say 6'4" but with longish arms, I don't think they are really overstating his effective height. This kid is putting up some pretty big numbers against a very tough schedule.

I am certain of one thing.....Ayo will be light years better next year than Mark Alstork has been this year.
 
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Rarely does a top 30, 5 star guard come around with a funky jump shot. It's even more of a rarity that he isn't a high flying freak athlete. He is that good at finishing at the rim.
 
Rarely does a top 30, 5 star guard come around with a funky jump shot. It's even more of a rarity that he isn't a high flying freak athlete. He is that good at finishing at the rim.
Exactly. Mark Smith is a great finisher too. Problem is, he can't get in those positions to finish right now because everyone knows he wants to get to the rim. Everyone knows Ayo wants to get to the rim too. But he gets to the rim anyway.

He's definitely not the highlights star that many top 30 guys are. But he can get to any spot he wants on the court because of his handles and his IQ. The only thing that can slow him down is if we don't surround him with weapons. I think BU will make sure that doesn't happen.
 
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.
And everyone understands that he only started with Finke and Black. Just kind of scary that we're potentially chasing after scraps in the class of 2018 bigs and if we don't get Okoro and Liddell, I'm worried we'll have no depth and not much high level front court talent either and we could have 3-4 years of this same situation to look forward to.
 
And everyone understands that he only started with Finke and Black. Just kind of scary that we're potentially chasing after scraps in the class of 2018 bigs and if we don't get Okoro and Liddell, I'm worried we'll have no depth and not much high level front court talent either and we could have 3-4 years of this same situation to look forward to.
3-4 Years from now the guards will be gone also...no one counting that as part of the equation in discussion usually. What happens if this is what we have, no frontcourt and Miller hopefully, all others would be gone?
 
We desperately need bigs to turn this team around. But people criticizing the impact that Ayo will have... I don't think they watch much basketball. I am a big fan of Mark Smith and I still think he will be a great player for us, albeit not as immediately as many had imagined. But Ayo is not remotely similar when it comes to how his skills will translate to the next level. His quickness will be hard to defend at any level.
No idea why they didn't the Amadou Sow. He seems like exactly what we desperately need.

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They need the following next year or it will be a long season again:

1) A big or 2!! Preferably, a guy or 2 in the mold of the old Michigan St. bruisers. Guys who go after every rebound.....can make a layup and dunk....and are strong enough to defend the post. I don't want anybody that wants to run to the corner and shoot 3s.

2) An athletic wing that can jump and physical enough that contact doesn't bother as they go to the rim and finish.

3) A pure shooter........that guy (not the 6'10 guys).....can stand in the corner and shoot 3s.

We have guys that will go to the basket......but, for whatever reason, won't take the contact and finish. Instead, when defense comes, we flip the ball up and hope it goes in or we hope they call a foul.


We have nobody to defend the post.

And, not trying to be negative, as I love how hard Underwood gets them to play. But, right now, he is going into gun fights carrying a knife.

Not my usual preference......but as we didn't find any bigs by November....they need to go get c\some athletic JUCOs that will defend and rebound. Anything on offensive end can come off the glass and being set up for dunks.....doesn't need to be pretty.

Ebo needs to take another great jump in skill (like he has).....and they need at least 1 other big to help Black down low.
 
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UIHoopsRecruits‏ @UIHoopsRecruits 21h21 hours ago
Bossi answers a question about Tevian Jones and Jermaine Cousinard

Rivals.com‏Verified account @Rivals Jan 23
#TwitterTuesday: @ebosshoops takes over this week, answering your college hoops questions. @cbears9002 asks about a couple #Illini targets: http://rvls.co/TwitterTuesday1-23 …


Tevian Jones and Jermain Couisnard have been two of the more impressive players this winter in terms of elevating their game during their last year of high school. We actually just profiled Couisnard two days ago and Jones went from unranked to four-star status this winter.

If I had to ballpark things right now, I would perhaps give South Carolina an early edge with Couisnard who is a big, tough and physical scorer. However, the appeal of playing back closer to his Indiana home is very real, so that’s something the Illini can try to play on.

As for Jones, the Illini were quick to offer when he started to tear things up at the Tarkanian Classic back in December. He’s a true high flyer with developing ball skills and a jump shot that is going to eventually be a weapon on the next level. Things have still been surprisingly quiet with him and from what I’m told, he’s going to take some time to see who jumps in before deciding on visits. What’s surprising to me is that he’s not become a priority in the Pac-12 and that leaves the door open for Illinois to put in some work while Jones is focusing on closing out his senior season.


https://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/news/twitter-tuesday-romeo-langford-anfernee-simons-emmitt-williams
 
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UIHoopsRecruits‏ @UIHoopsRecruits 21h21 hours ago
Bossi answers a question about Tevian Jones and Jermaine Cousinard

Rivals.com‏Verified account @Rivals Jan 23
#TwitterTuesday: @ebosshoops takes over this week, answering your college hoops questions. @cbears9002 asks about a couple #Illini targets: http://rvls.co/TwitterTuesday1-23 …


Tevian Jones and Jermain Couisnard have been two of the more impressive players this winter in terms of elevating their game during their last year of high school. We actually just profiled Couisnard two days ago and Jones went from unranked to four-star status this winter.

If I had to ballpark things right now, I would perhaps give South Carolina an early edge with Couisnard who is a big, tough and physical scorer. However, the appeal of playing back closer to his Indiana home is very real, so that’s something the Illini can try to play on.

As for Jones, the Illini were quick to offer when he started to tear things up at the Tarkanian Classic back in December. He’s a true high flyer with developing ball skills and a jump shot that is going to eventually be a weapon on the next level. Things have still been surprisingly quiet with him and from what I’m told, he’s going to take some time to see who jumps in before deciding on visits. What’s surprising to me is that he’s not become a priority in the Pac-12 and that leaves the door open for Illinois to put in some work while Jones is focusing on closing out his senior season.


https://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/news/twitter-tuesday-romeo-langford-anfernee-simons-emmitt-williams
I'm encouraged by Jones. I think his new coaches at culver city saved him. I'm the summer videos I saw, his shot was garbage. His shooting elbow was majorly winged out to the side. Don't know how he made anything like that.

In the videos I've seen at culver city, the elit elbow is in now. Not perfect but much improved, as is his shooting.

He doesn't look to me like an intuitive player. Looks like he is thinking too much out there, but he can certainly run and jump. He has a high ceiling. If that shot continues to improve and he improves his feel for the game he could be real good.

Hate to hearing he is waiting to see who offers. Every year the blue bloods will lose a player to another blue blood and offer the best remaining guys. That could very easily be Jones this year.

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Liddell and Aomori now both ranked inside Top 50 in the new 247sports composite rankings. Also, a kid that really interests me is Terrence Hargrove Jr. a 6'6 wing out of ESL only has Missouri and New Mexico offers
 
Khavon Moore is a name to keep an eye on. Staff trying to get in on him.

He has visits left to take and we're desperately trying to get him to use one. He was supposed to decide February 2nd, but had to postpone due to his injury that would not let him travel to take his OV's.

Kid has game. Lots of schools in on him. He had cut his list to 4 (Bama, OH State. Oklahoma, and Texas Tech), but I guess he is now talking to ILL, Tennessee, Mercer, and V Tech as well.

https://247sports.com/Player/Khavon-Moore-84993
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-MIh9HGSBQ
 
Liddell and Aomori now both ranked inside Top 50 in the new 247sports composite rankings. Also, a kid that really interests me is Terrence Hargrove Jr. a 6'6 wing out of ESL only has Missouri and New Mexico offers
Hargrove is pretty good, but definitely a plan B relative to Liddell
 
Midwest well represented in new 2019 rankings

Illinois

While a few of the top Illinois players such as Khalil Whitney and Malik Hall play their high school basketball in other states, both still call Illinois home, and are permanent residents of the state, so they are counted here for this purpose.

The top ranked played in the state is Francis Okoro who is in the top 50. Okoro is a top flight rebounder and shot blocker who brings a good motor to the court. Also his athleticism is high level, and he is continuing to get better on the offensive end of the floor.

After Okoro, Whitney, Hall, E.J. Liddell, and Kansas pledge Markese Jacobs all are in the top 100. Liddell made a huge move up the rankings with a very strong junior year. He is one of the better athletes in the Midwest, and is someone who has seen his skill level continue to get better.

Also Terrence Hargrove and Chris Payton have both played their way into the rankings. Hargrove is a super athletic forward who is developing into a pure wing, while Payton is an interior player with a high skill level and knows how to score.

Overall this is a pretty deep group of players in Illinois, and it has a lot of frontcourt help available. With how some prospects are improving, while this class might not have a McDonald's All-American, it should have several high-major players.

https://247sports.com/Article/The-Midwest-again-is-looking-strong-in-the-class-of-2019-114191731
 
Our top 4 freshmen are gamers, with Trent probably the most. We have some upperclassmen that aren't, they don't want the tough shots or ball in their hand when it matters. We need to recruit these type of players who are at their best when the lights are brightest. Kahill Whitney, Okoro, and Liddell would fit that perfectly.
 
Bloomington, IL
We need to recruit at least a couple guys that play above the rim. We have exactly zero of those guys now.
 
Our top 4 freshmen are gamers, with Trent probably the most. We have some upperclassmen that aren't, they don't want the tough shots or ball in their hand when it matters. We need to recruit these type of players who are at their best when the lights are brightest. Kahill Whitney, Okoro, and Liddell would fit that perfectly.
Let's be honest here. Trent is better than expected, Ebo is better than expected, Mark Smith is worse than expected, and Damonte is about as expected.

Ebo has good physical attributes but not much skill. He's a hustle guy right now. Trent is pretty wild but he gets the job done. Damonte shows the making of a lock down defender, but also makes freshmen mistakes more regularly than we'd like, and Smith I just think he's lost all confidence, but his #1 problem is he fouls way too much.

That being said you can see that these guys have the ability. They need good coaching and time and this class should be the backbone of some very good teams. That's assuming we can keep adding talent.

Those 3 you listed I think represent the dream class. The guy i felt was a shoe in 4 months ago is sadly the one I'm least confident in now. I do feel pretty good about Okoro and Whitney, pretty uneasy about Liddell.

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Let's be honest here. Trent is better than expected, Ebo is better than expected, Mark Smith is worse than expected, and Damonte is about as expected.

Ebo has good physical attributes but not much skill. He's a hustle guy right now. Trent is pretty wild but he gets the job done. Damonte shows the making of a lock down defender, but also makes freshmen mistakes more regularly than we'd like, and Smith I just think he's lost all confidence, but his #1 problem is he fouls way too much.

That being said you can see that these guys have the ability. They need good coaching and time and this class should be the backbone of some very good teams. That's assuming we can keep adding talent.

Those 3 you listed I think represent the dream class. The guy i felt was a shoe in 4 months ago is sadly the one I'm least confident in now. I do feel pretty good about Okoro and Whitney, pretty uneasy about Liddell.

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:thumb::thumb: Good Post and summary!
 
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