Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (May 2019)

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Well of course I'm disappointed! TJ would have been a great addition! But he's a grad ( I mistakenly said JUCO earlier...oopsie) transfer that is coming off an injury and just happened to play for our HC and visited because of that. That's all it is. We didn't whiff on a huge recruiting target.
We likely missed out on 20 minutes/game at our least solid position. That's a painful miss.
 
Perhaps someone with a better memory than mine can answer, when was the last time we entered a season with only 10 scholarshiped players? It must have been pre-2000.
 
Still would like Kevin Cross. Not immediately a factor but physically looks like he is ready and could help by year end. Anyone know if Tevian and Samba have added weight? That was the negative on their being able to compete. Tevian has the athletic ability and enough height to defend the four if he has the strength. Need both of them without TJ.
 
OFL Supplier, BU's Brylcreem
Virginia
And closer to home.
Correct - who's to say SFA wasn't his "best all around" offer closest to home and thus the reason BU got him the first time? There are many factors in a decision. Would he have helped, yes. Is this a HUGE miss? - only because so many positioned this as a close to "sure thing" from the start. It's entirely possible he didn't like BU's coaching style while at SFA, that he wants to stay closer to home, that he saw more opportunity to get more minutes at TT, that he knows he only has one year and with TT having gone so far in the tourney - it was an easier bet. Other than BU, there were so many other potential factors working against us and the kid has to do what is best for him, not the relationship.
 
Still would like Kevin Cross. Not immediately a factor but physically looks like he is ready and could help by year end. Anyone know if Tevian and Samba have added weight? That was the negative on their being able to compete. Tevian has the athletic ability and enough height to defend the four if he has the strength. Need both of them without TJ.
The biggest flaw in Samba's game was not wieght but lack of an offensive skill set. Something GB has and people often ignored in favor of Samba prior to the season. He needs a lot of work on the offensive end and from the FT like (14%,).
Samba can be an effective rim protector. He run well and cut to the basket for dunks but really needs to work this off season to get more PT. We are stronger down low than last year and it will depend on who we sign and which players from last year improve.
I dont recall how late we added players last season but I expect that there are some we are unaware of being considered and that are considering the Illini.
 
I think he wanted to stay close to home and Illinois couldn't guarantee a starting spot. If he didn't like BU he wouldn't have visited. We will find a capable transfer but this does stink.
You should never guarantee a starting position to anyone. The good players understand that you have to earn one. With Texas Tech’s losses to attrition, they are no more a lock to make the tournament than Illinois is.
 
I think at minimum they will land a transfer who will be solid off the bench. Can't recall the transfer Weber got who played the 4 who was 6-7 at best. Reidy? who proved to be ok.
 
Not gonna pile on, but the staff's misses are numerous. By the time we get excited about a name, it's rare not to get a nut punch. Not sure what needs to change, but we're kidding ourselves if we think getting back to the tourney this fall will fix it. Recent success will help, but IMO it doesn't explain our closing rate. I'm sure staff is doing everything they can, but I hope they get some help or find a more tailored strategy to get our targets in here. I guess all I'm saying is don't expect a quick fix given the track record. Just need to find a formula that works and keep improving.

I should add that a lot of teams would love to "struggle" the way we have (Ayo, Samba, Giorgi, Kofi, Tev, AG)
 
Remember though (for those complaining about recruiting success or lack thereof, and I am not necessarily disagreeing), that this staff did sign January and Higgs for this year. I don't know if "signed" is correct in regards to January but he did commit, in fact, now that I think of it, I guess there was a lot of hand wringing about the fact that he hadn't signed yet, but anyway, he did commit, I think. And I know Higgs came on board last year but due to medical problems it was thought that he would red shirt and be available this year. I think most people on here were pretty happy with those two when first announced. Just unfortunate (though typical?) bad luck for Illinois in regards with what ensued with those two. So the the 2019 commits would have been Kofi, January and Higgs (via redshirt). Not just one, Kofi. Not a horrible class.
 
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Does Samba Kane have the potential to do what Nnanna Egwu did his sophomore year?

2012-13 SOPHOMORE: Started 35 of 36 games, averaging 6.5 points ... Led team in rebounding with average of 4.9 rpg ... Fourth in Big Ten in blocked shots, averaging 1.4 bpg ... One of three recipients of team's Most Improved Player award ... Scored in double figures six times on the season, led by career-high 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting vs. Ohio State (Jan. 5)
 
Does Samba Kane have the potential to do what Nnanna Egwu did his sophomore year?

2012-13 SOPHOMORE: Started 35 of 36 games, averaging 6.5 points ... Led team in rebounding with average of 4.9 rpg ... Fourth in Big Ten in blocked shots, averaging 1.4 bpg ... One of three recipients of team's Most Improved Player award ... Scored in double figures six times on the season, led by career-high 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting vs. Ohio State (Jan. 5)
No but Kofi does as a freshman. Do you see the offensive skill set in Kane to score double figures six times or 16 in a conference game? He shot 14% from the line so I do think he can improve. II just think we need to have reasonable expectations. I hope I am wrong but I dont see that happenning. I do think he can fill in at times providing spot minutes and pressure defensively at the basket. Nanna was a starter. Kofi will be too. We need Samba for fill in minutes, D and rebounding. I really hope we add someone to play both ends like I had hoped with TJ.
 
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You should never guarantee a starting position to anyone. The good players understand that you have to earn one. With Texas Tech’s losses to attrition, they are no more a lock to make the tournament than Illinois is.
Agree with this especially the part about Texas Tech not being a lock to make the tournament. If Holyfield's aim was to be on a team that makes the final four again I think he made a mistake. As others have pointed out TT is losing a lot of players. And how many non-blue blood teams make the final four one year and do it again the next, or even go very deep in the tournament? In fact, none of the final four teams from 2018 made it back to the final four. Only Michigan made it past the second round. Villinova only made past the first round this year after winning it all the previous. And Loyola didn't even make the tournament. But as others have pointed out, getting on a tournament team may not have been his only concern. Just pointing out that Holyfield probably made a mistake if he was only concerned with going deep into next year's tournament. Someone should tell him. Maybe he can change is mind.:) /s
 
This years NBA draft is different in that players can hire an agent and still withdraw by May 29. There are 233 players in the NBA draft portal, not all will stay. It will be interesting to see who comes out by May 29th. Our 3 scholarships might just come in handy.
Agree with this also. In fact, didn't someone recently post a link to an article that talked about how drastically recruiting has changed in the last couple/few years? That, it would be foolish for a coach not to carry at least one open scholarship far into the year. So there is still hope that Illinois can snag someone, hopefully, one who can help out better than some of our more recent grad transfers (although, yes Thorne was pretty decent until he got injured)
 
JiroDreamsOfMcRibs said:
So, to be clear, we can't expect Illinois to close on a grad transfer, that missed all of last year with an injury, and played for Underwood previously because we aren't winning, yet the 11-21 last year, the 1 NCAA tourney appearance in 8 years Georgia Bulldogs can sign the #3 player in the nation. Memphis hasn't made a tourney in 5 years, gets the #1 overall player. Washington with 1 tourney in 8 years gets a top 10 player.

Teams that aren't "winning" sign significant players each and every year. This constant refrain that we "Just need to win" is silly.

well, it's actually not silly. winning is part of the formula for good recruiting. for Underwood, my sense has been that it's a key element because I don't think he's a natural recruiter like some.

As to "expect"ing I'd say I basically agree with you that we can still reasonably expect success at a higher level than we've shown so far.

btw, a year ago lots of people were holding up Will Wade in the same way you're talking about Georgia. so be careful.
Apart from the run on sentence (as someone else pointed out), what Jiro said is what I have been beating the drum about since at least last year. I do disagree with the "silly" but on the other hand there seem to be some people who adhere to an absolutist stance in regards to winning, that is, they are absolutely convinced that winning will solve recruiting problems. While I agree that it is important and will certainly help, I don't see it as an either/or situation. I do not see the evidence that only by winning will Illinois get good recruits. Actually, on second thought, in Illinois' case, that may be the only way now but I don't see that as being the case for all basketball programs in general. Look at Hardaway's class. Some say it is the number one class; it is at least in the top five and he has yet to even win a college basketball game as a coach. I am also not sure what the point about Will Wade is being made. He was successful recruiting without a particular stellar winning record, it's just that he may have done so, uh, how to phrase it?, not exactly above board. And yet, so far he is still the coach at LSU (at least unless things have changed again. He was removed then reinstated last I heard) and although he may have lost a recruit or two (Quinones for one) he may still end up coaching one of the better recruiting classes next year. The FBI investigation does not seem to have had much of an impact, at least yet, but that is a discussion for the FBI thread. So bottom line, I just don't think it is just about winning and I don't think the evidence points to that. I agree, winning is important, just not the only thing.
 
Apart from the run on sentence (as someone else pointed out), what Jiro said is what I have been beating the drum about since at least last year. I do disagree with the "silly" but on the other hand there seem to be some people who adhere to an absolutist stance in regards to winning, that is, they are absolutely convinced that winning will solve recruiting problems. While I agree that it is important and will certainly help, I don't see it as an either/or situation. I do not see the evidence that only by winning will Illinois get good recruits. Actually, on second thought, in Illinois' case, that may be the only way now but I don't see that as being the case for all basketball programs in general. Look at Hardaway's class. Some say it is the number one class; it is at least in the top five and he has yet to even win a college basketball game as a coach. I am also not sure what the point about Will Wade is being made. He was successful recruiting without a particular stellar winning record, it's just that he may have done so, uh, how to phrase it?, not exactly above board. And yet, so far he is still the coach at LSU (at least unless things have changed again. He was removed then reinstated last I heard) and although he may have lost a recruit or two (Quinones for one) he may still end up coaching one of the better recruiting classes next year. The FBI investigation does not seem to have had much of an impact, at least yet, but that is a discussion for the FBI thread. So bottom line, I just don't think it is just about winning and I don't think the evidence points to that. I agree, winning is important, just not the only thing.
We only lost 2 games in 05 and made the national championship game. Did that lead to outstanding top tier recruiting over the long haul? There is a lot more involved in recruiting than just winning games. Such as money, corruption, location, PT, personalities, physilities, conference, compeition level, exposure, TV , trips, previous relationships , player development, former players successes on and off the court and on and on. Yes, winning is one too.
 
Remember though (for those complaining about recruiting success or lack thereof, and I am not necessarily disagreeing), that this staff did sign January and Higgs for this year. I don't know if "signed" is correct in regards to January but he did commit, in fact, now that I think of it, I guess there was a lot of hand wringing about the fact that he hadn't signed yet, but anyway, he did commit, I think. And I know Higgs came on board last year but due to medical problems it was thought that he would red shirt and be available this year. I think most people on here were pretty happy with those two when first announced. Just unfortunate (though typical?) bad luck for Illinois in regards with what ensued with those two. So the the 2019 commits would have been Kofi, January and Higgs (via redshirt). Not just one, Kofi. Not a horrible class.
It was widely believed on this board that neither Higgs nor January would play a have for Illinois by New Year's or so. The staff surely had even better info on this and should be been acting accordingly. You don't get credit for guys that don't show up on campus.
 
We only lost 2 games in 05 and made the national championship game. Did that lead to outstanding top tier recruiting over the long haul? There is a lot more involved in recruiting than just winning games. Such as money, corruption, location, PT, personalities, physilities, conference, compeition level, exposure, TV , trips, previous relationships , player development, former players successes on and off the court and on and on. Yes, winning is one too.
What are these physilities you speak of??? This must be the determining factor, I've never heard of it.
 
It was widely believed on this board that neither Higgs nor January would play a have for Illinois by New Year's or so. The staff surely had even better info on this and should be been acting accordingly. You don't get credit for guys that don't show up on campus.
I liked January's recruitiment. It was 12 days from the time Chin made his in person contact and offer until the time Antwan committed plus he never had visited C/U. There must be another 12 day recruitment out there somewhere. :)
 
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