Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (May 2020)

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#52
Can we take a moment to applaud Underwood and his staff for turning this program around. Our roster right now is probably competitive enough to compete for an NCAA tournament bid. Yet, we have 3 scholarships left and they can either go to a 1st team All BIG PG, BIG FOY, former Top 40 recruit and double digit scorer at a high major, a guy who averaged 16,5,4 while carrying his team to an NCAA berth in 2019, and a 5 Star big man. Life is good as an Illini basketball fan.
 
#53
Can we take a moment to applaud Underwood and his staff for turning this program around. Our roster right now is probably competitive enough to compete for an NCAA tournament bid. Yet, we have 3 scholarships left and they can either go to a 1st team All BIG PG, BIG FOY, former Top 40 recruit and double digit scorer at a high major, a guy who averaged 16,5,4 while carrying his team to an NCAA berth in 2019, and a 5 Star big man. Life is good as an Illini basketball fan.
Maybe the basketball post of the year.

From a recruiting perspective, I guess it's been 17 years since we've been in such good shape. Our all-around talent on the court should be at peak (elite) level in another 2-3 years. Based on the 2019-20 run, it should be a fun climb!!
 
#54
Can we take a moment to applaud Underwood and his staff for turning this program around. Our roster right now is probably competitive enough to compete for an NCAA tournament bid. Yet, we have 3 scholarships left and they can either go to a 1st team All BIG PG, BIG FOY, former Top 40 recruit and double digit scorer at a high major, a guy who averaged 16,5,4 while carrying his team to an NCAA berth in 2019, and a 5 Star big man. Life is good as an Illini basketball fan.
Seems like that was the general consensus during most of the Groce’s years. Problem was we never lived up to the NCAA potential & almost all of the promising scholarships never materialized. No disrespect to Underwood, I’m happy with last year and where we stand, & like where we are sitting, just not quite ready to believe we will bat 1000 on the last 3 scholarships.
 
#55
Seems like that was the general consensus during most of the Groce’s years. Problem was we never lived up to the NCAA potential & almost all of the promising scholarships never materialized. No disrespect to Underwood, I’m happy with last year and where we stand, & like where we are sitting, just not quite ready to believe we will bat 1000 on the last 3 scholarships.
It all comes down to performance on the court; I think everyone understands that. However, when you look at the turn-around I still think there's no comparison. Last year we struggled early with some of the changes, and finished strong, just one game out of a share of the BIG title in a very competitive conference, and in the national rankings to boot.

Betting against 3 for 3 is a pretty safe bet, but the staff has really improved the position we're in. And Underwood IMO has the ability to navigate an increasingly difficult and competitive recruiting market. He's taken some chances that show he can evaluate into lesser recruited players and still find BIG caliber players.
 
#57
It all comes down to performance on the court; I think everyone understands that. However, when you look at the turn-around I still think there's no comparison. Last year we struggled early with some of the changes, and finished strong, just one game out of a share of the BIG title in a very competitive conference, and in the national rankings to boot.

Betting against 3 for 3 is a pretty safe bet, but the staff has really improved the position we're in. And Underwood IMO has the ability to navigate an increasingly difficult and competitive recruiting market. He's taken some chances that show he can evaluate into lesser recruited players and still find BIG caliber players.
Groce never was able to recruit a significant center or PG. Rankings for players don’t measure balance. The great teams in the past always had great PG’s . Groce’s best PG was probably TeJon Lucas and his best center was Maverick Morgan. BU has Giorgi and Kofi at center and Trent, Ayo, Dre, and now DreC. All of these players considerably better than Groces best recruits at these positions. Groce brought his staff with him, BU hired recruiters. Last year he proved he could coach. Kudos to the AD.
 
#58
Can we take a moment to applaud Underwood and his staff for turning this program around. Our roster right now is probably competitive enough to compete for an NCAA tournament bid. Yet, we have 3 scholarships left and they can either go to a 1st team All BIG PG, BIG FOY, former Top 40 recruit and double digit scorer at a high major, a guy who averaged 16,5,4 while carrying his team to an NCAA berth in 2019, and a 5 Star big man. Life is good as an Illini basketball fan.
We are trending up and I am very optimistic for the future. Really happy with BU so far. But our results on the court are not where any of us want to be. I for one am not satisfied with being competitive enough to compete for an NCAA tournament bid.
 
#59
Underwoods first 2 top shelf recruits were Orlando and Chin and they look to be 5 stars. I remember 20 years ago Loren Tate saying that Self's assistants of Norm Roberts and Billy Gillespie being the 2 best recruiting assistants Illinois had ever had. After eliminating Wake, Deron choose Illinois without even a visit
And if Gentry can pull in an occasional 4 star while being a great Xs and Os assistant, then look out!
 
#63
Sorry guys and gals, this is a long read but good info:
Regarding Brandon Weston, I have been able to speak to two different legitimate insiders about him and his recruitment, since he didnt not come through with the Q and A. I was going to post this on my comment in the transfer thread on the Perez transfer to Marquette I'll tell you why
So here goes, dont get excited because none of it is great news,
Both people I had the pleasure of speaking with one via phone and other via video, came to the same prediction and both had similar thoughts regarding weston.
First person I spoke with said illinois ship sailed with Brandon weston the minute adam miller signed, so I asked him why, he said, Brandon and adam have a bortherly relationship do not get me wrong however, Brandon is the little brother who wants badly to be out of his big brothers (Adam) shadow. They play great together but weston feels as if he is "The guy" and if he came to illinois he would once again be in millers shadow and that is the opposite if what he wants. Hence why I said the ship has sailed.
Me: That is not the response I expected at all as I though weston loved the illini and miller from what he has said openly, so if you believe the ship has sailed, then where will this ship wind up docking in your opinion?
Him: If I was a betting man and had to put my money on one school to land him it would be marquette, I personally think he will comit to marquette, I dont believe he will sign in the early signing period because he wants to explore every option available to him, as I am sure he believes he can blow up his recruitment with miller not being the guy at morgan park this coming season, as of right now my bet is marquette..
Me: thank you for your valuable time and insight, even though it is not what I and many fans were hoping for, but thank you very much I appreciate it as do many illini fans, stay safe and thanks again.
Him: no problem and thank you and you and yours stay safe as well.
On to the second;
Me: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me during these crazy times but let me get right to it, what can you tell me about Brandon Weston and his recruitment as of now?
Her: No problem thank you for reaching out.
Brandon is a very very intriguing player and is just as intriguing as a person, he is dedicated, motivated, and hard working, his goal is to reach the nba as many of the young kids dream of. His recruitment however is very very intriguing, his recruitment is not cut and dry or set in stone however the words that I am hearing is that Brandon really wants to show everybody he is his own man, I believe he will end up at a school which allows him to be that person.
Me: What can you tell me about his interest in the illini?
Her: Illinois is very interesting because on one hand he can stay close to home and his family and friends will be able to see him play, he loved his visit, and the players and staff so it is very likely illinois will be in this fight to the bitter end to land him, but ultimately I believe he will take his talents elsewhere.
Me: Where do you think he will be taking his talents?
Her: This is a hard one, as I said illinois will be in this until the very end but right now I believe marquette is in front in recruiting Brandon, if I had a crystal ball I would give it to marquette, ultimately I believe this is where he will play his college basketball.
But as I said nothing is set in stone.
Me: myself and many illini fans hope your prediction does not come true, but thank you very, very much for taking the time to talk to me about this. I enjoyed speaking with you, thanks again, and stay safe.
Her: My pleasure, god bless.

So then Perez comits to marquette, and 20 minutes later I see on twitter "Brandon weston started following perez" coincidence?
What are your thoughts?
 
#66
OSKEE WOW WOW
Rochester, IL
Sorry guys and gals, this is a long read but good info:
Regarding Brandon Weston, I have been able to speak to two different legitimate insiders about him and his recruitment, since he didnt not come through with the Q and A. I was going to post this on my comment in the transfer thread on the Perez transfer to Marquette I'll tell you why
So here goes, dont get excited because none of it is great news,
Both people I had the pleasure of speaking with one via phone and other via video, came to the same prediction and both had similar thoughts regarding weston.
First person I spoke with said illinois ship sailed with Brandon weston the minute adam miller signed, so I asked him why, he said, Brandon and adam have a bortherly relationship do not get me wrong however, Brandon is the little brother who wants badly to be out of his big brothers (Adam) shadow. They play great together but weston feels as if he is "The guy" and if he came to illinois he would once again be in millers shadow and that is the opposite if what he wants. Hence why I said the ship has sailed.
Me: That is not the response I expected at all as I though weston loved the illini and miller from what he has said openly, so if you believe the ship has sailed, then where will this ship wind up docking in your opinion?
Him: If I was a betting man and had to put my money on one school to land him it would be marquette, I personally think he will comit to marquette, I dont believe he will sign in the early signing period because he wants to explore every option available to him, as I am sure he believes he can blow up his recruitment with miller not being the guy at morgan park this coming season, as of right now my bet is marquette..
Me: thank you for your valuable time and insight, even though it is not what I and many fans were hoping for, but thank you very much I appreciate it as do many illini fans, stay safe and thanks again.
Him: no problem and thank you and you and yours stay safe as well.
On to the second;
Me: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me during these crazy times but let me get right to it, what can you tell me about Brandon Weston and his recruitment as of now?
Her: No problem thank you for reaching out.
Brandon is a very very intriguing player and is just as intriguing as a person, he is dedicated, motivated, and hard working, his goal is to reach the nba as many of the young kids dream of. His recruitment however is very very intriguing, his recruitment is not cut and dry or set in stone however the words that I am hearing is that Brandon really wants to show everybody he is his own man, I believe he will end up at a school which allows him to be that person.
Me: What can you tell me about his interest in the illini?
Her: Illinois is very interesting because on one hand he can stay close to home and his family and friends will be able to see him play, he loved his visit, and the players and staff so it is very likely illinois will be in this fight to the bitter end to land him, but ultimately I believe he will take his talents elsewhere.
Me: Where do you think he will be taking his talents?
Her: This is a hard one, as I said illinois will be in this until the very end but right now I believe marquette is in front in recruiting Brandon, if I had a crystal ball I would give it to marquette, ultimately I believe this is where he will play his college basketball.
But as I said nothing is set in stone.
Me: myself and many illini fans hope your prediction does not come true, but thank you very, very much for taking the time to talk to me about this. I enjoyed speaking with you, thanks again, and stay safe.
Her: My pleasure, god bless.

So then Perez comits to marquette, and 20 minutes later I see on twitter "Brandon weston started following perez" coincidence?
What are your thoughts?
Well that stinks. But thx for the post.

Chin needs to kick it in high gear for this one.
I always puzzles me when people say so and so wont come because they want to be the man, yet, the blue bloods somehow convince all of these 5 stars to play together and commit in the same class. Just wish we could do that here.
 
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#68
Well that stinks. But thx for the post.

Chin needs to kick it in high gear for this one.
I always puzzles me when people say so and so wont come because they want to be the man, yet, the blue bloods somehow convince all of these 5 stars to play together and commit in the same class. Just wish we could do that here.
Blue bloods aren't recruiting 2 players who played on the same high school team. Blue bloods can tell the 5 star that he is the alpha and the other 4-5 stars they are recruiting are just spear carriers. Not that bluntly of course, you know, spin it.
 
#70
Well that stinks. But thx for the post.

Chin needs to kick it in high gear for this one.
I always puzzles me when people say so and so wont come because they want to be the man, yet, the blue bloods somehow convince all of these 5 stars to play together and commit in the same class. Just wish we could do that here.
The thing with say Duke and Kentucky is that they are always starting fresh with a roster of mostly freshman, which makes it more tolerable to be recruited with other top freshman. A kid looking at our roster right now might see a difficult path to playing time because of a strong recruiting class and a nice combination of veterans and transfers.
 
#71
Great post Illiniboss33, thank you for sharing.

I have been told Weston ship has sailed. Multiple reasons in addition to the reason discussed.

The staff is not concerned. They think there are better options out there.

Weston is a great player, but the staff is looking for something different.

More team-first guys. Hence, the reason Gentry and BU recruited Luke Goode harder than anyone.

We will get the kids like Adam, Ayo, and Kofi. But for every one of those you get, you need a couple of kids like TF, GB, and DMW.
 
#72
I for one am not satisfied with being competitive enough to compete for an NCAA tournament bid.
Make that two of us. However, I think the program rapidly will move past "relevant" to "very competitive" to "dominant". I wouldn't have said that even last fall, but the performance of this year's squad, Underwood's apparent eye for talent and coaching ability, and the quality of incoming recruits, has rekindled my optimism and convinced me that the we are solidly positioned for future success. Kudos to Josh Whitman, who is proving a dynamic and courageous AD, and a welcome change from his predecessors.

This subheading from a March 2017 SI online piece concerning the Underwood hiring has proven prescient:

Illinois gets savvy by poaching Brad Underwood from Oklahoma State
Long derided for its incompetence in the athletic department, Illinois made a sharp hire by prying Brad Underwood away from Oklahoma State.
 
#73
Well that stinks. But thx for the post.

Chin needs to kick it in high gear for this one.
I always puzzles me when people say so and so wont come because they want to be the man, yet, the blue bloods somehow convince all of these 5 stars to play together and commit in the same class. Just wish we could do that here.
Th e biggest difference is that the blue bloods aren't recruiting players who are already playing second banana on their high school teams. The players they get (and we're sniffing) have been the man their entire lives so they can't even comprehend that it won't continue. And it's also why you don't usually see players from these loaded prep teams going to the same college.
 
#74
OSKEE WOW WOW
Rochester, IL
Th e biggest difference is that the blue bloods aren't recruiting players who are already playing second banana on their high school teams. The players they get (and we're sniffing) have been the man their entire lives so they can't even comprehend that it won't continue. And it's also why you don't usually see players from these loaded prep teams going to the same college.
Fair comment. I can see it from that perspective.
 
#75
Decatur, IL
All i want to know is our actual chances at landing Foster. This team would be amazing with Kofi and Foster and 3 guards. We are gonna be really deep in the backcourt, no one should get worn out. I hope Giorgi shoots 1000 3s a day all summer long and suprises us all with a comeback junior season. Man im ready for 20-21!
 
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