Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread (May 2020)

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#76
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!
I'm sure I am just jaded from the past, but I just can't imagine we have a legit shot at him. I have absolutely zero inside knowledge, and hope that I am wrong, but I'm just being my normal pessimistic self.
 
#77
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.
There's been a zillion stories and scandals detailing the 'somehow'
 
#78
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.
One of the old premium admins used to say that a good recruiter will have a kid walk on campus believing playing time is most important and leave believing developing on the bench is more important. Gotta Sell Sell Sell
 
#79
Huntsville, AL
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.

Groce's best point guard is Trent Frazier !! After his official visit to Illinois, Frazier verbally committed to the program and former head coach John Groce on August 21, 2016.
 
#81
I felt sad for Groce at the time. He finally got a true high caliber point guard to commit to playing for his team and then he gets fired.
If he could've finished first in one or two recruitments that we ended in second, I think he's still the coach today (BU feels like a better coach and fit however). He was a game or two away from dancing a couple years, and injuries to already thin positions doomed him. He was a decent recruiter, probably similarly talented coach, but he had the skills as a HC to get us to the tournament--which became the goal after year 3. Truly believe he gets another P5 shot.

That being said, BU+staff have shown the ability to close. A rocky start--scrambled a lot early, but the Goode commit shows they've pushed past the playing from behind phase, at least for now. I think closing a class early, or at least getting a guy or two to commit prior to the season starting can go along way not only for the current class, but for future ones. It's hard enough to focus on a dozen guys for this year not knowing how to fill 3-5 spots, let alone doing that for the next couple years. If you can knock out a position or two on a squad early, it lets you not only visualize what your team will look like in another year, but also give you a chance at getting future year recruits. That's a huge piece of a perennially talented team.
 
#82
I felt sad for Groce at the time. He finally got a true high caliber point guard to commit to playing for his team and then he gets fired.
If he wanted to keep his job he should have won more games. He didn't, so I don't really feel bad for him. Seems like a genuinely decent human being, but ultimately he couldn't hack it as a head coach in the Big Ten at this point in his career.
 
#86
JG is a good human being but he was in the right spot at the right time (tOSU with Matta) to parlay that into a P5 head coaching job with a short stop at Ohio U.. However he is NOT a top shelf P5 coach and that became apparent as time went on. Again good guy but not in the same talent level as BU. If he gets another P5 job it probably will end the same way.
 
#87
BU:1 Trash cans:0
Chicago
If he wanted to keep his job he should have won more games. He didn't, so I don't really feel bad for him. Seems like a genuinely decent human being, but ultimately he couldn't hack it as a head coach in the Big Ten at this point in his career.
My own evaluation is that Groce was probably a better recruiter, but a worse in-game coach. What really doomed him was failing to assemble/upgrade his staff. Underwood seems to know recruiting isn't his strong suit, so he has built a staff that can cover for his (relative) weakness.
 
#88
My own evaluation is that Groce was probably a better recruiter, but a worse in-game coach. What really doomed him was failing to assemble/upgrade his staff. Underwood seems to know recruiting isn't his strong suit, so he has built a staff that can cover for his (relative) weakness.
I am not sure how you can make that determination, though. Groce and his staff were in on a lot of very high caliber prospects, but never really landed any (except Tilmon, who never played for us obviously).

Underwood and his staff, on the other hand, have landed multiple high-caliber prospects now and seem to be continuing that momentum. At what point do you decide that Underwood is a worse recruiter, then? He ultimately leads the staff, sets the overarching narrative, and has to land the fish after the assistants get them on the hook.
 
#89
I am not sure how you can make that determination, though. Groce and his staff were in on a lot of very high caliber prospects, but never really landed any (except Tilmon, who never played for us obviously).

Underwood and his staff, on the other hand, have landed multiple high-caliber prospects now and seem to be continuing that momentum. At what point do you decide that Underwood is a worse recruiter, then? He ultimately leads the staff, sets the overarching narrative, and has to land the fish after the assistants get them on the hook.
He's probably basing that on the high 5*s Groce finished 2nd for. Cliff Alexander being the first to come to mind. Obviously he was horrible in college, but he was ranked as high as #3 in the nation.

He was also close on Juwan Evans, Jalen Brunson (probably less so in hindsight), Elijah Thomas... he was close a lot but never seemed to quite win
 
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#93
He's probably basing that on the high 5*s Groce finished 2nd for. Cliff Alexander being the first to come to mind. Obviously he was horrible in college, but he was ranked as high as #3 in the nation.

He was also close on Juwan Evans, Jalen Brunson (probably less so in hindsight), Elijah Thomas... he was close a lot but never seemed to quite win
Sure, but can you call someone a good recruiter for finishing second? If I finished second in all of my grant-writing I'd be out of a job. You have to land the big fish once in a while to be considered successful. Groce was very good at getting into the conversation with top recruits. That is not synonymous with being a good recruiter, at least, not in the vacuum of a program that needs rebuilt (as opposed to his time at OSU, which was peaking and an easier sell at the time).
 
#94
JG is a good human being but he was in the right spot at the right time (tOSU with Matta) to parlay that into a P5 head coaching job with a short stop at Ohio U.. However he is NOT a top shelf P5 coach and that became apparent as time went on. Again good guy but not in the same talent level as BU. If he gets another P5 job it probably will end the same way.
I don't think that's a particularly fair assessment at the end. I do think he stood out at the right time to land our open position and, in that sense, lucked out a bit. I also agree that he was not a top shelf P5 coach (obviously). Saying that he never will be is a bit of a stretch, though. That implies that he has no capacity for self-improvement/learning, which I don't think we've necessarily ruled out at this point.
 
#96
BU:1 Trash cans:0
Chicago
I am not sure how you can make that determination, though. Groce and his staff were in on a lot of very high caliber prospects, but never really landed any (except Tilmon, who never played for us obviously).

Underwood and his staff, on the other hand, have landed multiple high-caliber prospects now and seem to be continuing that momentum. At what point do you decide that Underwood is a worse recruiter, then? He ultimately leads the staff, sets the overarching narrative, and has to land the fish after the assistants get them on the hook.
Sure, results are a big part of evaluating ability. But I would also include enthusiasm and ability to connect with recruits, families, and "handlers." My impression is that Groce enjoyed recruiting and connected well with recruits. He really liked that part of the job. Whereas, my impression is that Underwood understands that it's part of the gig, so he puts in the effort, but he's not necessarily as excited about, or naturally talented at, it.

Those are just my impressions. I could easily be wrong. I'm not trying to start a fight or anything.
 
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#97
Sure, results are a big part of evaluating ability. But I would also include enthusiasm and ability to connect with recruits, families, and "handlers." My impression is that Groce enjoyed recruiting and connected well with recruits. He really liked that part of the job. Whereas, my impression is that Underwood understands that it's part of the gig, so he puts in the effort, but he's not necessarily as excited about, or naturally talented at, it.

Those are just my impressions. I could easily be wrong. I'm not trying to start a fight or anything.
Sure, but level of excitement about something and performance are not the same and not perfectly correlated. Ultimately, success is the measure of ability here.

In my opinion.
 
#98
JG is a good human being but he was in the right spot at the right time (tOSU with Matta) to parlay that into a P5 head coaching job with a short stop at Ohio U.. However he is NOT a top shelf P5 coach and that became apparent as time went on. Again good guy but not in the same talent level as BU. If he gets another P5 job it probably will end the same way.
100% agree. I think the world about his ethics and him as a person. Really was a humble, approachable, and authentic human being. I just think that he promoted a culture of softness. That's why most of them left when BU took over (granted he might've been too hard edged). BU instills toughness through practice and holding players accountable. I think Groce talked about it, but it never translated. Team was competitive, but could never pull the game over the line. I think he's still pretty young and he has a ton of experience. I still think he has a shot and I wish him well at Ohio U. Just needs to continue to evolve like BU did this year.
 
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