Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread

We made another final list!!! Yippie!!!
 
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Indy - you've had a pretty good pulse on this recruitment throughout the process; what are your thoughts on where things stand with Big Mac?

Going to be an absolute battle with Miami. What I was told was late December or early January commitment. Could possibly be sooner.

The staff is well aware that he is a must get. Staff source told me today that they are going all-in on Cardet and obviously not letting up with Mac.

Obviously great to have Luke sign, I mean this kid is going to be a stud under BU. Insanely coachable. Lives in the gym. Really reminds me of a Kevin Huerter, or Jordan Poole type of a player.

All is well with recruiting. We have had our misses, but that's part of it.

We told BU to get Mark Smith, he got him. We told him to go and get Ayo, he got him. Hey, Brad, we need, a legit big guy, and he goes and gets the Freshman of the Year. Yeah that Adam Miller kid that we have been after since he was in 8th grade? He got him too.

I have learned to just relax with BU and staff in recruiting. They will figure it out. We're done with the Matic Vesel and Anthony Higgs for recruits. This staff is going to get legit players, no matter what.

Enjoy the season, with the best team we have had in a long time, and let the recruiting take care of itself when these recruits are hearing "Illinois to the Final Four!!"
 
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Some really interesting comments by Luke Goode. Back to the note of how much a relationship impacts recruitment... Luke said when Jamall Walker led his recruitment - he had no interest in Illinois. Once Gentry came in, it made all the difference. He said his relationship with Gentry is what sealed the deal.

 
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Didn't Goode's parents go to IU along with his Uncle, Trent Green??
His dad as well as Trent Green went to IU and his uncle was an All-American at Mizzou. Not sure about his mom.
 
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His dad as well as Trent Green went to IU and his uncle was an All-American at Mizzou. Not sure about his mom.

Yep, upon further research, Mom went to IU and is is an Optometrist in Ft. Wayne
 
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A random take on recruiting and the future:

Starting with Hopkins, I thought that he was a crucial but domino that needed to fall to get this class going. The rub, along with the sting of missing out, is clear in the following from Bryce's father (KentucySportsRadio):

"It was really tough, especially for Bryce. Illinois did such a great job this second time around. We take our hats off to Illinois for doing such a great job."

While the staff can recruit top-50 talent, it did not do enough before the Louisville commit. This is arguably what left open the door for Cal to do his thing and sway a decision. A frontcourt of Mac and Hopkins with a returning Giorgi and, depending on the eligibility situation, DMW, would have been mighty formidable. That is now in the rearview. Losing battles to DePaul, Creighton, Memphis, and Seton Hall has me wondering if there is an aversion to the Orange or a preference for the Blue and White ... /s. Sarcasm aside, yes, Mac is a must get. And unlike the Bryce's first recruitment, BU has been a prominent face in Mac's; if he chooses Miami, it will not be for missteps. We shall see ... and moving on.

Save for Hopkins and Nesbitt, our misses would have been nice but not crucial. Yes, Ty Ty may become a special player; that cannot be denied. I originally thought that Cardet was as close to a 'Bama lean as possible (thank you, Indy and TC for the recent info), which is why Ty Ty made sense. However, had Mr. Washington committed, we would be fielding a very talented albeit smaller backcourt of Miller, Curbelo, and like DMW, maybe Trent. We will see how Hutcherson and Grandison fill in / are utilized, but we will need size at the wing. Enter Cardet, et. al.

Cardet, like Nesbitt, is BU's coveted prototype; TC and I, at a minimum, have commented on this. The same is true about Kordell Charles. Hearing that the staff is pressing hard for Cardet is refreshing given the size and athleticism he would bring to the wing. BU wants this and it is needed to be compete in the B1G. Perhaps this is factored into Ty Ty's decision; with what we have, Cardet and Washington are mutually exclusive, and we need the former more than the latter. While it may be wishful thinking, a class of a Goode, Mac, Cardet and Charles or Melendez, particularly the latter (see below), would be a heck of a haul whilst setting in motion future class compositions.

In 3 seasons, BU has managed to construct a proper team with in-state, foreign-born, and others from each coast. This season's team may change things, but I see a future in which we will be legitimate players for Top-25 - 50 talent on whom we will close at a clip of ~2 / yr; we are not going to become a one-and-done program. Aside from the high 4* and 5* stars that will come, the rest of our recruits will be largely be composed of the Goodes / Schutts of the prep world and the talent from outside the top-75 that the staff has been very good at identifying - this includes players coming from abroad (is Deiman Reyes still a thing?). In this vein, I can see many rosters being built like Mark Few has with Gonzaga. Winning darn sure helps attract top talent, both of which Few has done, but he has built a winning program with classes that have ranked outside the top-50. His '20 and '21 classes are the result of the grind to national relevance. This is a roadmap, blueprint, path or whatever is something that is quite possible with this program.

The last point, while tenable, is a big "?" and open to criticism; it is also predicated on OA staying and Gentry continuing to be a rockstar. The transfer portal will factor heavily into the calculus, but Few's model seems realistic enough and consistent with where the program is, where it could be after this season, and what it should look like in several years.
 
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Not sure the Mark Few model is tenable in the Big Ten. Gonzaga benefits from playing in a conference (WCC) it can dominate even in a down year. Even in years they've had recruiting classes outside the top 100, they've still outrecruited the other teams in their conference. That being said, they still stack good classes together. They had the #13 2019 class and the #14 2020 class, accoring to 247. Their 2020 class consists of a 5-star and two 4-stars. For comparisons sake, there was only one other 4-star recruit in the entire WCC for the class of 2020. Their current class sits at #37, which is again good enough to be #1 in the WCC.

The Big Ten is obviously not as forgiving. In order to stay competitive I think a program like Ohio St. is the better comp. They're not killing it every year recruiting, but bringing in, at a minimum, top-50 classes every year with the occasional stellar top-5/top-10 in the nation class. Not going to get there overnight but that should be the target.
 
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Not sure the Mark Few model is tenable in the Big Ten. Gonzaga benefits from playing in a conference (WCC) it can dominate even in a down year. Even in years they've had recruiting classes outside the top 100, they've still outrecruited the other teams in their conference. That being said, they still stack good classes together. They had the #13 2019 class and the #14 2020 class, accoring to 247. Their 2020 class consists of a 5-star and two 4-stars. For comparisons sake, there was only one other 4-star recruit in the entire WCC for the class of 2020. Their current class sits at #37, which is again good enough to be #1 in the WCC.

The Big Ten is obviously not as forgiving. In order to stay competitive I think a program like Ohio St. is the better comp. They're not killing it every year recruiting, but bringing in, at a minimum, top-50 classes every year with the occasional stellar top-5/top-10 in the nation class. Not going to get there overnight but that should be the target.

We may be very close here, my friend. tOSU comp is valid and quite interesting. I would, however, argue that what tOSU is doing should, depending on the year and team needs, be a floor. Perhaps the expectations are a bit lofty, but with the money that Whitman has allotted for recruiting, the ability of our staff to identify and develop next-level talent, and a system that is showing its promise, there is justification for setting the floor at a level comparable to tOSU.

It is not so much the domination of the WCC (both on-court and the recruiting trail) and the relative "soft-by-comparison" conference that my post addressed. Gonzaga went from perennial tournament sleeper to a perennial top-25 to this year's AP preseason #1. Few's model is team-based that blends coveted 5* / high 4* recruits with players at the cusp or outside the top-100 (underrated / late bloomers), top transfers and international players; said model was achieved incrementally as Few started winning and scaling his program to compete nationally. BU has / is doing the same in implementing and refining his team-based system for B1G play while targeting players that often resemble Few's (e.g., Timme and Petrusev).

The physicality needed to survive the B1G gauntlet is indeed different, but as we both referenced Few's past 2-3 classes that have ranked in the top-15 respectively, there is no reason that this staff cannot do the same should this team continue to trend upward at the rate that it is. While the physical makeup of a BU recruit may differ based on variables such as preference and fit, the cohesive blend of size and skill is similar. If BU is able to close on top talent and keep flowing a pipeline of 4yr players like Goode, we will not need a top-15 class per annum. Few loaded up over the past two seasons, and his 37th ranked '21 class adds 4* depth from within the top-60; he got what he needed, and soon enough, BU should be doing the same. Win -> recruit -> build -> restock / add when needed.
 
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We may be very close here, my friend. tOSU comp is valid and quite interesting. I would, however, argue that what tOSU is doing should, depending on the year and team needs, be a floor. Perhaps the expectations are a bit lofty, but with the money that Whitman has allotted for recruiting, the ability of our staff to identify and develop next-level talent, and a system that is showing its promise, there is justification for setting the floor at a level comparable to tOSU.

It is not so much the domination of the WCC (both on-court and the recruiting trail) and the relative "soft-by-comparison" conference that my post addressed. Gonzaga went from perennial tournament sleeper to a perennial top-25 to this year's AP preseason #1. Few's model is team-based that blends coveted 5* / high 4* recruits with players at the cusp or outside the top-100 (underrated / late bloomers), top transfers and international players; said model was achieved incrementally as Few started winning and scaling his program to compete nationally. BU has / is doing the same in implementing and refining his team-based system for B1G play while targeting players that often resemble Few's (e.g., Timme and Petrusev).

The physicality needed to survive the B1G gauntlet is indeed different, but as we both referenced Few's past 2-3 classes that have ranked in the top-15 respectively, there is no reason that this staff cannot do the same should this team continue to trend upward at the rate that it is. While the physical makeup of a BU recruit may differ based on variables such as preference and fit, the cohesive blend of size and skill is similar. If BU is able to close on top talent and keep flowing a pipeline of 4yr players like Goode, we will not need a top-15 class per annum. Few loaded up over the past two seasons, and his 37th ranked '21 class adds 4* depth from within the top-60; he got what he needed, and soon enough, BU should be doing the same. Win -> recruit -> build -> restock / add when needed.
I think we agree...I just don't think we can afford some of the classes Gonzaga was able to succeed with before their more recent recruiting success, because we wouldn't make the tournament with some of those teams. But your larger point is valid, we need to build to what Gonzaga is doing now: mix of top recruits, talented 4-yr guys, and under the radar guys with potential.
 
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I fully expect another recruiting nut punch on this one. We really need to start getting multiple Chicagoland talents, like we used to.
 
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Northwest Suburbs
Going to be an absolute battle with Miami. What I was told was late December or early January commitment. Could possibly be sooner.

The staff is well aware that he is a must get. Staff source told me today that they are going all-in on Cardet and obviously not letting up with Mac.

Obviously great to have Luke sign, I mean this kid is going to be a stud under BU. Insanely coachable. Lives in the gym. Really reminds me of a Kevin Huerter, or Jordan Poole type of a player.

All is well with recruiting. We have had our misses, but that's part of it.

We told BU to get Mark Smith, he got him. We told him to go and get Ayo, he got him. Hey, Brad, we need, a legit big guy, and he goes and gets the Freshman of the Year. Yeah that Adam Miller kid that we have been after since he was in 8th grade? He got him too.

I have learned to just relax with BU and staff in recruiting. They will figure it out. We're done with the Matic Vesel and Anthony Higgs for recruits. This staff is going to get legit players, no matter what.

Enjoy the season, with the best team we have had in a long time, and let the recruiting take care of itself when these recruits are hearing "Illinois to the Final Four!!"
Truly nothing else needs to be said. You nailed it Indy. 8 days.
 
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Missing is part of recruiting, but I think the hard part for those of us that have followed it, is the frequency. The staff goes after, and seems to get pretty far with a large number of elite level recruits. Unfortunately, the closing rate on those has been low, and that's disheartening. It's also a rejection of the program, and testament to how far Illinois dropped during the Groce years, and even before that, the mediocrity with Weber. We may not like the reminder, but the program only recently made it back into national relevance, top-25 rankings, threatening for the conference title, etc.. The appeal isn't where it needs to be to overcome some of the competition.

It's a slow climb, unfortunately. Takes a lot of fan passion, a great coach, dedicated players, and an administration that supports all of those along the way. My only advice is patience --there's a long way between now and a final roster, and while we haven't hit on several top targets, it's a long way from done. Kind of trite, but these guys don't know the meaning of quit.
Personally I think the misses are way overplayed. We have as many/more top 50 recruits in the last 4 classes as MSU & if the class is only Goode we will be ok, we could use a big, but we aren’t desperate at this point.
 
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I fully expect another recruiting nut punch on this one. We really need to start getting multiple Chicagoland talents, like we used to.
The issue is that there aren't any quality bigs that I can think of that are coming out this year. Casey will be a big time recruit be he is only a junior.
 
I'm Ron Burgundy?
Texas
The issue is that there aren't any quality bigs that I can think of that are coming out this year. Casey will be a big time recruit be he is only a junior.
Just convince Kofi he needs a third year. Problem solved. :)
 
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I fully expect another recruiting nut punch on this one. We really need to start getting multiple Chicagoland talents, like we used to.
I don’t care about any of the recruits we lose. I only care about the ones we get. BU’s track record has been good enough for me to this point.
 
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Will be shocked if it's not Miami. Family to Florida and his background screams Miami. Not really getting excited for yet another Tipton Edit. I really can't recall one we've ever gotten.

Come on Transfer portal!!

Surely someone that was guaranteed the world will only see the pine and no time at one of these prestigious schools. And while watching Illinois play fun, winning ball this year say to themselves "hmmmm, 1 free transfer without penalty, hey BU, got any room for me?"
 
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Have faith in Underwood and Co. Next up RJ Melendez 6'7" wing.
Puerto Rican, thank you OA.


 
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Sure want Mac but still remembering Giorgi as a frosh and thought he was very serviceable. Our problem then was a 6’5” power forward and we got killed on the boards. If Cole, BBV, or Jermaine develops our front line will be ok with some size at the three such as Goode. No matter who we get it is going to be a drop off from Kofi. Don’t remember an equivalent to him ever.
 
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Truly nothing else needs to be said. You nailed it Indy. 8 days.

Perfect!! .gifs for all!!

 
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It's borderline ridiculous to think a class hinges on a single recruit, and it honestly hasn't for a while, at least in terms of what the team would be with or without them. You can make cases for Ayo and Kofi, and I'd even lean Kofi more so given where the team was when Ayo joined, but I still dont buy that he got us 7+ more wins last year. Maybe I'm wrong.

That being said, not getting Mac is on the same level in my eyes. Yes he probably garners us a handful of wins based off what his replacement would do, but this is as interesting a cycle as there will be. There will be more transfers than ever before, and I bet not by a small margin. Not saying HS recruiting is steps 1-4 in building a championship roster, but this year especially will be huge to grab some real key pieces for the next couple years. I want Mac more than anything, but I trust this staff in selling a ton of minutes at the 5, or picking up developmental pieces at the least.
 
Will be shocked if it's not Miami. Family to Florida and his background screams Miami. Not really getting excited for yet another Tipton Edit. I really can't recall one we've ever gotten.

Yeah, when I read that I thought we're down 4 runs in the 8th inning.
 
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