Illinois Hoops Recruiting Thread

#351      
Is anyone else really really bummed that we didn't land Cam Whitmore still?
Because I am.
Dude is gonna be an absolute blast to watch at Nova this year, before he goes in the lottery next spring. That was a Chester/Brad early-eval special. And we hit on another East Coast early-eval this year with Amani. Talent evaluation at another level with this staff.
 
#353      

theNewGuy

Dallas, TX
That's a lot of hypotheticals.

Currently 1st round picks have a rigid scale based on draft position. They get a 4 year deal, 2 of which are guaranteed. The second two years are team options. There aren't NBA draft holdouts because there isn't much to negotiate. The team makes the pick and the player gets the contract. Done and Done. there is no deferment of signing. (at this point anyway...)

I also agree that it is unlikely that a NBA team would want to pay 7 figures to a guy that isn't on their active roster.

I don't believe they would revert to have player drafted and subsequently stashed in college. (I know Larry Bird is an example of this happening in the past) Any drafted "project player" would be that team's project. In my mind, there is a zero percent chance they would leave the development of that project to someone outside their organization. They will have too much invested to leave that development up to someone who's motivation is to win games in college, rather than focus on developing the skills necessary to help the team that holds the player's rights.

Players only have one opportunity to participate in draft day. Once they have been made available to be picked, they are not eligible to play in college, nor are they eligible to participate in subsequent drafts.

Players with high ceilings, but deficient actual skills will be encouraged to develop those skills prior to staying in the draft. If they ignore the feedback, they take their chances just like everyone else.

I don't really see the need to expand the draft rounds. It is already better for some players to go undrafted rather than be picked late in the 2nd round. At least they have some control of where they go to camp and attempt to make a team or earn a two way deal. There just aren't enough roster spots in the NBA for that to be necessary. Expanding draft eligibility doesn't add more roster spots.
Ya I just think Hockey does this whole draft better and basketball would benefit from doing this, especially the kids. Only difference is a majority of hockey players do not go NCAA route compared to Basketball.
 
#354      

theNewGuy

Dallas, TX
Is anyone else really really bummed that we didn't land Cam Whitmore still?
Because I am.
Ya I don't want to take anything away from our current recruits or hype from this year. I just really like Cam as a player and wish he was an Illini
 
#357      
Like I said before I loved Ayo"s game and what he did and accomplished at the university but the fact of the matter is if he had half of Skyy's talent he would of been a lottery pick after his freshmen year. Skyy along with the rest of the Flying Illini this season is going to put on a show that we will never forget. Quit trying to compare and downplay this young man's gifts and enjoy the ride.

Love the enthusiasm.

Ayo had some obvious strengths (length, leadership, closer, could attack the basket like a mofo - absolute money in transition), but also some concerning weaknesses (A/T was so-so and I think that sophomore year 3 point % really hurt him). He shot nearly 40% his junior year, but his stroke was considered suspect. We all know how it turned out --All American, feared by opponents, and has been the steal of the NBA draft. Not sure how you double that level of talent, but bring it on.
 
#358      
Dude is gonna be an absolute blast to watch at Nova this year, before he goes in the lottery next spring. That was a Chester/Brad early-eval special. And we hit on another East Coast early-eval this year with Amani. Talent evaluation at another level with this staff.
I’m not saying that both of these guys weren’t “early-eval specials,” but according to 24/7 timelines, Cam had 9 offers before the Illini did so and 12 schools had offered Amani before Illini ponied up. No idea how accurate the timelines are. Now I’m very happy with the job staff is doing both evaluating prospects and reeling them in, but I’m just wondering how accurate this narrative really is.
 
#359      
Chet Walker
Thumbs Ok GIF by Alexandre Nart
 
#362      
Such a crazy 180 in our recruiting. Still hard to believe we’re slow playing top 100 kids in our backyard now, that’s some real powerhouse move.
That's been an incredibly stupid and shortsighted move practically every time we've done it, but whatever.

BU has earned a degree of confidence from me that he's going to bring in the talent he needs so I'm not going to make a federal case out of it, but to preen about being too good for a high-major player from Chicago is a kind of oblivious arrogance I'd rather our fanbase not get a reputation for trafficking in.
 
Last edited:
#363      
Eh, I always find this to just be a hand-wavey explanation for why college stars aren't high draft picks from people who don't watch and aren't that interested in the NBA.

There's a reason Corey Kispert went 15th and Luka Garza went 52nd, to choose a couple of relatively land-bound college seniors who were All-Americans in the same year.

NBA basketball is quite different than college basketball, that's the place to start, not some airy notion about a model the NBA is drafting for that you're coding to mean "not actually skilled at the game".

The NBA game, unlike the college game, can allow teams to make Kofi Cockburn guard players he can't guard out on the perimeter every single time down the floor and just endlessly punish a team for putting him out there in a way his offense can't make up for. The same was true of Garza, though he was maybe a hair less disastrous in those situations and has a more familiar and NBA-friendly offensive game, but I don't see a long career for him despite being a superlative and unique talent.

Ayo's laterally athletic more so than vertically, but he's long and he can guard, those weren't the concerns though I think the offensive load he carried at Illinois made him a bit underrated in that regard. I also think NBA scouts gave an inaccurately low grade on his jumper (as did college scouts) which looks weird but works. He just didn't fit the mold in terms of an NBA PG. He still doesn't, by the way, and struggled when thrust into those situations in the half court.

Ayo got lucky that he landed with a coach that understood and could unlock his innate ability to create chaos and open floor situations on the court. He's devastating on the break, any scout could see that, but I don't think they appreciated the ease with which he'd be able to impose his game in an NBA scenario in a small-ball fun and gun team like the Bulls.
I don't think Ayo's half court game is not as bad as some people think. It depends on where you look. He, unfortunately, could not play P&R that well due to his limitation on 3 pointer off the dribble. However, he was already a very decent catch and shoot guy. He is a decent 3 and D guy and he can pass. I was glad Donovan saw that.
 
#367      
That's been an incredibly stupid and shortsighted move practically every time we've done it, but whatever.

BU has earned a degree of confidence from me that he's going to bring in the talent he needs so I'm not going to make a federal case out of it, but to preen about being too good for a high-major player from Chicago is a kind of oblivious arrogance I'd rather our fanbase not get a reputation for trafficking in.
Idk and I guess we will find out. There is a chance that hurts the relationship but since TA is here, I probably shouldn't be too worried about that.
 
#368      
I don't think Ayo's half court game is not as bad as some people think. It depends on where you look. He, unfortunately, could not play P&R that well due to his limitation on 3 pointer off the dribble. However, he was already a very decent catch and shoot guy. He is a decent 3 and D guy and he can pass. I was glad Donovan saw that.
He was great for a 2nd round rookie and better than the scouting report that made him a 2nd round rookie suggested, but that's not the strength of his game college or pro.

If he can get to serviceable he's a long term NBA regular and if he can get to good he might be more than that. He's already special in other areas. And you're right that he's a willing and capable passer with a good feel for the rhythm of guys around him. We saw more of that from Freshman Ayo than we saw later when his role was Superman.

At the end of the day the old cliche of "Basketball IQ" he's just off the charts. He sees the game within the game and can play the part the situation demands.

"Sees the game within the game" is becoming an ever more common description of our players and recruits, and very good things will continue to happen as long as that's the case.
 
Last edited:
#369      
He was great for a 2nd round rookie and better than the scouting report that made him a 2nd round rookie suggested, but that's not the strength of his game college or pro.

If he can get to serviceable he's a long term NBA regular and if he can get to good he might be more than that. He's already special in other areas. And you're right that he's a willing and capable passer with a good feel for the rhythm of guys around him. We saw more of that from Freshman Ayo than we saw later when his role was Superman.

At the end of the day the old cliche of "Basketball IQ" he's just off the charts. He sees the game within the game and can play the part the situation demands.

"Sees the game within the game" is becoming an ever more common description of our players and recruits, and very good things will continue to happen as long as that's the case.
I tend to think he is already serviceable. If he learns how to shoot three off the dribble, he can be very good.
 
#372      
I’m not saying that both of these guys weren’t “early-eval specials,” but according to 24/7 timelines, Cam had 9 offers before the Illini did so and 12 schools had offered Amani before Illini ponied up. No idea how accurate the timelines are. Now I’m very happy with the job staff is doing both evaluating prospects and reeling them in, but I’m just wondering how accurate this narrative really is.
Whitmore was outside of the top 100 when we offered and ended up as a bonafide 5*, potential lottery pick and Amani’s best offer was like Penn State before we offered. He ended the summer with offers from Auburn, Oregon, WVU, Maryland, probably more I’m forgetting.

I’d classify them both as very very good early evals
 
#375      

Future Walk-On

Peoria, IL
Same article under Flory Bidunga:

“Expect all the bluebloods to get involved in addition to schools such as Bradley, Indiana and other regional powers.”

I’m confused as to what region (or decade) they are referring to

Regardless. Cincinnati just hired Drew Adams away from us 2 days ago because he knows Wes Miller...but mainly because he is extremely close with Bidunga and they assume Bidunga will follow him to Cincy.

So alas Bradley now has a 0% chance.

Annoying to be hired away 3 weeks before tip off.

That being said ... Bradley lost their only 1st team Valley player to a Georgia and will be even better this year. REGIONAL POWERHOUSE here we come.