Snider commitment, Alexander visit excites Illini fans

Illinois fans were already hysterical last night after four-star point guard Quentin Snider gave John Groce a verbal commitment. Twitter was buzzing after landing the play-making point guard Groce and his staff have been coveting since their arrival 18 months ago. And they were on a basketball high not seen in these parts since the 2005 Final Four.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get more exciting for the program in a single night, Cliff Alexander took to Twitter to send the fan base into a frenzy with a tweet announcing that his fifth official visit would take place in Champaign.

“Taking a official visit to U of I oct 26 #TurnUp,” the 2014 mega recruit wrote on his Twitter account (@humblekid11) a couple hours after Snider made his announcement.

The move comes as a surprise because Alexander, ranked No. 2 by ESPN, No. 3 by Scout and No. 4 by Rivals, announced four official visits and Illinois wasn’t one of them. Arizona, Kansas, Louisville and Memphis made his original list. Since then, Alexander has made an official visit to DePaul and he’s headed to Arizona this weekend.

The 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward will visit Kansas and Memphis before making his late October visit to Illinois.

Without Alexander, Groce and Co. have already put together a 2014 recruiting class that surely will be ranked among the 15 best in the country and could potentially crack the Top 10. With Alexander, Illinois would likely be among the five best classes in 2014, but we’re a long way away from that.

Snider said during his announcement Thursday that he would send a text to Alexander and get the ball rolling on recruiting the big man.

Leron Black, the four-star forward who committed earlier this month to Illinois, has been in contact with Alexander.

Regardless of how his visits go in October, the Alexander courtship is one that might not be resolved until the spring. We saw Top-5 recruits in the 2013 class, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins extend their decisions until April and May, respectively, and Alexander has stated there’s a chance he could take the same approach.

If nothing else, the late-summer recruiting run Illinois is experiencing has breathed life into the program and the days of the Illini being relevant on a national stage might not be too far into the future.

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Dudesickle wrote on September 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm

247Sports.com already has Illinois at #6 following the Snider commitment.

Moonpie wrote on September 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

A great get, for sure. Tremendous. Exciting. But they better make sure Alford doesn't yet steal the kid away because the kid liked UCLA. Naturally the Gazoo obsesses over something meaningless-rankings of recruiting classes.

jnaour wrote on September 13, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Moonpie,

I think you are a non UI troll who constantly posts negative rants regardless of the situation.   So predictable, getting everyone worked up, because your ego needs it.  But, you are wrong so many times who cares about your opinion?  Nobody.  Just please go away so I don't have to read you're crap every day, especially the expected drivel following a Tate article.  You are not a UI fan, stop pretending...

 

uswtmb47 wrote on September 14, 2013 at 6:09 am

I'm now the eternal optimist!


Snider commits, then Alexander takes to Twitter and announces an unexpected official campus visit to Illinois on October 26th. He's coming to Illinois! 


With an Alexander commit, and Illinois makes it to the NCAA tournament this season, Illinois Basketball could be ranked number one in the nation heading into the 2014 season.


I'm drinking the Kool-aid!

gpr105 wrote on September 14, 2013 at 7:09 am

Do we have a scholarship available for Cliff? 

uswtmb47 wrote on September 14, 2013 at 9:09 am

If Starks is allowed to play this year by the NCAA then there will be one scholarship available.  It not, Illinois will find one, somehow, someway. 

gpr105 wrote on September 15, 2013 at 11:09 am

We have 13 scholarships.  For the 2014 - 2015 year they are distributed as follows:

1.  Abrams, 2. Eqwu, 3. Rice, 4. Hill, 5. Morgan, 6. Nunn, 7. Tate, 8. Colbert, 9. Paul, 10. Cosby and....

11. Finke gets Bertrand's scholarship

12. Black gets Ekey's scholarship

13. Snider gets Starks' scholarship if he plays this year.

 

That is all the scholarships available.  If Cliff commits to Illinois, then some decisions need to be made.  Does the coach call in a player like Tate and say, I will honor your scholarship if you decide to stay, but you probably won't get any playing time.  You might want to consider transferring to another school where you could sit out a year and possibly be the starting point guard.  If Tate (or another player) decides to transfer, the scholarship would go to Cliff.  If Tate stays, the coach could approach another player with the same proposition.  Coach could also tell Tate (or another player) that they could give up their scholarship for one year and then get the scholarship back the following year.  Getting a player like Cliff could put the Illini in the final four.