Lyle, Roberts make for interesting Thursday

Thursday resulted in some good recruiting news for Illinois football (Austin Roberts) and bad news for Illinois basketball (JaQuan Lyle).

The announcement by Lyle that Illinois did not find his way on to the list was a bit surprising.

While Indiana and Louisville are the schools to beat for the Evansville Bosse (Ind.) guard's services, it was widely thought Illinois would at least be among the final four or five programs in the mix for the Class of 2014 prospect.

That's not the case, and it opens the question of Illinois pursuing high school talent from Indiana.

Especially given the program has not had a long list of Indiana players picking Illinois in the last 30 years (exactly one).

Where does Illinois go from here?

The two names that will be mentioned the most are power forwards Cliff Alexander from Chicago Curie and Leron Black from White Station (Tenn.).

They are two of the highly-touted post players in the Class of 2014.

Both Alexander and Black are being courted by other high-major programs and it's far from a certainty Illinois winds up with one of them.

Small forward Vic Law from Chicago St. Rita and combo guard Larry Austin Jr. from Springfield Lanphier are other possibilities.

Tyler Ulis from Marian Catholic, a dynamic point guard, isn't. Illinois wasn't in on him early, and other programs like Iowa, Michigan State and Purdue, among others, are in line to scoop him up.

On the football side, Roberts is the first player Illinois picked up from Wisconsin since fullback Cory Flisakowski from Stevens Point in 2001.

But Flisakowski only lasted one season at Illinois.

Roberts is the first linebacker Tim Beckman and his staff received a commitment from in the Class of 2014, a position the coaches are emphasizing, even with the fast development of sophomores Mason Monheim and Mike Svetina.

While Roberts isn't the flashy name or five-star stud, he averaged 15.2 tackles a game last season at Rice Lake High School, and is usually first to the ball.

All in all, it seems like a solid pickup for Illinois.
 

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