Okafor, Alexander top rankings
The thought of Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander both coming to Illinois would excite the fan base.
That's an understatement.
Even though the likelihood of the two elite post players from Chicago heading south down Interstate 57 isn't all that great, Okafor and Alexander found themselves linked once again on Wednesday afternoon.
ESPN released an updated list of its top 100 players in the Class of 2014, and Okafor, a 6-11, 265-pound center from Chicago Whitney Young, topped the chart at No. 1 while Alexander, a 6-8, 225-pound power forward from Chicago Curie, moved up to No. 2.
Both talents are still undecided on a school, although it appears Illinois has made up much ground on Alexander, who Michigan State has built a solid relationship with. Speculation has Kentucky also thick in the hunt for Alexander.
But as Alexander likes to point out on Twitter repeatedly, he does not have a top three.
For Okafor, he released his list of eight schools he is considering a few weeks ago and Illinois made the cut.
The Illini are a long shot with Duke, Kansas and Kentucky, among others, that are vying for the center, but, at least in Okafor's mind, they're still in contention.
Other Illinois recruiting targets in the Class of 2014 that appeared on ESPN's Top 100 included Evansville Bosse (Ind.) guard JaQuan Lyle at No. 22, White Station (Tenn.) forward LeRon Black at No. 36, Park Tudor (Ind.) guard Trevon Bluiett at No. 40, Chicago Whitney Young forward Paul White at No. 57, Chicago St. Rita forward Victor Law at No. 66 and Springfield (Ill.) Lanphier guard Larry Austin Jr. at No. 68.
Aside from Okafor, Alexander, White, Law and Austin, two other prep players from Illinois made the list.
Ohio State commit Keita Bates-Diop, a forward from Normal U-High, checked in just ahead of Lyle at No. 21 while Marian Catholic point guard Tyler Ulis found himself at No. 38.