Finke pushing hard for Black

Finke pushing hard for Black

The possibility of Leron Black committing to Illinois goes beyond basketball for Michael Finke.

"Right now, I'm just looking for a roommate," Finke said with a laugh. "It'd be cool to have another high school kid in my class."

Finke, the 6-foot-9 forward from Champaign Centennial and lone Class of 2014 commit at the moment for John Groce, said he has communicated with Black often during the last three weeks.

Black, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound power forward from White Station (Tenn.) High School, is set to arrive today for an official visit at Illinois.

"I think it'd be great for him to be (at Illinois)," Finke said. "I've been talking to him lately, mainly texting him off and on, and gearing up for his visit. He's obviously a great player. He seems like a great guy, too. He's a devoted Christian and is great to be around."

So, does this mean a commitment from Black seems likely?

"I don't know what's going to happen," Finke said. "Leron's going to make the best decision for Leron. But he's definitely interested in Illinois. I know he likes Coach Groce and the whole staff. I'm working him the best I can and trying to build a friendship, too."

Finke said he plans to attend Saturday's Illinois football game against Southern Illinois.

With Black expected to attend along with Groce and other members of his staff, Finke is eager to meet up with Black.

Even if Black does come to Illinois and winds up competing with Finke at the same position.

Both could be utilized as stretch power forwards who can hurt defenses with their three-point shooting (Finke) and mid-range game (Black).

"If he comes here, we'll both fight for the position and then be good friends outside of that," Finke said. "He's super strong and he can rebound at will. Whatever happens, happens."

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