Analyzing Black's decision

Leron Black's commitment to Illinois lit up message boards and social media on Sunday morning.

The five-star forward from Memphis, Tenn., (or four-star, depending on what recruiting service you want to use) is easily the biggest recruit John Groce has landed since he started at Illinois.

Perhaps the biggest recruit since Dee Brown.

The argument could be made for Jereme Richmond or Meyers Leonard.

But all three of those players were in-state players.

It isn't far-fetched to say Black is the biggest out-of-state recruit Illinois had picked up since Deron Williams.

The closing reputation Groce has developed as a recruiter came through with Black.

Just like it did last year with Kendrick Nunn.

Both players were committed to colleges in Texas (Black to Baylor, Nunn to Texas A&M) before de-committing and setting up a list of official visits.

Illinois was first on both players' list, and both players verbally committed before the next work week began.

That's my analysis of what Black's commitment means.

Here's a look at a few others who weighed in on the matter.

Eric Boss, Rivals.com national recruiting analyst
When he first came on the scene as a freshman in high school, it was his rebounding that stood out. While he's continued to rebound, he's added to other parts of his game. He's become a much better finisher in transition. He's improved his ball handling. What's really stood out is his shooting. Now, many think he needs to change the way his shot looks a little bit, but the fact of the matter is, as time goes by, his shot continues to go in.

Reggie Rankin, ESPN recruiting analyst
He will provide Illinois with a dependable rebounder who plays with great energy and urgency on both ends of the floor. He has an under-appreciated skill set and has the potential to be a terrific combination forward on the college level.

Joe Henricksen, City/Suburban Hoops Report
Black's character has been discussed at length from those who have recruited him and from those in the Memphis area. That's always a bonus in building a program. But he brings so much as a player, from his rebounding prowess in and out of his area to his natural ability to play in traffic and through contact. He runs the floor like a deer and flourishes in transition as a finisher. More than anything, though, Black impresses with his energy level and high motor.

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

IlliniMike05 wrote on September 03, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I know I'm not the only person who watched the show this is a play on words from- anyone with Netflix and half of a speck of good taste in TV watched it, I think- so how has nobody gone with "Black is the new Orange" as a headline?


(I guess it'd work a lot better if he was a Syracuse commit, but work with me.)

aaeismacgychel wrote on September 03, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I would've laughed at that headline. Perhaps espn should hire you- they certainly need all the headline help they can get :-)