What recruit picks Illinois? We say Evans
Rivals.com recently released an updated version of its top 150 players in the Class of 2015.
Illinois commits D.J. Williams and Aaron Jordan find themselves among the select few.
And so do other targets John Groce is pursuing. Here's a breakdown.
Diamond Stone, center, Whitefish Bay (Wis.) Dominican HS
Stone checks in as the sixth-best prospect in the class. The 6-foot-10, 260-pound Stone is a five-star recruit who led Dominican to a Division 4 state title last winter.
Offer list: Arizona, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Illinois, Indiana, Marquette, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA and Wisconsin.
Way-too-early Stone prediction: Marquette. Staying close to home and becoming the man for new coach Steve Wojciechowski is too much for Stone to pass up.
Carlton Bragg, power forward, Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph HS
Bragg is ranked the ninth-best prospect in the class. The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Bragg is a five-star recruit who Illinois has been in since John Groce was at Ohio.
Offer list: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Dayton, DePaul, Georgetown, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Texas, UCLA, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Way-too-early Bragg prediction: Kentucky. Allure of playing for John Calipari sways Bragg, although Groce and Illini factor into his decision late into the process.
Elijah Thomas, power forward, Lancaster (Texas) HS
Thomas is listed as the 11th-best prospect in the class. The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Thomas is a five-star recruit who missed most of the spring AAU session with a finger injury.
Thomas' Top 10: Florida, Illinois, Memphis, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, SMU, Texas, UNLV and USC.
Way-too-early Thomas prediction: SMU. Stays home and gives Larry Brown the type of post player to keep Mustangs competitive in American Athletic.
Jalen Brunson, point guard, Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson HS
Brunson is the 15th-best prospect in the class. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound point guard is a five-star recruit and early frontrunner for state's Mr. Basketball award this winter.
Brunson's final eight: Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Temple and Villanova.
Way-too-early Brunson prediction: Temple. Brunson's dad, Rick, a former Owl, just got a job on Temple staff. Hard to believe son will pass up chance to get coached by his dad.
Caleb Swanigan, center, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Homestead HS
Swanigan is the 20th-ranked prospect in the class. The 6-foot-8, 255-pound center is a five-star recruit who reclassified to the Class of 2015 last month after initially belonging to the Class of 2016.
Swanigan's offer list: Arizona, Georgetown, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Tennessee, UCLA and Xavier.
Way-too-early Swanigan prediction: Indiana. Tom Crean gleans another blue-chip post presence to help the Hoosiers out.
Montaque Gill-Caesar, forward, Huntington Prep (W. Va.)
Gill-Caesar is the 31st-best prospect in the class. The 6-foot-6, 195-pound Gill-Caesar is a four-star recruit from Canada playing at Andrew Wiggins' alma mater.
Gill-Caesar's offer list: Alabama, Illinois, Memphis, Michigan State, Missouri and West Virginia.
Way-too-early Gill-Caesar prediction: Missouri. His coach last season at Huntington Prep, Rob Fulford, recently joined Kim Anderson's staff as an assistant.
Jawun Evans, point guard, Dallas Kimball HS
Evans is listed as the 32nd-best prospect in the class. The 6-foot, 164-pound point guard is a four-star recruit originally from South Carolina.
Evans' top eight: Cincinnati, Clemson, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Texas, USC and Virginia Tech.
Way-too-early Evans prediction: Illinois. No, he's not Jalen Brunson. But the dynamic point guard is first elite point guard Groce will lure to Champaign-Urbana.
Jalen Coleman, guard, La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere
Coleman checks in as the 36th-best prospect in the class. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound combo guard is a four-star recruit who transferred to La Lumiere prior to last season.
Coleman's top six: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina State, Notre Dame and UNLV.
Way-too-early Coleman prediction: Michigan. Illinois hasn't landed an Indiana prep product in more than three decades and trend continues.
Doral Moore, center, Locust Grove (Ga.) Luella HS
Moore is ranked as the 38th-best prospect in the class. The 6-foot-11, 230-pound center is a four-star recruit who was No. 16 in the class before dropping in the latest rankings.
Moore's offer list: Auburn, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Texas and Vanderbilt.
Way-too-early Moore prediction: Kentucky. Wildcats haven't offered yet, but if they do, chances are leaps at John Calipari's offer.
Eric Davis, guard, Saginaw (Mich.) Arthur Hill HS
Davis is the 39th-ranked prospect in the class. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound guard is a four-star recruit who could play both point guard and shooting guard.
Davis' offer list: Auburn, Baylor, Boston College, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, North Carolina State, Oregon, Providence, Rhode Island, UCLA and UNLV.
Way-too-early Davis prediction: Michigan State. Just seems like a player suited for Tom Izzo's program. And one Izzo doesn't want to miss out on.
Jimmy Whitt, guard, Columbia (Mo.) Hickman HS
Whitt is the 52nd-ranked player in the class. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound guard, a four-star recruit, can either play the point or an off guard role.
Whitt's offer list: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Creighton, Illinois, Kansas State, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Northern Iowa, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU, Tulsa, Wake Forest, Wichita State, Wisconsin and Xavier.
Way-too-early Whitt prediction: Missouri. Missouri's top prospect can't say no to staying home and becoming go-to guard in Kim Anderson's program.
D.J. Williams, forward, Chicago Simeon HS
Williams is the 58th-best player in the class. The 6-foot-7, 205-pound forward, a four-star recruit, committed to Illinois on Nov. 5, becoming the third Simeon commit for the Illini since Groce started.
Shake Milton, guard, Owasso (Okla.) HS
Milton is the 63rd-best player in the class. The 6-foot-5, 190-pound guard is a combo guard is a four-star recruit whose real first name is Malik.
Milton's offer list: Baylor, Creighton, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas A&M and Tulsa.
Way-too-early Milton prediction: Baylor. Good shooter could fit right in with Bears' system.
Aaron Jordan, shooting guard, Plainfield (Ill.) East HS
Jordan is ranked 65th in the class. The 6-foot-4, 175-pound four-star recruit is the first Big Ten commit to come out of Plainfield East after he committed to Illinois on Jan. 4.
Josh Sharma, center, Northfield (Mass.) Mt. Hermon
Sharma is the 75th-ranked prospect in the class. The 7-foot, 205-pound Sharma plays for same team as current Illini Aaron Cosby.
Sharma's offer list: Boston College, Connecticut, Illinois, Lehigh, Marquette, Maryland, Massachusetts, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Providence, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
Way-too-early Sharma prediction: Wisconsin. Illinois has put itself in good position with big man, but Bo Ryan's Badgers steal one from Illini.