Who is Sam McLaurin and will he help Illinois next season? Is John Groce done recruiting this spring? What's up with Tim Beckman's recent surge? Ask HQ recruiting expert Cody Westerlund, who is chatting Friday
Afternoon everyone, HQ's Cody Westerlund joining you for another recruiting chat. Lots of questions today -- either you guys are really fired up today or just really bored at work. Either way, I'll take it, so let's get to it.
Cody, How do you like the Illin's chances with Darius Mosley, cornerback out of O'Fallon? Is he the next commitment?
I'm not playing the guessing game with who's committing next this early in the process. With some of these players, the coaches of college programs don't even know. They're taken by surprise, so no reason for me to throw stuff off the wall.
That said, you should like Illinois' chances with Darius Mosely. He's aware that cornerback will be a need for the Illini soon, and that's appealing to him. "He's definitely interested in the fact that could mean early playing time. They're very high on his board," O'Fallon coach Brandon Joggerst told me recently of Mosely's situation.
Mosely is likely to decide over the summer. He's had interest from likes of Tennessee and Oregon too lately, so he'd be a great pick-up for Illinois.
Hi Cody -
How would accepting Tulsa Guard Jordan Clarkson affect our recruiting of other guards (Nunn, D. Jackson from Indiana, etc.)?
Any insights on Clarkson's game?
Thanks for the chats,
Tulsa transfer Jordan Clarkson, a guard, visited Missouri yesterday, CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman reported. I expect the Tigers to be a major player for him, but he is still insisting he wants to visit Illinois as well.
I don't have a lot of insight into his game because, to be honest, I never watched Tulsa play last year. From what I read and hear though, he'd be a great get. Don't let that mid-major tag fool you.
Taking Clarkson would have a fairly significant effect on recruiting in the next couple years for Illinois. Barring significant attrition, you would have to take one fewer guard in the 2013 or 2014 class (remember, Clarkson, like Rayvonte Rice, would be in Champaign through 2014-'15). You could still take Kendrick Nunn, for example, but then maybe you don't have room for one of the better guards in 2014. Right now, Illinois could still conceivably take Nunn and Demetrius Jackson in 2013. It might be a stretch to take so many guards, but it's possible. You wouldn't do that with Clarkson in the picture. Remember, at least one spot in each of 2013 and 2014 needs to go to a true big man.
For now, there's still flexibility. Adding Clarkson would limit that. But if you think he'll help your program -- and from what I hear, he would -- then you go for it. Remember, there's no logical reason to pass on a good player now because you think -- repeat: think -- you can get a good one a year or two later. Illinois could use scoring help sooner rather than later, and Clarkson would provide more of that.
In short, Illinois would have to be more selective taking guards in 2013 and 2014. They'd still recruit the top guys hard, but they'd have to be sure. Maybe you don't take a flyer on a guy like point guard Tyler Ulis, who is talented but has some doubts surrounding his size.
Cody, If both Rice and Mclaurin count against 2013 scholarships then doesn't that fill up that class if a scholarship is being held open for Parker. Also does that mean that can't take anybody for 2012 since Latulip is a walk-on?
McLaurin doesn't fill a 2013 scholarship. He fills a 2012 scholarship. I know it can be confusing when one season spans 2012-2013. But think of it this way. Sam McLaurin has one season of eligibility at Illinois. Jabari Parker has one season left to play at Simeon. When McLaurin leaves Illinois, Parker will be leaving Simeon and entering the college basketball world.
That's why it's a low-risk proposition to take McLaurin. So long as he can be a good teammate, there's no downside.
Even with McLaurin, there's still one scholarship open for this season coming up, which is 2012-'13 but in the recruiting world considered the 2012 class because that's when players hit campus. Not sure yet if that scholarship will be filled or not. John Groce is still looking.
Cody, thanks for taking our questions today. Have you heard anything on Eric Beisel? I know he visited, and had plans to check out Notre Dame and possibly Ohio State, but haven't seen anything about him committing anywhere. With the recent D-Line commits, not to mention Bailey, I was hoping it could sway him our way. Also, do you think Ty Isaac is going to make any type of committment in the near future or will he wait? While I'm piling on, anything on Pocic too?
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, this makes the off seasons a little easier to take.
A while back, I heard Missouri and Illinois were the two major players in Beisel's recruitment. So that bodes well for Illini fans, that he was serious about taking a look and then did come for the spring game. As offers from Mizzou, Nebraska and other show, he's a quality player, the kind you consistently want to get into your program. I believe the Ohio State and Notre Dame interest is just that for now -- interest. Things would change if they come through with an offer, but for now I think this is an Illinois-Missouri-Nebraska battle.
Isaac's looking at a before-the-season-starts timetable, though he's said he won't set a hard deadline. With so much hoopla around him, so many people recruiting him, it would probably be easier to get it done before football starts. He's a national recruit, and I expect that he will end up at one of the nation's bluebloods programs.
Don't sense that a commitment is come real soon with Pocic. He's got a lot of offers to weigh. Illinois stil has a fair chance there for now, I believe. Not great, but fair.
Illinois certainly needs to take a big man in 2013 but none of our big men prospects have been talked about much. Who would you say are the big guys that Illinois is in on and/or the coaching staff would like to have?
Gavin Schilling of Chicago De La Salle is the top priority in the 2013 class right now. I haven't seen him play, so this is hearsay and what I've gathered, but he's got a high motor, is a plus defender and rebounds well. And his offensive game is coming along.
Past Schilling, expect the staff to look outside the state in 2013. There's not a lot of other true big guys in Illinois in that class. The Illini have shown interest in Maverick Morgan out of Springboro, Ohio, and Devin Williams from Cincinnati is still on the radar. Both are 2013 big guys. John Groce has recruited Ohio and Indiana a lot in his career, so it's a good bet more names will surface in those states.
Do you think the staff will fill out the 3 remaining scholarships for the 2013 class or will they try to balance out the 2013 and 2014 classes? I would love to see an odds chart on all of our targets for 2013 class based on your opinion of the possibility that they choose UI would that be possible?
Simple question, but really is a hard one because there's so many directions to go here and -- most significantly -- you can't predict transfers.
I'll say two things here, with B being more likely ...
A) With what we know now and if we're to assume everyone comes back, I see the staff taking another perimeter player and a big man in 2013 to fill two of those slots. Then that leaves one scholarship open. I think you could see that held for Jabari Parker, who may not decide until very close to signing day in November. If he doesn't take it, then you could use it the next spring to get a late bloomer or a transfer or roll it over.
B) The staff has or will have an inkling on whether players could leave the program. They won't publicly talk about it, but they will operate on the recruiting front knowing there's more flexibility. I'm guessing that will be the case. There will likely be roster attrition we can't forecast now somewhere in the next 1 1/2 years. With that in mind, I wouldn't be surprised to see a five-player class (of players who will be around for a while, unlike Parker) in 2013. You could add another lead guard then. It would depend on how much the coaches like the 2013 kids. They'd be selective on that fifth guy, because there is talent in 2014.
I'm not doing odds, ha. This isn't a race track, and by the time I published the chart, the recruits would be leaning another direction.
Hello and how are you today...Thanks for taking questions...Now looking at recruiting from my view point...it seems that this coach is recruiting just like the former coach, but it seems that players are wanting to come/play in this system...I know it's early but i can see a difference as a fan...i just wanted to see if anyone that is around the program can see what i see from North Carolina .....Thanks
I'm good, thanks for asking. Not sure I see an obvious question in there, but thanks for the input.
Quite early to say, I think, that John Groce is recruiting anything like Bruce Weber did. John Groce hasn't even secured a commitment from a prep player yet (though Malcolm Hill and Jalen James re-affirmed commitments). He's taken a couple transfer because he wants some more immediate help.
Can Illinois increase its prestige so that it can recruit the best in illinois...if they can I still believe they can compete...but they got to recruit Parker etc...
Not sure how to increase prestige other than by winning. So you're basically asking, can Illinois increase it's winning so that it can recruit the best in Illinois? That's the vicious cycle theory. How do you get to be a great program without great players, and how do you get great players without being a great program?
Coaching, that's how. That's why they get paid a lot. If you're going to have a little less talent than some of the other top dogs (say Big Ten foes Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana) and want to beat them, you have to be better suited at playing your game than they are theirs, and you have to find a way to play your game. You follow me?
That all falls on the coaches, and they have to recruit their guys. Illinois will get top-10 players from time to time, but history doesn't suggest that will be often at all. Still, if you want to take the next step and get more elite players more consistenly, you need to win more.
That increases prestige. And that takes some time. Just look at Indiana. It was a rough first three years for Tom Crean. Now they're back.
And Illinois is recruiting Parker very hard. That's not the issue. The issue is finishing the deal.
Any chance we can get in late on Kaza Keane? He appears to have some point guard skills and is looking for a scholarship for 2012.
If the Illini don't land someone else, is Devin Langford our backup point guard? I certainly don't want to see Brandon Paul playing PG any more.
I've heard nothing on Kaza Keane, so to answer your question now, no.
As of now, looks like Tracy Abrams could be playing 38 minutes a game. So that's what you're doing at point guard.
What are the realistic chances with the remaining uncomitted players from Illinois specifically Isaac,Treadwell, Pocic, Augusta,Banks, and Mosely? We seemed to have maintained Ohio as a recruiting destination,but will we continue to go to Florida? Do you expect any new areas to be explored?
Solid chance with Augusta, Banks and Mosely. Long-shot at best with Isaac. Pocic and Treadwell fall somwhere in between.
Florida will remain a recruiting stop, and the staff has covered that area in this evaluation period. I don't expect it to be anything like when Ron Zook was coach, but if you can just nab a player or two from down there who are overlooked, it's worth it. Those players are talented, and as someone told me recently, they play with a chip on their shoulder when they get overlooked by the SEC programs, Miami and Florida State.
Seems to me that Texas, Virginia and Missouri are a few places where the staff has gotten out more than before. So keep an eye on talent from those areas. Might not see immediate dividends, but those are places that are more of a focus.
Folks, I'm wrapping it up for today. Thanks for the many questions, and the diversity in topics. Helps me. Be back same time, same space next week. Have a safe and fun weekend.