So former Illinois State standout Nic Moore is headed to SMU and not Illinois. What does it mean? Ask HQ recruiting expert Cody Westerlund had a take during his weekly chat.
Afternoon everyone, Cody Westerlund joining you for a recruiting chat. Plenty to talk about, so let's get to it. I'll be here an hour or so, anything creative here is well in play to answer.
So a little rumor on this crazy space call the internet that Nic Moore commited to SMU while down there and he wasn't on campus yesterday or today. Have you heard anything?
Yes, SMU secured a commitment from Illinois State transfer Nic Moore. Jeff Goodman of CBSSports reported that yesterday. Our Paul Klee says Moore didn't come to the Illinois campus and that it was a last-minute cancellation. That's recruiting, things change in a hurry. Tim Jankovich, the former ISU coach, was spearheading that recruitment. The Illini were in it, but they'll have to move on. Moore would've helped, but there are other 2013 point guards out there who can help too. You need to close on one of them.
Hey Cody, thanks for the chats. Do you have any insight in to which way Mosely is leaning as he gets closer to his announcement on the 23rd? Also, I would assume that Treadwell is the #1 target for Beckman and company, who is the next target on their board, Augusta?
I do. Darius Mosely, the cornerback from O'Fallon, Ill., was leaning toward Illinois recently. He will announce his decision June 23 while in Austin, Texas, training with USA Football in preparation for the Under-19 World Championships. That matches eight teams from around the globe in a tournament-style bracket, the first-round contests slated for June 30 and the title game coming on July 7. It's a great opportunity for him to showcase his skills.
Note here, and this is important: It's not a certainty that Mosely is choosing Illinois. Last I talked to him, he had a "pretty good idea" of where he was going, though he wouldn't say where. That was not a final decision, and a lot can change in a short amount of time. But you should like your chances if you're an Illinois fan.
You're right that Treadwell would be No. 1 on the big board now. Hard to say anyone stands above the rest at No. 2, but I'll say this. It's not just necessarily uncommitted players the staff really wants and will focus on. They will monitor the situation of any committed player who they still think they have a chance at. So yes, Augusta, the DE from Peoria, would be on that list. So too would Thornton DB Jalen Banks, Detroit Cass Tech OL Dennis Finley, Rockwood Summitt LB Eric Beisel out of Missouri as well as some of those in-state linemen who have already committed elsewhere. Staff won't overstep their boundaries, but they will pay close attention.
What was Wayne McClain's role in recruiting for Illinois hoops? Did he have the same recruiting responsibilies as Jay Price and Jerrence Howard? I read that Wayne did not travel so much, so how would that work? In a typical college basketball program, do all 3 assistants typically do equal amounts of recruiting?
Former assistant Wayne McClain recruited very little -- if really at all in later years -- for Illinois. He didn't have anywhere close to the same responsibilities. For example, in the summer he ran most of the drills and was the go-to guy on campus for the players when Weber, Price and Howard were out recruiting.
It should be noted that during the summer recruiting periods, you can only have three coaches recruiting in a sanctioned event in any given mometn. So that's how that would work, since you asked.
In that regard, Illinois wasn't at a disadvantage. Where you could be at a disadvantage was if you wanted to somehow hit up four AAU tournaments during a four-day stretch. Say there's four tournaments in four different regions you want to attetnd. It's hard for one of your three coaches to go from one place to the next without losing valuable time or staying up all night on a red-eye, which they likely do anyway. It's easier if you just have that fourth coach ready to go into that fourth tournament. With four assistants, you're not strung quite so thin, and you can probably see a little more action. That's a scenario when the fourth assistant would help.
Other times, you send two coaches to the same spot and that will count for two coaches recruiting. That's when you want to make a big impression on the kids there or it's a main event.
Are 2014's Okafor and Alexander at this point "pipe dreams" as far as them coming to Illinois??
Do you think most top big men want to now go to Kentucky after seeing what happened to the "A-Train" (Davis) and the "Oka Tree" following hin to Kentucky.
Both recruitments will be difficult to win for Illinois. At this point, Jahlil Okafor is more of the "pipe dream" that you speak of. There's a better chance with Cliff Alexander. That could change, but that's what I'm hearing at this point.
I think kids want to go to Kentucky for a lot of reasons, one being what you wrote. Other big ones being 1) they win 2) they go pro, often as a lottery pick and 3) they love John Calipari. So there's ample factors that go into it. I suspect if the Wildcats offer, they'll be tough to beat for Alexander. Michigan State is also in good shape there, too.
Cody, Great job with the chats! I have a couple of questions:
1.) Supposedly Beckman is still in on Hargreaves, Quick, Hatcher and Kimbrough are any of these a possibility?
2.) Beckman has 10 signees for 2013, what's the total number you think he will take for this class?
3.) I noticed that he still has a couple of offer letters out to QB's. Do you think he will take another QB in this class?
John in DC,
I'm heading to DC next week, John, to see some friends and hit up a Nationals game. Can't wait to see Bryce Harper in person. He's a blast to watch.
To your points...
1) I wouldn't hope out a much hope for CB Vernon Hargreaves, WR James Quick or DE Jason Hatcher. Not sure what "in" means, but just because you give someone an offer doesn't mean you're really "in" it. Hargreaves has offers from anyone and everyone as one of the nation's top corners. If he were to visit Illinois, you could start taking him seriously.
Here's a big note for everyone: Visits = interest from prospect. Anyone can talk of liking a school. And it's the right thing to do, because it keeps all options open. I mean, what do you expect them to say when someone asks if they like school X? "No, I don't like them." They will never say that because they have respect.
With Quick and Hatcher, they're both from Louisville Trinity. I just think it will take some time for this staff to make in-roads there. It takes time at football factories like that with so much talent. Petrino and Brohm were familiar with that area previously, that's why the old staff recruited there a lot.
Don't know as much on Kimbrough. Could be sincere interest.
2) I expect he'll get into the low 20s range again. I'd crunch some of the scholarship numbers, except that it would be a waste of my 15 minutes. Better to crunch them in the fall when we have a full roster and transfers/attrition/additions are complete.
3) Right now, no, I don't expect Illinois to take another quarterback. Could change as you move into the fall and they evaluate the current crop of QBs and know more. Could change if they decide they want a more pro-style guy. But right now, Bailey's it for this class.
Thanks for these chats. In your article about the Trotwood-Madison guys who camped in Champaign, you said the Trotwood players and coaches "appreciate Beckman’s down-to-earth approach and faith-driven leadership..."
What, exactly, did you mean by "faith-driven leadership"? Does this pertain to religion or belief in the program, and if religion, how much of a role does this play in recruiting?
appreciate your time.
I was just relaying what one of their coaches said. More than anything, he was speaking to the good values Beckman preaches and displays himself. The assistant used the word "real" in describing Beckman. As in, he's not a guy who says the right things and then does something else. Trotwood-Madison guys believe Beckman and this staff will take care of their kids, whether it's just Jarrod Clements or if five more follow. Doesn't mean Illinois is the leader for those guys, but means they have a fair chance to begin. And that's all you ask for. Then you try to work your magic.
I'm not going to get into the religion aspect too deep, because frankly I'd be making a sweeping and rather uninformed generalization to say how much it matters. That's almost one of those things where you need a research firm to do it, or talk to more than one coaching staff. And I really only know the Illinois coaching staff.
I will say this. I remember Nathan Scheelhaase saying he appreciated that he and Ron Zook shared the same Christian faith. But even Scheelhaase, a leader on the field and off it in minstry, in a follow-up question said he would still play for a coach who didn't share his faith. So that was by no means a be-all, end-all for him. I imagine it's a factor for some, and it probably differs from recruit to recruit how much it influences their decision.
What players are most likely to comit in 2013 and how many scholarships in 2014 for basketball
Right now, there's three open scholarships still for 2013, then Bertrand comes off the books after that season, meaning at this precise moment in time there's four scholarships open for 2014. Really hard to project the exact number, because 2014 is affected by how many more the staff takes in 2013. And they aren't done in 2013. It also depends on if there is attrition/transfers. Rest assured, there will be several open 2014 scholarships. Sorry, only time can give you that exact number.
Lots of 2013 guys to keep an eye on. Specifically PGs Demetrius Jackson, Monte Morris and Jaylon Brown. Jackson has an offer and, with Notre Dame and Michigan State hard after him, is probably the toughest recruitment to win. Morris and Brown don't have offers, but they are both players who Illinois wants to watch closely in the July period. Then Groce and Co. will offer if they like them.
Brown is from Fishers, Ind. Morris is from Flint, Mich. Neither has that big-time interest like Jackson, so Illinois would be up there if it offered. Keep an eye too on De La Salle big man Gavin Schilling. Illinois will evaluate him in July as well. Those are just some of the 2013 names. But point guard remains a priority.
Recent articles suggest K Nunn is looking to be surrounded by talent does that put Illinois on the outside looking in?
Who out of the 2013 PG's do we have a legitimate chance with and are there any special visitors coming to campus soon?
Let's be real: Kendrick Nunn is like the majority of recruits. He loves most of the visits he goes on. They're usually "great," and why shouldn't they be? You're king for a day, getting all the attention and getting shown around campus and how you can matter in the big picture to a major program.
I'd say Marquette has done a wonderful job recruiting Nunn. I'd say that Illinois' lack of recent success is a factor. It will be for every recruit as well, as well it should be. But the Illini are still there. Maybe not leading, but still there. Groce has done about as good of a job as he could.
Many (not all) fans get into this what-can-you-offer-me-lately frame of mind. Shortly after Groce took over, he hosted the Nunns for a visit, pitching the idea Kendrick could lead a rebuldilng of the program. I quoted Melvin saying that, and many (not all) of you went nuts. Until he takes his next visit, then many (not all) of you think everything has changed.
Moral of the story: Take things coming from recruits' camps with a grain of salt. It's a long process.
Addressed the PGs in last question. I'd say there's a "legitimate" shot with all three I wrote about. It's a case of it Groce likes Brown and Morris in his system, which we'll find out in July. We'll let you know on visitors when we hear about them.
With the recruit of Maverick, is this a sign that Illinois is breaking the drought of being able to effectively recruit outside of the State of Illinois. Or is just the fact that Groce still has great ties to the State of Ohio? I know it early, in Groce's tenure, but just wanted to get your thoughts. I would love to see Illinois be able to recruit from a larger geographic area. I know Bill Self had begun that process prior to his leaving for Kansas.
I'm hesitant to say it's "breaking the drought" you bring up. More a result of his Ohio ties. But it's a step in the right direction. John Groce has long coached in those parts, so it's not surprising to see him pull a recruit out of Ohio early in his tenure. But it shows he put the focus in those parts and looked outside the state quickly for big man help. He will continue to do so.
When he pulls a quality recruit from Indiana, that's when you should really get excited. Because that never/rarely happens. I do expect this staff to cover a greater geographic area in recruiting. That's why it could be exciting to see what happens after the July period is over. They will have seen a lot of players from all over and we'll have more of a feel for the direction they're going.
From what you've seen and heard how have the camps around the state and in Champaign been received? Do the coaches seem to be making some good relationships with the state HS coaches? Also how much and when do start to recruit for 2014 over 2013?
It's gone pretty well. The staff liked the turnout of kids at the one-day camp under the lights last Friday in Champaign. Solid collection of talent there. The one hiccup was the O'Fallon/Edwardsville camps this week coincided with another camp in the St. Louis area. Might see a date change on those for next year. Still, the staff got to see some players they wanted to see.
Illinois is also already recruiting for 2014. That's the times now. I've already posted at least one blog on a 2014 guy, and I'll have another next week. Have to make early in-roads with those guys, and some of the better talent at the one-day camp last Friday was from the 2014 class. Obviously, 2013 is the priority, but 2014 is being looked at, too.
Cody, I like the commit from Morgan, seems like a solid big man and I don't think you really have to have stars at that spot, just guys who can rebound and defend adequately. However, you do need some studs on the perimeter. We've got one on the way in Hill, but it's critical that we get a top level PG to go along with him. I find it amazing that we had Deron Williams and Dee Brown come through this program 7 years ago and haven't been able to sell another top PG on the program since then. McCamey was good, but I think he was more of a "lead" guard that we had at the point. Please tell me that Groce is going to add someone soon!
I agree on the Maverick Morgan analysis. Getting him is a positive. He'll need time to develop and refine those offensive skills, but the thing I hear about him is he moves well. That's important for a John Groce offense.
Groce understands the importance of a 2013 point guard. I fully expect he'll add someone. If not, you have reason to be concerned come the November signing period. Tracy Abrams needs a backup.
I'm going to wrap it up for today folks. Thanks for all the questions. You've really brought it the past two weeks after a lackadaisical day there in early June. You're only getting better with age. And you'll have two weeks to get your creative juices flowing for the next chat. I'm off next Friday, going to be on the East Coast visiting some friends. Keep checking the blog though, it'll have posts. Join ya in two weeks.