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Recruiting blogger Matt Daniels answers your questions at 1 p.m. Fridays - but submit them in advance to better your odds of him responding.
Matt Daniels here to answer any and all recruiting-related questions. Illinois football received a verbal commitment yesterday from Austin Roberts, a linebacker from Rice Lake (Wis.) while Illinois men's basketball learned JaQuan Lyle of Evansville Bosse (Ind.) does not have the Illini among his top four schools.
Anything goes for the next hour, so let's get started.
We are preparing to take our son on his recruiting/college visits this summer. We have all agreed he will not play for a coach who has to belittle a player with profanity as that shows a lack of self-control. What is the level of bad language with the Illini coaching staff? Thank you.
Hey In the trenches,
That's a question I've actually never been asked. College coaches get across their messages in different ways, obviously. Some tend to use harsher language. Some don't. I think it's rare where you will find a college coach who doesn't occasionally (or frequently) use bad language. These are intense guys. They will let their competitiveness get the best of them every once in a while.
All one has to do at times is watch the lips of John Groce or Tim Beckman to know they are unhappy with something on the court or field. Of course, the same is true for nearly every college and every high school coach. We're not talking Dave Rice-levels of language, though.
It seems like Lyle's interest in us is fading, and we are probably on the outside looking in on Francis. So is there any chance things heat up again with our homestate guy Larry Austin and we start looking harder at him for the 2014 class?
JaQuan Lyle's interest in Illinois is over. Brandone Francis has other schools who are in on him and have been on him longer. But the sky is not falling.
Larry Austin Jr. from Springfield Lanphier is in Virginia this weekend at the NBA Players Top 100 camp. The guard, who plays an attacking style that is becoming a more common sight in the college game, still has Illinois among the schools he is interested in, along with Oklahoma State, Missouri and Memphis. He has not narrowed his list of 10 schools down any, and Illinois appears to be in good standing with him at the moment.
John Groce and his staff could start to put on more of a fullcourt press with Austin's recruitment in the coming months, especially with Lyle no longer in the picture.
Thanks for the chats! Tyler Ulis is ranked the #38th player in the country. Why doesn't he have an Illinois offer? Also, who is the next basketball commit?
Don't you love all teams, not just Illinois? I digress.
Tyler Ulis has seen his stock soar. Last fall, he was listed in the low 100s among the Class of 2014. Now he's in the top 50. I wouldn't be shocked if it continues to rise before next winter.
Illinois showed mild interest in Ulis, a 5-9 point guard from Marian Catholic in Chicago Heights, but nothing more. They never offered a scholarship, either, to the play-making guard. It's a little interesting as to why they haven't when the rest of the Big Ten started to pay attention to him. Like Ulis' head coach at Marian Catholic has told me repeatedly since last fall, Ulis is a player that if you don't pick him up, he'll definitely play against your team later on. In the Big Ten, Iowa, Michigan State and Purdue all seem to be in good standing with him, and Northwestern might have a better chance now with the addition of Chris Collins.
The lack of size might have turned off the Illinois coaching staff on Ulis. That's about the only knock on Ulis, who has a complete game.
If I knew who the next Illinois basketball commit would be, I'd tell you right now. But since I don't, we'll just have to wait and see. The ongoing recruitments of power forwards Cliff Alexander and Leron Black will be close ones to watch.
Have you heard anything from the basketball coaches about an alumni event this summer?
Have not heard of any basketball alumni events this summer. At least not yet. That's not to say they aren't in the works or planning phases. John Groce has done a good job of reaching out to former players in the past year and will likely continue to do so.
No big surprise that Illinois is not is JaQuan Lyle's top four. With a large stable of guards already in the fold, a quality big man remains the Illini's chief priority. I've been following Illinois basketball for a long time, any logical reason why the history of attracting dominant bigs to Illinois is so abysmal (Deon Thomas, James Augustine and Meyers Leonard not withstanding)?
Hey Big Dave,
I'm going to have to disagree with you on Illinois not making JaQuan Lyle's top four. All indications had pointed to some bonafide interest from the Evansville product. I'm not saying he would have ultimately picked Illinois over the likes of Indiana or Louisville, but I was thinking he would at least have taken or scheduled an official visit to Illinois. That said, best of luck to Lyle moving forward in a well-scrutinized recruitment that will only heat up until he makes a decision.
Illinois has a potential dominant big already on the roster in Nnanna Egwu. If he stays out of foul trouble. Robert Archibald had a steady career while Damir Krupalija and Marcus Griffin have produced along with Mike Tisdale. The sure-fire first-round pick hasn't necessarily materialized at Illinois with the exception of Meyers Leonard, but the post players aren't slouches either.
Matt: I recall that 2013 recruit Cazley had a younger brother that the ILLINI had interest in. I haven't heard anything about him...can you fill in the blanks? Thanks!
Dillan Cazley, the first Illinois commit in the Class of 2013, does have a younger brother who is attracting college interest.
Josh Cazley is a running back who has thrived the last two seasons at Charleston (Ill.) High School, the same place Dillan played at. The brothers moved to Charleston to move in with older brother Keithan Hedrick when Hedrick played football at Eastern Illinois. Josh Cazley will be a senior this fall, but it's up in the air about where he might play. Sources have said he has moved back to the Chicago suburbs and will play at Hillcrest High School while others have said it's a possibility he could still play his senior season at Charleston.
Either way, he is a talented high school football player who will most likely have the chance to play college football somewhere.
In regards to football recruiting, it doesn't seem like Illinois is getting anyone with a significant offer list. Is this the case and if so, is that really indicitive of the type of player we are getting in the class of 2014.
Part 2, if we end up getting Lunt, wil there be a significant upturn on the offensive side of the ball in terms of recruiting.
Yes, that's the case. The players Illinois have landed so far in the Class of 2014 don't have the eye-popping offer list that some other recruits do. Nick Allegretti, who was recently nominated as one of 400 high school players to play in next January's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, is probably the biggest name of the five commits so far. The Illinois coaching staff is hoping earlier evaluations of these players pays off when they arrive at Illinois.
Alex Golesh, the recruiting coordinator at Illinois, has said previously the offer lists don't matter to him and the other Illinois coaches. That said, from a perception standpoint, it does help to get a player who has other high-major schools that have offered as well. So far, that hasn't played out this spring recruiting-wise, although the counterpoint to that is if they didn't commit to Illinois and waited to go through the whole recruiting process, then the offers from the bigger schools might have materialized.
If Wes Lunt decides on Illinois (we're still playing the waiting game for the Rochester product who was Oklahoma State's starting quarterback at the beginning of last season), it would boost recruiting efforts. The coaches could go out to wide receivers and offensive skill players, along with offensive linemen, and say, 'Hey, look who could possibly be a three-year starter for us.' Getting a player of Lunt's capabilities and name recognition could significantly help out Illinois football from a recruiting standpoint.
Basketball recruiting seems to be so fluid nowadays especially with Jaquan Lyle cutting us in his list of four schools and a lot of chatter about Okafor (even though this is wishful thinking at best it looks like), what is the update with who the targets we are going after and how hard (Alexander, Black, Austin, Paul White, etc)?
Hey At Work,
The four players you mentioned, along with Okafor, are players Illinois is looking at with a close eye. Keep in mind that while those are some dynamite players, the Class of 2015, with the possibility of more scholarships (sorry can't provide an exact number right now, haven't looked at it in a few weeks) is a crucial year for John Groce. That said, though, the Class of 2014 has the top two players from Illinois. I'd expect Illinois to be in the mix with Cliff Alexander until the end. Getting him to commit to Illinois, though, is the hardest step.
Going to wrap up the chat for this week. Have a few stories I need to work on the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. Thanks for all the questions this week.
Have a good weekend everyone!