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Ask our beat writer about Jalen Brunson's visit, the schedule and Darius Paul during his weekly chat on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.
Sorry for the delay. Had lunch with Bob Asmussen. He eats really slow. Also, apologies for the glitches with the new site and the chat questions. Apparently some folks had trouble submitting them for a while. All should be fixed now. I'll be here as long as you have questions.
Thanks for the chat. A recruit has many things to think about before he commits to a program. I have listed some below. Could you rank the five most important?
Home game attendance,
Style of play,
Playing in NCAA tourney,
Playing in NIT,
Close to home,
School's basketball prestige for example Duke, KU, NC.
(What have I missed)
I don't think you missed anything, maybe social life could be another? Liklihood that the program/coach you choose could get you to the NBA?
I think if you asked 100 different recruits, you'd most likely get 100 different responses. You'd get different choices and in different orders, so it's hard to answer that one with any certainty. Some kids' No. 1 priority is playing time. For others, it's prestige and for others it's coaching staff.
For most of the high-profile recruits these days, the baketball factors far outweigh the acadeemic, social piece.
On selection Sunday, Illinois fans will be ....
Celebrating an NCAA tournament berth, much like they did in 2013. That's the goal at least and it should be the expectation with this team. They've got experience and have added some much-needed shooting to a team that was maybe a couple of games away from sneaking into the tournament last season.
The number one story must be the upcoming visit by Jalen Brunson. I realize that you don't know, but what is your guess - will Brunson commit after the visit but before going on his other visits, or will we be on the edge of a cliff as time proceeds without any commitment?
Yes, Brunson's visit is the event of the weekend when it comes to Illinois basketball. His dad said recently that is Jalen gets a certain feel or feels a certain level of comfort on his visit to whatever school, he'd have no problem making the decision then. Not sure if that's going to happen this weekend, but it's certainly a possibility. This isn't a recruitment that's going to drag on up until signing day, at least that's not the sense I get. It might not happen this week, but I'd imagine within the next month, we'll all know where Brunson is headed.
Who do you believe to be UI's strongest competition in regards to landing Brunson?
I'd say Temple is a factor becuse of the family connection and I think Michigan State will be a factor, too. I do think, though, that Illinois is in a really good spot.
How much of the JB official visit will be known by the general public (e.g. activities, where they eat, who is participating in the visit, etc.)?
With social media and fans as involved now as they've ever been, you'll probably have quite a good idea of what's happening and when it's happening. A lot of times with recruits on campus, I get texts and calls from friends of mine who are out and about when they see the recruit and the coaching staff together on and around campus. Obvously Illinois can't tell you what they're doing and where they're going, but there are plenty of people out there who see things and report them on their own social media services. I'll do my best to stay in tuned with what's happening and keep you in the loop.
I know it's frivolous to ask what you think Groce will do, so I will ask you as if you were the head coach. How much would you use the fact that Jawun Evans is visiting next weekend as pressure on Jalen? I would think a solid reminder might be helpful, but I think there is opportunity for overkill.
I don't think Groce and the staff have to press the issue on that one. Brunson and his family know the situation, they know Jawun Evans is coming to visit next week. You definitely don't want to be too pushy, that can certainly be a turnoff. It's a fine line to walk there, I think these guys are good at knowing what buttons to press.
So how much of the visit is open to the media? Is it strictly a private affair, or will there be cameras and local reporters surrounding them in public?
Media is not allowed to speak with a recruit while he's on campus. If the recruit is somewhere in public, like a football game or walking aroun don campus you can get photos and video of him, but that's pretty much the extent of it. No one is going to constantly follow them around. You'll likely see phots and videos of Brunson from the football game and maybe walking around briefly, but that's pretyt much it.
How involved do/can past players get involved in recruiting? I can only think that having someone like Dee or Deron on campus for any one of the upcoming PG visits would be a huge plus for us.
They really can't get involved. NCAA rules prohibit former athletes to contact potential recruits on behalf of a school. So when Brunson this weekend, or Evans next weekend, goes to a dinner at John Groce's house or to a meal at any restaurant, Illinois can't have Dee, Deron, or any other former athletes accompany them.
I am intrigued by the secret practice. Tell me more about it and will you get information afterward. Thanks.
I wish I could. The story you read on our website earlier this week pretty much tells it all. It will take the place of an exhibition game and provides both programs an opportunity to play a DIvision I opponent prior to the start of the season. There can be officials there to call the game and it's more of a controlled scrimmage where either coach can stop play during the flow of the game to make an adjustment. That's something you can't do in a regular exhibition game.
I'll get my contacts at the NSA to se eif they can get me some information about the happenings afterward.
Not sure why the NCAA wants these to be so buttoned up, but those are their rules. They need to change them.
Thanks for the questions and thanks for sticking with me through the tardiness. Check back this weekend, I'll have a full page of college hoops coverage this weekend, plus plenty of other stuff.