On the day the coach of Illinois recruiting target JaQuan Lyle shot down a rumor that the 6-foot-4 point guard had narrowed his list of schools to Illinois and Louisville, another Illinois recruit expressed his excitement about arriving on campus.
Maverick Morgan, a Springboro, Ohio, product, said Thursday that June can’t come soon enough.
“I’ll be down there taking summer classes,” Morgan said.
Listed at 6-10, Morgan says he’s grown to 6-11 and tips the scales at 255 pounds.
He’s averaging 25 points and 10 rebounds for Springboro, playing primarily with his back to the basket.
“I post up a lot, that’s how I score most of my points. I try to use the midrange game some, but I post a lot. I like having my back to the basket,” Morgan said.
Morgan committed to Illinois last spring, not long after Groce and his staff took over the Illini. He signed a letter of intent in November with no hesitation after developing a long-standing relationship with the current Illinois staff.
“I’m close with all them. I’ve been talking to Groce for years now since he was at (Ohio); they recruited me my sophomore and junior year,” Morgan said. “We talked a lot before he went to Illinois and when he left, it was a good situation for me because I loved the guy and he was at a bigger school so that was pretty cool.”
Morgan watched Thursday’s Illinois game at Michigan State from his home in Ohio. “I’ve seen them about every time they’ve played. I get the Big Ten Network and I see them when they’re on ESPN or ESPN2,” he said. “They’ve got really good potential, a lot of good guys, unselfish guys.
Some times, they’ll get outrebounded but everyone is still playing hard and that’s what you want to see.”
A shoe aficionado, “I have too many, according to my mom,” he said, Morgan is already preparing a collection for when he arrives on campus.
“My newest pair are blue and orange,” he said. “But I really like the Jordan XIs.”
Morgan speaks regularly with Malcolm Hill, Jaylon Tate, Kendrick Nunn and Austin Colbert.
“I know them pretty well, actually. I went on my visit with a lot of those guys, except for Austin. I’ve been seeing those guys a lot on the AAU circuit all my life,” he said.
Morgan has watched the games that Nunn and Tate have played on national TV this season with Simeon.
“It’s really neat to see them on ESPN,” he said.
The 2013 Illinois recruiting class is ranked among the top 15 in the country.
“We can bring a lot to the team. I think this class is really good, and as we get older together I think we’ll really bond and hopefully we can do some good things,” Morgan said.