CHAMPAIGN — After an all-hands-on-deck push for Demetrius Jackson, the Illini’s search for a point guard will continue elsewhere.
Jackson, the gifted lead guard from Mishawaka (Ind.) Marian, announced Thursday what Illinois fans had feared. He’s staying home to play for Notre Dame. Jackson informed the Illinois coaching staff prior to his public announcement on ESPNU.
Illinois was the other finalist. Roughly six months ago, when John Groce took the Illinois job, the Illini were on the outside looking in with Jackson. But Groce’s staff made Jackson its top priority for the 2013 class and nearly pulled off a recruiting miracle.
Who’s next? It could be Dayshon Smith, a 6-foot-1 point guard from New York who is scheduled to visit the Illinois campus in October. Smith holds an offer from Illinois.
Illinois also will host Austin Colbert this weekend. Colbert is a 6-9 senior forward from New Jersey.