CHAMPAIGN — John Groce will have to look elsewhere for his first elite recruit at Illinois.
As expected, Xavier Rathan-Mayes announced his commitment to Florida State tonight. The Huntington (W.V.) Prep combo guard had been considering Connecticut and Illinois.
The Class of 2013 prospect took his only official visit to the Illinois campus and had built a solid relationship with Groce's coaching staff. But the guard's ties to Florida State — his father played there, for one — were too much for Groce's staff to overcome.
Illinois still has one scholarship available for the 2013 class. Groce has said he wants to take at least five players in that class. He has secured four commitments: Kendrick Nunn (Chicago Simeon), Malcolm Hill (Belleville East), Maverick Morgan (Springboro, Ohio) and Jaylon Tate (Simeon).