We asked beat writer MARCUS JACKSON for his take on John Groce’s latest commitment:
By securing a commitment from Seton Hall transfer Aaron Cosby late Friday night, Groce will have plenty of depth in his backcourt for the 2014-15 season. Tracy Abrams and Rayvonte Rice will be seniors along with Cosby and sophomores Kendrick Nunn, Malcolm Hill and Jaylon Tate. You can never have too many ball handlers and it appears as though Illinois will have plenty of bodies to work in and out of its rotation in the up-tempo style Groce prefers to play.
The Illini still have two scholarships to give for 2014 with Centennial forward Michael Finke already committed. The recruiting focus likely will shift in the direction of a program-changing big man such as Cliff Alexander or Leron Black. Those are big ifs at this stage, but if nothing else, the program has picked up steam under Groce after one year. If Saturday’s raise and contract extension is an indication, the level of optimism surrounding the program is as high as it’s been in recent years.