Recruiting blogger MATT DANIELS weighs in on the aftermath of Friday’s decisions from Cliff Alexander (Kansas) and Quentin Snider (Louisville)
What it means
The Class of 2014 for John Groce is down to two. Centennial big man Michael Finke signed his letter of intent on Wednesday and Leron Black followed suit on Friday afternoon at Memphis (Tenn.) White Station High School. Both players are solid pickups for Illinois, with Finke a three-star recruit and Black a four-star recruit. The loss of Snider will hurt Illinois’ point guard depth, and Alexander spurning the in-state school doesn’t give Illinois a potential 2015 NBA lottery pick on its roster. Both moves didn’t make the fan base happy. Just check out the reaction on Twitter, Facebook and message boards, although we can’t print some of what was said.
Third time’s not the charm
Snider’s decommitment and subsequent signing rings familiar for long-time Illinois fans. Brings back memories of prior decommitments from studs like Charlie Villanueva (Bill Self leaving for Kansas didn’t help) and Eric Gordon (Bruce Weber probably still has nightmares about that). The double whammy of Friday morning’s surprising news by Snider coupled with Alexander’s mid-afternoon announcement hit die-hard Illini supporters extra hard. Perhaps worse than losing Gordon and Villanueva. Now Ohio State’s football team will get a chance to pummel Illinois at Memorial Stadium. Not a good start to the weekend for the Orange and Blue faithful.
JaQuan Lyle loves his Twitter (@JMamba5). And the social media site didn’t blow up despite all its activity Friday. The combo guard from Evansville, Ind., now at Huntington Prep (Andrew Wiggins’ old school) will have fans following the latest developments he supplies on social media. He congratulated Snider on Friday afternoon. Lyle, who had Illinois in his final four list of schools in June before he committed to Louisville, a program from which he has since decommitted from, is now one of the top uncommitted prospects in the Class of 2014. The early signing period ends Wednesday, meaning that’s the last day for players to sign until April 16, 2014. Endless speculation will ensue on where Lyle winds up.