No Cliff or Quentin: What it means

No Cliff or Quentin: What it means


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. 


Tweet watching

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. 


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DaisyJ wrote on November 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm

This picking up one hat, then the other translates into no loss to the U of I.

Some people are just a reflection of others. Would rather have 10 times the personalities of our present kids then 10 of this type of person.

orangeandblueblood wrote on November 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I couldn't agree more DJ. The longer this Alexaner courting went on, I began wondering if Illinois might be better off if he chose another school. All the playing around on twitter and the love of the attention garnered made me question his personality. I would rather see guys that will mesh and get along. So far Finke and Black seem to have the personality types I would prefer to see at this Great Institution. 

ChiefIlliniFan wrote on November 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Well said Daisy. Groce should be thankful that either one came to Illinois. Better to be rid of wishy-washyness and lack of depth of character. Just because they are highly ranked does not mean they are good. Look how well Tate is doing and Nunn is struggling, maybe in the long run he will be better, maybe not.

So for me it is not such a sad day, the right ones will come and the future is bright.

Dudesickle wrote on November 16, 2013 at 5:11 am

Frankly, I don't blame either. Snider gets to play for his hometown team that he idolized growing up, and Alexander gets to join his girlfriend. I really hope that they both had the courtesy to call Coach Groce before they made their public announcement.

Aside from them not choosing Illinois, schools like Kansas and Kentucky succeed because they get the "sheep", those players that want to win, but lack self confidence, so they join a group hoping the others can pull the load. This also happens to coaches, e.g. Self leaving for Kansas. I would prefer a Brad Stevens or Shaka Smart type coach anytime (I think we have one of those now)

I want that one program building player that has the confidence to come to Illinois and say "I will put this program on my back. Let's see where we can go!"

Illinois will be just fine, without Snider and Alexander. Other years will have other "program changing" players. Illinois will get their share.

DaisyJ wrote on November 16, 2013 at 10:11 am

You really cannot take the stripes off a tiger can you. I said on another post that we are better off letting Cliffy get his tatoo's in another town, get to the NBA and start making kids with mommy's and buying his gold watches. This is pretty harsh what I said, but after all, look what he did trying to rub it in with the hat trick. NO LOSS, remember, we only use one ball in a game. Last kid that played this trick out of Peoria ended up a loser.....just saying...


ERE wrote on November 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm
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Chief you need to lighten up on Nunn. He's played maybe 4 games and you are passing judgement on how he's going to be? Shame on you.

Doubt that Egwu or Rice would have torn it up the beginning of their first seasons and look at them now-both awesome. Don't be so harsh.... Nunn is going to be awesome, don't be a hater.