College hoops recruiting back in action

College hoops recruiting back in action

CHAMPAIGN — College basketball recruiting continues in earnest Wednesday.

July is listed by the NCAA as a dead period save for three exceptions — evaluation periods July 6-10, 13-17 and 20-24. College coaches will get their opportunities to scout their next prospective crop of players.

Illinois enters July with six open scholarships to use on the Class of 2017.

Two are already spoken for after Belleville East’s Javon Pickett committed in January and Peoria Manual legacy Da’Monte Williams followed suit a month later.

That leaves Illinois with four. Unless, of course, one or more is rolled over to the Class of 2018, where zero would be open if that doesn’t happen.

Even based on the premise Illinois will use all six available scholarships in the 2017 class, the competition for those spots could be stiff.

The Illini have 25 open offers for those hypothetical four remaining roster spots — a ratio that’s a touch better after players like Nathan Reuvers (Wisconsin) and Jerome Desrosiers (Princeton) came off the board — but it could turn into a first-commit, first-serve situation.

“Sometimes you need, in a class, two ball-handling guards or you need more of a certain thing than just trying to address that with one scholarship for one type of player,” Illinois coach John Groce said.

Case in point, the Illini continue to pursue a point guard like Trent Frazier out of Wellington, Fla., or McKinley Wright out of Champlin, Minn., even with Williams, a point guard-leaning combo guard committed.

“But most of the time that’s not the case,” Groce continued. “Those kids know if you’ve offered three, four, five, six kids at a position, they know what the deal is. Usually the guy that commits first at that point is the one that gets that particular scholarship.”

An Illini scholarship will be even scarcer come the Class of 2018. Leron Black redshirting the 2015-16 season means he’ll still be on scholarship in 2017-18.

The number of 2018 scholarships — a class for which nine offers are out to a mix of point guards (like Morgan Park’s Ayo Dosunmu), shooting guards (including Champaign Central’s Tim Finke) and power forwards (among them St. Louis-area big man Carte’Are Gordon) — is entirely dependent on how many are rolled over from 2017 and if any player transfers.

Working on future classes — like the increased number of players offered a scholarship — is among the changes Groce said have come in recruiting during his eight seasons as a head coach in his 24-year career. More players are offered and at an earlier age.

“A lot of that is the game changing with unofficial visits happening earlier, young guys getting to campus, social media (and) how quickly information moves now about offers and when kids are on campus,” Groce said. “Kids start comparing those things, and if they maybe want something and don’t want to lose it, that becomes a domino effect in the recruiting game. That’s a big change from when I first started."


State of mind
Illinois has already landed two of the state’s top 10 Class of 2017 basketball recruits, according to the rankings from 247sports. A look at the current list:
RK.    ATHLETE, SCHOOL    POS.    HT.    WT.    OFF.
1    Jeremiah Tilmon, East St. Louis    PF    6-10    235    8
2    Jordan Goodwin, Althoff Catholic    SG    6-2    185    13
3    Nojel Eastern, Evanston    SF    6-6    205    14
4    Justin Smith, Adlai Stevenson    PF    6-7    185    9
5    Da’Monte Williams, Peoria Manual    PG    6-2    180    2^
6    Alonzo Verge Jr., Proviso West    PG    6-3    160    2
7    Christian Negron, Larkin    PF    6-6    195    6
8    Javon Pickett, Belleville East    SG    6-3    180    6^
9    Cameron Krutwig, Harry D. Jacobs    C    6-8    240    2
10    Charles Payton, Bloomington    SF    6-6    185    2
^Committed to Illinois
Note: OFF. refers to number of offers a player has; all athletes outside Williams and Pickett have not yet committed to a school

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JimOATSfan wrote on July 02, 2016 at 7:07 pm

"July is listed by the NCAA as a dead period save for three exceptions — evaluation periods July 6-10, 13-17 and 20-24."

By my count that is 14 days, or 14/31= 45% alive within the dead period. Pretty active time that leaves quiet time for everyone to rest, or enjoy life.

Is this dead period applicable to all sports or just bb?