Bollant gets first UI commit

Bollant gets first UI commit

Mikaala Shackelford thinks so much of new Illinois women's basketball coach Matt Bollant that she recently committed to him for a second time.

The 5-foot-11 guard/forward in the Class of 2013 from Hopkins, Minn., originally committed to Green Bay when Bollant was the head coach of the Phoenix. She switched her pledge to Illinois after a visit to campus last week.

"Coach Bollant and (associate head coach) Mike Divilbiss are the main reasons I switched," Shackelford said. "I had a connection with them from Green Bay."

Shackelford is the first recruit to commit to Illinois since Bollant took over in late March. She can sign a letter of intent with Illinois in November.

"They called me and said to make sure that she talks to (new Green Bay) coach (Kevin) Borseth to see if she wanted to stay," Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff said. "They said they were not going to recruit her until she decided to open up her recruitment again."

Shackelford comes from a program at Hopkins that has won each of the last two Class AAAA state championships in Minnesota. Shackelford was the first player off the bench on the 2011 title team, averaging 7.6 points and 3.3 rebounds.

She was averaging 10 points and 3.6 rebounds this past season before a torn ACL ended her season in January.

"It's going well. I'm starting to work out now and that's a nice change for me," Shackelford said of her rehab. "Hopefully I can get back out there in early September to start playing again."

Cosgriff said Shackelford, whose best attribute is her defense, had offers from Minnesota, Colorado and Colorado State, among others.

"She's a good one. We've won two state titles and we're real pleased with her play and excited to get her back," Cosgriff said. "She's a defender, shoots the three, a slasher, very athletic. She's a tireless worker and a very good student. She's the complete package."

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dave1956 wrote on May 09, 2012 at 4:05 am

whopee doo. This is a Coach Law kind of recruit. a player who scores ten points a game but is a good devender. We need to recruit players that average 20 points a game and know how to shoot the ball. Hopefully Bollant will recruit better players from now on.

Illini BB Fan wrote on May 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Hmmm!  Bollant(UWGB) was 7-0 vs Big Ten the last three years!  Beat 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams in 2011.  Recruit played for best High School team in MN where every player is a D1 player.  I bet she might be able to play BB and he might know what kind of player is needed to be successful at Illinois!

fehsmai wrote on May 09, 2012 at 8:05 am

Somewhat mediocre. she's not that great of a player. She's avg. 10 points off the bench and she's coming off an ACL injury. Surely, he can recruit better than this.

eugene wrote on May 09, 2012 at 8:05 am

I am confident that he has won 83% of games coached by recruiting the right players. Unless your record is better, I suggest you support the coach and his recruits. They will win.

AproposofNothing wrote on May 09, 2012 at 10:05 am
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What I think we will see with this girl and most if not all of Bollant's recruits is some knowledge of how to actually play the game of basketball. In that sense, she could not possibly be confused with a Law recruit.

AJF wrote on May 09, 2012 at 11:05 am

Looking at last seasons stats, there were only 2 players who averaged over 10 pts/game, and 2 who averaged just under 10. The rest averaged less than 7/game. From a purely statistical view, averaging 10/game looks like an improvement. Granted, many of the players had so few minutes, it would be hard to determine if their averages would have been higher with more minutes played.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I don't think Law was a bad recruiter, she just did not know what to do with the players she got.

Illinialum08 wrote on May 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Surely we can expect better recruits than this going forward.  I just don't see how 10 pts a game in High School translates well to Big Ten competition, but I suppose I could be wrong...lets hope so...