Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Where Should We Go in Recruiting Now??

Well, things have finally settled down.....Sherron Collins is gone...to Kansas no less. Where should Weber go now? Do we take another guard in the '06 class? Two? Or, do we move to '07? Who do we want? How long do we wait? Boy, alot of questions.....and no for sure answers. This is why Weber makes the big bucks.....to make these big decisions. I thought I'd offer some opinions.....I'm sure he will appreciate the help!

The one thing I will say about this staff on the recruiting front.....they seem to really work hard. As soon as Collins disappeared, Illinois was mentioned with several new recruits....Eugene Harvey, Doneal Mack, Kevin Bridgewaters, and maybe, just maybe, Deonta Vaughn could sneak back into the picture. All of these kids are for the 2006 class....and judging by the interest Illinois is showing, I would say Weber has decided that he definitely needs a guard in this class. Harvey has been described by some as being similar to Rajon Rondo---Kentuck's fine PG. Good ballhandler, can attack the basket and play defense. His coach, Danny Hurley, calls him Taliek Brown with a better jump shot. Harvey's stock is on the rise....and several big name schools have been interested. Of all the guy's on the board, he would be my first choice. After Dee leaves, Chester Frasier is the only true PG on the roster. Meachem looks more like a more athletic, better ballhandling Sean Harrington than he looks like a true PG.

Bridgewaters and Vaughn are other PG options....but both are more scorers than true PG's. If nothing else, Deron Williams taught us how important it is to have a guy running the team with that true PG mentality. For that reason, I lean to Harvey.

Doneal Mack is a 6'5 SG/SF that Illinois has been showing interest in lately. He is supposed to be a very good shooter/scorer....that needs some more weight/strength. Sounds like a little taller version of Jamar Smith. While a good option, with some good programs recruiting him, I still lean to Harvey.

At this point, I would only use 1 scholarship on the '06 class......and I am hoping that it goes to Harvey.

In 2007, it's all about Eric Gordon and Derrick Rose. While we are recruiting some other fine players, Weber needs to land at least one of Rose/Gordon....although they could both play together nicely. If we can get Harvey on board, I would be willing to wait quite awhile on both of these players.

At the SF position, the names mentioned most often are Robbie Hummell and Shang Ping. Some close to the program seem to think the staff favors Ping at this time. Considering Hummell visited and wasn't offered....there seems to be some logic in that thinking. If Ping is the choice, and we have Tony Wysinger in our corner, I would push very hard for a Ping committment.....soon. If we can't get it done relatively soon, I would begin looking at other options.

Bill Cole seems to be another favorite of the staff. At this point, Cole isn't big enough to be a Center, nor is he quick enough to be a SF. He seems an awful lot like Rich Semrau to me. Cole has ties close to the program through his father....and reportedly has had an offer for awhile. It will be interesting to see how long the staff waits for Bill. Most recruiting sources have indicated that it was an average summer for Bill....if he wants to play at Illinois, he should commit soon...not sure how long the train will wait.

Mike Tisdale is a big kid (6'11) that seems to be on the rise. Once thought of as a mid-major player, there appears to be several big name programs sniffing around this kid. Good size, long, and can run the court. While not as polished as Cole, he is bigger and may have more upside. I was a major proponent of offering Carwell early....and I am moving in that direction with Tisdale.

The beauty of recruiting....there are always new names to follow...and Illinois is recruiting ...to some extent...many other kids. We will keep following it.....but I could certainly live with Harvey, Rose Gordon, Ping, and Tisdale as my next 5 recruits....how about you??

How important is the Chicago Public League to Illinois basketball? How does the RSCI 100 relate to Final 4's? Those are a few topics that I will be looking into very soon.


Buttsy - I could definitely live with those 5 guys. Question is do we really have a shot at all?

Also, as I saw on O&B today, does it make sense to also go after SF/PF Lance Thomas of NJ? He's a top 50 2006 kid and apparently Harvey's best friend. Maybe the best way to get Harvey is to get both?

I think we have a shot at all of those kids. And, yes, if Lance Thomas is a possibility, go get him. With Thomas on board, probably wouldn't need Ping/Hummel or Cole, depending if Thomas is a 3 or a 4. IMO, we should be the leader for Ping and Tisdale. Gordon says we are the leader. Rose---who knows for sure. Harvey...we are the best team recruiting him...will he leave the East coast? Cole??? Not sure---maybe we could do better.

I agree with the notion that if you can get Thomas, you take him. He and Harvey would be a nice package deal. Bird in hand theory.

Staff seems to be huge on Ping. I hope he's really good to take a guy like him who'll only be there 2 years over somebody like Hummel who will be there 4 years.

Butts, I'd love to think that the 5 you mentioned would want to all go to Illinois. I'm pretty sure Rose won't, but would be happily surprised to be proven wrong.
It's been speculated that academics are what's holding up an offer to Ping. Thomas and Harvey would be a nice package. Brad seems more optimistic lately with regard to Rose but as of last night I don't see him coming here.
What happened with Rose '59? Last I read Brad was hearing good things about him and IHN was not. Also, is Harvey visiting us? Has anyone heard anything with regards to him and Lance Thomas visiting us together?
Also...IHN, will you be able to share more of your info here than you could on Rivals? Will you be getting a regular web site set up? If so, I'd be willing to help out because I live here in town. How do you get a username here? I tried before and it was asking me to set up my own blog.???

1) I'll share whatever info you'd like.

2) Brad's source is the coaching staff. They have felt good about other guys that they never got...including Jon Scheyer and Sherron Collins (and Brad can confirm that). I don't trust this coaching staff's "gut" when it comes to recruiting.

3) This is the site for now. If there's interest, we may grow it and change format. Will be interesting to see what happens.

4) Don't know anything about blogs and signing up, so sorry if you aren't able to sign in. What's your regular user name.
Thanks IHN, what are you hearing about the Rose recruitment that gets you down? Brad I guess talked to a friend of Reggie Rose that said he thought Derek would end up at Illinois.

I go by jskrill on Rivals and jdillini2000 on the IB.

Big misses on Sherron Collins, Julian Wright, and Shaun Livingston but there are so many good players out there that just because you dont get the "top" targets doesn't mean you still cant get very good players and still form a good team.

What are you hearing about Harvey? From his highlight video I watched he looked very good.
Just read the whole blog IHN. I want to hear about that conversation with Jay Price.
Just so we are clear. It would be illegal for the coaching staff to discuss recruits, IHN.
Also, my source on the Rose info is not anyone related to Illinois basketball. In fact, they are not even from this state.
The staff should have felt good about Collins, if, as Tupper reported, he tried to verbal this summer. Wouldn't you agree?
Thanks for the comments, guys. A couple points (don't mean to get too controversial here).

1) Brad, I recognize that it is "illegal" for the coaching staff to discuss recruits. I also think it happens most places and, as of now, at Illinois. How would Tupper know about any sort of "silent verbal" from Collins? I thought it was being positioned on the Illinois Rivals website that you have a relationship with the Illinois coaching staff and therefore more valuable information than other sites can provide. I also have emails from you that state how the coaching staff felt about Collins and Scheyer. Should I assume that you were BS-ing in those emails or the coaching staff actually discussed it with you?

2) I don't at all believe that Collins ever verballed during the summer. That was never reported or even hinted at anywhere until Tupper's blog, which Tupper distanced himself from once he recognized that people were looking closely at what he said. I 100% believe that Tupper's blog was a PR plant by the coaching staff to make themselves look better after losing yet another high profile in-state recruit.

3) As for Derrick Rose, I've talked to plenty of people around him that want him to go to Illinois. That said, I think Derrick's looking for any excuse to go somewhere else besides Illinois. Simeon is the one Public League school where I think Illinois has a chance to recruit a big-time player right now, and I think IL will be in it until the end. But if UNC wants him, they'll get him. If UNC doesn't want him, I think he'll look hard at DePaul and Kansas in addition to Illinois.

4) I'll tell the Jay Price story at some later point, it's a game day today (albeit exhibition) and I'd like the focus to be there, jskrill.

5) I thought Harvey looked decent in his video. Not sure if I love 5'11" guards but I'd probably rather have Harvey than Vaughn b/c Harvey is more of a point guard. Harvey is strong and quick, but I worry about his finishing ability inside at the high major level, and he doesn't appear to be a great shooter.

Brad, hope your surgery goes well.
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