Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Rivals Rankings Released

Well, it's been an interesting day on the recruiting news front. As expected, Bruce Weber's entire Illinois Class of 2007 commitments has seen a drop in the latest Rivals 150 rankings. Eric Gordon dropped from the top 5 to #8, but he is still the highest ranked shooting guard and the #3 guard overall (behind OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose). Bill Cole dropped from 85 to 123, not surprising given his play on the Illinois Warriors this spring compared to teammates Manuel Cass (#80) and Brandon McGee (#117). Mike Tisdale dropped from #100 to out of the rankings entirely.

Other prospects of note include:

Evan Turner (from unranked to #23 and a five-star prospect), E'Twaun Moore (#30), Dar Tucker (#36), Alex Legion (#38), Alex Tyus (#41), Manny Harris (from unranked to #45), Demetri McCamey (from #91 to #51), Jamelle McMillan (from unranked to #70), Robbie Hummell (#72), Nayal Koshwal (#75), Trevor Mbakwe (#79), Eshaunte Jones (#84), Brockeith Pane (#127), Maurice Miller (#137), and Biko Paris (#144). All of these players have, at one time or another, listed Illinois prominently among their favorite college choices.

Clearly, this is the year for the Illinois coaching staff's Indiana and Michigan connections to pay off. While they have already picked up Eric Gordon from Indianapolis, guys like Moore, Tucker, Legion, and Harris are all top 50 Midwestern wing players who have Illinois high on their list. It's looking more and more like, should the Illini not sign Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon will be playing point guard. Especially when you consider that the Illini staff is said to be skeptical about Dametri McCamey. After McCamey, the next highest rated point guard on the Illini class of 2007 radar is Pane, followed by Miller and Paris.

For the full Rivals class of 2007 rankings list, click the link below.

Next up for Rivals is a preliminary class of 2008 ranking, which should be out in the next few weeks. Expect Illinois high schoolers Lewis Jackson and Deandre Liggins to be among the top 75 or so players in that listing.

Another ranking came out this morning, this from Rob Harrington of Prep Stars and USA Today. Harrington's ranking lists his top 50 in the class of 2007. Of note are the following:

Eric Gordon (#4), Derrick Rose (#5), E'Twaun Moore (#19), Alex Legion (#27), Alex Tyus (#35), Trevor Mbakwe (#39), Tyrel Reed (#40), and Mac Koshwal (#47).

In other news, Gene Pingatore was interviewed by Shay Wildeboor of regarding Evan Turner. How Wildeboor got Pingatore on the telephone is a mystery, as "Ping" is notorious for not returning phone calls, and has a secretary screen all his incoming calls. But I digress. According to Pingatore, Florida has entered the recruiting picture for Turner, along with Illinois, Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Clemson, Notre Dame and Virginia.

The Schmidt brothers have provided an evaluation of top Illinois class of 2008 players from the Spiece tournament. According to several sources, Matthew Humphrey of Hales Franciscan absolutely dominated several games. Lewis Jackson continues to impress. I like Jackson as a sparkplug type off the bench at the high major level. Is he big enough and good enough to start for a top 10, top 15 type of program?

An interesting article on the recruitment of Darrell Arthur, who yesterday committed to Kansas. Thought the quote from Dave Telep was particularly telling.

Also, Kansas has agreed to play DePaul in Chicago in the 2006-2007 season, although the formal contract has yet to be signed. Will be an opportunity for Sherron Collins to play in his hometown, and likely a nice way for Self to continue to build on his close ties within the Illinois high school and AAU ranks.

Despite his buddy Darrell Arthur's decision, Scotty Reynolds claims that LSU is still in the mix to be his college destination. However, one has to reasonably assume that LSU's chances just took a major hit. That leaves Villanova, Wake Forest and Michigan as the likely top competitors to Illinois Coach Bruce Weber. Will Reynolds visit Illinois? Does he need to? We shall see.

Interesting stuff. Thanks for the summary. I'm of the opinion we shouldn't wait for Rose and take Turner and Moore right now if we can.

I don't like the idea that this continues to drag on forever like SC and we end up with no top guards to complement EJ
Totally agree with you on Turner and Moore, Efrem. Turner's stock is rising as fast as anybody in the country this spring, with Moore not far behind. Both guys have work to do on their outside shots, but are outstanding defenders with great length. They are both "do-it-all" type players that would seem to mesh well with the type of team Weber is building.
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