Right now the Fighting Illini are off to a hot start with their 12-0 record, this leaves me to ask when will they start racking up on the 5-star and instate recruits?
They never have, and more than likely never will. I live in Illinois, and that's just how it goes. The only way I see things changing is if they hire a high profile coach. Or they could take the Blue Chips route....
Jereme Richmond was the biggest recruit in years and he also was an instate prospect
Oh god that dude was a huge waste of talent, I heard he now plays in a local basketball league
They already have a pretty good class coming in next yr with 3 top 100 recruits, 2 high 3 star recruits. Coach Groce already has his foot in the Chicago public league door getting both Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate from Simeon. He also got 4 star Malcolm Hill who's the best downstate Illinois recruit. 5 stars will always be difficult to get for Illinois because they'd be competing with the blue bloods of college and they don't have the reputation of those schools.
Groce is a good recruiter though. He used to do a lot of Thad Matta's ground work. He's got a great personality and I think his style of basketball sells itself. It's still structured, but energetic, loose and fast If they miss out on 5 stars in the class of 2014, it won't be for lack of trying. They've already offered and followed up on guys like Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander. They're also going hard after 5 star recruits on a national level, offering guys like Rashad Vaughn and Jaquan Lyle. They've also gotten a head start recruiting highly touted underclassmen as well, which wasn't the M.O. of the previous regime.
Agree with everything you said.
Groce is intense! I would want to play for him. Good things on the way for this program.
I think Groce will start to reel in his fair share of top players, but we will never lock down Illinois. I wish we would
With all the great players coming from chicago you think they would at least get a few of 5 star recruits. Rose, Anthony Davis, Jabari Parker. Then you still have players like Evan Turner, Sharon Collins, and Shannon Brown( who was highy rated recruit.)
What about Meyers Leonard? He was a pretty high profile recruit and turned out to be a lottery pick. I do like Illinois though, would be nice to see them keep some of Chicago's great talent and others from elsewhere in the state.
John Groce: Coach of the Year
This Illinois squad is weak at the point and absolutely terrible down low. What he has done in Year 1 despite these obvious deficiencies is nothing short of marvelous!
Groce was the guy behind getting Oden, Conley, and Cook to Ohio State. He is going to do big things at Illinois.