Per @MarcusJ_NG: And Leron Black has given the #Illini coaching staff a verbal commitment.
I live in Illinois but haven't been a fan since the Marcus Liberty days. Every time I hear John Groce talk and the way his players play I am becoming more and more of a fan. And if this news is true about Black, I will definitely be watching more games. Merely a verbal and anything can happen but Black would be a huge get for the Illini. Excited about their future.
I've seen this kid play quite a few times,becuz my nephew attends the same school...He has an endless motor ,finishes and rebounds well for someone his size..He has few weakneses,but has to learn to play without the ball....
I wouldnt pencil him in at Illinois just yet....Word has it that he's a huge fan of John Calipari..And loves how Cal has prepared his players for the pros.....My nephew says kids on campus calls him ''1 and Done''...I see him more as a 3 or 4 year player...But with continue improvement in his game and the right coaching,he could become a pro prospect much sooner....
Groce is a great recruiter and he'll leave no stone un-turned to bring in talent. He'll go hard after the big fish despite UofI not having the cachet of other blue blood schools. He's already got his foot in the door in Chicago. He'll go hard after transfers and JUCO players. He recruits hard everywhere. The style of play sells itself (although I do worry that he allows too much freedom in his system) and Groce definitely has the personality to sell the program.
Black is obviously a great get. Also because he's a tweener who wants to transition to full-time 3 he's also a multi-year player. He plays more like a PF, but I like his game for at least the college setting. He's athletic, long, plays hard, can face up and hit mid-range jumpers and drive from those same areas.
IDK how many scholarships they have left after the huge 2013 class, but hopefully they're not done for the 2014 class. IK they're still in the mix for Quentin Snider after he trimmed his list, but I think the presence of the other guards might scare him off. The Illini might miss out on some of their top end targets, but they will be super deep.
Here is a Summer Mixtape of Black from IowaElites:
He did initially decommit from Baylor, would hope for Illini fans sake he sticks to his commitment. He seems like a prospect with definite upside, especially if he can develop on the wing rather than getting stuck with the tweener label a la LeBryan Nash. Siggy, I think I count one more right now, unless Ahmad Starks is not immediately eligible, than they might not have any. Though, with kids transferring sooner and sooner, seems like most schools figure out how to create openings.
John Groce has that program on the up and up. I think Joseph Bertrand could have a breakout season
Mtown stand up...Black's high school team is loaded too. Already has a Fl and Stl committ on their roster