Well this was pretty awesome to wake up to. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Simeon forward D.J. Williams has decided in his junior year that he would like to just ignore every other schools' overtures and commit to John Groce and our beloved University of Illinois Fighting Illini. He becomes the first Simeon product to make a commitment decision in his junior year, thanks in large part to coach (and former hopeful for Groce's gig) Robert Smith allowing juniors to make up their minds sooner.
Williams is a pretty nice prospect and is ranked 44th by 247, 29th by ESPN, and 45th by Rivals. While not an absolute homerun of a recruit, this puts him firmly in the Quentin Snyder/Leron Black range and that's a pretty good talent range to be snagging very early commits from. The 30-50 range is rapidly becoming our new normal, which is fun.
Important takeaways from this? Robert Smith isn't mad at Illinois for passing him over and in fact seems very interested in sending his players downstate. Williams becomes the third Simeon Wolverine to commit to the Illini in Groce's short tenure (Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate are the others) and it's all but official that we have an honest Chicago pipeline now. I'd like to thank Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens for passing over the Illini job. Turns out the third time really was the charm.