Rivals Ranks John Groce's First Class 17th

Stephen Dunn

Rivals ranks Illinois' 2013 basketball class as the 17th best in the nation. A nice start for John Groce.

So it seems that Rivals is a fan of John Groce's first recruiting class at Illinois.

The recruiting site updated its final team rankings of the 2013 basketball recruiting season, and Illinois checked in at #17 of the 30 schools listed. And while that's certainly a good thing, I should point out that the class was ranked as high as tenth back in October, but that was before a lot of top players had committed to schools.

And whether or not the class ranking dropped over the last six months isn't what matters here. What matters is that the Illini have a top 20 class.

Here's what Rivals had to say about the class:

A product of Chicago's public league, Nunn is a good wing defender with some offense. Hill can score and has a chance to take off if he adjusts to physical play of the Big Ten. Colbert is a fluid big man who can run the floor while Morgan has the size and skill to play at the four or the five. Tate is another Chicago product and a steady hand at the point.

As far as the Big Ten teams listed in Rivals top 30, Illinois comes in third behind Indiana (6th) and Michigan (12th), and ahead of Purdue (23rd).

Of course, it's important to keep stuff like this in perspective. This isn't the first time Illinois has been ranked in Rivals final list in recent years, and it's not like we've been doing a lot of winning. Our 2011 recruiting class (Tracy Abrams, Myke Henry, Nnanna Egwu, Mike Shaw, Ibby Djimde, Devin Langford) was ranked eleventh, the 2010 class (Meyers Leonard, Jereme Richmond, Crandall Head) was ranked thirteenth and the 2009 class (Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson, Tyler Griffey, Joseph Bertrand) was ranked fourteenth.

So seventeenth is nice, but it's not like it guarantees a Sweet Sixteen berth.

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