This weekend has a chance to be one of the best weekends of the year to be an Illini fan. That's because by the time Monday rolls around the Illini might not only be celebrating a football victory, but a basketball victory as well.
And that's because Leron Black is taking his official visit to Illinois this weekend. In fact, he'll be here tonight. And if the 247Sports Crystal Ball -- is George Chamoun dead? -- is to be believed, there's a very good chance that Black will be giving his commitment to the Illini before he heads back home to Memphis.
Black talked with The News-Gazette's Marcus Jackson about how close he is to the Illini, and why.
"My relationship with Illinois is real good. I talk to Coach Walker and Coach Groce a lot. We're real close. I can talk with them about a lot of different things; anything, really," Black said. "We're constantly talking on the phone. Coach Walker is real cool; we talk about a lot of things. I like Coach Groce's excitement and how fired up he is about me coming on a visit."
Black maintains an Instagram account (leron_black), but the Bible commands the bulk of his attention.
"With my faith, I want to be somewhere I can be around the coach who believes in faith like me and doesn't have a problem with me reading my Bible. I want to be able to go to church," Black said. "Coach Groce sends me a Bible verse every morning. That's something that's real important to me, my faith."
So, based on what he's saying, you can see why so many people believe Leron Black will end up in Champaign. And if he does it will be a huge moment for the John Groce regime and Illinois basketball in general.
Groce gave us a reason to believe last year when he was able to keep Malcolm Hill and he landed Kendrick Nunn. However, while both of those guys are highly-touted recruits, Leron Black is a consensus top 40 player. If you go by Rivals he's a five-star and a top 25 player in the class of 2014.
He might not be Cliff Alexander as far a profile is concerned, but he's exactly the type of player the Illini will need to land consistently if they're going to get back to competing for Big Ten titles every season.
Let's hope the Illini get a step closer to those titles this weekend.