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Your 2014 Basketball Class Has Its First Commit

The ink has barely dried on John Groce's first recruiting class in Champaign and we've already got a commitment for the 2014 class: power forward Michael Finke.

Joe Robbins

You know what this Illinois team needs? Some size. You know what John Groce got today? Some size.

Unfortunately it's size that won't be here until 2014, but 6-foot-9 power forward Michael Finke committed to Illinois on Wednesday, becoming the first member of Groce's 2014 class. He didn't have to travel very far to find him, either, as Finke plays at Champaign Centennial.

"It just felt right," Finke said after making a visit to Illinois on Wednesday. "After watching them and seeing how great they're playing and seeing myself going beyond the arc and down low for them in their system, I know I'll fit. Coach Groce has been doing a great job. I've been talking to them for a while. I know they care about me. I know I can contribute.

"There's a lot of people who told me to go there because I'm the local kid. In the end, I wasn't going to make a decision based on that. People thought I was going to Illinois when they offered me. Honestly, my decision was wide open. I was looking at every school. I was looking for the best position and fit in the end."

Finke is a 3-star prospect according to Rivals, and he had offers from schools like Iowa, Kansas State (haha!), Purdue and Wisconsin. If you recognize the name Finke it might be because his father, Jeff Finke, played tight end for Mike White and John Mackovic back in the day.