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Isn't Basketball Recruiting Fun?

We on that roller coaster ride.


Waking up to the news that 2015 D.J. Williams, a four-star small forward ranked in the top 50 of the 2015 class, had committed to the Illini this morning was nice wasn't it? Not only is Williams from Simeon, keeping that Simeon pipeline from Chicago flowing to Champaign, but he's also the first Simeon player to commit early.

Oh, and he's also the third top 50 player to commit to Illinois in the last few months, joining Leron Black and Quentin Snider. Think about saying something like that during the Bruce Weber years.

Remember when we used to wonder what it would be like to land all these top 50 prospects, and make real inroads into Chicago, but then we'd wonder if it would ever actually happen? Well, it's happening. Right now, right in front of you, and it's awesome.

Of course, there's a flip side to all of this as well. Illini fans got a few hours to jump around and high-five people they don't even know about the D.J. Williams news before panic set in. Because that's when Taylor Rooks tweeted this.

Which was not the news Illini fans wanted to hear considering this weekend is the last weekend before Alexander commits next Friday. Though it's possible that this news isn't worthy of a full meltdown considering what Alexander's mom told Adam Zagoria about the visit.

Chicago Curie big man Cliff Alexander will visit Kansas this weekend, his mother confirmed to

"Yes, he's going to watch his girlfriend play [on the Kansas women's basketball team]," Latillia Alexander, Cliff's mom, told Tuesday.

Alexander also maintains a close relationship with Kansas assistant Jerrance Howard, who offered Alexander a scholarship while Howard was at Illinois.

So maybe it's not a recruiting trip as much as it's a trip to see his girl play? Maybe?

No, seriously, whatever the motive, I was really hoping Illinois would be the last place Alexander visited before making his decision, and when he showed up on campus again -- unannounced -- over the weekend, I took it as a good sign.

This latest announcement worries me a little.

And this is what basketball recruiting is like when you step up to take on the big boys like John Groce has been doing since the second he walked in the door. There are going to be highs, there are going to be lows, and there's going to be a lot of anxious waiting in between.

It's fun, isn't it?

But if you want to be a top basketball program, this is what you have to deal with. So just try to enjoy the ride.

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room and Like us on Facebook. You can follow Tom Fornelli on Twitter at @TomFornelli.

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