During the recruitment of Cliff Alexander there's always been somewhat of a feeling that John Groce and the Illini are chasing Michigan State. It's not that Alexander has ever come out and said Michigan State is his favorite, but that's been the sense of just about everybody that follows this stuff for a living.
Well, that chase may be over.
According to Alexander's AAU coach, Mike Irvin, Alexander's recruitment is wide-open and he's still narrowing down his list. But that's not what you care about. What you care about is what Irvin said about Alexander and Illinois.
‘‘I don't think [Michigan State] have a slight lead; I think it's even,'' Irvin told the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘I think Illinois gained a lot of ground in the last couple of months."
What more could you want to hear?
Okay, so you'd prefer to hear those words out of Alexander's mouth, but you have to assume that Cliff's AAU coach has a decent idea of what he's thinking, so to hear him say this is certainly good news.
It'll likely be a while before Alexander makes his decision, but the more we learn about his recruitment, the more it sounds like Illinois is going to be in the race until the very end. We can't ask for much more than that.