While Cliff Alexander has commanded the most attention from the Illinois fan base when it comes to the 2014 recruiting class, it turns out Alexander isn't even the only five-star power forward the Illini are showing heavy interest in. There's also Leron Black, a 6'7 power forward from White Station in Memphis, Tennessee.
Black originally committed to Baylor in September but reopened his recruitment in January. And when asked which schools are coming after him harder than the others, Black listed Illinois along with Baylor, Florida, North Carolina State, Ohio State and UConn, though he doesn't have a favorite.
"They're all similar right now," Black told reporters this weekend. "Nobody's really sticking out or anything yet. I probably won't decide until October in the first signing period."
Black also said that he had an in-home visit with the Illini last week and that he really likes both John Groce and assistant Jamall Walker.
Now, personally I'm still in the Cliff Alexander camp, but it's not because I don't think Leron Black is going to be a very good player. It's not as if I'd be upset if the Illini landed Black instead of Alexander.
The only real reason I'd prefer Alexander is because he's from Chicago, and I feel like not only landing a five-star player, but adding a five-star player from Chicago would be a program-defining moment.
It's splitting hairs, I know, but it's also true.