August is upon us! School is fast approaching (for some of us) and football season is right around the corner. August is also when basketball recruiting starts to pick up. Visits, commitments, rumors, hysteria--all the fun stuff starts now! With this mini-series we'll be taking a quick look at all of the significant recruiting targets that the coaching staff is after.
Jalen Brunson - Lincolnshire, IL (Stevenson HS)
- 247 Composite: #20, 5-star
- Remaining Schools (5): Illinois, UConn, Purdue, Villanova, and Temple
No one knows what the hell is going on with the Jalen Brunson recruitment--if someone tells you otherwise they're lying. There were rumors a few weeks ago that Rick Brunson, Jalen's father and former star at Temple, was poised to become an assistant coach at his alma mater; Jalen was presumably a lock to follow him. However the situation has taken a drastic turn due to some (not-so) private matters. It appears that Illinois is right back in it for Brunson, but no one knows for sure. What we do know is that Brunson is the best PG in the class of 2015 and he's right in our backyard. The combination of his scoring ability and on-court vision make him nearly unguardable--just ask Whitney Young, whom he scored 56 of his team's 68 points against in the state playoff semifinals this past season. Brunson will be visiting Illinois the weekend of Aug 29th.
Jawun Evans - Dallas, TX (Kimball HS)
- 247 Composite: #33, 4-star
- Remaining Schools (4): Illinois, Southern Cal, Oklahoma St, Texas,
Jawun Evans is #1 on my personal wish-list for this recruiting class. He's the real deal with his vision, scoring, defense, and speed: It's no wonder that he was one of the more eye-opening prospects during the summer evaluation periods. Right now I'd say that the Illini are firmly in his top-2 and it looks like Oklahoma State is the other team that we need to worry about in this recruitment. There was a rumor that Evans would be visiting Illinois in early September, but it was made clear by both his mother and AAU coach that no visits have been scheduled at this point. Coach Groce just needs to get him on campus as soon as possible; if/when that happens there's a great chance he leaves an Illini.
Justin Robinson - Manassas, VA (St. James School)
- 247 Composite: #119, 3-star
- Remaining Schools (7): UNLV, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Temple, Creighton, and Providence
UPDATE: Robinson has "eliminated" the Illini
To be completely honest I'm not sure if Illinois is still actively recruiting Robinson, but as far as I know he still has a scholarship offer. Either way it looks like Robinson won't be an Illini unless the staff starts to strike out on the other targets. Even then, they may be better served rolling the scholarship over to 2016.
- 247 Composite: #28, 4-star
- Remaining Schools (6): Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Notre Dame, North Carolina St, and UNLV
- 247 Composite: #50, 4-star
- Remaining Schools (9): Illinois, Arkansas, California, Kansas St, Missouri, Oklahoma St, Marquette, Oklahoma, and SMU
- 247 Composite: #220, 3-star
- Remaining Schools: No List
- 247 Composite: #84, 4-star
- 247 Composite: #66, 4-star
- Remaining Schools (4): Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, and SMU