New Scholarship Offers
John Groce and the Illini dished out an incredible nine scholarship offers so far this week. While most were directed to local class of 2017 players, a few out-of-state prospects were on the receiving end as well.
DaMonte Williams | '17 PG | Peoria, IL (Manual)
DaMonte Williams is the son of former Illini star Frank Williams. The Manual standout plays for the Mac Irvin Fire (Nike EYBL 16U) on the AAU circuit; his only two offers are from Illinois and UIC, but he's picked up some interest from Kansas, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Bradley.
Williams has stated that he doesn't have any visits planned, but he'll make his way down to Champaign soon. That shouldn't be too difficult considering he's only about an hour and a half away.
Alonzo Verge | '17 PG | Villa Park, IL (Willowbrook)
Alonzo Verge is one of the most explosive prospects in the class of 2017. Like most sophomores, Verge hasn't been ranked by recruiting services yet, but 247Sports has already stated that he has "lottery pick potential" and that he's "one of the five best players in 2017."
Verge plays AAU ball for the St. Louis Eagles (Nike EYBL) along side Jayson Tatum ('16 G) as well as fellow Illini targets Jeremiah Tilmon ('17 F/C) and Tyler Cook ('16 F).
Paul Scruggs | '17 PG | Indianapolis, IN (Southport)
Paul Scruggs is the first of two five star Indiana natives that John Groce offered on Monday. Scruggs is currently rated as the No. 25 recruit (No. 4 point guard) in 247Sports' class of 2017 composite rankings. He holds offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, and Purdue; he's already taken unofficial visits to Michigan State, Indiana, and Ohio State.
Scruggs plays for the Indy Hoosiers (Under Armour Association) with Illini target Kris Wilkes ('17 F).
Justin Smith | '17 F | Lincolnshire, IL (Stevenson)
Smith, who averaged 10.4 points and 4.7 rebounds last season, played an integral role in Stevenson's IHSA Title run. In addition to Illinois, Smith also holds offers from Rice and Wake Forest; Wisconsin, Virginia, and Northwestern have also expressed interest.
Smith plays for the Mac Irvin Fire (Nike EYBL) with Illini targets Charlie Moore ('16 PG), Nick Rakocevic ('16 F), Zach Norvell ('16 SG), and Christian Negron ('17 F).
Kris Wilkes | '17 F | Indianapolis, IN (North Central)
Wilkes is rated as the No. 18 overall recruit (No. 4 small forward) in 247Sports' composite rankings. He holds offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Butler, and Purdue.
Like Scruggs, Wilkes plays AAU in the Under Armour Association for the Indy Hoosiers. There's nothing official yet, but the duo are rumored to be visiting Champaign sometime in the near future.
Christian Negron | '17 F | Elgin, IL (Larkin)
Christian Negron averaged 13 points and 11 rebounds per game for the Royals during his sophomore season. He's currently rated as the No. 93 overall recruit in 247Sports' composite rankings. In addition to Illinois, Negron has also received interest from Wisconsin, Purdue, Iowa, Northwestern, Bradley, and DePaul.
Negron plays for the Mac Irvin Fire (Nike EYBL) with Justin Smith.
Jordan Goodwin | '17 G | Belleville, IL (Althoff)
According to Joe Henricksen, Jordan Goodwin is a Sergio McClain/Rayvonte Rice hybrid. He's already logged over 1,110 points in his high school career and averaged 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.4 steals last season.
Goodwin plays for the St. Louis Eagles (Nike EYBL 16U) on the AAU circuit.
Tony Carr | '16 PG | Philadelphia, PA
Tony Carr is the latest 2016 point guard to pick up a scholarship offer from Illinois. The 6'3 Pennsylvania native is rated as the No. 90 overall recruit in 247Sports' composite rankings and has offers from Temple, Maryland, Indiana, Iowa, and Georgetown.
Carr plays for Team Final (Nike EYBL) on the AAU circuit.
Illini coach John Groce offered a pair of top-30 2017 prospects on Monday. Groce watched the Indy Hoosiers teammates in Louisville.
By extending scholarship offers to five different in-state sophomores on Monday, Illinois coach John Groce has shown he and his staff plan to get aggressive with this extremely talented class.
DaMonte Williams, son of former Illini great Frank Williams, has really proven himself this spring, and as a result, landed an offer from his father's alma mater.
Here's a nice writeup from the Chicago Tribune on several of Illinois' scholarship offers.
King James PG Xavier Simpson continues to bolster his stock on the EYBL circuit. Simpson talks about his game, his recruitment and visit schedule.
News & Notes
- Villanova transfer Dylan Ennis will be visiting Baylor on Thursday, Illinois on Friday, and Oregon on Saturday. A decision is expected soon.
- Illinois has expressed interest in UT-Arlington's Johnny Hill; he's a graduate transfer and would be eligible immediately.
- Illinois, Xavier, Marquette, and Pittsburgh have expressed interest in Derek Culver ('17 C)
- According to Hoops Hype Canada, it's a two-way race between San Diego State and Gonzaga for Nolan Narain ('16 PF); there's also a 50/50 chance he reclassifies to 2015. Illinois had expressed interest in Narain because he attended La Lumiere Prep (IN) with Jalen Coleman-Lands.
- Alterique Gilbert ('16 PG) picked up an offers from Texas and Georgetown this weekend
- Bryce Aiken ('16 PG) picked up an offer from Yale.
- Nojel Eastern ('17 PG) will be out for the next 4-6 months; the Evanston star suffered a broken/dislocated ankle at the Nike EYBL session this past weekend.