I was bored between calls today and decided to look up the Illini recruits left on the board for the 2018 - 2019 calendar. While I may find time later to break them down in tiers, I wanted to type a few words for the most interesting man on the list Blake Hinson of Daytona Beach, FL. Mr. Hinson is a masculant child (anybody up for a GodFather Reference this morning?). At 6'7 230 I would really be more excited to see him being recruited by Lovie and the Football team. He would look great in pads as a tight end and if we added some weight to him I could absolutely see him as an Offensive Tackle. Yes, I'm still talking about the basketball recruit. One look at his film and the first thing that jumps out at you is that he's a big boy. The second thing is that he isn't quick enough to get around short white guys in random AAU games? Maybe that's why he has offers from schools like Clemson, Florida State, South Carolina, Illinois and Florida but he hasn't committed to anyone. Other wise known as, we're giving you this offer but you can't take it right now.
So why am I writing about a back up recruit for most schools that would probably be a really good football player? Because he reminds me of James Harden coming out of high school. Okay so I'm posting this Thursday morning and some of you may still have coffee in your mouth. Hopefully that coffee is not all over your computer screen.
James Harden was a over weight kid with great feel for the game but without the athleticism to dominate the game at a young age. Blake Hinson is the same type of player. Most blue chip schools like Kentucky and North Carolina just take high level athletes and pair them with a couple of guard that can play the game. That's why James Harden ended up at Arizona State and that may be why Blake Hinson ends up at Illinois.
Blake is a great ball handler with a really good feel for the game and ability to pass that isn't matched by many high school kids. He also has a great jump shoot which we need right now and even shows some of Harden's trick to getting to the line. But having said all that I don't know if he should come to Illinois. I don't know if he fits the system, even though I believe that Fletch and the nutritionist could help him a lot. I also think he needs the ball in his hands to be really good. It's what got James Harden drafted after two years at Arizona State and with Trent and Ayo on board, I doubt he would get that opportunity. But hey its not everyday you see a kid that shows flashes of the current MVP of the National Basketball Association.
Blake Hinson Hightlights from Under Armory AAU Finals