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Cliff Alexander Sets Illini Official


Curie 2014 power forward Cliff Alexander continues to make news on the recruiting trail.  Late Thursday night Alexander tweeted that he will be taking an official visit to Illinois on October 26.

“Taking a official visit to U of I oct 26 #TurnUp”

This news came on the heels of a commitment from Louisville Ballard (KY) point guard Quentin Snider just hours earlier.  That was their third commitment in the class along with Memphis White Station (TN) power forward Leron Black and Champaign Centennial power forward Michael Finke.

Alexander has been the top target for the Illlini coaching staff since Head Coach John Groce took over.  They will have one of the last opportunities to host the all-world power forward on a visit.

The senior has a visit set up to Arizona this upcoming weekend.


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Torres Shines At Full Package League

Class of 2015 Bolingbrook star Julian Torres was once again highly impressive while making his Full Package Athletics Fall Exposure League presented by Chicago Hoops debut on Sunday night.

Torres, a 6'8 center, is an absolute load inside.  However, he has greatly improved his quickness and mobility over the past several months and has an enhanced ability to finish inside.

Torres is the top-rated center prospect in the Illinois 2015 recruiting class and is continuing to see his stock soar.

Torres competes on the travel team circuit with the Illinois Celtics.

Torres plays on the Celtics in the Full Package Exposure League.



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Leron Black Talks Illini Commitment

 The Illini landed a top 50 prospect nationally that fits their system perfectly.  Illinois has pursued Memphis White Station (TN) power forward Leron Black ever since the moment he decommitted from Baylor.  It paid off with a commitment from the four-star on Sunday.

Black is a 6’7” four man that brings a ton of energy and a high activity level around the basket.  He excels at hitting the offensive glass and attacking from the high post.

We caught up with the newest Illini commitment to see why they were his choice.

“I feel like I will grow as a person, player, and spiritually.  I trust and love the coaching staff.  The campus is amazing.  I prayed about it.  And I know it is in God’s will.  To God be the glory.”

How did the commitment go down Sunday?

“I text Coach Groce and told him I wanted to do it.  We waited for them to come pick me and the family up for breakfast.  That’s when we made it public.”

Although he says the visit was great, he already knew before he stepped foot in Champaign what he was going to do.

“I knew before the visit I was going to commit.”

Head Coach John Groce as well as assistants Jamall Walker, Dustin Ford, and Paris Parham did a tremendous job building a relationship with the talented forward and his family.

“We are really close.  I felt like family before I even committed.  I trust and love them all.”

Black discussed his fit in Illinois’ offense.

“We are a running team.  That’s the style of play I love and play my best at.”

This is the Illini’s second commitment in the class of 2014 along with Champaign Centennial power forward Michael Finke.






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East St. Louis Again Looks Strong

East St. Louis is going to an exciting squad to watch this upcoming season.  They had a quality campaign last year under first year Head Coach Tony Young, a former DI college assistant.  Young’s team was guided by class of 2013 recruit Deshawn Munson who was one of the most productive players in the state last year.

Their senior leadership this season will come from 6’4” Darrion Beane who is an athletic wing that plays with energy and can get to the basket.  Senior point guard Justin Smith will bring toughness as well as his ability to run the team and make shots.

This season the Flyers will be loaded with young talent in the freshman and sophomore classes.  That is headlined by the state’s top 2017 prospect 6’10” Jeremiah Tilmon.  The post proved during the summer with MoKan Elite 14U he is a premier young prospect with his ability to run the floor, score around the basket, rebound, and swat shots.  He has interest already from high major colleges across the Midwest.

East St. Louis will open up the season at the Decatur Turkey Tournament against a stacked field.

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Tai Odiase Talks UIC Commitment





Homewood Flossmoor 2014 power forward Tai Odiase continued to see his stock rise over the last year.  With that he has collected a nice group of offers.

The plan was to pick one of those schools on this birthday.  He changed his mind during his official visit to UIC.

"I officially committed to UIC today."

Why were the Flames his choice?

"I just love the coaching staff.  They were the first school to ever recruit me and they were recruiting me the hardest.  I feel real comfortable with them and the plan they have for me over the next four years."

How will he fit in their system?

"They play high-tempo basketball and I love to run the floor so I think I would fit perfectly in their system."

Odiase is a long and angular power forward that runs the floor great, finishes efficiently around the hoop, and protects the rim on defense.  The senior played against the best competition in the country on the Nike EYBL circuit with Meanstreets during the spring and summer.







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