By Joe Henricksen
Although nearly every top prospect in the state of Illinois has already committed, the formality of the official signing
day is quickly approaching. The Hoops Report takes a look at what schools made out the best in terms of securing
recruits from Illinois. This isn't simply looking at the best players, but the impact they might have and other factors
and reasons as well.
Here are the best college signings from Illinois -- and the reasons why.
1. Mike Dunigan, Farragut (Oregon)
Big men are at such a premium and Dunigan has the body and potential to be a monster at the next level. Talented
big men are just so hard to find. And for Oregon to be able to come into Chicago and nab one of the top big men in
the country says a lot.
2. Keyon Smith, Simeon (Illinois State)
No, Smith is not among the top 10 players in the latest Hoops Report player rankings for the Class of 2008. Who
cares? The Hoops Report absolutely loves this point guard because he can do so many different things. He's far
from a one-dimensional lead guard as he is a terrific shooter and can defend and get after it fullcourt. When all is
said and done, the Hoops Report believes Smith will be an All-Missouri Valley Conference player down the road for
coach Tim Jankovich.
3. Iman Shumpert, Oak Park (Georgia Tech)
The No. 1 prospect in the state in the most recent Hoops Report player rankings. Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt
comes into Illinois, holds off North Carolina and Marquette, and walks away with the top senior in Illinois. Very
4. John Shurna, Glenbard West and Nick Fruendt, Batavia (Northwestern)
This is more for perception as coach Bill Carmody nabs two high-profile, in-state players. Will these two lead
Northwestern to a Big Ten title? No, but they will help bring respectability and notoriety for a program that needs
both. This was a big catch for Carmody, especially coming off last year's class that included Lincoln Park's Juice
Thompson and Glenbard East's Mike Capocci. These might not be players that the top half of the Big Ten would
take, but it's still a step in the right direction for a program like Northwestern.
5. Jeremy Robinson, Decatur Eisenhower (Illinois State)
For starters, it's just difficult to find a 6-8 athletic big man that is pretty skilled and hope he lands at a mid-major. But
that's what Illinois State gets with Robinson, who did suffer a knee injury that probably kept his stock a little lower
than it should have been. Nevertheless, combine Keyon Smith with Robinson and coach Tim Jankovich hit a mini-
jackpot in his first year on the recruiting trail as head coach of the Redbirds.
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