By Joe Henricksen
It was a big night for Illinois State basketball Friday as it landed a coveted big man in DeKalb's Jordan Threloff. Meanwhile, DePaul basketball continues to try and make some waves in Chicago area recruiting and did so with a talented group of potential impact players on campus Friday night. The Blue Demons had a host of talented players from all ages on campus.
According to Mike Irvin of the Mac Irvin Fire, DePaul had Wayne Blackshear of Morgan Park, Mike Shaw of De La Salle, Phillip Jackson of Hyde Park and Jabari Parker of Simeon all on campus Friday night for DePaul's Midnight Madness.
In addition, St. Patrick junior Jacob Williams and promising freshman Royale Ewing took in the action at DePaul. C.J. Jones, one of the top three players in the Class of 2012, was in attendance, along with Orr teammate Mycheal Henry, a 6-5 junior.
The recent momentum of DePaul recruiting continues, thanks in large part to a new group of assistants that have re-charged recruiting. The Blue Demons received commitments from three players recently, including highly-touted Moses Morgan of Las Vegas. Now coach Jerry Wainright welcomes the top 2011 prospect in Illinois on campus, along with Shaw, Jackson and Parker. DePaul has done a terrific job of getting more and more talent on campus and, in this case, an abundance of young talent.
Threloff a Redbird
The recruiting of Threloff was a grind, with several schools in and out of the picture and the process lasting up until Friday night. But Illinois State and coach Tim Jankovich landed the 6-9 senior, with a lot of credit going to assistant coach Rob Judson in helping secure the commitment.
While many schools were involved and Threloff was patient with his visits and decision, ISU ultimately edged out Drake, Western Michigan and Northern Illinois. Threloff had made many trips to the Illinois State campus, including Friday night's Redbird HoopFest inside historical Horton Field House.
There are so few quality big men out there, so for the Redbirds to nab a true on-the-block big man is always key. And Threloff is just that, a player who knows who he is, accepts it and doesn't try to do more than he's capable of.
What Threloff can become at the next level is a true, legitimate mid-major big man. His offensive game has made significant improvements since he first burst on the scene two years ago and continued while playing with the Rising Stars AAU program. He has a developing jump-hook and a face-up jumper that is gaining a little more consistency. He's still looking to polish up a go-to move in the post and refine his offensive game, but he has shown steady progress.
The biggest attribute is, quite frankly, his great size. Although he's a below-the-rim type, he will establish position with his strong and thick base, battle, take up space inside and provide a presence. And for his size he can get up and down the floor. Think of him as a mid-major version of former Pitt star Aaron Gray.
Threloff will add size to an Illinois State program that includes young players inside like 6-9 freshman Jackie Carmichael and 6-7 sophomore Kellen Thornton.