By Joe Henricksen
The rise of Crete-Monee's Michael Orris continues. After leading the Warriors to the school's first sectional championship in March, the recruitment of the 6-3 point guard picked up steam and hasn't stopped.
Illinois coach Bruce Weber offered Orris on Thursday as the Fighting Illini look to add a point guard to the mix in the Class of 2012. Senior-to-be Sam Maniscalco, a transfer from Bradley, and incoming freshman Tracy Abrams of Mt. Carmel figure to share the 40 minutes next season, while incoming recruit Devin Langford out of Alabama could also figure into the point guard spot down the road.
Orris first received heavy interest and an offer from UIC as first-year coach Howard Moore has made Orris a recruiting priority. Creighton, Butler, William & Mary, Drake and Wisconsin-Green Bay have all shown heavy interest or have already offered Orris, who averaged 9.7 points and 6 assists a game in helping Crete-Monee to a 25-4 record.
If basketball I.Q. were a measurable statistic, then Orris may have led the state this past season. Orris is a winner and leader, the consummate point guard and a player who is extremely coachable and understands his job and role. He brings size and a competitive spirit to the lead guard position.
While he may not put up gaudy numbers, have the ideal explosiveness or dead-eye shooting range, Orris always shows patience, constantly has his head up and surveys the floor, which translates into the ideal vision you seek in a point guard. He's strong -- physical and mentally -- and continues to improve in all facets of his game.
Orris raised his stock this past season as much as anyone in the junior class. While the Hoops Report has Orris, the No. 9 ranked player in the Hoops Report's Class of 2012 player rankings, projected as a mid-major/mid-major plus prospect, he has intangibles that any coach at any level would covet.
"He makes us go," Crete-Monee coach Matt Ryndak said of Orris last month. "He is an extension of the coach out there on the floor. He's everything you ask for in a point guard and is such a presence."