By Joe Henricksen

Illinois lands Belleville East star Malcolm Hill

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By Joe Henricksen

Illinois and coach Bruce Weber's recruiting fortunes continue as fast-rising Malcolm Hill of Belleville East committed to the Fighting Illini on Monday. Hill, a long, athletic wing, has blossomed over the past 12 months and is among the top 60 players nationally in his class.

Hill, who made an unofficial visit to Champaign this past weekend, joins Hope Academy's Jalen James as the second verbal commitment for Illinois in the junior class. This follows the commitment Illinois received from senior guard Michael Orris of Crete-Monee on Sunday. has Hill ranked as the No. 50 player in the Class of 2013. He checks in at No. 58 on ESPN's top 60 rankings and No. 69 in's national rankings. Hill is currently the No. 4 ranked player in the City/Suburban Hoops Report's Class of 2013 player rankings in Illinois.

The 6-5, 200-pound Hill had a breakout sophomore season, leading Belleville East with 16.7 points a game. He also averaged 4.1 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists per game while shooting 74 percent from the free-throw line. He led the Lancers to a 22-7 record last season.

Hill's progression continued throughout the spring and summer while playing with the Southwest Illinois Jets on the AAU circuit. And as a result, his recruiting picked up steam and his reputation grew nationally.

A versatile wing who is quick off his feet and blessed with length and an impressive wingspan, Hill is at his best as a slasher in the open court and along the baseline in the halfcourt. While his perimeter jumper is currently not a strength, Hill just finds ways to score and is comfortable scoring over smaller defenders, getting to the basket and getting to the free-throw line. Plus, he has a chance to be a disruptive, versatile defensive presence on the perimeter with his size and long arms.

But what jumps out and excites anyone watching Hill is his enormous upside and what he could be two or three years down the road as he matures and adds weight and strength. He is nowhere near a finished product and continues to progress and get better as a player.

With James and Hill in the fold, Illinois will continue to heavily pursue Jabari Parker of Simeon in the Class of 2013 in hopes that he will round out a stellar recruiting class for Illinois in 2013.

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Joe, any idea how many schollies the Illini have for the class of 2013? Two in, and still recruiting Parker and Hamilton, so four?

Alright Joe, Illinois is very impressive right now and things are looking good. We all know that Jabari Parker is the main guy next to land and rightfully so. However, how big, if at all, do you feel it is to land Tommy Hamilton if the 4th scholarship comes about (via Leonard maybe)? I ask this because it seems that Hamilton wants to be on the perimeter as I seen during the summer. If he is trying to b a 3 in college, wouldn't it be safe if the Illini go after a "true" big man for 2013?

Joe, I love your blog! With the aforementioned statement I hope you can appreciate what follows. The rankings and evaluation of basketball players in Illinois is biased if not corrupt! Simeon's coach can demand that a Chicago guy be on the staff at a major college(DEPAUL). People think it is a good thing that he can demand this type of meeting. What is his leverage? PLAYERS! Ok if that is good what else can he control or manipulate (Rankings, officials,recruiting,writers...)? Oh so if he can do this then who else can? Maybe Whitney Young,MAC Irvin Fire, Meanstreets...? I have seen recruits drop in the rankings if they leave a particular AAU team, or rise in the rankings for moving to a PREFERRED TEAM! The ranking services can't get money from your program your players can't get notice! I saw your definition of envy! I appreciate that view and pray that I am more objective than envious. Tell me in 2012 a better 5 than DARIUS Paul(WARREN), Nate BOOTHE(WARREN), Charles Harris(LFA), Akeem Springs(WAUKEGAN) and AARON Simpson(NORTH CHICAGO)? Yeah, you can't use the rankings because that is subject to corruption! We suburb/small AAU program guys will take our mid-major offers and be happy or maybe we will learn how to play the game!

u right joe Tommy is all hype since eight grade cause his height. He hasn't shown me a thing his whole high school career. He doesn't run the floor and he tries to be a guy. He has to show me he wants it first.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on September 12, 2011 8:27 PM.

Orris commits to Illinois was the previous entry in this blog.

One memorable and rare open gym at Simeon is the next entry in this blog.

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