By Roy & Harv Schmidt
Despite the accelerated pace that college basketball recruiting continues to take and the fact that the Fall signing period is only a little over a month away, we are somewhat amazed that there are still a considerable number of top prospects in Illinois from the class of 2009 who are uncommitted. Not only do we think they will still be available come November, but there is even a possibility that some of them could wait until next Spring before making a decision. Illinois Prep Bulls-eye lets everyone know who these players are in this blog.
Before we go any further, we are going to eliminate a couple of names from our list right off the bat, as they are both on the verge of committing some time this next week. We are talking about 6'1 combo guard James Kinney from Champaign Centennial and 6'4 shooting guard deluxe Matt Vogrich from Lake Forest.
Kinney will actually announce his choice at a press conference this coming Monday night and while it has been reported that he will select from amongst Ohio University, George Mason, Evansville, or Penn State we have a very good idea who the winner is. Just to give everyone a hint, it is a school that he has already visited. Vogrich, meanwhile, is completing an official visit to Michigan this weekend and will choose soon between them, Notre Dame or Stanford.
With that being said, here is a look at the top players in Illinois from the class of 2009 who we believe could still be available when the November signing period rolls around.
Chris Colvin 6'2 PG Chicago (Whitney Young)
No player's recruitment has been more massively overblown than Colvin's. The bottom line is that every time you turn around you read something new and it ends up contradicting something that has been said previously, the latest being that some of the scholarship offers that were reported quite some time ago may not have actually been extended. Reports concerning the extent of the University Of Illinois' involvement have been greatly exaggerated, although Colvin could certainly remain an Illini option depending on how long things play out. On that note, we think that it will be much longer than most people realize.
Darius Smith 6'2 PG Chicago (Marshall)
Smith's recruitment has taken a considerable turn. Not long ago it was believed that Minnesota was a strong leader. However, Smith did not commit to the Gophers when he took his official visit during the first weekend of September and as a result Tubby Smith ended up receiving a commitment from another talented guard in the 2009 class from California. We are now hearing that Smith could be looking to stay relatively close to home. Schools that we continue to hear mentioned include Iowa State, Bradley, and DePaul, although the wild card could end up being Kentucky.
Marcus Jordan 6'3 2G Chicago (Whitney Young)
Maybe one reason why Jordan hasn't received even higher recruiting interest is because some schools remain somewhat intimidated by the family name, but the bottom line is that talent-wise Jordan is one of the top three available prospects in the 2009 class from Illinois (along with Colvin and Smith). No recruitment anywhere has been kept closer to the vest, which is why it is so difficult to obtain accurate information. Iowa State, Nebraska, Rice, Miami-Florida, Toledo and Wright State are all among the schools that remain heavily involved.
However, the longer this one continues and seeing as though the last name is Jordan, we are willing to bet that anything could happen.
Dyricus Simms-Edwards 6'1 PG Washington (H.S.)
Had Simms-Edwards not missed the entire July evaluation period due to injury, we think that there is a strong possibility that he could have already been off the board, as we have no doubt that a strong summer showing very well could have resulted in him committing to a high major. At the present time, a number of schools from the Missouri Valley Conference remain in the picture, and Simms-Edwards has also taken an unofficial visit to Iowa. There is probably no other player in the state whose recruitment will be more dependent on how he performs this upcoming high school season, which is why we believe that Simms-Edwards will wait until the spring before making a decision, an approach that Kevin Brown (his high school coach) also seems to be in favor of.
Nik Garcia 6'6 2G Evanston (Township)
When Garcia ended up changing his mind with respect to attending prep school for a year and chose to transfer to Evanston instead, it may have also ended up changing his recruitment somewhat as well. We say that because at the time it was announced that Garcia would be attending The Patterson School in Lenoir, NC many people believed that he could be on the verge of a commitment. Right now we still believe that the two leaders are Alabama and Providence. Seeing as though Garcia will not be playing basketball at Evanston until next January, it will be interesting to see how his recruitment plays out.
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