By Michael O'Brien

Some Good News for Illinois

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With the news that Eric Gordon will attend Midnight Madness at Indiana, the Illini faithful could use some...

Two of the best young underclassmen in the state, Peoria Central's D. J. Richardson and North Shore Country Day's Jereme Richmond, will both attend Midnight Madness at Illinois tonight.

Richardson and Richmond are a good sign for Illinois. The past few years, the Illinois coaching staff seemed to wait too long to get heavily involved with young prospects. They have obviously begun courting Richardson and Richmond before the national herd shows up. That's what is expected of the in-state school.

Also expected in Champaign tonight is Bloomington senior Justin Bocot, who could step in and grab the scholarship spot that it seems Gordon is vacating.

Another possibilty for Illinois is Marshall guard Mike Stovall. Like Patrick Beverley, Stovall has flown under the radar most of his career. Expect him to have a huge season. Indiana and Wake Forest, among others, are recruiting him. Stovall is 6-4, strong, athletic and he can shoot the three — he's the best remaining in-state option to replace Gordon.

Illinois coach Bruce Weber and Marshall coach Lamont Bryant had a highly publicized tiff last season over Beverley's recruitment. It would be in Weber's best interest to bury the hatchet and try to smooth things over with Bryant. Marshall has become one of the powerhouse Public League schools and Illinois can't afford to stay on Bryant's bad side.

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The reason Bryant got po'ed at Weber was that Illinois wanted scholastic info from Beverly. I'm not sure how Weber can change Bryant's mind on that issue. What's wrong with wanting to know whether a kid you're recruiting might actually be able to get admitted to the school you work for?

Coach Bryant needs to remember that there is a student part to student-athlete. He could not fulfill the requirements as a prospective student, so therefore the athlete part didn't happen. Before any institution would offer you an academic scholarship, you would be required to send a transcript. To not require the same for a student athlete would not be fair.

In Beverly's case that might be true but that does not cover up the fact that Weber lost Rose who will qualify and Collins who did qualify. So if there are any problems with the CPS coaches it would be wise for Coach Weber to fix it.

O'Brien responds: FYI Patrick Beverley did qualify. He'll be starting at Arkansas this year.

"Good news" for Illinois fans consists of replacing the #2 player in the country with Bocot or Stovall, neither of whom is ranked in the top 150?

I'd hate to see what constitutes "bad news".

Rose and company have had their hands out for a long time and there is nobody involved who doesn't know that.

So to blame Weber for not getting Rose is to blame him for not cheating.

Im not going to bad mouth Indiana and their basketball program but advise all future recruited players that once you commit, follow through with that committment. Im a big fan of Illinois and I do not understand why anyone would not want to be coached by weber and wear orange and blue. Coach Weber is an excellent role model and continues to lead by having integrity and honesty when it comes to leading his program. ROSE and GORDON i hope that you all do not regret your decisions and wish you all the best. However, I believe that you all could have starred together and really accomplished alot with a quality program like U of I. Go illini.

Weber runs a clean program, he will get his share of state talent, but the big names such as Rose will always look for the big stage programs like Memphis who's coach is a former but failed NBA coach. Rose & CO. think this will be his ticket to a lottery pick after 1yr of college ball. Same goes for Gordon.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael O'Brien published on October 13, 2006 9:56 AM.

Billy Joel was right was the previous entry in this blog.

Eric Gordon To Indiana is the next entry in this blog.

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