What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time I was writing about how the visits being set up in the fall in Champaign were unprecedented. Multiple five-stars setting visits in Champaign. A year later and I’m not sure we’ll have even half of the visits we had last year. And all of the prospects are fringe top-100. Expectations = dumbed-down. [Read more…]
Have I mentioned how much I enjoy series’? Have I mentioned how much I hate the burden of series’? Right now I’m behind three 90i posts and three LLUOI posts. Which usually means I’m frozen as a writer until I’m caught up. Today, with my first chance to write anything in 48 hours, I’m ignoring the series’ and writing about recruiting. For both sports. [Read more…]
I mean, if you want to talk about attention-grabbing headlines, this is it. This is the kind of stuff that might get me hired at the New York Times. “Robert, we need a headline for this new Kim Kardashian story.” “How about ‘Kardashian Story’, sir?” “BRILLIANT”.
This is a basketball recruiting post. I will now discuss basketball recruiting. [Read more…]
May is almost over. Which means my yearly “I kinda take the month off from writing” month is almost over. Typically, at the beginning of June, I’m writing about two things: current football recruits and summer basketball recruiting. Today? Today, with both, I’m impatient. [Read more…]
It means nothing. But it’s never happened before, so it means something. But if nothing comes from it, it didn’t mean a thing. Of course, if something comes from it, this is a wildly significant time period in Illini basketball history, because this has never happened before. But it still might end up to be nothing.
Feels like 1991 up in here. In those days, back when and you’d rush back to your dorm room after class to watch Saved By The Bell on TBS at 3:00 (just me?), you followed basketball recruiting through fall visits. That’s when you knew a player was interested in your school, and when he verballed, you found out in the newspaper or on the evening news. No, really, that’s what we did. [Read more…]
It’s a dangerous thing. You make a statement on your blog, and then people respond that statement through email or Twitter, and then you have this ability to respond in public while they’re restricted to private conversation. Yes, they can maybe respond in the comments section, but really, a voice gives you the ability to set an agenda. I try to avoid that, generally. [Read more…]
Once I hit age 40 (eighteen months ago), I started feeling all these dad emotions. Not dad emotions as in fatherhood, but dad emotions as in “pull up a chair and let me tell you how things were”. It’s weird. 41 is still young, right? Why, when I hear great basketball recruiting news, is my go-to reaction “sit here, kids, and let Uncle Robert tell you how things used to be”? [Read more…]
Remember 4-2-1? Last summer, I wrote about my expectations for the 2014 basketball recruiting class. With Michael Finke already on board, we only had one more scholarship to give. So I wanted to shoot for the moon. Concentrate on four blue chip recruits, get two of them on campus for a visit, and get one of them to sign in November.
It hit me yesterday that the next six months are so big for the basketball program. The two (or three) players that John Groce lands this summer will define our trajectory. Will we add “solid contributors” to the two four-stars we’ve already landed (DJ Williams and Aaron Jordan), or will we add superstars?
And the same goes for football. [Read more…]