Looks Like University Of Illinois - Adonis De La Rosa
Pretty good day yesterday. A 4-star linebacker transfers in, the top wide receiver in the state verbals, and a fifth-year transfer for the basketball team (and a big!). I'll do the LLOUI posts in order of when they announced, so let's start with Adonis De La Rosa.
First off, this was my #1 guy. For some background, let's go through some snippets from my "Desperation" post on June 19th:
I have this "fine, I'll do it myself" part to my personality that's SUPER lame. You've seen it before on here. Ron Zook doesn't understand how field position is hurting his team of future NFL players? I WILL BE THE ONE TO TELL HIM. I'm having similar feelings towards the basketball frontcourt next season, and a fifth-year transfer seems like the perfect solution, but we don't seem to be pursuing any, and it's driving me nuts, so fine, I'll do it myself.
I spent the last few hours researching as many available fifth-year transfers as I could find. We have three available scholarships right now, and fifth year transfer could use that scholarship and then leave it open for the 2019 class, so really, we could add three right now and even if they only score one point all season it would be worth it. We're down to one player taller than 6'-6", and he (Giorgi) is a freshman project who probably won't be ready to play much, and I can feel myself hyperventilating because WHY HAVEN'T WE ADDED A FIFTH-YEAR TRANSFER FOR THE FRONTCOURT?
So with the help of this list which keeps track of every transfer nationally (like, at all 351 Division I schools), I researched every single available fifth-year frontcourt player in the country (there were 22). And then I made a list of 7 players who would make sense. It's very late in the game, but there was still the chance for some frontcourt help.
And here's the player I put at the top of my list:
- Adonis De La Rosa - Just announced he was transferring from Kent State last week, 7' tall, averaged 12 and 8 last year in the MAC. The main drawback - he apparently tore his ACL in February and is currently rehabbing, hoping to be ready by November. Also, he went from St. John's to juco to Kent State and now a fifth-year destination. Could we get him past admissions?
And now, two weeks later, Adonis De La Rosa to Illinois. It's all neat and tidy. I will now make a list of seven high school linebackers who will help us in the 2019 class and put Shammond Cooper at the top of the list.
Let's start with the ACL. In my research a few weeks ago I noted that he tore it in Feburary but he really tore it in early March at the MAC Conference Tournament (see, some conferences hold their tournaments in March). So that will be a major hurdle here. He probably won't be 100% until... January?
We can probably use DaMonte Williams as a guide here. He had ACL Surgery in January of 2017. He returned to the court by the time practice began in late September and played with a heavy brace on his knee until January. So if we push things forward two months for De La Rosa (March surgery vs. January), he returns to practice in November and plays with a heavy brace on his knee... all season.
Which is fine. Remember, with Samba Kane not on campus right now and trying to return in August, we're down to one guy over 6'-6" - freshman Giorgi Bezhanshvili. So any help will do. Seriously, we're desperate. It's a fifth year transfer, we can use the scholarship again next year - one point and one rebound is better than an open scholarship.
And this is some pretty good help. When researching him last week I saw a few Kent State articles about how his transfer decision was a "massive blow" to Kent State. He averaged 12 and 8 last year and, after rehab, they were expecting more from him this year. Now he'll put up those points in Champaign.
I think I settle here: if this was a normal season, I'd be focused on the injury and asking all kinds of "are we sure he'll be ready to play?" questions. But in our desperate we-don't-really-have-a-frontcourt state, with a really promising backcourt but no help up front, I really don't care. We'll play small in November and December and then when he's ready we plug him in for Big Ten play. That's were we run the risk of getting out-muscled anyway, so even if he's just good for five fouls, TOTALLY worth it.
Anything he gives us above that (and I think he might give us a decent amount above that) is gravy. 7'-0" gravy.
Tom Cruises. I think this is a great late pickup. Points are docked for the injury and the (possible) half-season, but really good work here. Gonna go with three.
Adonis De La Rosa - Three Tom Cruises