Illinois landed another commitment from a top player in the city of Chicago on Tuesday morning, as D.J. Williams pledged to John Groce and the Illini.
Williams is the No. 45 player in the Class of 2015, according to Rivals. A 6-foot-7, 200 pound wing forward, Williams is a competent scorer on the wing and athletic enough to be an effective rebounder and transition scorer at the Big Ten level. His game needs polishing, but there’s definitely quite a bit of potential there.
More importantly, Williams is the third player that Groce has landed from Simeon High School in Chicago. Jaylon Tate and Kendrick Nunn, who are both freshmen this season, are Simeon products that are expected to see time for the Illini this year. Simeon is a powerhouse in Chi-town, having produced players like Derrick Rose and Jabari Parker.
If Groce can turn Simeon into a pipeline for Illinois, that immediately makes his program better. For starters, that means he’s going to continually have access to talented hoopers, but it also means that he’s got a foot in the door when it comes to getting players from Chicago. That city houses a ton of talent, and tapping into that market, especially for Illinois, is hugely important.