John Groce

Illinois lands 2015 commitment from four-star guard Aaron Jordan

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John Groce and his Illinois Fighting Illini got more than just a 75-55 win over Penn State on Saturday afternoon. He also added to his 2015 recruiting class.

Plainfield East High (Ill.) junior shooting guard Aaron Jordan told Groce he had made his committed to Illinois on Saturday, according to Marcus Jackson of the News-Gazette.

The 6-foot-4 guard is a four-start shooting guard, ranked as the No. 60 overall recruit in the Class of 2015 by Rivals. He held offers Creighton, Indiana, La Salle, Northwestern and Wisconsin before deciding to end his recruitment early. He is the second four-star recruit in the Illini’s 2015 class. Simeon Career Academy (Ill.) junior small forward D.J. Williams became the first back in early November.

“I just felt the time was right; it was Legend’s Day at Illinois and all the Flyin’ Illini were there, and it just felt right to do it,” Jordan told the Chicago Tribune on Saturday after announcing his commitment. “I went through the whole process, and at the end of the day, Illinois was the one. It’s close to home, I grew up in Illinois. It’s home.

“I’m really excited,” Jordan said. “Coach (Groce) wasn’t expecting me to commit. I wanted to get it over with. He was very happy.”

Back court depth is something Illinois will have plenty of moving forward. Rayvonte Rice, Tracy Abrams, Joseph Bertrand, Kendrick Nunn, Malcolm Hill and Jaylon Tate are all averaging more than 10 minutes a game. And while Rice, Abrams, Bertrand and Oregon State transfer Ahmad Starks will run out of eligibility by the time Jordan steps on the Champaign campus, Nunn, Hill and Tate will still be there as well as Seton Hall transfer Aaron Crosby.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Thanksgiving Day Edition!

Kevin Ollie
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.

For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.

The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.


1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.

2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.

3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.

4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.

5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?


  • No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
  • No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley

No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: