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.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.
Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.
A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.