Buzz Williams is off to a tremendous start on the recruiting trail at Virginia Tech. After pulling a shocker and switching from Marquette to the ACC program earlier this spring, Williams landed two of his former commits at the Big East school as top-100 shooting guard Ahmed Hill and three-star center Satchel Pierce committed to the Hokies on Saturday morning during their official visits.
The news of the commitments was first reported by Scout.com‘s Evan Daniels.
The 6-foot-4 Hill is regarded as Rivals.com‘s No. 69 player in the 2014 national class and he was one of the best unsigned prospects remaining after recently decommitting from Marquette and being released from his NLI. The native of Augusta, Georgia played for the Southern Stampede in the Nike EYBL and comes from Aquinas High School.
Pierce, a 6-foot-10 center from Kiski School in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, is a three-star prospect and gives the Hokies an immediate boost on the interior since they lost freshman center Trevor Thompson to transfer this offseason. Pierce played on the grassroots circuit with the Ohio Phenoms.
This type of thing shows that players are committing to play for a head coach just as much as a school as we saw Kingsley Okoroh switch his commitment from Tennessee to Cal when Cuonzo Martin went to the West Coast earlier this week.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.