CBT’s Recruiting Roundup: Boston College, Illinois, LSU have big visitors

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Each Monday and Friday, College Basketball Talk’s Scott Phillips goes over some important news and notes in the world of college basketball recruiting. This week, Boston College looks to add big man as 2015 recruiting class centerpiece, LSU has a big in-state visitor and Illinois looks to bounce back from a disappointing start to September.

Boston College looks to finish recruiting momentum with a big visit

New Boston College head coach Jim Christian made a few people skeptical of his ability to recruit in the ACC when he took the job this spring.

With the previous Eagles staff owning a 2015 commitment from Jeremy Miller, Boston College already had someone in the fold who was at least interested enough in the program to offer up an early pledge.

But when Christian took over the job, he neglected to recruit Miller until after he decommitted from the program. It was a puzzling move for Christian to not even call a player previously committed to Boston College, considering the forward played for powerful local Nike EYBL program BABC and the 6-foot-9 Miller had some potential. Miller decommitted from Boston College and remains uncommitted in the recruiting process.

Soon though, Christian had Boston College fans believing in his recruiting ability as he’s landed three three-star guards in the last few weeks. Now, the Eagles will look to add the centerpiece of the class as four-star big man Josh Sharma officially visits this weekend.

Point guard Jerome Robinson and wing shooters Matt Milon and A.J. Turner are all nice additions, but Sharma is a 7-foot shot blocker with some upside to put around those perimeter threats.

If Boston College can land the No. 82 overall player in the 2015 class, it will be a really nice foundation for Christian to work with and a solid opening class, considering it was going to be an uphill battle with a new coach in a current ACC bottom feeder.

The Eagles need talent to compete in the ACC and Christian is putting together some pieces.

LSU needs to put talent around Ben Simmons in the 2015 class

Ben Simmons is the No. 1 player in the 2015 class and this week Simmons, once again, confirmed that he’s going to LSU despite persistent rumors of him playing professionally overseas after high school.

But even though the Australian is a likely one-and-done player, the Tigers still need to capitalize on having a player like Simmons already committed by putting talented players around him.

Not only does LSU need to use Simmons to help land future three- and four-year players but they need to take advantage of Simmons’ tremendous passing ability and put shooters and scorers around him that can make plays.

The Tigers are taking the first step in adding talent in 2015 this weekend as in-state shooting guard Brandon Sampson will take an official visit to Baton Rouge, according to Ben Love of Tiger Sports Digest.

At 6-foot-4, Sampson is talented with the ball in his hands and would be a great compliment to Simmons. LSU is recruiting four talented in-state prospects in 2015 between Sampson, Jacob Evans, Chad Lott and Melvin Frazier, but Sampson is the best long-term prospect of the quartet.

Sampson has claimed that he’s looking to make a spring decision, but it doesn’t hurt that local LSU is getting the first official visit among his final six schools. It’s unlikely the Tigers coerce Sampson into a pledge this weekend, but the official visit could make for a very positive first impression as LSU tries to stockpile talent around Simmons.

Illinois has two good visitors this weekend

It hasn’t been a great start to the month of September for Illinois but head coach John Groce and the coaching staff has done a nice job of getting elite talent still interested in Illinois.

Visiting Champaign this weekend on official visits includes five-star Texas 6-foot-9 center Elijah Thomas, the No. 20 player in the country and the No. 34 player on Saturday, four-star Indiana guard Jalen Coleman.

A source confirmed Thomas and Coleman’s visits and pairing them together is a sign that John Groce is committed to recruiting hard.

Losing the state’s top senior player in five-star guard Jalen Brunson to Villanova and later losing senior point guard Tracy Abrams for the season with a torn ACL was a tough start to the month but Illinois has bounced back with good talent still interested in the program.

Illinois also holds 2015 commitments to Simeon 2015 four-star wing D.J. Williams and Plainfield East 2015 four-star Shooting guard Aaron Jordan.