Let’s cleanse our palettes of the ugliness from this past weekend’s football game by getting to know the most highly touted incoming freshman on the Illini roster: Kendrick Nunn! Of course we’re all excited about every one of the 10 new guys who will make an appearance on the bench or court this year, but it’s fair for some to be slightly more excited about Nunn.
The 4-star recruit is ranked second in the state of Illinois, behind a little-known guy who goes by the name of Jabari Parker, a Duke commit that Illinois NEVER had a chance with. No matter, because being No. 2 isn’t half bad.
Nunn chose Illinois over Memphis, Marquette and Ohio State, and was the third recruit to sign up to play for Groce in September of 2012 after Malcolm Hill and Maverick Morgan gave their verbals.
Also of note, Nunn was the first Groce commit in the city of Chicago, and hails from the coveted Simeon High School. This could prove to be a great in for Groce, especially considering he nabbed a follow-up commitment from fellow Simeon grad Jaylon Tate. Not sure if there was a fist fight or if Tate gracefully stepped down to allow Nunn to wear 25, which is reserved for Simeon grads. The last player to grace the 2 and the 5 on his jersey was Calvin Brock.
Rivals pegged the 6-3 shooting guard as the No. 42 prospect in the nation, while Yahoo sports lists Nunn as No. 60. There was a frenzy over Nunn, and we got him. As a junior, Nunn and Parker helped lead their team to a 33-1 mark, their third consecutive Illinois Class 4A state championship and a No. 5 final national ranking by USA Today. Nunn started in all 34 games, averaging 15.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
I believe that Nunn has the talent to contribute to the team this year, especially since there are so many new guys on the team. However, freshmen learn quickly that college is a completely different game, especially when we get to Big Ten play. If he can make the adjustment, then I hope to see great things from Nunn right away this coming season.
Watch some highlights!