It was only a few months ago in September when four-star recruit Quentin Snider committed to Illinois, but today he decided to abruptly switch directions and sign with Louisville.
To be sort of fair, Snider committed to Louisville first long ago. He is from Louisville and has been a fan of the school forever, but once their fancy, shmancy recruiting class got a bit crowded, Snider jumped ship. It came down to UCLA and Illinois for his new commitment, and Snider went for team Groce.
The signing period started on Wednesday, when Champaign-native Michael Finke eagerly signed his letter of intent. From what I understand Leron Black is set to sign today, and there has been zero talk of dissent.
No one had heard much from Snider, and then today rumors began swirling that he was in talks with Louisville. Turns out those rumors were right on, and now Illini fans can wave goodbye to Mr. Snider.
The Illini were poised to have a top 15 recruiting class, but the absence of Snider will make a huge difference. We are still waiting with bated breath to see which team Cliff Alexander will choose at 3pm today, but as an Illini fan I’m programmed to expect the worst.
In the end, I don’t want a guy who isn’t excited to be an Illini. If Q’s heart was always with Louisville, then I’m glad he gets to be where he wants. But the thing is, it’s not like they dropped him, he just wanted to be a star and so he dropped them. That’s why he started looking elsewhere. Now that Louisville has more room for him to shine, he’s back on board. And, he was cool to just drop everything at the 11th hour and make the switch.
People are pissed, and I get that. I’ve heard some twitter mumblings invoking “he who shall not be named.” If you don’t know who I’m talking about then I’ll give you a hint: EG. This isn’t quite the same thing. Thankfully, it’s not like Q is dropping us to go to an arch enemy. Hell, last time we saw Louisville in a game we kicked their birdie butts out of the final four and Roger Powell’s forever memorable dunk launched the Illini into the 2005 Championship Game. Also, I believe this was Snider’s decision, as he announced he was opening his recruitment and then it sounds like Louisville called. Although, it is entirely possible that he was woo’d, but at least not openly, publicly, and illegally (ahem Sampson).
Since Ahmad Starks got screwed over by the NCAA, we were 1 scholarship over. So maybe this was meant to happen? It sucks big time, and a recruit jumping ship is never a good thing, but I do not blame John Groce. Things were going along too perfectly anyway, right? We’re going to survive. The more time we spend whining over this, the more boost we’re giving Snider’s ego. Instead, let’s quietly keep our eyes on him and secretly hope that he was overhyped.
In just about four hours we’re going to find out if Coach Groce pulled in the ultimate get, as soon as Alexander announces his decision. I’m going to be hurt and frustrated if Alexander says anything aside from Illinois, but at least the kid didn’t promise me one thing two months ago and change his mind at the last minute. And, either way, I know we’re going to be just fine.