Yesterday, I reported that new Illinois assistant coach Isaac Chew is heading to Marquette, and then today I get to inform my fair readers that 2014 PG commit Jalen James has decomitted and will reopen his search. The HS junior point guard from La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Ind., is the second recruit to leave the Illini, as HS senior point guard Michael Orris jumped ship pretty quickly after Bruce Weber left the building.
If you’re not keeping score, that’s two point guards that have decided not to come to Illinois. John Groce is supposedly a guy that loves to play a lot of guards, and now he’s really only got Tracy Abrams to help him out. Abrams was the only shining light last year (aside from that Brandon Paul 43-point game that I still dream about), but he’s going to need some help.
The news also stings a bit since Chew just ditched us yesterday. However, today’s article from Paul Klee kind of makes it seem like the break up was a mutual decision. It implies that perhaps James wasn’t the best fit for the “system.” That’s fine, but we’ve got plenty of open schollies since Orris is out and Meyers Leonard is heading to the draft. James was a good recruit so now seems like a strange time to be picky. Does this really have nothing to do with Chew or anything else? Hmmmmmmmmm.
Marquette is in the mix to nab James, in addition to SMU (Jerrance Howard’s new stomping grounds) and Colorado. Also I just saw a tweet that DePaul is in the mix, but that doesn’t seem likely. The addition of Rayvonte Rice from Drake is nice, but the kid isn’t a point guard.
As of now, 6’5″ shooting guard Malcolm Hill is apparently still planning to head to Champaign. But as we know that can always change.