Friday, April 27, 2007

Jordan to Illini a win-win situation

POINT #1 .... The commitment of Loyola Academy product Jeff Jordan to Illinois really is a win-win situation for both Jordan and Bruce Weber's Illini. Jordan gets his shot to play at the highest level possible--in the Big Ten--and close to where he grew up. Illinois, meanwhile, gets a terrific walk-on player, noted visibility due to the Jordan name, and without a doubt opened a door for Marcus Jordan to join his brother down the road.

The Hoops Report has felt Jordan is truly one of the more underrated and underappreciated high school players in the Class of 2007. And this is coming from the same publication that didn't have Jordan among the top 20 prospects when he was a sophomore in high school. Jordan was simply the most improved player in his class over a two-year period, elevating himself among the top dozen players in the Class of 2007 in the final Hoops Report rankigns. And nationally, I believe Jeff Jordan was vastly overlooked.

Does this mean Jordan will make a major impact at Illinois? No, he likely won't. However, I could very well see Jordan continuing that improvement over the next couple of years and playing a role for this team as a high-energy player off the bench down the road.

POINT #2 .... While Division III recruiting doesn't make the headlines of Chicago newspapers or national magazines, Illinois Wesleyan is putting together one heck of a recruiting class at the Division III level. The future backcourt of Macon-Meridian's Travis Rosenkranz, who the Hoops Report labeled the most underrated player in the state back in December, and Washington scorer Sean Johnson, should be the backbone for coach Ron Rose over the next two years. You then add St. Patrick's Ed O'Callaghan, a 6-7 inside player, and 6-8 Duncan Lawson of Glenbard West, and it's clearly the best recruiting class in the ultra-competitive CCIW.

Other additional recruits include 6-4 Dan Schouten of Downers Grove South, 6-4 Matt Schick of Lincoln and 6-2 shooter Chris Stamas of Glenbrook North. And don't be surprised if Wesleyan adds one or two more players in this group.

POINT #3 .... Usually big releases from the IHSA concerning high school basketball excites the Hoops Report. The latest one -- the breakdown of how schools will fall in the upcoming four-class system -- makes me want to cry.

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