Monday, July 16, 2007

Dunigan, Humphrey leaving Illinois

POINT #1 .... The commitments of Mike Dunigan of Farragut, the No. 2 rated player in Illinois in the most recent Hoops Report player rankings, and Matt Humphrey of Hales Franciscan to Oregon, as it relates to the University of Illinois, is twofold. Losing Dunigan to Oregon is a big blow to the Illini. You just hate to lose any top 50 nationally-ranked caliber player from your home state, especially when it comes to quality big men that are so difficult to find. Plus, it just adds fuel to the fire in terms of the out-of-control recruiting landslide against Bruce Weber.

But, if the only way you were going to get Dunigan was to take Humphrey as well? I know Illinois offered Humphrey, but I wouldn't be real excited about landing Humphrey (see Point #2) and using up one of the few scholarships I have for the Class of 2008. You could definitely argue the point by saying "yeah, I would take Humphrey if it meant getting Dunigan." I'm just not sure I would if I had confidence in going out and getting other players.

POINT #2 .... The Hoops Report has never been a big fan of Humphrey, a 6-5 wing with limited lift and athletic ability, a streaky shooter and scorer that plays soft. He definitely brings some size on the perimeter and scoring ability, something Illinois desperately needs. And he would be a fine recruit--if he's your No. 3 or No. 4 recruit in a class. When it comes right down to it, Humphrey is not the player Illinois needs--or has to get--if you're talking about getting the Illini back to the top of the Big Ten. He would be a complimentary player in the Big Ten and Illinois doesn't need any more complimentary players if it intends to get back to where they were for about a six-year period just a few seasons ago.

POINT #3 .... Illinois needs an impact recruit in the 2008 class and the numbers are dwindling in terms of who is left. There was an early report that Oak Park star Iman Shumpert, the Hoops Report's top-rated player in the Class of 2008, had eliminated Illinois from his list of schools, but the report has been disputed. Both Shumpert and Darius Miller of Maysville, Kentucky are elite prospects, difference-makers that can come in as freshmen and make an impact. Scott Suggs of Augusta, Missouri is a bigger, better version of Humphrey. The Illini are in on all three, although there are now some major players working them. I would sure hate to see what would happen to the signing class in November if Illinois missed out on all three (and 0-for-Liggins, Dunnigan and Humphrey as well?). We will have to wait and see how it plays out, but at that point Humphrey may not look so bad to me if I were evaluating the Illini recruiting situation.

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