Illini Wonk
Monday, February 07, 2005
  Recruiting Roundup
The current team has been making so much news that it has been hard to find time to post anything on the future crop of Fighting Illini basketball players. In the recent Sports Illustrated spread on the Illini, Grant Wahl wrote: Despite the positive publicity surrounding the Illini's breakout season, the jury's still out on Weber as a big-time recruiter: All of the players in his rotation are Self's recruits, and Self outflanked him last fall to land highly regarded in-state forward Julian Wright of Homewood-Flossmoor High.

Illini Wonk has repeatedly said that nothing recruits like ten weeks at the top of the rankings and due to that ranking, Weber gets noticed when he is on the recruiting trail. In a Chicago Tribune article titled Recruit proves up to his billing, Bob Sakamoto recounts a trip by Weber to see a 6-foot-10-inch junior named Brian Carlwell star for Proviso East (Dee Brown's high school). At the game: Illinois coach Bruce Weber was the center of attention Friday night in Maywood, posing for pictures, signing autographs and basking in the glow of the Illini's No. 1 ranking.

"I knew coach Weber was going to be here watching me," said Carlwell, who made an impression with 16 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks. "It means a lot to me [for him] to come and watch with their busy schedule. But I didn't want to think about that too much and take away from concentrating on the game.

In other Illinois basketball recruiting news, Illinois signee Jamar Smith had 30 points to lead Richwoods to a 51-41 win over Peoria Notre Dame.
I am somewhat concerned that Coach Weber hasn't been able to land any of the big 5 star blue chips. but after watching the team play this year I think that a team of roll players who work together is a better way to go than to have a prima donna who wants to take all the shots and get on to the pros as soon as he can.
What makes this years team so special is the way they share the ball so well. It has taken them 3 years to get to this point.
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