Illini Wonk
Monday, October 17, 2005
  Weber loses Sherron Collins to Kansas
I wasn't going to post anything on this until I looked at my traffic and saw that EVERYONE is coming to Illini Wonk for the latest news on the Sherron Collins recruitment battle that Illinois coach Bruce Weber apparently lost to Kansas' Bill Self. Collins is the #1 rated recruit in the state of Illinois, and will be the second straight that Self has landed at KU. Collins made the decision after attending "midnight madness" and before he made an official visit to Illinois or anywhere else.

Illini Wonk posted on this a few days ago and among other things said:
Much has been made about previous recruiting "losses" that Illinois coach Bruce Weber has suffered at the hands of Self, but this is really the first time where it is one-on-one. The end result will tell a lot.
Well, the end result tells this: Bruce Weber lost a recruiting battle to Bill Self. Period. Illinois Prep-Bullseye has the relevant recap:
...Collins also became sold on Kansas head coach Bill Self's recruiting pitch. Simply put, Self had told Collins from the beginning that he believed that he could be "the missing piece to the puzzle" in terms of getting the Jayhawks back to the Final Four.
If Collins was "sold" on the recruiting pitch of one coach, it means that he wasn't buying the other one: that of Bruce Weber. What exactly is that pitch? In the Chicago Sports Review, a quote from Charles "CJ" Jackson reveals Weber's pitch to his only ranked (121) freshman recruit:

"[Weber] looked me straight in the eye, and he was like, ‘Most coaches are going to guarantee you 30 minutes a game,” Jackson says. “Coaches are going to tell you you’re going to play 15 at least as a freshman. They’re going to tell you that you’re the number one player coming up next season. I’m not here to tell you that.

“I’m here to tell you that you’re a good player, and we want you on the Illinois basketball team, but we don’t need you. Our success will not depend on you coming here or not. We would love to have you, but how much you play depends on how much you’re willing to work and how much you’re going to deserve. I’m not going to promise you anything.’

One coach promised nothing and one coach promised the Final Four. Maybe that's the right thing for Weber to do. Maybe Illinois will continue to go to Final Fours with two and three star recruits, while Kansas will continue to exit in the first round with four and five star recruits. But one thing is certain: Self's method of recruiting works better than Weber's with the top recruits.

No doubt the national press will begin to pile on Weber's lack of recruiting and indeed Gregg Doyel has already got the ball rolling with: Self pulls another fast one on Illinois.
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